Shitty consequence #207 of the lockout: The fact that this years’ deadline had to fall on the first day of the NCAA tournament. Trust me, I came pretty close to being totally overwhelmed by all of it yesterday.
I mean, who would have thought that possible, you know?
Anyway, I whined as recently as a few days ago about the lack of activity at this years deadline. Turns out I jumped the gun on that one.
Now that’s it’s over, let’s attempt to sort this mess…
Lakers trade Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a 1st round pick to Cleveland from Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga
For the Lakers:
At long last, the lakers get the point guard upgrade they have needed for at least 2 years. Sessions is young, athletic and steady, and even though he is better in a fast-paced offense, he’s still world better than Derek Fisher was at this point. As a bonus, the Lakers’ were somehow able to rid themselves of Luke Walton’s ugly contract. All it cost them was their first round pick, which is likely to be in the 24-27 range.
All in all, it is hard to find fault with this move.
For the Cavs:
While it may not look sexy on paper, this is a good move for Cleveland, too. This is a team that is already set at point guard with future star Kyrie Irving and is busy building for the future. They now own 5 first round picks in the next two drafts after getting the Lakers’ selection, and all they gave up was a player who was likely to leave in the summer anyway. Yeah, they had to take back Walton’s contract, but they have plenty of cap room so it was a move they could afford to make.
The future is looking terribly bright for Cleveland, LeBron be damned.
Who wins? The Lakers. this move makes sense for both teams, but LA got what could be a key piece for another title run and managed to avoid taking on any salary in the process. that makes them an easy winner here.
3 Way trade. Wizards get Nene, Brian cook and a 2nd round pick-Clippers get Nick young-Nuggets get Javale McGee and Ronny Turiaf
For the Wizards:
The great knucklehead purge continues in DC. By shipping out talented but clueless center Javale McGee and “Mr. bad shot” Nick Young, it’s three down, two to go. Getting rid of Arenas was the hardest part, and this trade was the next logical step. All that’s left is to amnesty the hopeless Andray Blatche and hire a shrink for Jordan Crawford and they’ll be good to go.
And as a bonus, they managed to pick up one of the best (if overpaid) big men in the league in Nene, a hard working, talented scorer in the post. Now the Wiz finally appear to be on the right track. John Wall and Nene are pretty decent building blocks, and with a likely top 5 pick in the loaded 2012 draft, they could be on the brink of something real. That is, if they don’y manage to draft the one bust in this amazing bunch. With their luck, it wouldn’t shock me.
For the Nuggets:
Call it buyers remorse or whatever, but it’s a safe bet that the Nuggets almost instantly regretted signing Nene to a 5 year, 67 million dollar deal in December. In light of their new philosophy, it’s seems like too much to a non-superstar, especially when they have 12 quality players on their roster. With that in mind, this deal basically amounts to a delayed sign & trade for Denver: instead of losing Nene for nothing last winter, they were able to turn him into Javale McGee, who dense as he may be, just might find a new lease on life under the tutelage of George Karl. Whatever happens though, Denver found a way out of Nene’s deal, which will give them the salary cap room that every team is craving these days but few actually have.
For the Clippers:
They get a guy who can shoot them in our out of games, depending on how he’s feeling that day. Listen, the Clipper offense has bogged down badly since Chauncey Billups went down. Randy Foye isn’t gonna cut it, and Mo Williams have been good game/bad game for weks now. They needed a guy who could put points up, and Young is that, if nothing else. All it cost them was a trade exception. Hard to find fault with that.
You know, this is the rare three-way trade where it’s fair to say that everyone does. All three teams accomplished something here without having to give too much away.
THE TRAIL BLAZERS GREAT FIRE SALE OF 2012!
Let’s breakdown the carnage:
Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, Hasheem Thabeet, Johnny Flynn, New Jersey’s 2012 1st round pick and Houston’s 2012 second round pick
- Marcus Camby
- Gerald Wallace
- Greg Oden
- Nate McMillan
- Their fucking minds
- Any chance at the playoffs
Man, that was something.
As meltdowns go, this one has been pretty thorough. After jumping out to a 7-2 start, the Blazers came apart at the seems, due to fatness, selfishness and general indifference, going 13-21 since amid loud rumors of a locker room mutiny.
Suffice to say, somebody decided enough was enough. Just who that somebody is, nobody knows, since the Blazers don’t actually have a general manager after firing Rich Cho last year and Kevin Pritchard the year before that. Me, I imagine Paul Allen pacing around his house in a robe, cutting deals on his bluetooth or whatever.
In any event, they started trading off assets for nothing but picks and expiring contracts, so I’m left to assume that the plan is to start from scratch with LaMarcus Aldridge. Rumor has it that everyone was for sale, including Wesley Matthews, Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton and Bill Walton’s old ten-speed.
As strategies go, it feels like total surrender for this season, but the pick they got in the Wallace deal is only top 3 protected, which means there is a good chance they get a very high lottery pick for Gerald Wallace.
Alas, we’ll have to wait and see, but for now, the Portland Jail Blazers resemble a gory crime scene.
Spurs trade Richard Jefferson and a first round pick to Warriors for Stephen Jackson
A proven veteran scorer who can be very valuable on the right team, and very cancerous on the wrong one. Of course, Gregg Popovich has always been fond of Jackson, (he was on one of the Spurs’ title teams years back) and if there’s any coach who can keep him in line, it’s probably pop.
Um, not much. I mean, they get a late first round pick and rid themselves of Jackson, but is it worth at this coast? I mean, Jefferson is past his prime and is owed another 2 years at 11 million each. This is a head-scratcher.
Who wins?: Spurs. When it comes to trades, the Spurs always win. Guess that make Popovich General Zod or something.
Rounding up the rest…
-Houston picked up Marcus Camby from portland for nothing but dead contracts, which seems to be a Daryl Morey specialty. They also got a first round pick for taking on the 4 million dollars the Lakers owed their departing hero Derek Fisher. Speaking of which…
-My ode to DFish can be found here.
-The Warriors broke the bank for a broken center, trading Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. My breakdown is here.
-The Pacers rented Leandro barbosa for the remainder of the season, giving them some more scoring punch off the bench.
-Philly got Sam Young from the Grizz, because they needed another atheltic swingman who can’t shoot very well.
So yeah, when all was done, some shit actually happened. No, we didn’t get the Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol or Rajon Rondo blockbusters, and Boston’s Big Three stayed put but hey, there’s always the summer, right?
As far as championship ramifications go, only the Lakers and Spurs made moves of any import. Still, buyout season is upon of us, which is usually a bargain bin for contenders looking for that final piece to the puzzle. Between now and March 24th, (the deadline for signing a player who can be eligible for the playoffs) expect some veterans to be bought out of their contracts and snapped up by playoff teams.
Otherwise, that’s a wrap for player movement ’til the summer. All things considered, that was a decent little run of activity.