Written by: Jeff Chase
Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers ended up being the biggest winners of the NBA trade deadline because
they were able to get rid of almost all of their dead weight and bad contracts
for valuable pieces. They sent SG Jason
Kapono, SF Luke Walton and Dallas’ 1st round pick to Cleveland for
the young explosive PG Ramon Sessions and SF Christian Eyenga. Sessions is a huge pick up for LA as the team
has struggled all season with inconsistent point guard play and they hope
Sessions will change that. Then, in the
last minutes before the 3:00 PM deadline, they sent 38-year old-PG Derek Fisher
and their 1st round pick to Houston for PF Jordan Hill. These moves launch the Lakers back into title
contention, along with getting rid of Luke Walton’s awful contract. The only downside to these trades are the two
1st round picks the Lakers had to give up, but, let’s be honest, Los
Angeles doesn’t rely on the draft too often anyways.
Los Angeles Clippers: The other Los Angeles team managed to swing a deal for LA-native SG Nick Young from the Washington Wizards. This move is huge for the Clips because it gives them another scorer at SG, which helps to ease the pain of Chauncey Billups sitting courtside in a suit for the rest of the year. The Clippers starting 5 is as talented as any in the league with Chris Paul, Nick Young, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Look for this team to be dangerous in June.
Orlando Magic: Well, this one is pretty simple. The Magic convinced their superstar C Dwight Howard to opt-in to his contract for next season, which is a huge relief for Orlando. They have been down that road before when Shaquille O’Neal left the Magic to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but their fortunes improved this time around. Dwight Howard staying in Orlando allows them much more flexibility and gives them the stability they need to try and make a run at the NBA Finals. However, Orlando better hope they get Dwight some help soon, unless they want to go through the same drama again at next year’s NBA trade deadline.
Washington Wizards: While the Wizards weren’t able to move PF Andray Blatche like they had hoped, they managed to get rid of two other headaches in C Javale McGee and SG Nick Young. McGee is considered to be a very talented young player but one who comes with attitude and maturity problems. Young is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and most likely would have left Washington anyways. Along with those moves, they managed to bring in quality C Nene from Denver, who will no doubt bring some toughness to this young Wizards team.
New Jersey Nets: The
Nets put all of their focus into trading for C Dwight Howard and came up
short. This is a significant blow to a
young Nets team that was poised to get Howard and rebuild their franchise with
both him and PG Deron Williams. However,
they most likely will lose Williams as a result of their inability to trade for
D12. Williams has stated that he will
not opt-in with New Jersey for next season, making him a free agent. On the bright side, the Nets dealt for one of
the best defenders in the NBA in SF Gerald Wallace, so I guess that’s a step in
the right direction.
New Orleans Hornets: David Stern once again proved that he should not be the man making the decisions for the Hornets. Earlier this season, he vetoed a trade that would have sent PF Lamar Odom, PF Luis Scola, SG Kevin Martin, and multiple draft picks to New Orleans, instead opting to pick up SG Eric Gordon, SF Al-Farouq Aminu, C Chris Kaman, and a 1st round draft pick, which clearly hasn’t worked out very well as the Hornets are in last place in the Western Conference. But, Stern struck out again Thursday as he failed to deal upcoming unrestricted free agents Kaman and PF Carl Landry, who will almost certainly leave the team with nothing this summer. Nice job, Stern!
Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves were unable to complete a three-team trade that would have sent SF Michael Beasley to the LAL, PG Steve Blake to POR, and SG Jamal Crawford to MIN. This team’s greatest weakness is at SG and their inability to deal Beasley before the deadline will only hamper rookie SF Derrick Williams’ progression. To make matters worse, their first-round pick belongs to New Orleans this year. (Editor’s Note: …And Ricky Rubio tore his ACL.) Times are tough in the Twin Cities.
Golden State Warriors: I honestly don’t even know where to start with this one. Earlier in the week, Golden State traded SG Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for injured (again) C Andrew Bogut and SG Stephen Jackson. At this point, I can see where they were coming from and actually got solid value for Ellis. However, once Thursday rolled around, GM Jerry West sent Jackson to San Antonio for SF Richard Jefferson in a surprising and baffling move. Richard Jefferson has been absolutely awful the past 3 seasons and has turned into nothing more than a journeyman playing out his last few years in the league. Stephen Jackson actually has some scoring capabilities and is twice the player Jefferson is at this point in their careers.
Perhaps you missed “Inside the NBA” on Sunday night following the Thunders demolishment of the Houston Rockets. If so, let me fill you in on a comment made by Charles Barkley referring to the day’s activities. Sir Charles stated “This may be the worst playoffs we have ever seen.” …
With the NBA playoffs just under way it is time to take a quick look back at the regular season and evaluate which individual players and coach made the greatest contributions to their respective franchises success this year.
We will start our in-depth analysis with Most Valuable Player, Candidates: LeBron James
Most observers of the NBA have all but already anointed the Miami Heat as the 2013 Eastern Conference Champions. In the West there seems to be more of a competition but the overwhelming opinion has the Oklahoma City Thunder emerging from there to meet the Heat. …