Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reviewing the NBA Trade Deadline

Greetings all! I'll hit each deal one by one, and we'll end with an outside expert's view on the Portland Trail Blazers madness from today... let's go...

Trade #1
  • Wizards receive: Nene, Brian Cook, Future 2nd round pick (from LAC) - I love this deal for the Wizards. Nene is the best player in the deal, they rid themselves of the sideshow that McGee has become there, and don't have to worry about what to do with Nick Young in the off-season. Will they look bad if McGee reaches his peak? Yes, but I don't think that's overly likely as this point with his mental make-up. The price for Nene is too high contract-wise, but he makes them better and gives John Wall a legit pro to play with.
  • Nuggets receive: JeVale McGee, Ronny Turiaf - Let me say this. If JeVale McGee gets his act together mentally, he could be one of the most productive players in the league. I've literally never seen an athlete at his size that can do what he can do, and he's produced 12 points, 9 boards, nearly 3 blocks and a sterling 20 PER this year. That said, his on-court behavior is sometimes inexplicable, his basketball IQ is non-existent, and at 24 years old, youth is becoming less and less of an excuse. Turiaf is a solid role player when healthy, but I'm at a loss here a bit.
  • Clippers receive: Nick Young - Absolute steal for the Clips. I'm not a Nick Young fan, but there isn't an NBA 2-guard on the current Clips roster and Young has one discernible NBA skill. He can flat-out score and shoot. Put him with Chris Paul and that may work. Plus, they somehow got someone to take on Brian Cook. Godspeed.
Trade #2
  • Warriors receive: Richard Jefferson (3 years, 30 million of him), TJ Ford, and a 1st-round pick - I'm at a loss when it comes to the Warriors. They are (seemingly) in tank mode, but they mortgage the future by taking on 3 years of Jefferson simply to add a really bad 1st round pick? Stephen Jackson has cancerous potential, but I'm confused as to the plan in Oakland.
  • Spurs receive: Stephen Jackson - If there is a place in the league that S-Jax can thrive, it's San Antonio. The culture there with Pop and Duncan is in place, and Jackson has played there successfully in previous years. Also, he's suddenly on a winner, and can usually fall in line for a little while. I love the calculated gamble AND they get out from under the length of Jefferson's contract.
Trade #3
  • Cavs receive: 2012 First Rounder, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono - This is a pure grab at a 1st-rounder for the Cavs, but I don't understand it. They take on Walton's contract (historically atrocious), get no player value for this year, and give away a legitimate player in Sessions for a pick that will likely be in the high 20's at the very least. Thumbs down.
  • Lakers receive: Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga - Sessions is by far the best player in the deal, and will be an upgrade on the departing Derek Fisher (we're getting there). Plus, they get rid of Walton's deal (which they've been desperate to do forever), and all it costs was a pick they had openly shopped. Love it.
Trade #4
  • Pacers receive: Leandro Barbosa - Simply put, Barbosa is an upgrade for them over Lance Stephenson or Dahntay Jones, and they were under the minimum salary cap threshold. Easy enough.
  • Raptors receive: 2nd-round pick - Pure salary dump. They aren't contending. Saves money. Repeat.
Trade #5
  • Lakers receive: Jordan Hill - This is a blind salary dump for LA. I'm taken aback by the use of Fisher (a legacy guy) as a pure dump, but it's a new era money-wise for the Lakers after the Odom give-away and that continues here. I actually think Hill can be useful for them, but it's debatable as to whether it was worth a 1st-rounder just to shed Fisher.
  • Rockets receive: Derek Fisher, 2012 First Round Pick - Simply a way to acquire an extra 1st-rounder for a guy that wasn't playing much and just by taking on Fisher who can play some minutes while Lowry sits. Like it.
Trade #6
  • Hawks receive: Cash considerations - In another attempt to be the worst owners in pro sports, the Hawks give away a pick for a small sum of money.
  • Warriors receive: 2012 2nd-round pick - Highway robbery.
Okay, you may have noticed that there are a couple deals we didn't cover here. My confidant, Ryan, who has written several times in this space before, is a big-time follower of the Portland Trail Blazers and I've handed him the keys here. Take a look.

This is less of a rant and more of a plea... this Portland team has been an underachieving bunch so far this season eh?. Though many reasons have been attributed for this, the moves committed at the trade deadline solve none of them as far as I can see.

Let's start at the top..

Ray Felton... the main offseason acquisition for from last summer is averaging 10pts on 37.8%(field) and 24.1% (From 3) which (you guessed it) are both career lows, which is interesting because he's playing in the uptempo system that he's so used to in his career. Nate did this to accommodate his new leader and it worked for a little bit, but after those 2 weeks or so, outside of his trademark passing the ball into the stands instead of a teammate... Ray had no consistency at all. Some would say he was unmovable despite being a low risk expiring contract... buying him out seems unreasonable because he'll be gone in a few months anyways... but the recent reports suggest that he (and Jamal Crawford) were undermining Nate to the team just because they were called out for sucking out

The decision was to fire Nate? (ed: Nate McMillan was fired on Thursday)...and pay him the rest of his contract through next year...despite Nate having argubly the hardest job in the NBA the last 4 years...his team was ravaged by injuries every year..from role players,to his star player(Brandon Roy) and of course his prized center(Oden)..but yet..still made the playoffs the last 3 years and competed..who would you rather have...a respected coach around the league who can make any team play hard as well as for the fans and for each other...or a career underachieving point guard out of a basketball factory known for underachieving point guards in the NBA?.....made your pick yet?...well Portland did too and they picked Felton.

You could make the argument that the team was tuning him out recently but the leash should be longer than a half a season.You owe that to the coach who's managed all of this mess when this couldn't go worse.I'd say the backcourt talent that was brought in didn't get it done in spite of the coaching that was working prior. On the same day you ship out starters Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace for the pile of terrible talent of Okur,Thabeet and Flynn.....awesome.

There isn't a better coach out there better than Nate...unless Jerry Sloan wants back in..but we are.
This falls back on the GM....oh wait...they don't have one and haven't for almost a year now...Paul Allen has great intentions to build a great team but his string of cutting people out at the knees when they try to do their job without his overall consent is growing very tiresome.

Steve Patterson
Todd Leiweke
Kevin Pritchard
Rich Cho

These are the GMs since 2006...seems like alot?...because it is..this team cannot take the next step until Paul Allen steps down or backs off.I understand that they had to retool because of the Oden/Roy injuries but at the same time the coach shouldn't take the fall for Felton or Crawford's the player(s) not the coach.

Hmm...this seems more like a rant.

Back to me (Brad) again. I couldn't agree more with Ryan on this one. The fire sale model instead of simply shipping out the mutiny leaders (Felton and Crawford) is a short-sided move, and if a GM was in place, I think it would've been avoided.

Until next time...

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