>Friday Lunch: My First Heart Attack – Reactions to The NBA Trade Deadline

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

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By Brent MacDonald

nba_trades_illustration1x_576

*buzz buzz*

Wow….

*buzz buzz*

No Way!

*buzz buzz*

HOLY SH-T!!!

 

This is a glimpse at the series of events that occurred this past Thursday when a flurry of texts from ESPN graced my phone over a span of about two minutes.

 

Apparently, teams around the NBA decided the time was right to give their fans a few unexpected heart attacks.

I haven’t to this date remembered such an explosive and seemingly random quality of trades go down. The Carmelo Anthony trade was to be expected, but the rest? Even Ms. Cleo wouldn’t have seen that coming.

 

So let’s take a look at just a few of the trades that went down this past week. Overall, there were good trades and bad trades, trades that made you scream with joy and cry with sorrow. Here’s a re-cap and review of this past Thursday, a day that will hereby be referred to as:

 

‘That one trade deadline day in 2011 that happened way too fast for anyone to realize what the hell was going on and I hope the Kings don’t move to Anaheim.”

 

The Baron Davis Deal. AKA: “Aww man…”

It’s usually unreasonable to feel pity for professional basketball players. They are arguably the greatest athletes on earth, and are some of the richest and most recognizable figures in the public eye. However, this year has been different… there hasn’t been a Cleveland Cavs player I have not at some point felt sorry for this season. And now Baron Davis tops the list.

 

Mo Williams on the other hand must be pumped to get out of Cleveland. Though Williams lacks the size and power of The Beard, he does have a much better perimeter game, which will complement fellow guard Eric Gordon and will give LA the inside-outside balance that could make them strong playoff contenders in the coming years, and will help rid the Clippers of the streaky inconsistency they have been experiencing over the past few seasons.

 

Bottom Line: Clippers got the better deal on this one. Blake Griffin will be using Moon as a toothpick soon enough.

 

Carmelo Back in New York. AKA: “Everything Must Go-Except Spike.”

With the addition of Carmelo Anthony, New York is beginning to build a squad in resemblance to the Miami Monstars, though they are lacking the third piece. If New York can pick up a solid point guard such as Chris Paul this offseason, they will become big-time contenders not only for the conference championship, but throughout the league as well. The Knicks received PGs Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, both of whom they will be able to deal with for a player such as Paul, as both Billups and Carter would work better coming off the bench.

 

The Nuggets received everything they could possibly want from New York, except for Spike Lee. Gallinari, Chandler, Mozgov, three draft picks over the next three years and point guard Raymond Felton are now under George Karl’s guidance.

 

Felton will be able to step in immediately and make an impact in Denver, and the addition of his fellow teammates will help him adjust to the role of starting PG on a different team even easier. Felton is averaging 17 points and 9 assists this year, and is one of the most underrated guards in the league. Watch for the Nuggets to use him as they try to return to high standing in the Western conference.

 

Bottom Line: The Nuggets were smart to get rid of their entire offense in Anthony. They’ll be able to build around a younger PG and upcoming draft picks.

 

The Kendrick Perkins deal. AKA: “Danny Ainge Has Lost His Mind”

Celtics GM Danny Ainge made history when he somehow brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce as the Big Three in 2008. This move led to a championship for Boston, and ‘Executive of the Year’ accolades for Ainge.

 

Ainge has obviously become not only drunk with power, but also sh-tfaced with success.

 

By trading Kendrick Perkins away to Oklahoma City, Boston has left a gaping hole in its frontcourt. With his size and physicality, Perkins is one of the best post defenders in the league. Perkins was a huge reason last year’s Celtics made it to the finals, and almost beat LA for the ‘ship. Without Perkins in Game Seven of last year’s NBA finals, Boston was outrebounded 53-40 and gave up 23 offensive rebounds; the highest of the series.

 

The addition of Nasty Nate gives the Thunder a solid reserve point guard, and Perkins will bring size to a team full of gangly spidermen such as Westbrook and Durant. After taking LA to six games in last year’s playoffs, Oklahoma now has the talent and pieces it needs to make a long run in the playoffs.

 

Bottom Line: With the addition of Perkins and Robinson, OKC has officially moved from the middle of the pack in the West to become definite conference contenders. Look for some upsets during this post-season.

 

The Houston-Memphis-Phoenix Soiree. AKA: “Something’s A-Brewin’ Down South”

The Houston Rockets made one of the biggest trades of the day when it sent Aaron Brooks to Phoenix and Shane Battier to Memphis on Thursday, successfully losing their best defensive weapon and best point guard in the process. In return, the Rockets received Goran Dragic from the Suns and DeMarre Carroll and Hasheem Thabeet from the Grizzlies.

 

Thabeet will play blowout minutes, if he’s lucky. Coach Rick Adelman is not the type of guy to test a player if he’s not positive they’re ready, and Hasheem was barely ready for the D-League after getting drafted two years ago. Dragic on the other hand is a huge addition.goran-dragic

 

Getting Dragic out of Steve Nash’s shadow will allow him to mature as a player and develop his skills much quicker, especially when he has a player like Carroll to pass to. Carroll was the Grizzlie’s leading scorer with 19.8 ppg, and when he returns to full health from his current shoulder injury, will be expected to add to his offensive power for Houston.

 

Bottom Line: It seems the Rockets got the better deal here. They traded defense (Battier) for offense (Carroll) and added a solid point guard that will be able to grow into his newfound leadership role.

 

The Hornets-Kings Trade. AKA: “Whatever. Just keep the Kings in SacTown.”

New Orleans has decided to trade Marcus Thornton and cash to Sacramento in exchange for Carl Landry.

 

Bottom Line: The only thing I, as a lifelong Kings fan, am worried about as of now is having a team in Sacramento, rather than worrying about who’s on it. So welcome to your new home, Marcus Thornton. I’ll see you at Arden.

 

The Jazz-Nets Deal. AKA: “OK, Jerry Sloan, You Can Come Back Now”

Many NBA analysts have referred to an ongoing negative relationship between former Jazz PG Deron Williams and former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan as the cause of Sloan’s unexpected retirement this season. With Deron Williams part of a multi-player trade involving New Jersey and Golden State, Sloan may want to return to Utah.

 

Or maybe he won’t.

 

Regardless, Utah has traded its best player in Deron Williams away to the Nets. A two-time all-star in just his sixth year in the league, Deron is one of the top three point guards in the league. New Jersey had to give up a lot to get him, including Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first round draft picks, and cash, but in the end, it has a player that Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z can build a franchise around.

 

Harris is a solid point but doesn’t have the creative ability that Williams did, and won’t be able to spread the floor in quite the same way with his passing and driving. However the two first round draft picks for Utah will bring in strong talent to take over for Williams’ absence, and the cash considerations give the Jazz freedom to make more moves this offseason.

 

Bottom Line: After giving away its best player, Utah made out pretty well. This seems to be a fair trade, although Deron Williams will have to wait a few years before reaching playoffs again.

 

Needless to say, this year’s NBA trade deadline came and went with more twists and turns than Inception. Recovery methods include sitting on the couch for eight hours straight watching college basketball, gluing David Stern’s face to a dartboard, and buying Costco-sized packs of Bayer.

Enjoy the weekend.

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