The dust has settled somewhat on what turned out to be a most eventful last day of trading. Moves were made and players were dealt for the suppossed betterment of teams, but which teams were the real winners at trade deadline? We've got the analysis of the major trades here for you right now. We've already covered the Melo to New York situation in one of our blogs so we'll focus more on the last 48 hours leading up to the deadline. Let's start with the Deron Wiliams deal.
New Jersey Nets
– Receive Deron Williams
– Receive Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Two first round picks and $3 million cash
This was the second blockbuster trade in two days. Coming straight off the heels of the Knicks aquisition of Carmelo Anthony, the Nets were pro-active in their quest to land a superstar and also landed a minor blow to their rivals across the Hudson. The trade came out of nowhere, surprising many but the Jazz figured that Williams was probably going to leave Salt Lake City next year in free agency and decided to get some pieces back which can help them rebuild. It's always hard to get equal value back when trading a superstar but the Jazz now have an accomplished point guard who is still young in Devin Harris and a rookie in Derrick Favors who will need some time to develop but will be a force in the low post for years to come. Their frontcourt rotation will now consist of Al Jeffereson at center, Paul Millsapp at power forward with Favors coming off the bench. All players should fit well into the Utah system which is predicated on a lot of pick and roll basketball.
The picks received are a first rounder this year (2011) and one in 2012. Both picks are protected through the first seven picks but will still enabe the Jazz to either draft a young player or perhaps use those picks as leverage in a potential trade package in the future.Williams should pair nicely with Brook Lopez altough the gamble the Nets have taken is that there is no guarantee Williams will sign an extension with the club once he becomes a free agent in 2012. Reports indicated he was unhappy with a move to Newark but has admitted he likes the Nets plan to lure more free agents there. Fans hope the franchise hasn't mortgaged their future by trading away their assets.
Grading : New Jersey B+ Utah A
Baron Davis To Cleveland
Los Angeles Clippers
– Receive Mo Williams, Jamario Moon
Receive Baron Davis, Unprotected first round draft pick from Clippers in 2011
Clippers fans ( all 20 of them) were in uproar over this deal. Not so much over the loss of Davis but rather the unprotected pick that will be a lottery selection this year. Knowing the Clipper fortunes that is liable to become a number one selection for the Cavaliers who have begun deconstructing their team and building for the future. Cleveland take on Davis mammoth contract ($28 million remaining over the next 2 years) but are compensated by the draft pick.
Los Angeles have clearly handed the reigns over to Blake Griffin. It is his team now. Davis had been playing well of late and chemsitry with Griffin had started to blend nicely within the team structures however he paid the price for coming into training camp out of shape and disinterested. Davis has always been apathetic in his work ethic and had clashed with new coach Byron Scott in their early days with the Hornets.
Williams may be younger than Davis but he is certainly not the playmaker Baron can be. Moon will provide some athleticism off the bench but the loss of that draft pick may come back to haunt the Clippers. Clippers fans point to the cap room they have created by dealing Davis but at the end of the day, they are the Clippers. Pretty hard to attract free agents on that basis alone.
Grading : Los Angeles C Cleveland B
Kendrick Perkins To Oklahoma City
-Receive Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic
-Receive Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson
The most puzzling of all the trades. Unless Boston President Danny Ainge knows something we don't about Perkins knee this trade makes no sense for the Celtics. Aside from potential disharmony amongst the core playing group it also eliminates the one advantage the C's had over their opponents, size. Perkins is an excellent low post defender who likes to play physical and has bothered Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Boston are essentially dismissing the Magic as threats to their crown (Perkins was able to defend Howard one-on-one) and are focusing instead on matching up with the Heat. They receive the perimeter help they needed but gave up the one piece that defined who they were as a team.
Problem is the Heat without any dominant inside presence, should have been forced to match up with them. This leaves the door wide open for Eastern Conference contenders such as Chicago to make a run. Green is a capable defender in a team unit and Kristic is more of a European style player who roams the perimeter. Boston feel what they lost with Perkins can be filled with the younger Green. Danny Ainge is keeping an eye on the future as well knowing that the Celtics window is almost shut, all the more reason why the trade was surprising. It's a big gamble by Ainge that both O'Neal's will be fit and healthy come playoff time. How the move affects the core of the group which was close with each other remains to be seen.
The Thunder got exactly what they were missing, a low post center. Perkins won't give them much scoring but the don't need him for that. He is there to grab rebounds, and defend. What they lost in Green is offset by Perkins team defense and Championship experience.Problem for them is they will have to pay him big dollars to re-sign there. Another reason why Boston traded him away, they wouldn't have been able to do so. Nate will also give them some scoring off the bench, good for 10-14 points per game.
Grading Boston C- Oklahoma City A+
Gerald Wallace To Portland
– Receive Gerald Wallace,
– Receive Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham and two first round picks
Interesting that Michael Jordan would trade the franchise's only ever All-Star amidst a playoff run – the Bobcats are 1.5 games back from the 8th spot. According to GM Rod Higgins that is not good enough so the 'Cats may be taking a step back to eventually move two forward. In Wallace they lose a competent defender and scorer (Wallace led the team in rebounds and was second in scoring, steals and blocks), in return they get the expiring contract of Pryzbilla and the younger legs of Cunnigham who has shown some signs of being a good player with Portland but won't be the game changer Charlotte need.
Two seasons in a row the Bobcats have allowed their best players to leave either via trade or free agency ( Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler and Wallace) and Higgins has had to defend the talk of frugality by the owner. They have begun their rebuilding mode. The two picks from the Blazers will come in handy and the salary shed from Wallace contract (roughly $21 million over two years) will help when it's time to sign players. But who is going to want to come to Charlotte and is Michael Jordan willing to spend?
Portland now have a nice perimeter core with Andre Miller, Brandon Roy and Wallace, the question remains how much Roy will be able to give the Blazers. Wallace is explosive ad athletic and could be just the player to replace the minutes Roy won't be able to play. Portland will look to add another point guard (TJ Ford has been mentioned) as they look to make a real push towards the playoffs. Wallace will only aid them in that regard.
Grading Charlotte C Portland B+
Shane Battier To Memphis
– Receive Shane Battier, Ish Smith
– Receive Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and first round pick
Memphis feel like they are on the verge of the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They already have an exciting roster with Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay (who will return from injury in 3 weeks) but they needed to add some toughness.Battier returns for his second stint with the Grizz and brings his trademark in your face perimeter defense with him. This trade is about the present for Memphis. Battier will make them a better unit and with teams such as Denver potentially dropping down the rankings it is concievable that Memphis could move up to the 6th or 7th seed. Battier should start until Gay returns from injury.
Houston are basically conceding the season with this trade and have an eye to the future but without wishing to speak too soon on Thabeet, the Rockets did the Grizz a favor by taking the failed experiment off their hands. Thabeet was a bust, especially at the number two pick but may be given the minutes to develop in Houston, either behind Yao or dependant on Yao's health, or as a backup to Chuck Hayes. The Rockets will hope some of the defensive prowess he showed at college in Connecticut will return for the 7'3 youngster.
The departure of Battier will open minutes for the promising Chase Budinger who will likely enter the starting lineup and Terrence Williams who came over from New Jersey. Houston are ammassing draft picks, one each from this deal and another sending Aaron Brooks to Phoenix. If they utilise those correctly they could make some noise in the future.
Grading Memphis B Houston B+
Who do you guys think were the winners and losers of trade deadline?