NBA Trade Deadline: Grading The Deals Team By Team
The NBA trade deadline came and went yesterday with several multi-player deals being swung and a handful of big names changing locations.
How did your team do?
Adrian Vicente takes a look at what 13 teams did (and didn't do) and grades their deadline decisions accordingly.
You might be surprised to find out who were the real winners and losers.
Added: Nate Robinson (expiring), Marcus Landry (expiring)
Lost: Eddie House (expiring), Bill Walker (expiring), J.R. Giddens (expiring)
Robinson is a head case, but Celtics’ veterans should keep him in line. When he’s on, he’s one of the more dynamic and explosive players in the league (albeit only in spurts). His versatility makes him a significant upgrade over House, whose only asset was the ability to knock down uncontested three-pointers.
If there’s a knock against the Celtics it’s that they failed to move Ray Allen, whose $18.8 million contract expires this summer. With the Bucks landing John Salmons and the Rockets netting Kevin Martin, Celtics fans have to wonder how close their team was to landing a more significant piece than Robinson.
Either way you cut it, the C's are in first place and a lock to be a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Thus, they get a pass on playing the deadline conservatively.
New York Knicks
Added: Tracy McGrady (expiring), Eddie House (expiring), Sergio Rodriguez (expiring), Brian Cardinal (expiring), Bill Walker (expiring), J.R. Giddens (expiring).
Lost: Nate Robinson (expiring), Jared Jeffries (one year, $6.9 million), Larry Hughes (expiring), Jordan Hill (one year, $2.7 million), Darko Milicic (expiring), Marcus Landry (expiring), draft position rights in 2011 (No. 1 pick protected), a first round pick in 2012 (top-five protected).
The Knicks essentially dealt the No. 8 pick of the 2009 draft (Hill) and a future first round pick to save $9.6 million in cap space for next season and give McGrady a 29-game tryout.
This doesn't sound terrible at first, but it gets worse when you consider the following:
1. With the No. 8 pick in the 2009 draft, the Knicks passed on a collection of rookies who are performing well—Brandon Jennings is one. Hill is the first and only first round-selected rookie to be traded this season.
2. The Knicks went from being in a position to enter the offseason with $29 million and six players under contract to $38 million and just four players under contract.
Cutting costs is important, but so is making moves to improve the team. David Lee, Al Harrington and Chris Duhon will all walk at season's end. Why weren't they dealt for something?
Winners are built from within, not by slapping together a collection of free agents.
Sure, the Knicks have money to spend, but so do many other teams. It's foolish to even waste a second believing any elite free agent from a winning situation is going to join a rebuilding process for a less dollar amount than they can receive at home.
Donnie Walsh is playing it way too safe, continually putting off the big decisions that need to be made.
Bottomline: The Knicks had a chance to improve at the deadline and didn't.
Added: Antawn Jamison (two years, $28.4 million), Sebastian Telfair (one year, $2.7 million).
Lost: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (expiring), rights to Emir Preldzic, 2010 draft pick (projected No. 30).
What's not to like here? The Cavs practically gave up nothing and received a career 20-and-8 guy in return. It was an aggressive and somewhat risky move, as Jamison turns 34 in June and doesn't come off the books until the summer of 2012. But it is one that makes the Cavs the clear favorite to win it all.
The move also further increases the probability of both LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal re-signing in the summer. How can either one of these guys even think about walking away from a situation in which everything is in place to win a championship?
They can't, and they won't. Credit GM Danny Ferry for repeatedly sending and reinforcing the message that the Cavaliers are for real.
Added: Hakim Warrick (expiring), Flip Murray (expiring), Acie Law (expiring), Joe Alexander (expiring), future first round pick from Charlotte.
Lost: John Salmons (one year, $5.8 million), Tyrus Thomas (expiring), draft position rights for first round picks in 2010 (lottery protected), second round picks in 2011 and 2012.
The Bulls basically dealt Thomas and two second round draft picks just to save $5.8 million and get a lottery-protected first round pick that might not be used until 2014.
I know many folks out there consider Thomas a bust. I know the organization might not have extended him in the offseason. Still, I can't stress it enough how Thomas is only 23 years old and has a world of potential.
Gerald Wallace was a nobody until his fifth year in the league, when he averaged 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 and 2.1 blocks in 35 minutes of action.
Thomas' averages this season per 36 minutes: 13.6 points, 10 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 2.5 blocks.
It's only a matter of time before he blossoms.
Always focused on hitting a home run, the inept and impatient Bulls front office made yet another boneheaded decision. Instead of holding onto Thomas and entering the offseason $18 million under the cap, they ditched him to be $24 million under.
Meanwhile, Kirk Hinrich continues to make $9 million a year.
Added: John Salmons (one year, $5.8 million), Primoz Brezec (expiring), Royal Ivey (expiring), second round picks in 2010, 2011, 2012, option to swap picks with Bulls in 2010 (lottery protected).
Lost: Hakim Warrick (expiring), Joe Alexander (expiring), Francisco Elson (expiring), Jodie Meeks (one year, $760K).
The Bucks literally gave up nothing and added three draft picks and a bargain starter who fills a need.
Added: Tyrus Thomas (expiring), Theo Ratliff (expiring).
