Yesterday, I discussed my mixed emotions on the Bulls lack of a move. The right move may not have been on the table, but the predeadline comments by beat reporters about the new CBA and saving money still bring back scary thoughts for a team I hope will finally be willing to pay the luxury tax rather than finance the Chicago White Sox.
However, the Bulls weren't necessarily losers at the deadline. The Johnson trade still helped them tremendously in terms of flexibility at draft time. The Bulls will be almost three million under the cap and have a couple 1st round picks which should allow them to make a quality move at that time.
As I noted, this was one of many opportunities for them to improve, not the only opportunity. However, beyond the Bulls, this was one of the most hectic trade deadlines of recent memory. Here's who came out on top in this reshaping of the league.
Oklahoma City Thunder
They've needed interior defense and strength for the past couple of years and got one of the most underrated centers in the NBA (more on the Celtics side of this deal in the complete dumbass section of the article, it's below losers). Perkins gives them the strength to match up with LA inside the paint and the help defense to help turn them into a better defensive team.
I'm not sure why some analysts feel like they'll miss Jeff Green's offense, because, this just in, and by just in, I mean it's been obvious since he entered the league, Jeff Green isn't a very good basketball player. We're talking about a dude with a 12.8 PER this season which matches his career numbers.
The Thunder are one of the elite offenses of the league. They have Westbrook and Durant to create, everyone else is just there to make basket cuts or hit open shots. Jeff Green didn't do anything for them that a random filler role player can't do instead.
Now they have the defensive anchor they need to really make a deep run in the playoffs. The only caveat I have to this trade is if the Celtics know Perkins knees are shot, but if that's the case the Thunder will fail him on the physical (like they did Tyson Chandler) and rescind the trade.
The Thunder are raised up into the legit contender status with this move.
New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, and Carmelo Anthony
Seriously, the more I think about this deal, the more I think everyone wins. Anthony obviously got to go to the Knicks and his money which is what he wanted. Denver pulled off a deal to get them more assets than they could have reasonably expected with the trade, and while the Knicks gave up a bunch of role players, they added a second superstar to their team while really only giving up role players.
Everyone comes out ahead in this deal. Yeah, the Knicks might have had a better team if they waited until the summer and signed Anthony outright, but then again, he may not have been available if he was desperate to get his money which he seemed to be.
The New Jersey Nets
So you figure the Nets are going to be the big loser in the Melo deal, but then they go out and trade for Deron Williams for less than they were willing to give up for Anthony. I like Williams more than Anthony by a considerable margin, so this makes for a great move for them.
The need to convince Williams to stay with the team in a year and a half, but I expect a franchise tag and a new ability to make terms far more favorable for the current team to resign players in the future.
They'll need another big move in their pockets to make this work out long term, but for a team that was one of the worst and most depressing in the NBA, this was a phenomenal move.
The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls
The East looks like it's going to come down to Boston, Miami, or Chicago, and Boston just shot itself in the foot, more on that in the complete dumbass section. Most of the national media were picking Boston to come out of the East and possibly win the whole thing.
I've felt Boston was overrated and that the Bulls would take them in a seven game series, well I feel even better about that now. The Miami Heat also have to be happy about the Celtics trading away one of the guys who could consistently beast them inside and layout LeBron and Wade with hard fouls when they drive.
Charlotte also gave up Gerald Wallace for nothing at the deadline which should end any minimal hopes of them making the playoffs next season. As such, the Chicago Bulls draft choice from the Bobcats looks to go deeper into the protection scheme and increase in value.
I don't know if Gerald Wallace will really make a difference, but your front office once again reaffirmed it doesn't give a crap about how much money it can make if it can improve the team.
The Blazers gave up a heap of crap for Gerald Wallace, who, historically, can't stay healthy but is a all-star caliber player when he is. The Blazers have a reputation for bad luck with injuries, but they always take on guys with massive injury problems and wonder why they were hurt.
Greg Oden was said to have the knees of a 60 year old prior to being drafted, the Bulls passed on Brandon Roy because of his knees, LaMarcus Aldridge had two major injuries prior to entering the NBA, and people wonder why two of the there got hurt.
Well they did it again with Wallace, but since they gave up nothing to do it, the worst case scenario is that they're stuck where they were anyway. The best case is that they get a great player to add to their team.
Either way, it has to feel good to be a Blazer fan and know that your front office will never flinch at paying the money to win. That attitude will always give them a chance at being competitive.
He finally gets to go to a team where he can start at PG rather than play mentor to a young phenom PG. He also moves from one of the worst teams in the NBA to one with at least a punchers chance at the second round in the playoffs.
