NBA Trades: 5 Bold Predictions for Every Team That Made a Trade
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The trade deadline has come and gone. Every team that made a deal has a set of expectations in accord with that deal.
Rarely does everything go exactly as planned. The trades that everyone seems to see as can't miss successes can blow up into total disasters.
A seemingly minor deal can take on greater meaning down-the-road.
Will each team's set of expectations end up matching up with what actually happens in the future?
It's not always as simple as it seems.
The Wizards hope that adding Nene will keep John Wall focused on the future in D.C.
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Who's gone and who's new:
New: Nene Hilario, Brian Cook and a 2015 second round draft pick from the L.A. Clippers.
Gone: JaVale McGee, Nick Young and Ronny Turiaf
1. Assuming that Nene can stay healthy the Wizards should be better for the remainder of the season. Nene will bring an aura of professionalism and consistency that McGee had yet to develop. Young's loss is easily compensated for by inserting Jordan Crawford into the starting lineup.
2. John Wall better now and even better later. John Wall is an extremely talented point guard but also extremely young point guard. Different people mature at different rates. Wall has all the ability to excel at in the NBA for years to come but he's yet to attain a consistency on the court. Part of that is likely to due to being surrounded with other young and immature teammates. Adding Nene will allow Wall to see how mature NBA players operate without having to watch them play in another uniform.
3. Jordan Crawford will emerge as a viable starting NBA shooting guard. Crawford, who is in the third year of his career, has been handed the starting job now that Nick Young has been sent to Los Angeles. He's not going to become an elite shooting guard, but it's no coincidence that Young became an expendable asset with Crawford languishing on the bench.
4. The Wizards will draft a big man if one is available. Nene is a very good NBA center but he's also somewhat pricey. If the Wizards can acquire a big man in the draft that would allow them to shop Nene down the road as the length of his contract gets shorter.
5. Washington will do everything and anything to try and rid itself of Andray Blatche. If the Wizards were concerned enough about surrounding Wall with maturity to deal players such as McGee and Young who have shown plenty of talent as well as bouts of immaturity. One can only imagine how eager the team is to discard Blatche who has been more trouble than talent as well as being under a cumbersome contract. How the Wizards will figure out a way to move him is a good question but make no mistake about it, if they can find a team that will take him he's gone.
Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew Bynum is the future of the Lakers.
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Who's In: Ramon Sessions, Jordan Hill and Christian Eyenga.
Who's Out: Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and both of their 2012 first-round draft picks.
1. The Lakers have made a series of moves that clearly show the team's intentions to win now. The Lakers will win a title in the next two seasons.
2. The clock on the "Steve Blake starting point guard" era is ticking. Giving Blake increased minutes may seem logical over the short term but Sessions wasn't coming off the bench in Cleveland because he wasn't good enough to start. He was behind the No. 1 overall draft pick Kyrie Irving. Blake isn't Irving, and Sessions won't be a backup for long.
3. Laker fans won't ever forger Derek Fisher, but their angst over this past week's trade will fade as the Lakers begin to play better basketball.
4. The Lakers will add Ray Allen in the upcoming offseason. Is there anyone in the league who would be a more lethal off the bench three-point threat? On the Lakers, backing up Kobe or even playing alongside him for short bursts moving Kobe to small forward Allen would see as many open looks at the hoop as he's ever seen.
5. Metta World Peace will be amnestied in the upcoming offseason. Peace is a great defender but the Lakers need more out of their starting small forward on the offensive end of the court and without any first-round draft picks, the Lakers will need to acquire talent via free agency.
Wilson Chandler will excel as a Nugget.
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Who's in: Wilson Chandler, JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf (already bought out).
Who's out: Nene Hilario.
1. The Nuggets are going to be better this year with the addition of Chandler and McGee. McGee isn't as good as Nene, but Nene had been frequently injured so his contributions this season were extremely limited.
2. Arron Afflalo will see decreased shots. Adding Chandler won't impact Afflalo's playing time as much as it will impact his production.
3. Kenneth Faried and Chris Anderson will be depended on to provide more on both ends of the court. McGee will get plenty of playing time, but George Karl can't throw him out there and expect instant results. Faried and Anderson are both tough players who put in effort on defense. They'll get a chance to showcase that for the remainder of the season.
