Coming into the summer of 2010, the National Basketball Association had, what many believed, was the best free agent class ever. Since all of those marquee free agents have signed, not much has gone down, until today when four teams came together to make a five player trade, according to Chad Ford at ESPN.
The proposed deal would send G Darren Collison and G/F James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets to the Indiana Pacers, F/C Troy Murphy from the Pacers to the New Jersey Nets, G Courtney Lee from the Nets to the Houston Rockets and G/F Trevor Ariza to the New Orleans Hornets. Confusing to follow wasn't it? Here's a team-by-team breakdown with grades for each respective squad:
New Orleans Hornets
In: Trevor Ariza (Rockets)
Out: Darren Collison (Pacers), James Posey (Pacers)
The Hornets have, arguably, the leagues best point guard in Chris Paul and also had, again arguably, the best backup point guard in the league in Collison, a product from the University of California at Los Angeles. With the two starting caliber point guards that the Hornets had, they felt as if they needed to trade one to make playing time for the other and used Collison to dump the contract of Posey, which has another year left on the deal. In return, the Hornets got an experienced swingman in Ariza, who should fit in well with Paul, David West and Marcus Thornton.
This was the second deal the Hornets made today as they also traded Julian Wright to the Toronto Raptors for Marko Bellinelli.
Grade: D, Hornets could have received more than just Ariza for the services of Collison.
New Jersey Nets
In: Troy Murphy (Pacers)
Out: Courtney Lee (Rockets)
The Nets clear more cap space for next season, while acquiring a solid big man to play until rookie Derrick Favors is ready to be a full time starter. Murphy can fit well next to Lopez and can form a solid three point threat with newly acquired Net, Anthony Morrow. With Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Terrance Williams and Quinton Ross, the Nets did not have much space at the shooting guard position making Lee expendable.
Grade: C+, Nets got a solid shooter on an expiring contract.
In: Courtney Lee (Nets)
Out: Trevor Ariza (Hornets)
One season after signing Ariza as a free agent, the Rockets turned around and deal him for Lee. The signing does a lot for the Rockets, such as freeing up Ariza's lengthy mid-level exception contract, but also allowing the Rockets to give more playing time to Chase Budinger and Shane Battier at the small forward position. Lee is a more formidable backup to Kevin Martin, the Rockets starting shooting guard. Lee and Kyle Lowry can form a solid defensive duo at the backup guard positions.
Grade: A-, Rockets cut salary and added a player that fits better on the roster.
In: Darren Collison (Hornets), James Posey (Hornets)
Out: Troy Murphy (Nets)
The Pacers turned a decent big man into one of the most promising point guard prospects in the entire NBA. Taking on Posey stings, but he is only on a two-year contract and could be a nice tutor for Danny Granger, Paul George and Brandon Rush due to his championship experience and can help the Pacers perimeter defense alongside Dahntay Jones. This trade also opens up more time for Roy Hibbert, the Pacers young Center.
Grade: A+++, gain a promising young point guard without giving up a key part of the team.