Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
With the league’s trade deadline looming on Thursday (and hopefully giving me something to write about other than speculation), the NBA world is all a-flutter with thoughts of Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo dancing through people’s heads. There are multiple stories awaiting resolution, with multiple fan-bases waiting in anticipation….or horror. The question, of course, is how many of these stories actually find their end this week, and how many teams decide to just roll the dice with what they have.
So with rumors swirling about so many players, how is the casual fan supposed to keep up? Will we see anything actually happen this deadline? How will the Boston Celtics motivate Rondo into triple doubles after the deadline passes? Will they kidnap his mother? Will they water-board him? Seriously, the world wants to know.
Sadly, the Celtics won’t return my calls on whether their training staff plans to employ illegal torture to light a fire under their mercurial point guard, but what I am able to do is run down some of the names being flung around in trade rumors, and add to the speculative fire that if left unchecked already threatens to burn down the internet.
Hit the jump for the rest of Jordan’s piece…
More and more of the things I’m reading seem to point to the Magic standing pat with Dwight and trying to find a way to resign him in the summer, but this still sounds like an amazingly risky strategy to me. How do you add to this roster when the pieces you would look to move (outside of Howard) are this horrible? Hedo has close to 35 mil left on his deal. Jameer has 16 mil. You can’t move that.
The playoffs are right around the corner, and what do you think Dwight winds up doing if he suffers another first round exit at the hands of Philly, Indiana, or the Hawks again? It probably won’t persuade him to buy a bigger house in the Magic Kingdom.
If Otis Smith is smart (which hasn’t been proven too often lately) he would trade Howard for to New Jersey in a deal that would net him some combination of Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, and possibly a third piece. If you can work out a way to get them to take Hedo too, then great. If you can get a team to rent Howard for a year, then you let them.
You have a fan base here that has gotten used to a certain amount of success under Stan Van Gundy, it would be a shame to have to see it all topple back into lottery hell.
Unless the Lakers can get a team to offer them a good young point guard and bench help, I just don’t see why you would consider trading probably the best offensive post player in the league. In his trade value piece, Simmons notes that Pau Gasol is also one of the rare guys that doesn’t mind in the slightest being second banana to Kobe Bryant.
One of the few teams that can provide what the Lakers are looking for is Houston. You may have heard about a failed Chris Paul trade that sought to move Pau there this offseason. It was the thing that, you know, sounded like an atom bomb went off in the internet this winter. The problem is, the Lakers don’t want to settle for Goran Dragic. They want the somehow still underrated Kyle Lowry, a player the Houston is (rightly) reluctant to part with.
The better road here is for the Lakers to try to hoodwink the Cavaliers into giving up Ramon Sessions, and roll with the ginormous frontcourt advantage they have over pretty much everyone. Problem is, its hard to hoodwink someone when no one on your bench will play well enough to inflate their trade value.
A lot of people sounded a little surprised when reports began to surface that Andrew Bogut, once thought of as possibly the league’s second best centers, was actually available. I personally wasn’t. Milwaukee knows they need to shake things up to get people to start fearing the deer again, and parting ways with a player that has sadly been stuck with the “injured too often to matter” tag is a great way to do that.
That last sentence may sound a bit unfair, and I don’t want to give the impression that Bogut’s days of being effective on the court are done. He can still have a huge defensive impact if he comes back healthy, and there really isn’t any good reason to think he won’t, as his injuries, while severe, aren’t so much of the career ending variety.
The problem with anyone picking up Bogut right now is the Buck’s asking price, which basically amounts to “Sure you have Andrew, but you have to take this psychopath Stephen Jackson with him.” Which is a lot like getting a new girlfriend who is smart, funny, and hot, and having to live with her having an awful venereal disease. After Jack’s escapades this year, it’s hard to imagine anyone lining up to take this offer.
Why in God’s name would you trade Rajon when you know that next year you will finally have the cap space to put some younger, more athletic players around him to better utilize his talents and get Rajon closer to taking the leadership role he is desperately trying to take from the Big Three already? I don’t think you do.
I also wonder what teams would really be willing to give up to get Rondo. It’s well knows that the jump shot is nowhere near where people hoped it would be at this point, allowing smart teams to play off him without too much fear. I know he is a wonderful defender, and his passing is great, but I think there is a (correct) feeling among many GM’s that a lot of Rondo’s success is due to the Hall of Famers he’s played with, and would need more proven scorer’s in place to continue to be effective.
If I’m Boston, I think you stand with what you’ve got and try to give the Big Three one more go at it, with Rondo and a ton of cap ready and waiting to usher in the new era in Boston afterward.
And while I hate to throw a wet blanket on my own column, I do have to say that it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me if precisely no big moves went down this season before the deadline. The truth is that with the new CBA, most teams are afraid of taking on any salary at all, and are taking incoming cap space as being more valuable than getting players in return for anyone who may leave.
So sadly kids, we may be looking at one of the least interesting trade seasons in recent memory. I’m going to go cry now.
Speaking of big moves, Jordan Akin recently moved in with his girlfriend and her two kids. You can congratulate him(or wish him luck) on twitter @jakin1013, or via email at email@example.com