4. Denver won't overpay for JaVale McGee this offseason. Part of why Washington dealt McGee was because they didn't want to spend too much on him as a restricted free agent this offseason. Denver wont overpay either. If McGee gets a sky high offer they'll let him walk and gladly take the salary cap flexibility.
5. The Nuggets won't advance past the first round of the playoffs this season but they'll be a top four Western Conference team next year.
Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry will flourish with new teammates.
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Who's in: Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson and additional first- and second-round picks in this summer's NBA Draft.
Who's out: Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, Kwame Brown and Stephen Jackson.
1. The Warriors will struggle on the court in the immediate aftermath of this deal. Bogut is injured so the team will have less depth in the low post and less scoring on the floor.
2. Long term this deal could reap huge benefits. It also insures head coach Mark Jackson of added time to produce a winner.
3. A healthy Bogut paired with Jefferson, Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee gives Golden State a good mix of offense and defense.
4. Golden State will be able to recoup the lost depth in this season's draft. The team now owns a lower first round a two second round picks. They're not likely to pluck stars from those spots but a couple of serviceable bench players is a legitimate expectation.
5. Mark Jackson can lead this team to the playoffs if Stephen Curry can maintain his health. The talent is there and unlike in years past it's committed to playing hard on both ends of the court.
Monta Ellis has what the Bucks need but is he the right fit?
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Who's in: Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, Kwame Brown.
Who's out: Andrew Bogut, Stephen Jackson.
1. On the surface Ellis seems to be exactly what the Bucks need. Some scoring to pair with a roster seemingly comprised of skilled but complimentary offensive players. Ellis' lack of defense and his tendency to not always make the extra pass might not sit well with head coach Scott Skiles who basically made an entire NBA career out of good decisions and tough defense.
2. The Bucks won't miss Bogut. Bogut can be a great player but he's been hurt so frequently that the team had to learn to play without him. They had already done that by the time he was dealt.
3. Drew Gooden will be a breakout NBA player for the last month of the season. He actually registered a triple double last week so it's already happening.
4. Ersan Ilyasova will be resigned in the offseason. Ridding themelves of Bogut's contract while acquiring Kwame Brown's expiring deal and not picking up the option on Beno Udrih will allow Milwaukee to afford to retain their most talented free agent.
5. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis will be a little too similar to Stephen Curry and Ellis. The Bucks backcourt my end up scoring lots of points but they're also going to take a lot of shots and not always play defense.
Nicolas Batum is the future in Portland.
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Who's in: Johnny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and future first- and second-round draft picks.
Who's out: Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby,
1. The Blazers are rebuilding but aside from the draft picks the returns on these trades will be minimal.
2. Hasheem Thabeet will continue to be a draft bust as will Johnny Flynn. These two young men were picked Nos. 2 and 6 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. To this point they've both been disappointments and heading to Portland won't change that.
3. Raymond Felton will show that he's a much better player than what we've seen so far this season. It's been a nightmare for Felton this season but with Nate McMillan gone look for Felton to show far more production in the final month of the season.
4. Raymond Felton will be gone after this season. He's on a one year deal and the Blazers have a ton of cap room. They might not sign Deron Williams but they'll make a run at him as well as other top free agents.
5. The Blazers will likely end up with two high first round draft picks. They won't make the same mistake they made with Greg Oden or with Sam Bowie. They'll draft the best point guard available with their highest pick.
Los Angeles Clippers
A replacement for Chauncey Billups? The Clippers hope so.
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Who's in. Nick Young.
Who's out. Brian Cook and a 2012 second round draft pick.
1. Nick Young won't replace Chauncey Billups. He's going to be given every chance to fill the role but in the end he's not a defensively savvy veteran guard who knocks down three-pointers and hits almost 90 percent of his free throws.
2. Nick Young won't be back next year. The Clippers will quickly realize that they only have so much time to win and Nick Young is going to cost too much money and take too long to develop into a reliable contributor on a team with NBA Title aspirations.
3. The Clippers are team ripe for a possible first round upset in the playoffs. They don't play great halfcourt offense nor do they play consistent defense.
4. Free throws will be their undoing. If you're Shaquille O'Neal or Dwight Howard you can get away with shooting a terrible percentage from the line. Dwight Howard and D'Andre Jordan aren't and they're both abysmal from the line. Griffin hits 55 percent and Jordan hits 50 percent. In a playoff series if those numbers hold true the Clippers are doomed.
