NBA players are drastically changing, and it no longer is because of the all mighty trade deadline. What’s the new fad now? To be bought out, or to come out of retirement. Damon Stoudamire, Flip Murray, Gordan Giricek, Theo Ratliff and Sam Cassell have all been bought out this season. With deadline on March 1, I will now take a look at the major moves and how they will affect their new teams. See any connections between all of this? All but one went to playoff bound teams.
1. Damon Stoudamire – Memphis to San Antonio
Nicknamed Mighty Mouse he has been exactly that for the defending champs. Stoudamire brings another dimension at PG that the Spurs simply did not have with offensively challenged Jacque Vaughn. The veteran keeps defenders on their toes with his quickness and his ability to drive it in for the layup or step back and take the three point shot, is a refreshing new attitude in San Antonio. Since Stoudamire joined the ballclub on January 30th , the Spurs are 11-1.
2. Sam Cassell-L.A. Clippers to Boston while not official, it is widely rumored to be true
Sam-I-Am will bring great on court presence for the Celtics and another solid scoring option behind Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. Cassell’s stellar play will certainly push Boston into at least the second round of the playoffs. This move will leave Denver kicking them selves for not making a harder push for the Martian. The only caution I see is how he will get along with Rondo, who he clobbered with a forearm earlier in the month when he was a Clipper.
3. Theo Ratliff - Minnesota to Detroit
Theo will be yet another intimidator in the paint for the Pistons. He brings excellent shot-blocking, solid rebounding and will be a great teacher for Jason Maxiell. Also, Detroit got him for a bargain, a third of his salary to be exact. Ratliff was previously making $11.66 million with the Timberwolves and the Pistons will only have to pay $3.7 million, the regulated payment for a player coming off waivers. However the problem is with Antonio McDyess, Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson and Nazr Mohammed already in their rotation where do they find room for Ratliff?
4. P.J. Brown- Free Agent to Boston
Seasoned veteran P.J. Brown believes he has enough left in the tank for a late season push, and the Celtics think so too. Brown who is still a good rebounder, will definitely help them on the defensive side. However, with the great play of youngster Leon Powe and rookie Glen "Big Baby’’ Davis, it poses the questions do the Celtic's really need Brown? Or are they just signing him so no one else will? And how will this move affect the team’s chemistry?
5. Flip Murray- Detroit to L.A. Clippers
Flip Murray will help jump start this team who has sorely missed stars Shaun Livingston and Elton Brand all season long. Unfortunately, Murray will remain on the bench thanks to Brevin Night. Murray will float into the Free Agency market after this season, as it would make no sense to resign with the Clippers as Shaun Livingston will be returning next year. Potential buyouts include Minnesota swingman Antoine Walker and the Miami’s seldom used guard Smush Parker.