2011 NBA Trade Dealine:Recapping and Grading All the Deals and Steals This Week
A collected sigh of relief was breathed through every locker room and media outlet Monday as the Melo drama finally came to an end, but as we all know, he wasn't the last player to be moved.
Deron Williams, Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Carl Landry, Derrick Favors, and Kendrick Perkins were all told they'd be wearing a different uniform by Thursday, but not every deal went smoothly.
Here is a breakdown and grade of every trade this week leading up to the deadline; some were good, some were bad, and some were just flat out ugly.
New York's Spotlight Gets Brighter as Another Star Joins the Knicks
A a collective sigh was breathed throughout locker rooms and media outlets Tuesday, as the Melodrama officially ended when Carmelo Anthony was dealt to the Knicks.
New York was feeling the pressure of landing another star as the deadline drew near. Carmelo had made it known he wanted that three-year extension with someone, and with the Nets desperately trying to pry Melo from Denver, the Knicks caved and sent almost their entire team to land the all star.
In addition to Carmelo, the Knicks acquired point guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, and forwards Sheldon Williams, Corey Brewer, and Renaldo Balkman.
When looking at the deal as just for Melo, it's highway robbery, but taking into account the big picture, which includes a new big three for the near future, and the very likely possibility that Anthony and Stoudemire together can attract Deron Williams or Chris Paul in 2012, the Knicks made a great move.
While Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Raymond Felton played great in New York, Head Coach Mike D'Antoni admitted players like Melo don't come around very often while still in their prime, and the Knicks realized that.
Looking towards the 2011 post-season, there is not a team out there that will feel comfortable playing this team in a playoff series.
Knicks Grade: A
Denver Reels in a Boatload of Athletes
When you lose your star and superstar in the same deal, the future usually doesn't look very good for your franchise, but in this case, the Nuggets did their best to keep a flicker of light shining.
Denver did their best push the envelope as far as they could, and while it may have cost them a better deal with other squads, New York would ultimately not be denied even though they shipped Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, and three picks to make this deal wok.
With three starters and and a very raw talent in Mozgov, the Nuggets have some options to either deal or build on the talent they now posses. In either scenario, Denver will need their fans now more than ever to support them as they figure out just what to do with the franchise going forward.
Deron Williams Lands in New Jersey
In the most surprising move of the season, the Nets landed Deron Williams for point guard Devin Harris, Forward Derrick Favors, and two first-round draft picks; looks like a steal right? Wrong.
The Nets gained perhaps the best point guard in the NBA but for how long?
Under league rules, Deron can not sign an extension with any team at this point like Carmelo was, in other words there is no guaranteeing he will with the team past 2012. This is a huge risk the Nets have taken seeing as how they shipped out a young and talented forward in Favors, and two picks.
Sure they have the two hardest position to fill, point guard and center, but Brook Lopez is a seven-footer who averages five rebounds and one block per game, not what you would call overwhelming numbers.
This is a high risk, high reward scenario that will be played out this season and next, but if the Knicks continue to do some special things out in Manhattan, then its never been easier for Deron Williams to hop on a train and get off at Madison Square Garden.
Nets Grade: B-
Utah Senses the End is Near and Unloads a Star
Trying to avoid what happened with Carmelo Anthony, the Utah Jazz did not allow Deron Williams to dictate where he will or won't sign an extension, so they dumped the star for some rising ones.
The Jazz have had some bad press with their point guard, most notably this past month when Head Coach Jerry Sloan resigned with fingers pointed in the guards direction.
Utah got a bad deal here, obviously nothing near with what they had with Deron Williams, however in time Derrick Favors and the two first-round draft picks they received could add up to or surpass what Williams did for Utah, but don't bank on it.
Deron is seen as one of, if not, the best point guard in the NBA, and you surrender him for a Power Forward with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson already on the roster? No dice here, not when you hold the power until the deadline passes.
The sense is they could have got way more for Deron from other clubs, but apparently not too many general mangers knew Williams was available, the media sure didn't.
The question is, if new Jersey was willing to give up four draft picks for Melo, why didn't the Jazz get a similar deal for a player equal to or greater than Anthony?
At least Deron and New Jersey will have one thing in common, they have both proven to get the steal when they need one.
New Orleans Tries to Keep Chris Paul Past 2012
The New Orleans Hornets are trying their best to keep point guard Chris Paul past the summer of 2012, but will any of their moves be enough?
Sacramento Kings forward Carl Landry was traded to the Hornets for guard Marcus Thorton and cash, even though the Hornets aren't swimming in it.
