With the NBA Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, and the traded players taking the floor with their new teams, we can take a very good look at the winners and losers.
This time in the NBA season is the point where you look at your team and ask, "Do we have what it takes to make a run at a championship?", or, "What pieces are we missing that are keeping us from that next level?"
The front offices then begin shopping players and try to upgrade their teams so they can finish the second half of the season on a high note, and primarily, a playoff birth.
Now lets take a look at our NBA Trade Deadline Winners :
Amar'e Stoudemire —This might be a shocker to most because he's not going to go tear up the East with LeBron or Dwayne Wade. But, Amar'e gets to stay in a system that fits his style of play, and that he knows very well.
Also, he has the best "real" point guard in the league feeding him the ball in Steve Nash. Nash makes Amar'e look his best at all times. If after this season Amar'e wants out, he's already considered a top free agent this offseason.
Cleveland Cavaliers— They added a top-tier player with big upside in Antwan Jamison. He makes their team better and more dynamic. I know he had a rough first game, but he will prove to be a good add for Cleveland.
The Cavs will most likely end up getting Big Z back before the playoffs, since his contract is soon to be bought out by the Wizards. One more thing, how could you not be a winner with LeBron James on your team?
Tracy McGrady— TMac got what he wanted. He was complaining to the Rockets staff that he wasn't getting enough playing time, typical TMac.
Now, apparently injury free, McGrady is a starter for the New York Knicks. He led the team in scoring with 26 in his debut with the Knicks, although losing in overtime to the Thunder, in which TMac didn't even step on the floor. Besides that, this looks like a really good fit for McGrady and his selfish ways.
Milwaukee Bucks— With Michael Redd out for the year with a torn ACL, Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut have been forced to step up. Lacking a scorer because Jennings' numbers have dropped, the Bucks added John Salmons. Salmons has lacked consistency during his time with the Bulls, but if he can get back into form like he did in the 2009 playoffs, this could be a better addition than many expected.
They didn't give up much for him either. Hakim Warrick is expendable, and Joe Alexander's career highlight is almost making the slam dunk contest.
Here are you NBA Trade Deadline Losers :
Nate Robinson —Many believe Nate coming to the Celtics is a great add. I would happen to agree, it's a win for the Celtics, but not so much a win for Nate Robinson.
How much could he produce behind Rondo, Pierce, Ray Allen, and KG? He's going to get minimal minutes with the Celtics and that's not going to fare well for Robinson's big ego.
Los Angeles Clippers— The Clippers are used to the lingering word "loser" affiliated with their franchise, so this should be no surprise. They give up young talent such as Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair, and veteran leadership in Marcus Camby.
Who did they get in return? Drew Gooden, who can't stay healthy and is incredibly inconsistent. Steve Blake, who is nothing short of a decent three-point shooter, and Travis Outlaw. Outlaw is a role player at best. Clippers=losers.
Chicago Bulls— The Bulls sent off a solid scorer in Salmons and gave up on Tyrus Thomas. The Bucks trail you by 2.5 games, and you give them one of your top scorers.
In my eyes the Bulls have called it quits for this season, and have already begun looking at next season. Someone needs to call up their front office and tell them, "YOU'RE STILL IN THE PLAYOFF PICTURE!"
Washington Wizards— I'm not a fan of the Wizards' "rebuilding."
They gave away all their talent, and the guys they gave up aren't old or losing value. Some of them are great players in the NBA and some have a lot of potential.
Giving up Caron Butler, Antwan Jamison, and Brendan Haywood would not sit well with me if I was a Wiz fan. The only credible player the received in the destruction of their team was Josh Howard from Dallas.