The NBA Trade Deadline is now here, as teams have less than 12 hours to make their final moves for the rest of the season. The action has been hot and heavy over the course of the last day and change, and here is a recap of what we have seen, plus what we might see in the closing hours today…
The biggest blockbuster deal that we have all been waiting for has finally gone done. The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets have finally agreed on a deal that will send Carmelo Anthony to the Big Apple, his desired destination. New York is expected to give Anthony a three year, $65M extension that will keep him playing at MSG through 2015. The Knicks also received back Chauncey Billups, who will immediately start at the point guard spot, along with Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, and Anthony Carter. In exchange, Denver will be getting Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, a first round draft choice, two second round draft choices, and $3M in cash. Melo scored 27 points and had 10 boards in his first game playing with the Knicks, who beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
The wheeling and dealing wasn’t done there, though. New York also sent off Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and Anthony Randolph for Corey Brewer. Brewer didn’t make it into the lineup on Wednesday.
For Denver, the trades are almost certainly not complete. Gallinari and Felton might never suit up for the Nuggs by the time this is said and done. Felton is now the second former North Carolina Tar Heels point guard on the team, joining Ty Lawson. Rumors also have it that Nene could be sent off in a deal before Thursday’s deadline as well, and he is now the leading point scorer still left on the team at 15.0 per game. Al Harrington, who was signed last summer to a huge free agent deal, now could also be traded. The Nuggets play their first game since the trade tonight against the Boston Celtics at home.
The New Jersey Nets were figured to be the biggest losers of the trading deadline, as they once again seemed to miss out on acquiring all of the superstars that were available, just like what happened in the offseason. However, we have learned to never count out Mikhail Prokhorov and company, as New Jersey got its man, and it arguably got a better deal than it would’ve gotten had it picked up ‘Melo. In a late breaking deal on Wednesday, the Nets acquired Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz. Jersey sent packing Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two draft choices to Utah.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are now absolutely ripe as could be, as they have a ton of pieces to the puzzle that could, but probably won’t be moved by the 3:00 ET deadline today. Favors is a man that a lot of teams are still asking about, especially on a team in which he may never crack the rotation. Remember that Utah still has Al Jefferson, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, and Paul Millsap, essentially all of which have the same type of skill set as Favors does. The Jazz still need a two guard and would be wise to try to send one of these bigs off to make that happen.
Williams won’t necessarily resign with the Nets, as he is reportedly unhappy with the trade. However, he still has a full season under his belt with his current contract and cannot get out until 2012. New Jersey could always turn around and trade him off next year if things don’t work out, but the hope is that Williams becomes the cornerstone to the franchise as it tries to turn around its misery.
We mentioned two days ago that the Atlanta Hawks were looking for a point guard, and they finally found their man, though it came at a hefty price tag. Atlanta traded Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, and a first round draft choice to the Washington Wizards for Hilton Armstrong and Kirk Hinrich. If you’re the Wiz, you have to love this deal, as it rids you of Hinrich, who is only standing in the way of the growth of John Wall, and it gives you yet another draft pick to try to build around. Atlanta gets its point guard, but it takes three key players out of its rotation to do so.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a nice move in the middle of the night on Wednesday as well, picking up Baron Davis and a lottery draft pick this coming year to the Los Angeles Clippers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. Davis is clearly at the tail end of his career, and it is clear that the team just wanted to move him for the sake of moving him. It essentially cost a first round pick to do so, but this might not be the end of the world for an LA team that does have a ton of players under the age of 25 on its team. It might also be a nice switch for Williams, who has just seemed to be totally lost since losing LeBron James to the Miami Heat this past offseason.
Speaking of the Heat, they could be in on a minor move as well, though teams don’t seem to be all that interested in their most tradeable asset, Mike Miller. Still, keep an eye on this situation, as Miami is trying to bring in another veteran big to help out Chris Bosh on the inside.
Up the road, the Orlando Magic are surely looking to make a move, especially after losing to the Sacramento Kings last night. General Manager Otis Smith knows that he really needs to make a major move sooner than later, or he’ll probably end up losing Dwight Howard in two seasons to free agency, a la LeBron James, something that would seal his fate and cost him his job for sure. The problem is finding the pieces to the puzzle to deal since Orlando already made the big time trade with the Phoenix Suns earlier this season. Could Steve Nash be coming to Orlando? What about Zach Randolph? The Randolph deal makes some sense, though it would require reportedly sending back at least Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson to do so, a heavy price to pay.
Teams are also contacted the Memphis Grizzlies about the availability of Hasheem Thabeet, who has largely been a tremendous bust in his career after being a high draft choice two seasons ago.
The Portland Trail Blazers are still trying to make a move, but it’s a question as to what they’re looking for. There are plenty of bigs to trade on this team, and it seems like the only names that aren’t being bantered around just a bit are those of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. Aside from that though, it all seems to be fair game, and anyone coming to the table with the right asking price can seemingly get anyone else they want off of this team. One of those talks are with the Charlotte Bobcats, who have had inquiries about Gerald Wallace. That deal doesn’t seem to be in the makings though, as Wallace is still looked at as the cornerstone of Charlotte’s team.
We’ll keep you up to date here at Bankroll Sports with all of the ins and outs of the 2011 NBA Trade Deadline rumors!
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