15. Chicago Bulls
The only move the Bulls made was picking up Miami’s 2011 first-round pick from Toronto. Somehow I don’t think that’ll satisfy their fan base’s desire to acquire a legit 2-guard…
Yes, Kirk Hinrich was redundant in Washington. With John Wall on board, there was no reason to keep him. But was trading Hinrich for Mike Bibby – remaining contract: two years, $11.7 million — really necessary?
The Wizards now have a total of $28.5 million committed to Bibby and Rashard Lewis next season — and we both know neither of those players is going to make a significant difference. I didn’t realize it was National Take on Bad Contracts Year in Washington. Awful charitable of them, don’t you think?
Couldn’t they have at least found a way to include Andray Blatche in this deal?
A couple of concessions before I launch into a tirade about how dumb this trade was: 1) Kendrick Perkins is likely more of a product of his system than we realize — having Kevin Garnett as a help defender is an enormous defensive advantage; 2) We don’t know the extent of Perkins’ health concerns after his injury in the Playoffs last season; and 3) It’s possible Shaquille O’Neal was griping behind closed doors about losing his starter’s spot.
All three of those points are valid reasons for concern.
But Perkins was the Celtics’ biggest advantage against the Heat and the Magic, not to mention the Lakers (I still contend if he was in the lineup in Game 7 of the Finals, the Celtics would have won). Why give up a guy like that?
Do you know how many teams would kill to have a guy like Perk – a hard-nosed enforcer who wins over fans and always puts his teammates first? Nearly every contender in the League, that’s who.
And the Celtics gave him away for Jeff Green (a passable but ultimately frustrating role player) and Nenad Krstic (a defensively weak ninny who hit a Greek player with a folding chair at the FIBA World Championships while the guy stood defenseless behind a wall of teammates)? If you think those guys are going to fit in as well as Perk in Boston you’re nuts.
I realize Danny Ainge was planning for the future on this one. Oklahoma City’s first round pick will be helpful in developing young talent around Rajon Rondo, and there was a chance the Celtics wouldn’t have been able to afford Perkins when he became a free agent this summer. But the bottom line is this: Boston blew up a very, very good roster to make this deal happen.
It could very well backfire on them come Playoff time.
12. Phoenix Suns
I don’t love the Aaron Brooks-Goran Dragic trade for Phoenix – they still haven’t addressed their defensive or rebounding issues – but they could have done a lot worse.
Given their aging roster, the Suns can ill afford to give up draft picks (especially first rounders), but at least Brooks will be a good change of pace (read: score first) sub for Steve Nash off the bench.
David Kahn has made a habit out of gambling on low-output, high-upside players lately, and, much as I hate to admit it, it’s been working out pretty well for him. Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic are both outplaying expectations this season.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Timberwolves’ coaching staff can get similar results out of Anthony Randolph – the talented but petulant forward out of LSU.
If not, at least they’ll have Eddy Curry’s gargantuan contract coming off the books this summer. In the meantime, restaurants around the Target Center are about to see a huge spike in sales.
When Curry comes to town, everybody wins.
Chris Wallace continues to astound me. Somehow, the man who got hoodwinked out of Pau Gasol managed to turn Hasheem Thabeet into a much-needed perimeter defender in Shane Battier.
Battier’s defense has declined somewhat in recent years – check out his defensive rating stats on Basketball-Reference – but he’s still a great guy to have on the roster. He’s crafty and he’s always solid down the stretch of close games, something the Grizzlies need badly as they push to make the Playoffs for the first time in five years.
Getting Thabeet off the payroll is a coup in and of itself, but getting Battier in return makes this deal even sweeter for Memphis.
Wait a minute. You’re telling me the Clippers shed Baron Davis’ contract and picked up a career 39 percent three-point shooter in the process? Forget Caltech breaking their SCIAC losing streak, this is the feel good story of the year so far.
The Clips have been trying to get rid of that contract for years. Getting an All-Star (I know, I know, Williams didn’t really deserve the nod) in return is just icing on the cake.
Sure, Blake Griffin will miss Baron’s outstanding lobs from the half-court line – and we’ll miss seeing the highlights. But I’m sure he’ll get over it once he sees a couple of the Godfather’s threes go in.
When Williams was playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland, he routinely hit over 40 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Blake spaces the floor in a similar way to LeBron. I won’t be surprised if Mo performs as well in L.A. as he did in the two seasons before King James took his talents to South Beach.
Final thought: With all the young talent on their roster (Griffin, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, etc.), the Clippers’ 2011 first round pick held little value. Including it in the deal must have been a no-brainer for Neil Olshey.
The Hornets stole Carl Landry from the Kings. Flat out, old lady purse snatched ‘em.
You remember that line from Jay-Z’s “Takeover”? “So I sampled your voice/You was using it wrong/You made it a hot line/I made it a hot song.” That’s what this trade reminds me of.
The Kings were using Landry wrong. They undervalued him in trade talks. Now he’s with the Hornets and he’s going to tear it up.
Even at 6-foot-9, Landry is one of the most efficient post players in the game. He muscles his way inside for easy looks and gets to the free-throw line about as well as any reserve in the League. He’s had an above-60 percent true shooting percentage three of the four seasons he’s been in the NBA.
Landry is going to be a great offensive option off the bench when David West takes a rest. And all the Hornets had to give up to get him was Marcus Thornton – a second rate 2-guard.
No wonder Mark Cuban is mad.
Getting rid of a superstar is never an easy proposition. Whether George Karl liked him or not, Carmelo Anthony was the face of the Nuggets’ franchise and the catalyst behind seven straight Playoff bids. He’s arguably the most versatile offensive player in the League – either that or he’s just plain offensive. Depends who you ask.
Four first round picks from New Jersey was the best return Denver could have received. But the package New York put together was almost as good: Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and an assortment of future first rounders.
Felton and Gallinari, along with Nene and JR Smith, will keep this team afloat until reinforcements (in the form of those draft picks) arrive, which is more than you can say for the Cavaliers or the Raptors (both of whom lost their stars for nothing last summer).
With Arron Afflalo on the roster, the Nuggets will probably let Chandler walk this summer. But if they do want him to return, they’ll have first crack at him – he’s a restricted free agent.
As for Mozgov, who knows?
It’s ridiculous to think this trade hinged on a Russian whose only claim to fame was getting posterized by Blake Griffin. Then again, 7-footers don’t exactly fall out of the sky. He could develop into a pretty good center in the next year or so. Stranger things have happened.
The Nuggets didn’t fleece the Knicks. But they also didn’t get fleeced themselves. I think seventh is a good spot for them on this list.