Friday, March 16, 2012

The Trade Deadline

None of the biggest pieces were moved on this year's NBA trade deadline. Yet, there was enough activity to keep the pros relevant on the first day of the NCAA tournament. On to the deals.

  • Raptors send Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers for a 2012 2nd round pick and cash
    • Barbosa gives the Pacers a scorer off the bench and someone who has experience playing as a true point guard. Barbosa has been mostly put in a scoring guard role of late and he excels there (almost 22 points per 40 minutes), but he has had very strong assist rates in the past under the guidance of Steve Nash. For what they gave up, the Pacers got a good deal.
  • Grizzlies send Sam Young to the 76ers for the rights to Ricky Sanchez
    • Who is Ricky Sanchez? It couldn't matter less. This was strictly a salary dump for Memphis and the NBA requires both teams to trade something, no matter how trivial. The Sixers get another frontcourt body who is a very solid offensive rebounder (9th among small forwards who play more than 10 minutes). However, he's a bad shooter and doesn't really do anything else well enough to warrant large amounts of playing time.
  • Spurs send Richard Jefferson and a 2012 1st round pick (lottery protected) to Golden State for Stephen Jackson
    • Jackson had been pretty bad for the Bucks and probably won't be much better in San Antonio. Perhaps they were nostalgic for the days of old when Jacko won a title with the Spurs. Jefferson isn't exactly much better, but at least has a specialty in hitting 3's (especially from the corner). The problem is the Warriors have a 3-point shooting small forward in Dorell Wright who is better and 5 years younger. Grabbing another 1st round pick is helpful for the future and they are certain to get it as the Spurs' chances of landing in the lottery this year are low.
  • Blazers send Gerald Wallace to the Nets for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a 2012 1st round pick (top 3 protected), Blazers send Marcus Camby to Rockets for Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, and a 2012 2nd round pick
    • The Blazers, who are in 12th place despite a +1.9 point differential, are throwing in the towel. They are going to free up money (about 20.5 million) to begin their rebuilding project around LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum. They plan to waive Williams and Okur, Flynn, and Thabeet are all awful. Perhaps the young guys will be able to become serviceable in a new environment, but I don't think they are part of Portland's long-term plan. The 1st round pick is nice and the Nets apparently only protected it top 3 because their list of worthwhile players in the upcoming draft stops after Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Thomas Robinson. 
    • The Rockets on the other hand get another true center and an elite rebounder in Camby (he leads the league in total rebound rate). This will help in their push to secure a playoff spot in the west.
    • The Nets get a 29 year-old Wallace who obviously is a great rebounder, defender, and energy player, but I don't know if that's what they need now, especially at the cost of a high 1st rounder.
  • Lakers send Derek Fisher and a 2012 1st round pick to the Rockets for Jordan Hill, Lakers send Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and a 2012 1st round pick (lottery protected) to the Cavaliers for Ramon Sessions and Chrisitan Eyenga
    • So long, Fish. The Lakers get a great rebounder and excellent finisher at the basket in Hill who can play stretches at either power forward or center. Sessions is a great pick and roll point guard. He doesn't shoot very well, but is worlds better than Fisher everywhere else. Eyenga is a nice throw-in to keep an eye on. The Lakers had to unload their 2 first round picks, but got rid of some dead weight in Walton and Kapono. 
    • Cleveland must have really wanted that lottery protected first rounder because the money doesn't make much sense. Kapono makes just over 800,000 which isn't much cap relief and Walton has another year at 5.8 million. 
    • The Rockets can see if Fisher can give them anything as Kyle Lowry heals and his veteran presence might be worth keeping around at 3.4 million, which comes off the books at the end of the year. 
  • Nuggets send Nene and Clippers send Brian Cook to the Wizards, Wizards send Javale McGee and Rony Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the Clippers
    • McGee might be a knucklehead, but he's a knucklehead who rebounds well and sends a lot of shots back. Nene is far more polished offensively, but overall their not giving up as much as it might seem, especially when you factor in Nene's 13 million dollars per year as compared to 2.5 million for McGee. Cook is a tough-nosed rebounder with little value elsewhere. The Nuggets plan to waive Turiaf in order to use some of their new found savings on Wilson Chandler. 
    • Nick Young is an absolute chucker who can't (or perhaps won't) create shots for anybody but himself. But the price was right for the Clippers, so they can afford to experiment with a real 2 guard in the lineup. 
  • Hawks send a 2nd round pick to the Warriors for cash
    • Get paid, Joe Johnson.
Overall I really like what the Rockets and Lakers did, adding productive players for the stretch. I think the demolition in Portland may be a year early and they didn't take back a single productive player, but you can't blame them for being frustrated after the bad luck they've had lately. Golden State continues to set themselves up for the future and while I like their outlook, it is predicated on good drafting and patience. The Wizards and Nets continue to make moves that don't really make sense for teams that are in their current situations. 

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