It’s easiest if we start with the two blockbusters that went down this week. The Knicks finally closed on a deal to score NBA elite scorer Carmelo Anthony. The deal actually involved three teams, although Minnesota had a minimal part in the deal and is currently being overlooked.
New York received: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Blackman, Anthony Carter, Corey Brewer and Sheldon Williams
Denver received: Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, 3 million in cash considerations, 2014 first round pick (NYK), 2012 and 2013 second round picks (GSW).
Minnesota received: Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, and 3 million in cash considerations.
Why and what is gained?
For Denver: Melo was clearly unhappy and after turning down an extension it appeared relatively evident that he would leave this offseason. In addition Denver has struggled to make a serious playoff run with a similar cast over the past few years. In my opinion Denver despite losing a superstar got a fantastic haul. Wilson Chandler is having a career best year averaging just over 16 points per contest and contributing an additional 6 rebounds. At 23 he could still become an even better player and potentially fill a large part of the scoring void created by Melo’s absence. Danilo Gallinari is a similar story averaging 16 points this season, also a career high and he is only 22 years old. Raymond Felton was flourishing in Dantoni’s fast paced system; Felton is currently enjoying career highs in points, steals, and assists. Felton while a bit older (26) than his two teammates is still 8 years younger than Chauncey Billups who Denver also gave up in the deal. The Nuggets also acquired 3 million cash, 3 picks and 24 year old rookie Timofey Mozgov a 7-1 center. Denver may have given the best player in the deal, but I believe they won the trade due to the high amount of quality starters along with the young prospects they gained. When you consider that had Denver stayed put they may have lost Melo for nothing in free agency this dealer must have been a no brainer.
For New York: Though I don’t entirely agree management felt they needed a superstar duo to compete with the top teams in the east. Stoudemire and Melo offer arguably the best offensive duo in the NBA. However both have taken criticism at times for their defense. Along with the two offensive dynamos’s New York received Mr. Big Shot, Chauncey Billups. Chauncey could be huge for the Knicks supplying championship experience and distributing the ball efficiently and evenly to the two scorers. In the NBA, superstars hold the greatest value out of all professional sport; in basketball one player is often the difference maker. And one has to believe that is the philosophy the Knicks are following after dealing 3 starters a young prospect and 3 picks to Nuggets. New York should now have the fire power to match even the Heat.
For Minnesota: Perhaps the unsung hero in this trade, Minnesota sent Corey Brewer a decent role player who had struggled in Minnesota. In return they received Curries 11 million dollar expiring contract, and high potential prospect Anthony Randolph. The T-Wolves will have a little over 11 mill to spend this offseason and gained a very high ceiling player in Randolph. Anthony has yet to pay off for any franchise despite his high potential but perhaps the change of scenery could do him good. Michael Beasley was all but discarded last summer before joining the Wolves and he has definitely impressed in his new home.
The other blockbuster saw arguably the leagues best point guard shipped out to Jersey. Mikhail Prokhorov pulled off just an enormous move and perhaps one of the better tactical management moves of the decade. First the Nets were bidding on Melo and raising the price for division rival New York. Then in a quick and sudden strike went in a complete other direction snagging Deron Williams.
The Jazz received: Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, a 2011 first round pick (Nets), a 2012 first round pick (Warriors), and cash considerations.
The Nets received: Deron Williams
Why and what was gained?
For Utah: There are rumors that Deron was becoming a bit of a distraction in Utah, along with allegations that had him playing a major part in the resignation of Jerry Sloan. Sloan resigned after 23 years as Utah’s head coach earlier this year. Not unlike Melo, Deron’s future was uncertain in Utah. So the Jazz shipped him for this year’s 3rd overall pick forward Derrick Favors. Former all-star Devin Harris and what could be do good prospects in New Jerseys, and Golden States picks. Aside from the young package and off court rumors, the Jazz weren’t playing very good basketball and even with Deron may not have reached the playoffs. It appears along with Sloan’s departure the Jazz were ready to shake things up.
For New Jersey: Superstars are extremely valuable in the NBA, they put fans in the stands and can carry franchises single handedly to the playoffs. Prokhorov has already confirmed that this is his thinking. He believes that his team will still win a championship in the next 5 years; and he believes having Deron is the key. He may be right as a point guard of Deron’s caliber could easily elevate the play of his teammates.
Hornets received: Carl Landry
Kings received: Marcus Thornton, cash considerations
Not a huge deal and it didn’t turn to many heads. Kings shed even more salary going into the offseason, and the hornets gained another quality big man to throw around in their rotation. However on a side note, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban seemed to be upset that along with the leagues other owners he would be paying the difference in salary as Landry makes over 2 million more than Thornton.
