Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
RIP Mike D’Antoni: He Came. He Popped. The Fun, sadly, stopped
Well it has been an eventful trade deadline, kids, even if some of us would have liked to see a little bit more pizazz come to pass. A number of teams made small changes at today’s deadline that may go largely unnoticed to those looking for blockbuster deals, but that’s kinda the thing about basketball: even the small deals often have lasting implications. An extra pick here, some expiring money there, and next thing you know, you’re the next Oklahoma City Thunder. So, without further ado, lets look at some of the trades and personnel changes that have taken place this week.
Knicks fire Mike D’Antoni
It was but a few short years ago that Mike D’Antoni, innovator of the amazingly fun Seven Seconds Or Less offense that was in use in Phoenix, was hired as the coach of the New York Knicks. Though the Knicks had long been viewed as something of a “star-crossed” franchise, D’Antoni and his magical moustache shone as a beacon of hope through the boroughs, and with the plan formed to pick up as many big stars as they could, things looked to be on the rebound in the Big Apple.
Except the stars they wound up with turned out to be Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, two guys that can score, rebound, and do little other than stop the ball. When Amare signed he proclaimed that “The Knicks Were Back!” and for a while it seemed they may be. Then the Knicks also traded for Anthony, in an event that has now lead to me thinking that the Bill Simmons Star Trading Theory (trade four quarters for a dollar) needs the Carmelo Corollary (don’t trade $1.75 in change for a dollar that doesn’t play defense).
The shame here is that with Linsanity finally bringing D’Antoni a point guard capable of running his system, this could have possibly turned around, given more time. Sadly, time is not something that James Dolan, or the New York Media, are known for having in any supply whatsoever. The good news here is that if D’Antoni desires another coaching job, I highly doubt he will have any trouble finding one, as the Knick’s roster construction was met with a resounding “Do what now?” from anyone with half a brain, and D’Antoni could hardly be blamed for the majority of that, having opposed giving so much up for Carmelo.
Hit the jump for the rest of Jordan’s piece…
Wizards Deal McGee and Turiaf to Denver for Nene, With Clips Swooping In To Take Young
This is honestly a pretty decent deal all the way around. I’m trying to find something to hate here, but I can’t.
The Wizards get rid of Nick “The Concept of Passing the Ball is Foreign to Me” Young, which may actually allow John Wall to hold the ball long enough to develop as quick as we were all hoping. Also, they ship out JaVale McGee, who, while he had potential, also seems to be stuck with a brain that ceases to function every fourth minute he’s on the court.
Denver gets a mulligan on their decision to sign Nene to big money, and quickly ships him out without really losing much, since McGee and Turiaf’s deals are both expiring money. Denver seems to be clearing space to try and sign some type of star after the season, or at least I’m sure that’s what management told George Karl repeatedly when they said “oh, and by the way, we are trading for JaVale McGee.”
And the Clippers fly out of nowhere to offer a second round pick (likely to become nothing too important) for Nick Young, giving them something of a Chauncey Billups replacement. Granted, Chris Paul is likely already getting ready to sit Nick down and tell him “If you jack up shots like you did in Washington, I’ll get Blake and DeAndre to rip off your arms” but hey, at least his deal is also expiring, so not like they are risking too terribly much.
Houston Wheels And Deals
The Rockets pulled off two trades: One sending center Jordan Hill to the Lakers for a first round pick and Derek Fisher’s corpse, and another sending busts Hasheem Thabeet and Johnny Flynn along with a second round pick to Portland for Marcus Camby. No word yet on whether Camby is bringing the Fountain of Youth with him to Houston, though it would definitely help Fisher out if he does.
The Rockets are scraping around trying to hold on to their playoff spot, and this move does bring a great rebounder and good defender in with Camby, and a guy who is not Johnny Flynn in with Derek Fisher. Now I realize that Derek Fisher has been astoundingly bad for the past two years, but well, Johnny Flynn has also been astoundingly bad these last two years. Fisher will likely not be asked to play extended minutes with Lowry around, and a backup role may actually suit him at this stage of his career, and he does bring a championship-tested veteran presence to H-Town with him.
The other thing to remember here is that when you take all picks and salary involved and total them up, the Rockets have essentially gotten rid of players that were not being effective, kept close to the same salary, and traded a second round pick for a first round pick. Further evidence that Daryl Morey is a genius.
San Antonio Deals for Stephen Jackson
This deal puzzles me somewhat. I realize that TJ Ford sadly went down with injury and had to announce his retirement, leaving you with something of a hole at your guard spots, but dealing Richard Jefferson and a first round pick for Stephen Jackson seems like jumping the gun a bit. If the Spurs have championship aspirations this season I feel like they may have been better served keeping Jefferson. What this does do is show faith in Kahwi Leonard, who has been great, but with the core of the Spurs getting older by the minute, one has to wonder how they are possibly served for the future by trading this pick.
One thing I am decidedly not worried about is Jackson causing any problems in San Antonio. He has played there before, so I’m sure that he is well aware of Pop’s zero tolerance policy for stupid behavior. If he starts trouble in Texas, they will have to dredge the Riverwalk to find him.
I don’t believe this was a good trade, but if there is one thing that I definitely do believe, it’s this: The San Antonio front office is definitely smarter than me, or just about anyone else that could have an opinion on this.
Lakers Deal for Ramon Sessions, Laker Fans Rejoice In The Streets
While it is of course hard to deal the guy that ran the point through five titles away, everyone knew that with the triangle offense out, Fisher’s play could no longer be accepted in a starting role. Ramon Session’s name was thrown about for a long time as someone the Lakers were looking to acquire, and finally they did it, sending Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and a first round pick.
This move could possible breathe the new life into the roster the Lakers have been sorely needing. With a young, talented point guard in the mix, it will be very interesting to see what this new Laker’s team will be capable of. It is entirely possible that in a season where just making the playoffs may be enough, the Lakers get everything right chemistry-wise and still make a run at a title this year.
As for the Cavaliers, they are well compensated here. Not only do they receive the Lakers 2012 1st rounder, but also the ability to trade the 2013 Heat 1st round pick they acquired from Lebron’s departure into the Laker’s 2013 1st if they so desire. One way or another, it looks like Kyrie Irving will have help soon.
The Buck’s New Back Court
Mark already did a stellar job of writing up that trade, but here are my thoughts on the Buck’s new one and two guards sharing the court:
Jordan Akin loves when there is actual news to write about, and he doesn’t have to tax his already burnt brain cells to write an article. You can tell him about how awful he is on Twitter @jakin1013, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.