Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 11:22 am  |  55 responses

How the trades changed the game

Sorting through the moves that matter.

By Konate Primus

Usually I leave all the hoop talk on the site to our esteemed editors because these guys really know what they are talking about and I just like to sit back, listen, and learn. But Wednesday I was so amped after the Kobe-Shaq showdown, I just had to spit my two sense on the NBA’s current state.

At the beginning of the year when KG and Ray came over to the East side, I thought it was clear as day. Boston will win it, end of story, who’s going to stop ‘em? C’mon you thought it to.

But in the back of my mind I knew this would happen. The League would fall into a in a frenzy, and realize if the want to have any chance of beating the Celts they would need to do it with more than one superstar. Manpower is key. It’s been documented, that’s why the Bulls won six, that’s why the Lakers were so bad a$$, Shaq and Kobe, Kareem and Magic, you take your pick.

But recently stars have been separated, I guess with expansion of the league that was bound to happen, but it left players like Kobe virtually all alone, Lebron with no help in sight, A.I. was rolling for dolo until he threw a fit. Pau and KG are franchise guys but enough is enough. So they’ve made the right moves this year and man I feel like the playoffs can’t start soon enough. Once the Lakers got the athlete formerly known as “Kung Pau chicken” (he’s kind of soft remember the pinky problem? now just we call him “Pau Gasol-ina”). I knew other big trades would occur. Shaq to L.A’s rival Phoenix, Jason Kidd back to Dallas, and Kurt Thomas to the Spurs. There were other trades but they don’t need my attention. But here’s what got my attention…

Let’s get started shall we!

Kidd to Dallas… so what! I don’t think Dallas’s problem is solved, they need someone who has a strong will to win, an emotional leader, someone who can pull Dirk’s coat tail and say “Hey you 7ft German man with cannons for arms, I need you to stop acting like a WNBA player and get dirty in the post. You’re 7 feet tall for crying out loud!” They have so much firepower but they’re soft with the exception of Josh Howard and he doesn’t have the ability to take over a series by himself. Dallas doesn’t put any fear in my heart as a competitor. The only thing this trade did was make New Jersey a lot worse!

Kurt Thomas to the Spurs is pretty damn good. He’s old and effective, slow and consistent. He fits right in with San Antonio. Also it removes one of the few players who can guard Duncan. I don’t see how it can hurt them.

Pau Gasol is the best trade since Garnett came to Boston, from zero to hero in 4 seconds flat. He’s fitting right into place as a second option for L.A. It’s a serious problem when you have multiple 6-11 players that can play the 4 and the 5. Now that Lamar Odom is in his comfort zone as the 3rd option, expect him to crank it up. I’m pretty sure he’ll be more consistent again much like his last year in Miami playing behind Eddie Jones and the rising star D-Wade. Trade works for the Lakers, sucks for everybody else!

Shaq to the Suns… just give it 4 or 5 games. I’m tired of people acting like Shaq is a bum now because he’s old. Of course he isn’t the Shaq of the L.A dynasty days or even the Shaq of 2 years ago but he is still very effective on both ends of the floor… when he’s healthy. He’s older, slower, fatter, and less dominant now of course, but that only means he’s given up his super power to become a mere mortal. Clark Kent did it in Superman II! His numbers are just average now, not horrible. Once the Diesel gels with the team, Phoenix might be able to take it to the spurs and anybody else who steps in the way of Shaq winning rings.

Delonte, Wally, Big Ben and Joe Smith to the Cavs, very nice! They’ll spread the floor which can mean a few things.

1) LeBron doesn’t have to dunk on his teammates anymore.

2) Lots of kick outs when teams play 3 on 1 defense.

3) Life will be easier for bron bron! This trade sort of gave Chicago what they want as well, some height in the backcourt and a pretty solid frontcourt player. I’m not thrilled about what Chicago got but it didn’t hurt us. I don’t think any of these teams will make it out the East but it’s not their fault Detroit is too real and Boston is just damn good.

I didn’t even get into the Hornets adding Bonzi Wells and Mike James, The Rockets getting Bobby Jackson and Gerald Green or even the Jazz getting Kyle Korver because that’s how much its doesn’t matter almost. This is going to be a historic playoffs comes April. So much for the Celts easy run at the championship.

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  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    ill trade you Sean May for a piece of gum

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    alrught a Half Chewed already been un-flavored piece of gum, and i will throw in Adam Morrison. Do we have a deal? :-)

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Still not saticfied how about this: You Get: Sean May, Adam Morrison, 2nd Round pick year 3000. We Get: a apple core

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    “LeBron doesn’t have to dunk on his teammates anymore.” Outstanding. Bet Myles Brown hadn’t thought of this, had he?

