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NBA Trade Deadline Winners
Posted By Joel Brigham On March 16, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Dwight Howard ended up staying in Orlando. Pau Gasol is still a Laker. The Boston Celtics held onto everybody, and Atlanta felt like keeping Josh Smith was a much better option than sending him away.
Taking all that into consideration, it’s a small miracle that this trade deadline was so exciting. Plenty got done, several teams made pretty significant moves and some even saw the entire future of their organization altered by one single day of wheeling and dealing.
Of course, some teams always fare better than others, so here’s a look at a few of the winners of one of the more intriguing trade deadlines in recent NBA history:
Indiana Pacers – Any time you get something for essentially nothing, you’re a winner. That’s exactly what the Pacers were able to do in their incredibly one-sided deal with the Toronto Raptors. To be fair, the Raptors were going to let Leandro Barbosa walk this summer anyway, so a second round pick is better than nothing, but it’s Indiana who really got the better of this deal. Not only does Barbosa help fill out a thin Indy backcourt, he’s also an expiring contract, which means that cap space Larry Bird and David Morway worked so hard to carve out is still safe. High reward, zero risk with this one, and they got him for basically nothing.
L.A. Clippers – Also wading in the something-for-nothing pool on deadline day was the L.A. Clippers, who somehow reined in a respectable shooting guard in Nick Young despite not having any desirable trade assets to get him. A Brian Cook-for-Nick Young swap would cause a mutiny in any fantasy league on the planet, and no, the second-round pick L.A. threw in doesn’t make it any better. Young is a serious scorer heading to a team in need of exactly that, and even though he might still be a little immature, the Clippers have enough veteran leadership to perhaps straighten him out. Either way, losing Cook to gain Young was a huge coup.
L.A. Lakers – Giving up Derek Fisher stings from an emotional standpoint, but from a purely basketball perspective, it was time for a change. Acquiring Ramon Sessions earlier in the day while shedding Luke Walton’s contract was solid enough in and of itself, but moving Fisher and his player option for 2012-2013 was also a shrewd move. Jordan Hill probably isn’t in the long-term plans for L.A., but he shores up the frontcourt, and that’s never a bad thing. Overall, the Lakers got themselves a starting point guard, shed some salary, and came out looking better than they did going into the deadline.
Washington Wizards – Clearly, manning a team with so little experience and veteran leadership wasn’t getting the job done in D.C., so bringing in a guy like Nene is a giant step towards changing the culture of the team. As talented as JaVale McGee is, he’s proven to be something of an airhead and is a restricted free agent this summer anyway. Nene’s one of the top centers in the game, and while it cost them McGee and Nick Young to get him, those guys weren’t winning games. Nene does so this points the team in a more positive direction moving forward.
You can check back later in the day for a list of trade deadline losers, but these are the teams that came out of the day with the finest upgrades. It was a whirlwind of a day, but trade deadlines usually are. Hopefully the teams that came out looking like winners actually see some extra wins. That is, after all, the whole point of making a trade in the first place.
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