Friday, February 25, 2005

NBA Trade Deadline Recap

Atlanta: Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta, Yogi Stewart, and a 1st-round pick for Antoine Walker

The Hawks have spared those fans willing to come out and see Josh Smith the aesthetically unpleasant game of the NBA's oldest 28-year-old. Payton and Stewart are expected to be bought out as early as today. Gugliotta won't see the floor and shouldn't limit the Hawks' cap flexibility going into the summer.

The pick came to Celtics via the Lakers in the Payton deal and is lottery protected.

Boston: Antoine Walker for Payton, Gugliotta, Yogi Stewart, and 1st-round pick; 1st-Round pick for Jiri Welsch

Assuming Walker takes Mark Blount's minutes with LaFrentz moving to center, the deal with the Hawks is risk-free for the Celtics; especially if Payton re-signs with Boston after his buyout. Miami is a rumored Payton destination but I doubt he can take many minutes away from Dwyane Wade, Eddie Jones, and Damon Jones at this point in his career. He should go back to Boston for the rest of the year if he wants to play. If he wants a ring, however...

Jiri Welsch got beat out by Tony Allen and had no future with Celtics barring someone getting hurt.

The Celtics gave up the 2005 1st-Round pick they got from the Lakers (lottery protected) and received Cleveland's 2007 1st-Round pick (top ten protected)

Charlotte: Malik Allen and cash for Steve Smith

Malik Allen is a serviceable backup power forward. Cash can be used in exchange for goods and services.

Cleveland: Jiri Welsch for 1st-round pick

Welsch will join Luke Jackson and Sasha Pavlovic as part of the Cavaliers' cavalcade of Plan B shooters. If all goes according to plan for Jim Paxson, one of those three will become a Milwaukee Buck this summer. If they fail to acquire Redd, Welsch would appear to have the inside track on the job Lucious Harris couldn't hold this year.

The pick is for 2007 (top ten protected).

Dallas: Keith Van Horn for Alan Henderson and Calvin Booth

It's amazing Henderson got himself physically able to play basketball again. Henderson rebounded a significant rate of his own team's misses this year, but his impact on wins and losses shouldn't be confused with, say, Danny Fortson’s in Seattle.

Van Horn is still a man without a position, but Nellie has always sort of considered that to be a good thing. I think Van Horn's gotten a bad rap. His weaknesses as an NBA player have been perceived as character flaws. He guards small forwards fairly well, making good use of his length to overcome his relative lack of quickness, but power forwards destroy him in the post. He can take opposing power forwards outside and create room to get his shot off successfully, but opposing small forwards get up underneath him and force him into difficult shots. I don't see how that conundrum will be solved by playing alongside Nowitzki. Maybe Van Horn can steal a couple of extra minutes a night backing Dirk up and keeping the franchise fresh for the playoffs.

Denver: Eduardo Najera, Luis Flores, and 1st-Round pick for Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Rodney White

Najera's really only useful on a good team. He was hustling in a vacuum in Oakland. Luis Flores should get enough chances in the next five years to succeed or fail as a backup on his merits. Cold comfort for the next few months; he'll sit and watch Andre Miller and Earl Boykins.

I don't know of an NBA coach that Rodney White could play for, but George Karl seems the least likely. I have even less idea what Kiki was thinking when he drafted Tskitishvili ahead of Chris Wilcox, Amare Stoudemire, and Caron Butler in 2002. He's Chris Mullin's problem now.
The pick is Dallas's 2007 1st-Rounder that accompanied Najera to Oakland in the first place.

Golden State: Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Rodney White for Najera, Flores, and 1st-round pick; Baron Davis for Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis

This won't help. Either Baron Davis (hurt/sulking) or Mike Montgomery (fired) will be gone by Thanksgiving and the team will still be terrible. I guess Tskitishvili will make Mikey Dunleavy look not-so-bad in comparison. Rodney White might well be more talented than either (and Pietrus, too) but I doubt he'll ever earn himself playing time.

Houston: Mike James and Zendon Hamilton for Reece Gaines and 2 2nd-round picks; Moochie Norris, Vin Baker, and a 2nd-Round pick for Mo Taylor

Mike James further solidifies the guard situation in Houston. He's a nice fit with McGrady and Sura. His contributions were key and underrated during the Pistons' title run last year. That they didn't have to give up anything of value to get him is a bonus.

Taylor's contract (and his limited ability) is now Isiah's problem. It runs one year longer than do Baker's and Moochie's contracts.

Miami: Steve Smith for Malik Allen and cash

Steve Smith could help win a playoff game for the Heat. He's a more useful spare part than Gary Payton would be.