5. The Clippers are going to continue to be far better than most people would ever have imagined they'd be just a few years ago. They won't be winning an NBA title unless they can surround Blake Griffin and Chris Paul with a true scoring threat from either the small forward or shooting guard position
New Jersey Nets
Gerald Wallace isn't exactly Dwight Howard.
Who's in: Gerald Wallace.
Who's out: Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a 2012 first-round draft pick if it doesn't fall in the top three.
1. The Nets are going to lose Deron Williams. It's not about the money, it's about the team and the Nets won't be good enough to convince Williams to pass up big money from Dallas to play in Brooklyn next year.
2. No Deron Williams means no Dwight Howard either. Howard who may or may not end up getting dealt next season won't want to come to a Brooklyn team featuring a disjointed collection of talented players and badly needing a point guard.
3. The Nets will have to spend big money to keep Brook Lopez and possibly may have to invest in Kris Humphries just to insure they can field a team that's not a complete laughing stock. Gerald Wallace will opt-in next season but could be dealt by New Jersey before ever playing in Brooklyn.
4. New Jersey dumped that first round pick because they didn't want to spend money to sign two first round picks and then be at a disadvantage in the Williams bidding. They'll end up regretting that when Williams leaves and Portland is picking at four, five or six in a very deep draft.
5. "Green-sanity": Keep watching former first round pick Gerald Green for the remainder of this season. He's been posting big numbers and has already impacted Marshon Brooks playing time and production. Green will finish the season strong.
Marcus Camby was not happy in Portland but he'll enjoy his stay in Houston.
Who's in: Marcus Camby, Derek Fisher ( bought out) and a 2012 first round pick.
Who's out: Jordan Hill, Johnny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet and a future second-round pick.
1. Marcus Camby will love Houston. He's too old to return to the form of his best years but he's still one of the better defenders and best shot-blockers in the game. He'll flourish under Kevin McHale and take full advantage of plentiful minutes that are available.
2. If Kyle Lowry is healthy for the playoffs then the Rockets are a prime candidate to be this season's version of the Memphis Grizzlies. As seven or eight seed they'll give whoever they face a real run for their money.
3. Houston won't miss Thabeet or Flynn but will end up regretting the loss of Jordan Hill.
4. Roy Hibbert will be heavily pursued by Houston this offseason. Hibbert is going to be pursed by numerous teams but with Camby near retirement and Houston nearly devoid of any serviceable center for next season on their current roster Hibbert will be target number one for them.
5. Kevin Martin will be dealt in the offseason. He's had a subpar season and appeared displeased with how he's utilized when he has been healthy. Martin is a very good player but not good enough to be deemed anywhere near untouchable.
Luke Walton's contract made trading him a no-brainer for Los Angeles.
Who's in: Luke Walton, Jason Kapono( bought out) an additional 2012 first round pick and potentially a slightly higher 2013 first round pick.
Who's out: Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga
1. It's not losing LeBron but this trade won't make Cavaliers fans happy. The Cavs dealt a very good albeit backup point guard for an overpaid bench player in Walton and what will eventually be a pair of low first round picks.
2. Next year's Cavs' team will look very different from this season's. Cleveland only has five players under guaranteed contracts for next season.
3. In spite of plenty of salary cap room Cleveland won't land a big name free agent. Players just don't gravitate toward Cleveland or more specifically teams that are perennial lottery entrants.
4. Kyrie Irving will be an All-Star in the next three years. The only reason it won't happen quicker has nothing to do with Irving and more to do with who else plays point guard in the East. Rondo, Rose, and Wall are all very good and Brandon Jennings and Jose Calderon put up good numbers as well.
5. Tristan Thompson will emerge in 2012-2013 as a legitimate force. Thompson entered the season with expectations but has yet to attain consistency. That will change next year as a paired down roster and paired down payroll will allow Thompson the minutes to flourish.
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan hopes to lead the Spurs back to the NBA Finals.
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Who's in: Stephen Jackson
Who's out: Richard Jefferson and a 2012 first-round draft pick.
1. This is another move made in an effort to "win now." Tim Duncan is a free agent this summer and that places an extra emphasis on improving the team for a run to a ring this year.
