Dead was key word for NBA trade deadline
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
The NBA trade deadline didn’t prove worthy of the hype that came in the months leading up to it, but it did live up to its name.
It was dead all right.
The Boston Celtics’ breakup that so many league executives anticipated didn’t happen, so Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and their green gang will remain. The Brooklyn Nets, who have the convenient blank-check policy that comes with being owner by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, went shopping for another star but ultimately stood pat.
The Utah Jazz, who had been rumored to be moving big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap for years now, decided to let them become free agents this summer and get ready to spend their estimated $33 million in salary cap room. Chris Paul’s Los Angeles Clippers, who had spoken with the Celtics about Garnett and were thinking about upgrading their roster one more time to help with a championship push, made no moves.
The Lakers, just days after the passing of legendary owner Jerry Buss, held onto center Dwight Howard while proclaiming that he is still the centerpiece of their future. Even Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, the biggest name that was known to be on the market and seemingly a sure thing to be relocated, went nowhere.
NBA fans who were hoping for blockbuster moves were left with the underwhelming reality that J.J. Redick was the headliner here. And unless it’s still 2006 and he’s wearing a Duke jersey, there’s something wrong with that picture.
Redick was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Milwaukee Bucks, who spent much of the day trying to team Smith with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings but fell short in their pursuit when the Hawks backed out of the talks as the deadline neared. And so it was for those teams and so many others, their big moves left for another day and segueing into a summer that should be far more compelling.
For NBA teams that aren’t in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, team-building via free agency as opposed to trades can be a dicey proposition because it’s far from certain that top talent … [For more on Dead was the key word for NBA trade deadline, click here.]