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com white hot eboy

    Very nice, Konate. Your take is pretty heady, if you ask me.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Good one, Konate. And to think you were just a pretty boy with a fashion sense! ;-) In watching as much of last night’s Heat game that I could stomach, I have to agree with eboy that the Matrix is not enough of a running mate for Wade. The Heat “geniuses” need to make a run at Elton Brand, and see if the Lakeshow would consider a Matrix for Odom swap. I’d actually like to see the high-flying Matrix-du-Soleil in Los Angeles.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    4 games in and Cheryl is already jumping off the Matrix bandwagon. E must have got to her.

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com white hot eboy

    E is the pulse of the Heat nation, TAD. And I hate ESPN for ever taking that “nation” sh*t and making it commonplace.

  • matt the jazz fan

    thanks konate, but don’t sleep on korver!

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Tad, did you see the game? Matrix is good, but he’s not enough to get a win. What’s wrong with that picture?? You would think with all the high flying that it would equate with at least one win, right? So, I still like the Matrix and his skill set, but maybe he’s not what this group, as presently comprised, needs. We’ll see I guess, cuz the deadline has passed.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Yeah, I watched it. Marion’s FT shooting is horrid.

  • snyper48

    The Gasol-Odom-Bynum frontcourt is scary,add the best offensive player to ever play the game and it makes the Lakers one pinky surgery away from the title.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    Love the kurt thomas move. Seriously puts the Spurs right back on top. Lakers next then Utah. Don’t sleep on the Jazz, please. Then Phx, GS, NO and Dallas/Denver

    Thats my west playoff bracket.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    agreed with matt, the korver move might prove to be one of then most important…..
    that or the Von Wafer for Taurean Green monster…..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Seriously, all y’all keep sleeping on the tandem from the Mountain Time Zone…..
    I wonder which high-ranking Western team WON’T make the postseason. One of ‘em is going to get left out and it might be one that is near the top, as we speak/type.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Cub, I’m not sure that people are sleeping on AI/Melo. We know what they bring. I’m sleeping on the Nene/Martin combo, the reliance on Anthony Carter, and the fact Karl is still the coach. Not much faith in him in my book.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I was speaking of the tandem of teams… Jazz and Nuggets. I thought that might be confusing after reading it. Melo/AI have been more than covered/discussed.
    Nene has Chemo on Monday, then looks to make his return sometime in mid-late March. His return might be BIGGER for this team than a certain center in LA.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Xerox on Khalid.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    My bad Cub. Utah is making it without question.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Max, I like the Hilary reference. Giggles…

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I just caught that too. Presidential year what!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    i think odom’s skill set fits the triangle better, not to mention it’ll give lakers a huge mobile frontline that no other teams can match up with. i hate to say it coz i’m not a fan of lakers, but they are/will be dominant AND fun to watch for years to come.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    George Karl..ZZZZZZZZ

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    “Kurt Thomas to the Spurs is pretty damn good. He’s old and effective, slow and consistent. He fits right in with San Antonio”

    Very true.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I’d like to see the new look Lakers play the Spurs. Have they played yet?

  • Bishop1405

    I will absolutely hate it if the Spurs win again….Noooooo! That Manu scares me though, he is a stone cold killer.

  • sab

    i’m hating on this article – it is pure stating the obvious, lazy journalism, typified by “i can’t be bothered to talk about the moves by the Jazz and the Rockets”, even though these are the two hottest teams in the league.

    a load of rubbish.

    p.s. i agree with, among others, Khalid and Cub. someone BIG could well miss out in the West, and Dallas look the weakest at the moment….

  • shinfain

    with boobie out (really, can this cute little chipmunk of a boy get a better nickname?), west is gonna have plenty of time to play his way into the starting PG position… might end up being the most important piece they’ve added if he plays as well as he’s shown he can… never hurts to have two triple-double threats on one team… and now he never has to live in fear of brons’ nuts on his chin again a la dos years ago… although who knows what goes on in the cavs locker room…

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Cheryl: only one game left on 4/13 at 3:30 EST. yes, a sunday game right before the playoff. could very well be the WCF preview.

  • The Notorious King

    nuggets shoulda made a trade

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    So, are the Slam guys snowed in or out? Wow, 10 inches of the white stuff up there and 85 hot fkn degrees down here. I’m heading to the beach when I get out of here. hahahahaha

  • http://slamonline.com Konate

    To be honest i don’t know what utah’s problem is they have great defense they can score with the best, their bench is deep enough what’s their problem?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    They have few problems. They had a rough start to the year, but are balling now, especially since getting Korver. They were in the WCFs last year and probably expect to get back there again. Doubt they will, but kinda doubt anyone’s chances of getting through 2 rounds of the West.
    10 inches of white stuff! That’s a dusting ’round my elevation….. (3,000+ feet higher than Denver)
    Anyone see OJ last night? The truth.
    Konate, you gotta get on these Oregon unis. Nike’s creative guinea pigs aren’t just on the gridiron.