Milwaukee: Alan Henderson and Calvin Booth for Van Horn; Reece Gaines and 2 2nd-round picks for Mike James

The Bucks cleared cap space in an attempt to re-sign Michael Redd. Unfortunately, I don't see why he'd turn down the Cavaliers to stay with the team clever/lucky enough to draft him.

None of the players acquired have any on-court use for the Bucks. They'll fit in immediately with their teammates (apologies to Desmond Mason). This is a bad, boring team. They better hope to find two more players of Redd's caliber with those future second round picks.

New Orleans: Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis for Baron Davis; Glenn Robinson for Rodney Rogers and Jamal Mashburn

They got rid of their unhappy star. They got rid of their permanently injured ex-star. They’ll have some cap room this off-season, but no one in their right mind will sign with them. Speedy Claxton will likely curtail the brief, glorious Dan Dickau era. I knew Dickau could play downhill in the NBA. My fears that he couldn't guard anybody have also proved true. There are worse jobs than career back-up point guard, however.

New York: Mo Taylor for Moochie Norris, Vin Baker, and a 2nd-Round pick; Malik Rose and 2 1st-Round picks for Nazr Mohammed

I would hope these moves at least get Sweetney on the court more even if it is at center.

Isiah draws ever closer to his ideal roster made up entirely of shooting guards, undersized power forwards, and a point guard who shoots too much. That he's upgraded his ideal version of the last element from Damon Stoudamire to Marbury is the only evidence that he’s learned anything from his disastrous management career. The Knicks take on contracts and create a more redundant roster at the same time. They are bad and they will get worse in the coming years.

The first round picks are only deceptively beneficial. It’s unlikely they get much from the first-rounders: the Suns' 2005 pick and the Spurs' 2006 pick.

Philadelphia: Rodney Rogers and Jamal Mashburn for Glenn Robinson; Chris Webber, Michael Bradley, and Matt Barnes for Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson, and Brian Skinner

The Allen Iverson era is going to end suddenly and badly for the Sixers. Billy King is clearly attempting to build a team that can make a run to the Finals in 2006.

Webber should (barring injury, natch) insure a playoff spot this year and make the team more attractive to free agents in the off-season. If King adds the right piece this summer they’re only a Shaq injury and a Pound-for-Pound retirement away from being favorites in the East.

Matt Barnes will be a nice addition to the young, cheap, and talented 2/3 rotation. Rodney Rogers can effectively replace Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson in the short term, with Dalembert getting more minutes and solidifying the interior defense.

San Antonio: Nazr Mohammed and Jamison Brewer for Malik Rose and 2 1st-Round picks

I've always liked Nazr Mohammed. He'll complete a very solid three man rotation on the interior for the Spurs, possibly beating out Rasho Nesterovic.

Jamison Brewer has shown flashes of being a decent backup point guard, but won't see the court with a team that already has Tony Parker and Beno Udrih. If Brewer's not cut outright, he'll challenge Mike Wilks for the 12th spot on the active roster. If he is cut, he'll catch on somewhere else.

The traded picks likely won't haunt the Spurs. Popovich might have selected a hidden gem that late in the first round. I doubt Isiah will do the same. He'll probably draft Sean Banks or Ryan Gomes this year and JJ Redick or Eric Williams in 2006.

Sacramento: Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson, and Brian Skinner for Chris Webber, Michael Bradley, and Matt Barnes

I think Songaila, Williamson, Skinner, and Thomas can adquately replace Webber once you factor in the freedom Webber's absence will grant Peja, Brad Miller, Mobley, and Bibby. It's awkward when injuries make the franchise player no longer the team's best player. Every time the team accomdates him, they diminish their total ability. The on-court pecking order will now be determined strictly by performance.

Barnes is a minor short-term loss, but in the long-term I doubt that he and Kevin Martin will be significantly different players.


Anonymous said...

The trade deadline winners, in my view, were the Sixers and Warriors. Certainly Webber will hopefully give AI a much needed partner in crime in Philly, whilst Davis joining J-Rich in Golden State sounds (in theory) like a good move for that franchise going forward. Nice site!

Bret LaGree said...

Thanks for the kind words, Luke.

I seem to be down on the Warriors more than most. To me, Richardson and Murphy are decent players but not ones to build around. Dunleavy's not even decent, Pietrus and Biedrins could develop, White's talented but a mess, Tskitishvili just looks to be a mess, there's too much money tied up in Foyle and Fisher.

As for Baron Davis, I love his game, but it appears in its full glory far too infrequently for me to be confident he'll be a difference maker for that collection of talent.