Head-Scratching Deals Highlight NBA Trade Deadline

Baron Davis is on his way out of LA

Generally the trade deadline is a rather uneventful time of year in the NBA. I guess you can call this year an exception. In the last 72 hours, NBA GM’s were more active than Charlie Sheen at a brothel. With a final flurry prior to the 3pm eastern deadline and team’s desperately trying to piece together a winner, it was almost inevitable that we see some mind-boggling transactions.

In sifting through the plethora of deals here are my biggest head-scratchers from the NBA trade deadline.

Clipper Calamity. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a calamity but it definitely should fall under the category of a head-scratcher. The Clippers traded Baron Davis and their 2011 first round pick to the Cavaliers for former all-star Mo Williams. I’m actually very surprised at the amount of people who felt this deal was a positive for the Clippers. Sports Illustrated writer Zach Lowe is one man who feels this was a success for the Clippers. Supposedly, it will also allow their young point guard Eric Bledsoe to take the reins of the team while allowing more cap flexibility for the Clippers.

The problem that I have with the trade is that the Clippers are likely giving up a top 10 pick. I don’t care that this year is supposed to be a terrible draft class. Besides Blake Griffin, didn’t they also say the same thing about the 2009 class that produced Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Demar Derozan, Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison. Maybe you won’t find a franchise player but there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to find some quality, impact players with that high of a pick. They need to be surrounding Blake Griffin and Co. with solid role players, not trying to save money.

Moreover, despite the fact that Baron Davis has proven himself to be a fat, lazy slob, it is evident that he has been a steadying influence on the Clipper team this season. They don’t need to win now, nor are they going to win with Baron Davis at the helm. However, a veteran guy like Davis is important on such a young team, and you can see it by how lost they are on the floor without him.

Sure, the Clippers gain flexibility to sign free agents in the off-season, especially if they are able to dump Mo Williams’ contract on someone. That’s not what they should be focused on though. Getting a quality player in the draft should be priority number one. The Clippers, in my opinion, have done it again. They had been in prime position to finally play the role of contender in 2-4 years, but yesterday they took a step backwards.

Boston Blow-Up. Kendrick Perkins is gone. Yeah, you’re probably thinking what we’re all thinking. Whaaa??? Perkins is well-known around NBA circles as an incredibly intricate cog to the Boston Celtics’ well-oiled machine. He represented the hardnosed, defensive force that is the Celtics. Not anymore. Perkins was traded alongside Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.

Even this guy was perplexed by some of the NBA deadline deals

Obviously, there was an Orlando Magic-like need for a shakeup in Boston as they sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 41-14 record. Wait, I don’t think something is quite right about the last sentence.

With a team as thin at the center spot like the Boston Celtics are, you have to wonder what they are thinking giving up Perkins. They also traded rookie center Semih Erden to the Cavs, which leaves them with two old farts in Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal. Durability is such an issue surrounding those guys and even though Nenad Kristic will be added to the mix he doesn’t fit the Celtics mould of rough and tough. Of note today, Glen Davis started at center for the Celtics. Yup, Big Baby.

They did acquire a great piece in Jeff Green but where does he fit in? Does he take over the Marquis Daniels role? Is that why they felt that Perkins was expendable? Who knows?

For a team that has reached 2 finals with Kendrick Perkins and currently sits first in the Eastern Conference this deal is more peculiar than a dog riding a scooter.

Sun Setting. Steve Nash protégé Goran Dragic and a lottery protected first round pick was traded to the Rockets for soon to be restricted free agent Aaron Brooks. After being injured, Brooks lost his job as starting point guard to Kyle Lowry and like Goran Dragic he has regressed in his play since coming back from injury. I don’t see anywhere that Brooks fits into the short or long-term plans of the Suns. Nash is still under contract for 2 years and there is no way that Brooks and his undersized self can play alongside Nash at the 2 guard spot for the time being.

Obviously Goran Dragic is not the wave of the future but could someone please try and make some sense of this deal for me because I flat out don’t get it. I don’t see the Suns signing Brooks to be the long-term option, but hey, you never know.

Memphis Blues.
A sad trade for the Grizzlies that can only benefit this team in the short run as they hope to reach the playoffs in the ever weakening Western Conference. The Grizz traded former #2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet and a first round pick to the Houston Rockets for an expiring contract in Shane Battier and guard Ish Smith. This is a head-scratcher for me just because it seems odd that the Grizzlies felt that they had to give up a first round pick to unload Thabeet. Sure, this move might put them over the edge in their playoff run this year but giving up so early on such a high draft pick on top of sending away a likely mid-first round draft pick won’t make things any easier as they try to build a contending team in the future.

Raptor Riddle. For my finale I have to vent about the Toronto Raptors acquisition of James Johnson. More specifically, I have to point out another blunder from the city of Toronto’s equally confusing General Manger. Bryan Colangelo obtained James Johnson by giving up the first round pick Toronto acquired from Miami in the whole Bosh mess. Johnson was the 16th overall pick in the 2009 draft and apparently the Raptors would have drafted him had Demar Derozan not fallen to them, at least according to the Colangelo.

The Raptors, in desperate need of more wing players, got hold of the lengthy 6 foot 9 Johnson to play small forward. As much as they need more depth on the wings Johnson is not a guy that they should be looking for as he is yet another wing player for the Raps who is unable to shoot from beyond the arc.

I realize that I sound like a broken record, nevertheless I can’t stress enough the importance that bottom teams should place on their draft picks. Colangelo has done a terrible job managing draft picks for the Raptors and the first time in a long time the team has multiple first rounders he decides it’s a good idea to trade one of them away. Great. I’ll just put it out there that I have zero faith in Colangelo’s overrated self. He has done nothing for the Raptors organization and the only thing keeping him alive is the fact that he signed Steve Nash. Great.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. You can also follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.