2. Tim Duncan will return....unless. If San Antonio were to win the NBA Championship this June then doesn't Tim Duncan strike you as the type of player who might hang-em up and leave on that type of high not? If it doesn't happen then Duncan will resign with San Antonio
3. In spite of my contention that Duncan will resign with the Spurs look for teams such as Dallas, Houston and Boston to all make overtures which will send major sports media into an absolute tizzy. You can replace the recently ended "Manning watch" with "Duncan watch".
4. Stephen Jackson will provide an upgrade over Jefferson but not enough of an upgrade. Jackson will be able to fit into the Spurs offense easily having played with Duncan and under coach Popovich before. The trade will improve the Spurs but not enough to navigate the highly competitive Western Conference Playoffs.
5. The Spurs have a very good team right now but the future is not so bright in San Antonio. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker seem to get injured every season. Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal are both nice players but they're not good enough to rebuild around. In three seasons they could be back in the lottery.
Danny Granger and the Pacers lost back-to-back games this past weekend.
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Who's in: Leandro Barbosa
Who's out: A second-round pick.
1. Short term this trade will or at least should add some depth to an Indiana team that has it's eyes on making a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
2. Barbosa won't be on the Pacers next season. Neither will a number of other players with expiring contracts such as Jeff Foster and Louis Admundson.
3. The offseason bidding war for Roy Hibbert will be one of the most hotly contested of the summer. Unless Hibbert actually wants to leave the Pacers don't be shocked if he eventually resigns.
4. Indiana will beat the Pacers in a first round matchup if the two teams do in fact meet.
5. The Pacers will continue to be very good but not quite good enough. The Bulls, Heat and Magic are too loaded and the Knicks are rising.
Jose Calderon is still in Toronto but for how long?
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Who's in: A second-round pick.
Who's out: Leandro Barbosa
1. Toronto was more than willing to exchange Barbosa a very serviceable guard in exchange for added salary cap flexibility for next season. That flexibility might not be enough to convince Jose Calderon who is a free agent following the 2012-2013 season to stay.
2. If Toronto feels that Calderon's departure is inevitable after next season they will completely blow the team up by also trying to deal talented big man Andrea Bargnani.
3. Jerryd Bayless who has been on fire as of late while subbing for the injured Calderon will score a big contract on the open market next season.
4. Toronto will own one of the top three draft choices next season.
5. The Raptors are a case study for why the NBA should consider contraction. On the occasions that they've had great talent they've never been able to retain it and in spite of tons of salary cap room next season don't expect any of the league's top free agents to be playing north of the border.
Oft-injured big man Spencer Hawes may hold the key to the Sixers postseason success.
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Who's in: Sam Young
Who's out: The rights to former second-round pick Ricky Sanchez.
1. The happiest person in this deal should be Sam Young who will see more minutes in Philadelphia than he did in Memphis.
2. Young won't get tons of time in Philly but he'll be given a chance to provide some points off the bench. If he can do that it could translate into some interest this offseason when Young will be a free agent.
3. Philadelphia is in a tough spot. Just talented enough to create expectations but not quite talented enough to fulfill them. Philadelphia got off to a great start but appears to be losing steam as of late and is primed for an early and quick playoff exit.
4. Hawes on the move. Don't be shocked if Hawes bolts this offseason when he's a free agent. Philadelphia will have a tough time affording him with $18 million locked up in Elton Brand.
5. The best reason for high expectations in Philadelphia next season are the overall weakness of the Atlantic Division. Doug Collins seems like a prime candidate to either quit or get axed if the team stumbles.
Zach Randolph is back.
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Who's in. Memphis acquired the rights to former second-round draft pick Ricky Sanchez.
Who's out. Sam Young
1. Memphis fans will barely notice any changes from the trade. They will however notice the return of power forward Zach Randolph to the starting lineup.
2. Memphis is in a tough spot with four key players Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph all under fairly large contracts through the end of the 2014-2015 season. Don't expect too many dramatic moves from this franchise which has limited salary cap flexibility.
3. Last year Memphis pulled off a massive first round playoff upset by toppling the No. 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs. This season look for the Grizzlies to eliminate the heavily hyped Los Angeles Clippers
4. Memphis has enough talent to always be good, but there's not enough talent to win a title.
5. The team will make no effort to retain O.J. Mayo this coming offseason.