While New Orleans knew it needed to get some size and toughness, two things Landry brings, to compete with the Lakers and the Spurs, they lost on of their better perimeter scorers in Thorton.
When looking at it from a Hornets standpoint, they already have Jarret Jack and Marco Belinelli to play the two-guard spot, however Thorton did give them another scoring option, something Landry isn't known to be.
Landry, who was traded to the Kings from the Houston Rockets in the Kevin Martin deal, is in the final year of a $3 million contract.
This is a great move for Hornets who have added a very hard working and determined player. Landry is vastly underrated due to a poor season that saw his numbers dip in both points and rebounds.Expect all of his numbers to improve with Chris Paul running the show, and while Thorton was an LSU alum, Landry makes more sense for what the current roster is trying to accomplish.
Minnesota Gets Their Man
Probably the most least talked about acquisition within the Melodrama was the Anthony Randolph addition for Cory Brewer.
Sure they also took on Eddy Curry's expiring contract to make the numbers work, but Randolph was the man who made this go through.
Minnesota has coveted power forward Anthony Randolph for a few months now, and they finally got the chance to land their man. Randolph is a raw, young, athletic player, with a ton of upside but was not able to showcase his talents due to Mike D'Antoni's short rotation.
Having traded Brewer for Randolph may turn out to be nothing, but this trade was low risk, high reward from a Timberwolves standpoint.
Atlanta Stumbles Amoungst Deadline Jitters
Say what you want but Kirk Hinrich is not worth Mike Bibby and a first round pick. Granted the Hawks also acquired Hilton Armstrong, but they gave up their veteran point guard who has developed great chemistry with a team bound for the playoffs.
The Hawks were reportedly interested in Devin Harris or Ramon Sessions as possible upgrades to their point guard spot, yet forced a trade and settled for Hinrich who has always been a questionable decision maker on the court.
With the Knicks, Magic, and Nets all making deals, and the Heat and Celtics set for a championship run, the hawks panicked and made a move that doesn't help their team, but hurts its chemistry and future by also fore-fitting a first-round draft pick.
Atlanta Grade: C
Washington Quietly Makes a Solid Move
They weren't winning with Kirk Hinrich, and with John Wall dominating the ball most of the game, Washington secured a brighter future by adding a draft pick that could compliment their freshman point guard down the road
The Wizards also added Mike Bibby. Bibby will give the Wizards something they didn't have before the trade, a true veteran point guard who can help the development of John Wall, something Hinrich really couldn't offer.
Wizards Grade: B
Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Just Can't Get it Right
In a shockingly bad move, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded perhaps one of the leagues most attractive players, for one of the leagues most unattractive. The Cavaliers acquired Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round draft pick for guard Mo Williams, and forward Jamario Moon.
The deal does nothing for the Cavs here, as Davis is still owed $13 million this season, and $28 million over the next two.
Money aside, Davis is slowing with age, and is ranked 124 in the league in three-point percentage. Putting that into perspective, there is only 127 players in the league.
As for the first-round pick that acquired, that gives them to possible lottery picks in a draft that many fans and general managers are not thrilled about.'
Cavaliers Grade: F
The Clippers are Finally on Their Way
If the Clippers have any intention of keeping Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, they needed to make something happen here, and they did.
Freeing themselves of Baron Davis and his gigantic contract gives the Clippers major flexibility going forward, and allows them to sign some marquee free agents in the future.
Rookie Eric Bledsoe can get more minutes to help him develop, and Mo Williams will be an instant contributor and veteran presence on a team of young guns.
Losing a draft pick this year is not as important as having the financial freedom that comes with unloading Baron Davis.The draft this year is by no means as deep or as talented as previous ones.
Clippers Grade: A+
Boston Shakes it Up
The Boston Celtics struck a deal before the deadline struck to send Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green. Green you may remember, was drafted by the Celtics back in 2007, but traded him in the deal that sent Ray Allen to Boston.
Boston also receives a first-round draft pick from the Clippers 2012, although the way the young guns are coming together out in LA, it may not be a lock for a lottery selection.
This trade definitely makes things interesting for the Celtics going forward, but not in a good way.
Although they add depth behind Paul Pierce, they lose all the energy Robinson brings to every game, and have sacrificed a huge portion of the defensive size that made them so difficult to play against. Banking on the two O'Neal's to stay healthy throughout the post season is a huge gamble, and one that could force them into an early exit from the playoffs.
Perkins was the only legit defender the Celtics had on Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard, plus there is no one on Miami or New York who could swing with him underneath.
