This Year, No NBA Trade Will Make a Difference

Walter SimonsenCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2009

This year, there is no trade that can be made in the NBA that will make a big difference.

There won't be any Pau Gasol-for-Kwame Brown steals.  You're not going to see Shaq traded to a team where his style of play doesn't match what has been proven to work.  

The NBA will not see a trade that will propel a team that was a borderline playoff berth to a title contender.  It's just not going to happen.

The reason for this?  Well, it's not because there isn't a good amount of talent on the trading block.  That's not it.  O'Neal and Marion traded places, and that was for the best for both of them and both of their teams.  But this doesn't mean that all of a sudden the Heat are going to be taking down the little green men or the Cavs in five games.  

No, the reason that the NBA will not see a landmark trade this year is because any team at the top has already got the required pieces, and any team on the border line would have to give up too much to get a player who could help this season.

Honestly, let's look at the Lakers as an example.  Best record in the NBA and yet there is still doubt about their ability to win a championship this year due to the absence of Bynum.  

This is certainly debatable, but let's just say that Bynum will be back for the playoffs.  It would not be in the best interest for the Lakers to begin tinkering with the lineup that got them to the finals last year.  If it's not broken why fix it?  

So, here's a case of a team who has the right pieces and now the experience to make another serious title run, and a very good possibility of hoisting that trophy at the end of the season.

How about another case study with the little green men from Boston.  

Another team with all the pieces who made a run and won it all last year.  Should a GM really takes chances by changing a team that has proven itself worthy of winning a championship?  No, keep the pieces and run with them.

Sure, losing Posey could prove to change the dynamic come mid-June, but this isn't the time to go shopping for a replacement.

Why don't we look at a team on the cusp of the playoffs and see if we can find a trade that will make a difference.  How about the Heat's trade today.

So, the Heat get a veteran all-star player in Jermaine O'Neal.  That's good for them. They needed someone who is hungry to be on a team with pieces that can fit together for a championship.  It wasn't that long ago that they brought back the trophy to the town at the bottom of Florida.

However, O'Neal is not the kind of player that will automatically turn a team the way a Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan can.

So, when you look at the trade, will it make the Heat better? Yes.  Will it make the Heat more interesting to watch? Yes.  Will the Heat move up a few seeds come playoff bracket time? Yes.  Are the Heat now title contenders? No.

Sorry Miami, I know you have one of the most dynamic young playmakers in Wade, but O'Neal is just going to make the team more interesting.

There is no chance of a championship though.  To get past the likes of Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando, not to mention meeting the Lakers in the finals, you are going to need a lot more than Jermaine O'Neal.

However, I see where Pat Riley is coming from.  Marion isn't really playing and D. Wade spends the entire game trying to be a one-man show.

The fan base sees this, the coaches and the team see this, and it's obvious Marion doesn't want to be there.  So you need to move the guy.

But, sometimes I wonder at what expense is it really worth it.  Why make a big trade if it's not going to give you a reasonable chance at winning a championship?

We are always told that that is what it is all about, so why make a big trade before the deadline simply to make the playoffs?  

I understand why it's done, but I don't understand why it's done...if you follow...

So, we won't be seeing any trades before the deadline that will make a big difference. And because of this we won't see any big trades at all, and for once this seems like a good idea for NBA teams.

With both conferences packing in terms of teams far beyond the level of others, it would seem a waste of time and energy to make a lackluster trade that will pan out to an eighth seed.  

It reminds me of my friend who wears his "we believe" shirt he got at a Warriors play off game.  Every time I see it, I can't help but say "We believe in the eighth seed of the Western Conference."  

Yeah, a tip to all of the GM's out there, wait till the off-season, then make your moves, you'll be ready and have more cap room.

Although, LeBron to the Lakers for Jordan Farmar would be pretty cool...