The Wizards received the 17th pick in the draft for taking on Hinrich's salary for half a season then traded him for salary relief, a 2011 first rounder, and Jordan Crawford (a 1st rounder in 2010). Nice flipping of assets there as timing is everything.
Does the move help Washington on the court? No, but they had no need for Hinrich anyway, and they do need young assets to build around John Wall. This was the right move for them.
Los Angelas Clippers
The Clippers bring in Mo Williams and send out Baron Davis. I think Williams is about 10x the player Davis is, and unlike Davis, when he shoots the three it has a good chance of going in.
I think this move makes the Clippers awfully dangerous going into next season. If Blake Griffin has the work ethic to improve, then their backcourt now has plenty of shooting and creation with Williams/Gordon.
They could be on the verge of relevance.
Coming out neutral
The Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats dumped Gerald Wallace's contract and will obviously take a hit on the court because of it. However, they had virtually no hope of building anything with the pieces they have there, because of Jordan's previous bungling. They made a move which signals a clear rebuild.
It's unfortunate for them that they couldn't find a taker for Stephen Jackson for some more picks as well to help spur the process along. They did lose talent, but Wallace would be done before they'd have anything going on, and now they'll enter the realm of the worst teams in the league and hope to change their luck with a franchise player.
The Bulls will hope they're unsuccessful for the next five years and that the franchise player ends up in Chicago. It's kind of a crappy plan, but it's really the only move they had left. They probably would have been better off doing this earlier rather than extending Jackson.
The Atlanta Hawks
Yeah, they get Kirk Hinrich to help 'bolster' their guard lineup, but this trade smells pretty desperate and not like any true upgrade. Is Hinrich really considerably better than Mike Bibby for them? Maybe, but I'm not hopeful. They also gave up a guy they got in the first round in 2010 and their first rounder next year.
Steep price to pay when I still think the Hawks are out in round one of the playoffs, but they did try to upgrade their team, so I'll give them some credit.
The Utah Jazz
With a franchise tag possibly coming in the new CBA and a year to make improvements, the Jazz could have possibly figured out a way to have kept Deron Williams. Especially if Jerry Sloan was a big issue with him. Now they trade him off for a couple 1st rounders in a weak draft and Devin Harris.
The trade haul might ultimately be worth more than they'd have received later, but it's still not worth losing your superstar for a year and a half. Utah now enters the Cleveland zone. It's a destination that free agents will hate to go to if they have any other choice, and their only hope is to find a superstar in the draft.
The Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies
What a cluster-f that was. The Pacers end up not pulling off a trade that would have upgraded them considerably, the Grizzlies end up having to tell Mayo they really like him but just have too many guards.
To some extend the Bulls are losers here as well as Mayo was obviously available, and rumor has it the Bulls could have had him for two firsts and Taj Gibson. It would have been a tough call, and I'm okay with them passing on that as I think big man depth is so important for the playoffs.
If they'd have gone for 2 1sts (or even 3) and Asik, I would have been all in though.
If the Bulls are interested in Mayo, look for talks between the Grizzlies and Chicago to heat up again on draft day when the Bulls can still absorb most of his contract and send a player and picks to Memphis.
The complete and total dumbasses
The Boston Celtics
I hedge this only by saying that they might know more about Perkins' knees than we do, but if so, they trade likely is rescinded anyway.
Seriously, how on Earth do you make this trade while you are one of the two or three teams favored to win a title? The Celtics gave away one of the pieces they'll seriously need in the playoffs for a guy that won't fit at all and they didn't need plus a 2012 draft choice from the Clippers.
Now betting on the Clippers to suck seems like a fairly safe proposition in most years, but Blake Griffin looks like a superstud, and as noted above, I think the Mo Williams trade gives them a pretty interesting cast around him next season.
Either way, this was a team that someone would argue was the championship favorite, and they just traded their defensive anchor. The whole team is extraordinarily pissed off about the move, and their once great chemistry may go south a bit with this type of trade.
Either way, when you can possibly win a title, you go all in, you don't hedge your bets on helping yourself rebuild in 2012. This would be like if the Bulls traded Toni Kukoc in the middle of the 97-98 season for a 2000 1st rounder. Danny Ainge better hire some security for his family after this move.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, boston celtics, Carmelo Anthony, chicago bulls, deron williams, Gerald Wallace, indiana pacers, jeff green, kendrick perkins, kirk hinrich, Memphis Grizzlies, miami heat, new jersey nets, new york knicks, O.J Mayo, oklahoma city thunder, omer asik, Taj Gibson, trade deadline, Utah Jazz