Rumors are that the Celtics veterans are highly upset with the move, but Boston couldn't keep Perkins after he turned down their extension offer.
With Perkins and Robinson gone, a lot of pressure will fall on the two new additions, as well as Von Wafer and Delonte West.
It may have been better to keep Perkins for the season and have a high chance at winning it all, then dealing him away risking everything.
Celtics Grade: C-
Oklahoma City Get Serious
The Thunder knew scoring wasn't the issue in Oklahoma City, it was size and strength, and they got both in big ways.
Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammad, whom they received from Charlotte, will give the Thunder a fighting chance against the tall teams of San Antonio and Los Angeles.
The two additions, plus Nate Robinson, will give the Thunder experience, defense, size, athleticism, and a very good chance of making the NBA Finals.
This was a dangerous team before the deals, they are even more of a threat after.
Thunder Grade: A+
Charlotte Throws in the Towel For the Season
Charlotte seemingly has given up on the season and has started to put future plans in motion, at least that's what Bobcats fans hope.
Charlotte traded away their best and perhaps most talented player in Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and two future first-round draft picks.
The Bobcats must have come to an understanding that this just wasn't worth trying anymore, a year after their playoff run ended at the hands to the Orlando Magic.
The move creates roster space, cap flexibility, and two future draft picks which is always nice to have in your back pocket, however shipping throwing in the towel means less fans, and less revenue.
Portland Adds Another Scorer With Brandon Roy's Future in Doubt
It's very hard to figure out what Portland's plans are for the future. With Brandon Roy's future very much uncertain, the Trailblazers have gone back and forth as to figuring out if they want to compete immediately or not-here's your answer.
The Trailblazers have taken on an a very good perimeter scorer, who is a former All-Star, and can put fans in the stands.
Wallace will immediately contribute and help take some of the pressure off LaMarcus Aldridge, while helping the squad reach the playoffs. His addition will bring the post season back to Portland, but the more interesting development to watch will be how it all works out once Roy returns. It can't sit well with him knowing the team has begun moving on from the marriage.
The Houston Rockets: Active as Always
The Houston Rockets never seem to be content with any team they have, as they have once again shaken up their roster and have added a ton of size.
Rockets Forward Shane Battier was shipped off to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a first-round pick. Thabeet was the second-overall pick in the 2009 draft, but has yet to make an impact on the court.
The deal comes after countless reports of Houston desperately seeking size with Yao Ming out and Luis Scola being forced to guard much larger opponents in a very tall Western Conference.
Rockets Grade: B
In a separate deal, the Rockets also traded away embattled guard Aaron Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and another first-round selection.
Brooks has been a solid player for the Rockets, yet things seem to have taken a downward spiral this season with reports of a falling out between he and the team.The Rockets continue to make moves year after year, thus disrupting any chemistry a team may be forming.
Stockpiling picks is a god thing to do, but it's what you do with them that counts, and as of now the Houston Rockets have nothing to show for it.
Memphis Makes Run at a Playoff Spot
Sitting at 32-27, the Memphis Grizzles are in a position to make the playoffs and be successful.
With the second half of the season underway, the Grizzles know they needed something to help get them into the postseason, and Shane Battier is definitely that guy.
Battier, who began his career with Memphis back in 2001, is an excellent defender, can shoot the ball, and will give this team some much needed veteran leadership. Surrendering Hasheem Thabeet for a player of Battier's nature is a small price to pay, especially when you are trying to secure home games past the regular season.
Nets Finally Rid Themselves of Troy Murphy
Nets had a couple of players who were discontent with staying in New Jersey, power forward Troy Murphy was one of them.To rectify this situation, the Nets sent Murphy and a 2012 second-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors for the expiring contracts of Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric.
Murphy is a former draft pick of the Warriors back in 2001, but they have no intention of setting up a reunion with the forward as he is expected to be bought out and sign with a contending team such as Miami, Boston, Orlando, or New York.
Chicago Makes a Minor Move
The Chicago Bulls were expected to make a move for a two-guard before the deadline struck, instead they settled for adding a first-round pick.
James Johnson, the No. 16 pick in the 2009 draft was sent to Toronto in exchange for Miami's first-rounder, and while the Heat will not be a lottery pick, the Bulls didn't give up much anyway.
Johnson hardly received playing time within a Bulls crowded front-court that includes Carlos Boozer, Jokiam Noah, Kurt Thomas, and Omar Asik.
With this deal the Bulls now have four first-round picks in the next two years; whether they use the picks or trade them all away at some point will be the key to determining how far this team can go.
Bulls Grade: A