Lost: Flip Murray (expiring), Acie Law (expiring), future first round pick (2012 or later), second round pick in 2016.
Excellent short-term move by the Bobcats to further strengthen their athleticism and post defense. Larry Brown's boys are set to make some noise in the playoffs.
Added: Josh Howard (one year, $11.8 million), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (expiring), James Singleton (expiring), Al Thornton (one year, $2.8 million), Brian Skinner (expiring), Quentin Ross (one year, $1.1 milion), rights to Emir Preldzic, 2010 first round draft pick (projected No. 30), 2010 second round draft pick (projected No. 35), cash.
Lost: Antawn Jamison (two years, $28.4 million), Caron Butler (one year, $10,6 million), Brendan Haywood (expiring), Drew Gooden (expiring), DeShawn Stevenson (one year, $4.2 million), Dominic McGuire (expiring).
No basketball fan can be happy about what's going on in Washington. However, The Wiz are doing the right thing by blowing up the team and starting from scratch. Give them kudos for not wasting any time.
Washington saved $27.5 million at the deadline and will head into the offseason around $16 million under cap. They have four draft picks in June, including two first-rounders (one in the lottery).
They can only do so much as long as albatross Gilbert Arenas is taking up up more than 30 percent of their payroll. Still, they're on the right track.
Added: Caron Butler (one year, $10,6 million), Brendan Haywood (expiring), DeShawn Stevenson (one year, $4.2 million).
Lost: Josh Howard (one year, $11.8 million), Quentin Ross (one year, $1.1 million), Drew Gooden (expiring), James Singleton (expiring).
I don't want to say it, but I just can't help myself...
This trade may have made the Mavericks the front runner to win the West.
Look at how they match up with the Lakers:
Center: Andrew Bynum and Josh Powell versus Haywood and Erick Dampier. Edge: Even
Power Forward: Pau Gasol versus Dirk Nowitzki. Slight Edge: Mavs
Small Forward: Ron Artest versus Shawn Marion. Edge: Even
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant versus Caron Butler. Edge: Lakers
Point Guard: Derek Fisher versus Jason Kidd. Big Edge: Mavs
Bench: Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, and Jordan Farmar versus Jason Terry, Jose Barea, Tim Thomas and Stevenson. Edge: Mavs.
Just saying... this was a great deal by Cuban & Co.
Added: Kevin Martin (three years, $34.5 million), Jared Jeffries (one year, $6.9 million), Jordan Hill (one year, $2.7 million), Hilton Armstrong (expiring), draft position rights in 2011 (No. 1 pick protected), a first round pick in 2012 (top-five protected).
Lost: Tracy McGrady (expiring), Carl Landry (one year, $3 million), Joey Dorsey (expiring).
Rockets took on an additional $41 million. However, they figured Landry would get a similar deal to what Martin is receiving, thus, they went for the shooting guard they coveted instead. Jeffries joins a crowded wing that already features Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier.
If Martin can stay healthy—a big IF—then this is a great deal. If he can’t, then we’re all going to look back on this and say, “Why didn’t they just wait until the offseason and sign Ray Allen or Anthony Morrow instead?”
Daryl Morey wants to win now, obviously. But it's unlikely this Rockets team will even make the playoffs.
The 2011 first round pick they received does not justify trading Landry, a 26-year-old forward whose per-36 minute averages are 21-and-7.
Added: Ronnie Brewer (expiring)
Lost: Future first round draft pick.
Utah made this deal to cut its luxury tax penalty. Brewer is a nice, young player who gives the Grizz desperately needed bench depth and will help to soften the blow should Rudy Gay depart at season's end.
However, there's the possibility both Gay and Brewer will walk and to lose a future first-rounder to be in this predicament is inexplicable.
Portland Trail Blazers
Added: Marcus Camby (expiring)
Lost: Travis Outlaw (expiring), Steve Blake (expiring).
I'm a big Outlaw fan, but Kevin Pritchard wasn't going to extend him, thus making him perishable. The Blazers finally realized what all of us have know all along—signing Andre Miller to play him behind Blake was moronic.
Camby nicely fills in the massive hole left by Greg Oden's and Joel Przybilla's injuries.
Los Angeles Clippers
Added: Drew Gooden (expiring), Travis Outlaw (expiring), Steve Blake (expiring), cash.
Lost: Marcus Camby (expiring), Al Thornton (one year, $2.8 million), Sebastian Telfair (one year, $2.7 million).
The Clips saved $5.5 million at the deadline, putting themselves at about $23 million under the cap heading into the summer. They also get to take a long, hard look at Chris Kaman and several youngsters, mainly DeAndre Jordan.
Added: Carl Landry (one year, $3 million), Larry Hughes (expiring), Joey Dorsey (expiring), Dominic McGuire (expiring).
Lost: Kevin Martin (three years, $34.5 million), Sergio Rodriguez (expiring), Hilton Armstrong (expiring), 2010 second round pick (projected No. 35).
Not only did the Kings save themselves $31.5 million, but they also added a rising star in Landry, who was probably the most valuable player (long-term) moved at the deadline.
The Kings will head into the offseason roughly $23 million under the cap and with some superb, young and inexpensive talent (Landry, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes, Omri Casspi and Donte Greene) to build around.