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17 Responses to Head-Scratching Deals Highlight NBA Trade Deadline

  1. Pingback: World Spinner

  2. I doubt that you’ll find more than ten Clipper fans NOT related to BD who aren’t happy, excuse me, f**king estastic about his being traded. Yes, we know that Elton Brand left you hanging when he signed with Philly after luring you back home and yes, we know that your style of play wasn’t going to work with Mike “May I Show You A Coffin In Mahogany?” Dunleavy’s overcoaching “system” BUT, that was no excuse for showing up fat, injured and uninterested every year. Good riddance. Addition by subtraction.

    As for the other trades, unless there’s something wrong with Perkins’ knee that only the Celtics know about, this is the one trade that puzzles me the most. I’ve been writing for weeks now “If the Thunder can somehow can get their hands on a legitimate ‘5’, watch out.” And now, they just may have. And, don’t sleep on the black Keebler Elf aka Nate Robinson. I’m not saying you build your team around him but, dude has game and can be a lift off the bench.

    Great line about Sheen in a brothel. Sheer genius.

  3. The news of sports says:

    Terrible moves all around, why was Cleveland interested in BD? I know his contract is expiring, but still.

  4. tophatal says:

    Chris

    If the NBA Trade deadline was reminiscent of a day on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) then there’d have been winners and losers most definitely !

    tophatal ……………….

  5. tophatal says:

    Chris

    Kim Kardashian says hello ! She wants to meet because Kris Humphries just isn’t cuttin’ it for her .

  6. tophatal says:

    Let me know what you think of the following concerning former NFL player Dave Duerson ? Simply click on the link to read .

    http://tophatal.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/got-yourself-a-headache-try-being-an-nfl-player/

    tophatal ………

  7. chappy81 says:

    I think the BD project didn’t work because Baron has his hand in way too many things in his hometown. He’s acting, doing events, hanging with friends, and forgot about his job, playing basketball until Blake showed up. I can see why they dumped him, but you’d think they’d try to get more than Mo Williams…

    Boston is stupid for making that trade. Why would you trade an anchor on your defense. I guess they did get to the best record this year without him, but still.

    Phoenix always makes trades to just make a trade. I feel sorry for Nash having his roster change regularly. Don’t try to make sense of it, it will make your head hurt.

  8. Bheise says:

    I’m loving the deals the Cavs made yesterday. the key to the Davis deal was the draft pick. That’s what they wanted and the only way they were going to get it was with Davis. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Then to turn around and get size with Erden and Harangody… also a positive. The real head scratcher for me though was Boston. I know they needed a player like Jeff Green to take some of the load off of Pierce, especially on D, but it seems like they gave up so much in Perkins. I didn’t like that and I still don’t. Meanwhile I love it for OKC. Perkins gives them a legit center and the inside presence they were so desperately lacking. Very good move by Sam Presti and the Thunder.

  9. tophatal says:

    Chris

    http://theoraclesays.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/it-is-what-it-is-why-the-ncaa-collegiate-coaches-are-a-bunch-of-sanctimonious-bastards/

    Click on the link to view .

    Three college coaches who should have their nutsack in a vice !

    tophatal ………….

  10. musilly says:

    The Clipper pick is protected. They won’t be giving up a top-10 pick.

  11. berger987 says:

    I really love the move for the Cavs, hate for the clippers. The cavs are on the right track. And news of sports, the cavs wanted the pick. Red Baron is just the one that made the trade work.

    I don’t understand the Celtics trades, when having quality big men has been instrumental in winning lately.

    The Suns really puzzle me. What are they doing? They’re trying to find the successor for Nash and think they can compete at the same time? No, they don’t have that kind of leverage to give up a 1st round pick.

  12. contentiousbenjamin says:

    Solid Blog you have here Chris,

    The Cavs, man they dont have any hope in sight. Baron Davis is just as injury pronged as Mo Williams has been this year. They had to do something though. Its a good start.

    I like what the Nets did, they went out and got more for what they gave up. Deron Williams is a top 5 PG

    OKC & NYK are the Big Winners here They could make it to the Conference finals with these teams this year possibly.

  13. jtakaki says:

    We got about 60 good games from Baron out of about 200. For the next 2 seasons he’ll be paid about 14 million dollars.

    The key to rebuilding is not to have hope regenerate in the form of draft picks. The key is to actually build something. Stockpiling young talent matters less if you have to extend them all at the same time when they are still growing Some talent pans out, most doesn’t.

    I like this deal because no rebuilding team that succeeds has 10-20million dollars in deadweight. The Cliippers had to get rid of all excess fat on the team, build around 2-3 cornerstones and sign proven vets and studs to contracts they can live up to.

  14. Great points on the Boston Perkins trade – he really was a huge part of that team. The Phoenix move may make way for Nash to move to a contender next season and have a real shot at the title as opposed to averaging 11 assists with an assorted collection of role players. Maybe the Grizz think Battier will be a valuable playoff piece? If they make it? Great post!

  15. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s so confused yet excited about the trade deadline. I just don’t have any clue what boston was thinking man. These guys just might’ve killed their shot at a championship. I’m not saying Green in a bad player, but like u said, where does he fit in? does he play the 4 spot and they become a run and gun team??

  16. Great Post.

    I can’t imagine that the Clippers are for the better when you consider the draft pick. If it had just been straight up, it would have been a great deal for LAC. But you throw that draft pick away, and it seems like they got screwed.

    Meehan

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