  • J.B

    happy 4 kurt thomas. that dude deserves to play for a title contender. NO is gonna be badd, siriously. clevland, dont know. but wtf are the bulls gonna do with hinrich,gordon, deng en now larry hughes. can somebody please get hughes back to the wiz so he can play with gilbert again? i loved those 2 2gether.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Holygraphic last name plates? Their facilities in Eugene are absolutely laughable. They have the coolest little ol barn-like arena (this side of the Gophers’ joint in Minneapolis) and the best of the best in everything else. Oklahome State is trying to become the next UofO. All it takes is one rich individual who loves them some sports.

  • http://slamonline.com Konate

    actually cheryl this is child’s play, it wasn’t enough if you ask me. and I’m flattered that you think of me as a pretty boy… thats a first! I’m far from a pretty boy. I’m handsome, but being a pretty boy is much more than being good looking.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Cub must have lungs like Aquaman.

  • http://slamonline.com Konate

    Cub i didn’t see the whole game but what i saw was O.J looking angry and scoring BUCKETS! i did see those ugly ass uni’s, they’ve always been ugly to me so i guess i didn’t notice the increase of hideousness

  • http://slamonline.com Konate

    Russ are you alive? or did it hit him much like it hit me that having 2 teams and both of them not making any significant trades for the better get to him… how you feeling about the bulls?

  • Harlem_World

    Marion will regret making so much noise to be ‘recognised as one of the best SF’s of all-time’. He clearly isn’t, wasn’t and will never be. He is an exceptional utility player, a guy who will fill a stat sheet on hustle and garbage plays – but he IS NOT that dude who can make his own shot or lead a team. He is best suited as your 3rd or 4th best player. Don’t let the stats fool you. I like his energy, but his fundamentals are impressively horrible.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    No doubt, Konate on their gear. Sraight up Guinea pigs. Like the football team, i think they vary through out the season.

    TAD, 8600 feet surely helped me to go from my couch to playing at the DLeague camp at sea level this past summer. It matters. I just wish I had Aquaman’s cool giddy-up. Orange and Green are this spring’s hottest combo, eh Konate?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I may be the only follower of an NBA team that was glad their team stayed pat. Chemistry has been a large issue and new heads don’t ever help. Talent is not an issue in Denver. They made their moves, last year with AI and this past offseason with Atkins and this cat Kleiza is basically a new player.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    And Detroit Cub. I’m glad we didn’t make any moves. Unless, of course, you count Dixon.

  • http://slamonline.com Konate

    actually cub thats was lasty year’s no bull shit! thats when i got me army green and orange AJ5′s

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    So nobody wants the guy on the pringles box or burger king ncaa finals mvp?

  • joe

    FINALLY, somebody sees what Ive seen all along. Yes the lakers made the best trade since garnett, but once shaq and the suns gel together, they might just blow everyone outta the water. thanxxxx

  • AB_40

    so the eastern confrence playoffs don’t start till the second round and that will be 1. celtics vs 4. cavs and 2. detroit vs 3.orlando… talking about orlando new jersey released jamal magloire… good fit?

  • robbie

    you clearly know little about the NBA or basketball in general. NBA players are never afriad of an opponent when on the court so that comment about dallas was trash. Kurt Thomas was never going to be guarding Tim Duncan in the 08 playoffs so theres another irrelevant piece of material.
    should be writing for espn

  • http://bballsci.blogspot.com/ RedRum

    No one mentions the Thomas to the Spurs trade??? I think that was awesome! Check my blog for more explanation… (yeah yeah… shameless self-promotion…)

  • http://bballsci.blogspot.com/ RedRum

    oh they did mention Thomas… but what about the defending Amare part??

  • Knicks!

    Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Gasol, Bynum & Odom, nuff said.
    Mavs got a tandem of Dirk who cant lead a team, J-Kidd, Terry and my favorite Mavs player Josh Howard
    Suns: Amare, Nash & Shaq, ouch!
    Detroit is the deepest team in the NBA
    Boston has gotten a big 3 again
    don’t sleep on Utah, New Orleans, maybe Cleveland again and the Spurs (they might be getting old, but they still have gotten Timmy D and Tony Parker..

  • Thomas

    I’ve explained it so many times I’m getting sick doing it, but the Lakers are going to win the championship this year because along with a bomb starting line-up, they have a soild bench that knows what its doing when it gets into the game. This years Finals will be a rematch of the 2004 Finals with LA and Detriot going at it because they are the two deepest and tested teams in their Confrences.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Nice work, KP.

  • http://www.Slamonline.com Konate

    Robbie, NBA players are afraid, you know how i know? because NBA players are human, pressure kills. look at Dallas last year, dirk should have killed those midgets in the playoffs but he was scarred, its normal it just means your not a robot. most stars get over it some don’t but it does happen… even in the NBA! if you ever played any sport you would know what i’m talking about

  • http://www.Slamonline.com Konate

    thanks Ben