So much for a quiet trade deadline! Many of the best expert NBA handicappers on the internet forecasted a very slow day of movement on Thursday, and up until early in the afternoon, that’s exactly what we thought we were getting. However, there was a flurry of action there in the dying moments before the 3:00 ET deadline, and there was even at least one deal that just didn’t get done before the deadline. Check out how we stack up the biggest player on deadline day!
Portland Trail Blazers: A+: Of all of the teams that made moves at the deadline, this was the one that really did the best job. The Blazers picked up Gerald Wallace, who has the ability to be an All-Star caliber player, and they gave up on Joel Pryzbilla and Dante Cunningham for it. It’s a great move to bring another great wing player in to help out Brandon Roy, and with Marcus Camby getting back into the fold shortly, it was only a matter of time until Portland had limited minutes for Pryzbilla.
Chicago Bulls: A: Sure, we know that the Bulls really should have made sure that they picked up a shooting guard to help out, but the price was just going to be too high to do anything. Instead of doing something, Chicago realized that it didn’t really have to do anything at all to succeed, as it already has one of the most dangerous teams in the entire NBA. A move didn’t have to be made, and nothing was done. This team should be in great shape with all of its bigs come playoff time.
New Orleans Hornets: A: Mark Cuban might not like the fact that the Hornets went out and traded for Carl Landry, but it was a great move for a team that really needed a shot in the arm. It was a subtle move for sure, but it will be one that New Orleans love for the rest of the season.
New Jersey Nets: A: Okay, so Mikhail Prokhorov didn’t get his main guy. He got a pretty darn nice second option. It really is still unknown whether Deron Williams is going to be a Net for the rest of his life. If he is, Prokhorov is finally going to be bringing a true superstar into Brooklyn with the team. If not, Jersey could always turn around and deal off Williams next season. The asking price was relatively small, as Devin Harris and Derrick Favors with a couple of draft picks was certainly worthwhile, and it might even give Jersey some hope for a playoff push this year with as bad as the rest of the bottom of the East is.
Denver Nuggets: B: This was just a bad, bad situation for Denver with Carmelo Anthony, but it made the best of it and ultimately got a nice crop of players, most of which were awfully young back for its two biggest stars. It would’ve been nice to see Raymond Felton get moved again, as it is clear that he has no desire to be a bench player, but all in all, it was a decent trade deadline for the Nuggs.
New York Knicks: B: Yeah, the Knicks got their man… It also cost a heck of a lot as well. This could be a move that ultimately works out in the long run, but this season, New York is probably in some trouble, as this team really only has two months to work out the kinks to get ready for the playoffs. Melo did score 27 and have 10 boards in his debut on Wednesday, but the pieces around him have to do a lot better than that for this team to get to the next level.
Oklahoma City Thunder: B-: Oklahoma City has taken a real chance here by bringing in Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed, especially giving up Jeff Green in these deals, but this was a real message being sent to the rest of the West that this is a team that is getting a lot tougher. The Thunder have some real bangers in the post now, and this is going to make for a very interesting situation come playoff time. It could be a move that puts OKC over the top, but Green was a very, very steep price to pay.
Atlanta Hawks: C: We admire the Hawks for at least going out and trying something, but is Kirk Hinrich really the answer? Mike Bibby has been declining for quite some time, and perhaps the time was here to move him, but for a team that really isn’t all that strong to start off with in terms of depth, trading three pieces for two pieces from an awful team doesn’t seem like a move that will the club over the top.
Boston Celtics: C-: The C’s are potentially in a lot of trouble. Five men were ultimately traded for basically Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green. Krstic might ultimately start with Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal are getting over injuries, but this was a definitely downgrade in the post. Sure, Green is a great guy to bring off the bench, but he isn’t going to have the same impact that Perkins did. The Celtics are definitely not as strong of a team defensively as they once were, and they might have spoiled a team chemistry that was absolutely remarkable to this point for the past several years.
Memphis Grizzlies: C-: We aren’t so sure how we would’ve felt about Josh McRoberts and a first round draft pick for OJ Mayo anyway, but how on earth can you not get the deal done at the trade deadline, Memphis? The only reason this isn’t an ‘F’ is basically because Shane Battier for Hasheem Thabeet was a great move, and it is one that could make this team a legitimate contender in the West. However, Mayo was already essentially out of favor in Memphis, and he needed to be traded. Now, he thought he was dealt, yet he is still stuck with the team. It’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out by the end of the season, seeing whether this proves to be nothing but a big time distraction.
Utah Jazz: D: The only reason that the Jazz don’t get an F is because this was a move that had to be made eventually one way or the other. The problem is that the fan base has basically been told that this season is a wash, as there just aren’t enough guards for this team to play with. It felt like Utah really needed to make another move, whether it be to send off Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, or any of the other big guys on this team. The bottom line is that there are now about 100 big men and no stars in the backcourt for a team that desperately needs some help just to get into the second season out West.
Golden State Warriors: F: If the Warriors were sellers at the trade deadline, why didn’t they really trade any pieces to the puzzle like Monta Ellis? If they were buyers, how come they didn’t actually get anything productive done? Trading for Troy Murphy wasn’t great, especially knowing that he might just be bought out anyway, so this team, as always, is just kind of sitting in a state of flux, not knowing what in the heck is really going on.
Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers: F: C’mon guys, what the hell was this trade really all about? For Cleveland, sure you’re getting a first round draft pick that is going to be a lottery choice, but you’re taking in a guy that is a head case and a known cancer in the locker room when he is unhappy. You know that Davis isn’t going to want to visit the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame all that often, and once that luster wears off, he is sure to become disgruntled. If you’re the Clippers, why are you doing this to a player that you had a lot of faith in once upon a time, and giving up a first round pick to do it? Mo Williams contemplated retirement not that long ago, and he’s certainly not going to help. Goodness knows what this trade really accomplished for either team.
Orlando Magic: F: No team did worse by doing nothing this year than the Magic, who badly needed another move. This big maneuver that GM Otis Smith made to bring in Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu was great, but the one with Gilbert Arenas clearly backfired. Dwight Howard is apparently a bit disgruntled with his position in Orlando, and knowing that he can opt out after next season, the moves really had to start to be made now, not just for this year, but for next season as well. There are too many guards and not enough big men, and if the opportunity was really on the table to pick up Zach Randolph from the Memphis Grizzlies, it was a move that needed to be done.