NBA trade deadline: and the winners are…
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
The March 15 trade deadline came and went this past week. The focus was all around the Dwight Howard bi-polar express and where he would end up. The rumor mill was buzzing that “D12” Howard wanted to leave town, bringing back memories of 1996 when Shaquille O’Neal wanted out of Orlando.
On the eve of the deadline the Magic had a game against Western Conference power San Antonio, in which the Magic lost by 11 points in a high scoring affair. The red eye flight back to Orlando seemingly led to a change of heart. The next day Howard committed to stay with the Orlando Magic and opted out of his Early Termination Clause, which would have allowed him to hit free agency this off season. The biggest name on the market became untouchable, and the big trade fans were waiting for quickly became an afterthought.
The biggest deal to go down on deadline day was the five player deal between the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks sent their former first overall pick from 2005 Andrew Bogut, and Stephen Jackson to the Warriors. In exchange for the two Bucks players, Golden State traded away Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown.
Ellis, a former Top 10 scorer in the National Basketball Association, was in much need of a change of location because of lingering issues within the Warriors organization. This move at face value has many fans wondering the motivations of the Warriors. They have had many issues with their other potential franchise point guard, Stephen Curry. Curry, an oft injured guard in this short season, has led to concerns about the durability of his career.
The Warriors acquisition of Bogut provides another top-level talent with a short career filled with injuries, so one must ask where is the value for the Warriors? Golden State, currently sitting outside any playoff berth this season, stands to lose their first round draft pick if they do not fall within the first seven picks of the draft. This stipulation comes as a part of a 2011 trade with the Utah Jazz that involved Deron Williams.
Bogut being injured for the remainder of the season provides a weakened roster that will allow the Warriors to retain the pick for this coming draft, instantly adding top level talent to their roster.
Another winner from the deadline would have to be the Los Angeles Lakers, with the addition of Ramon Sessions from Cleveland. This provides the Lakers a better option at point guard and they were able to do it without losing key players such as Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. LA moved Derek Fisher, a player with a long storied career with the Lakers but who had struggled to provide the level play they needed in the post-Phil Jackson era. In exchange for Fisher, the Lakers received a young bench player in Jordin Hill from the Houston Rockets. Hill provides athleticism and energy from the bench with a large aptitude for rebounds.
The Rockets have since bought out Fisher’s contract, allowing the veteran to sign anywhere in the league as a free agent once he clears waivers.
The other big name to change teams was Gerald Wallace. Wallace was sent to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Memhet Okur, Shawn Williams and a first round draft pick. The addition of Wallace brings another big piece to play beside Deron Williams. The Nets, with their upcoming move to Brooklyn, are looking to attract big name players in free agency. This Wallace move, was to provide a more enticing roster for big name players to join.