Warriors received: Troy Murphy, 2012 second round pick (Nets)
Nets received: Brandan Wright, Dan Gadzuric
Another small deal the Warriors suck up Murphy’s contract in order to attain New Jerseys pick. And the Nets get 11 million in expiring contracts.
Hawks received: Kirk Hinrich, Hilton Armstrong
Wizards received: Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, 2011 first round pick (Hawks)
The Hawks upgrade the point guard position as they look to stay competitive with the East’s elite squads. Washington adds another first round pick, hoping to add more valuable young pieces to this squad obviously in a full rebuild mode.
Clippers received: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon
Cavaliers received: Baron Davis, 2011 first round pick (Clippers)
I like this deal a fair bit for the Cavs, despite taking on a worse contract in Davis they gain what will likely be another lottery pick. Mo Williams is signed through the 2012-2013 season and could be a decent role player for the Clippers. However as the team is currently still not ready to compete and is stocked with young players I don’t know why they didn’t just keep their pick and hope to add another young stud. Perhaps it was the 4-5 million they will save on the Mo and Baron swap that enticed them.
Celtics received: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson
Thunder received: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic
Last year the Celtics struggled mightily in the finals when Perkins got hurt. This may be the riskiest trade of the week as they basically are placing their faith in a far past his prime Shaq and injury prone also past his prime Jermaine O’Neal to get things done down in the post. I believe the Celtics made this trade in the interest of the post big 3 era. It’s interesting that Jeff Green has come full circle originally drafted 5th overall by the Celtics before being traded with other pieces for Ray Allen. Jeff Green will bring an explosive offensive spark off the bench and could potentially start at PF if the Celtics go small. The Thunder have not been a very good team defensively and have lacked a true big man to get down and dirty. Perkins should help them in that department. Jeff Green could be a star in the future, and already has shown great prowess as an offensive weapon but with Westbrook and Durant already in the lineup Oklahoma didn’t really need Jeff to take shots away from those two. I think this was a good deal for Oklahoma who didn’t really have a role for Green in the future. I think this is a dicey trade for Boston currently but could pay off in the future if Green signs long term and stays around to play with Rajon in the new Boston era rapidly approaching.
Celtics receive: 2013 second round pick
Cavaliers receive: Semih Erden, Luke Harangody
Not a very good trade in my mind for the Celtics. They basically give up 2 cheap members of their post depth for a second round pick in 2013. Neither of them looks like a star but both Harangody, and Erden look like they could be solid rotation players. The only advantage to this trade for the Celtics is that it clears roster space. One may speculate that they will pursue some free agents.
Rockets received: Hasheem Thabeet, future first round pick
Grizzlies received: Shane Battier, Ish Smith
Shane is headed back to Memphis to help this young Grizzlies team make the playoffs. Battier is still one of the best wing defenders in the game and should bring some leadership to a relatively undisciplined Grizzlies squad. The Rockets got a good haul acquiring a future first and the raw but still promising Thabeet. Hasheem looks like he could be a good defensive, rebounding big and fill in a spot off the bench, for a future rotation. However his offensive game needs a lot of polishing if he ever wants to be a starter.
Thunder received: Nazr Mohammed
Bobcats received: D.J. White, Morris Peterson
Small swap in which the Thunder get another experienced defensive minded big to add to their rotation. The Bobcats get Morris Petersons 6 million expiring and a prospect in White.
Rockets Received: Goran Dragic, Future first round pick
Suns Received: Aaron Brooks
The Rockets are rebuilding and did a great job adding two good prospects and 2 future first rounders. Brooks was struggling to find his groove with the Rockets after getting hurt this season, and Lowry had stepped up into the starting role. Phoenix gets last year’s most improved player in Brooks who only a year ago was putting up just under 20 points per contest. Dragic has looked good in limited time behind Steve Nash and could move into the starting role for Houston in the future.
Bobcats receive: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, 2011 first round pick (Hornets), 2013 first round pick, and cash considerations.
Trail Blazers receive: Gerald Wallace
With two of the best players in the Western Conference heading over to the East the Blazers jumped on an opportunity to compete. Brandon Roy should be back soon and adding Gerald Wallace should make this team even better. If healthy Roy, Wallace, and Aldridge might make the most balanced trio in the West. Gerald Wallace is an incredibly versatile forward capable of playing the 3 or 4 slots, he scores, rebounds and defends. Last year G-Force was a member of the all NBA first defensive team. The Bobcats grab another 7.5 million dollar expiring contract while also gaining 2 future firsts to improve their franchise.
Celtics received: 2017 second round pick
Kings received: Marquis Daniels, Cash Considerations
The Celtics must be up to something clearing up another roster spot for a 2017 round pick which at the moment seems of little consequence for a team currently in a quest for the championship. The Kings grab some cash and get another expiring.