Very rarely does the trade deadline involve a big name going to a great team. Pau Gasol (2008), Rasheed Wallace (2005) and Dikembe Mutombo (2001) all helped get their new teams to the Finals that very year they were acquired. So much talk goes into the big names that usually they don’t get dealt, but rather the lesser known players with huge expiring contracts get dealt. This year was no different as we’ll focus on three deadline deals. Two of them involving one team (Knicks) and the other that might greatly improve the best team in the East (Cavaliers).
New York Knicks: G Nate Robinson, F Marcus Landry traded to
Boston Celtics: G Eddie House, G J.R. Giddens, F Bill Walker
Rundown: Now Nate Robinson is not a deal breaker by any means, but he does provide scoring off the bench that the Celtics have been lacking this year. They didn’t have to give up anything of value to acquire him other than the expiring contracts of House and Giddens. Landry is a thrown in and won’t amount to anything. Robinson does have some trouble with the team concept, but Doc Rivers will keep that in check plus with Garnett, Pierce and Allen around, they will bring down the hammer if he gets out of line.
Houston Rockets acquire: G Kevin Martin & F Hilton Armstrong from Kings, F Jordan Hill & Jared Jeffries from Knicks
New York Knicks acquire: F Tracy McGrady from Rockets & G Sergio Rodriguez from Kings
Sacramento Kings acquire: F Carl Landry & F Joey Dorsey from Rockets, G Larry Hughes from Knicks
Rundown: A very complex trade by looking at it. All three teams are winners in my opinion. The Kings shed some payroll by letting Martin go and they can now build around G Tyreke Evans. The Knicks get even more cap relief by having McGrady’s contract go off their books after the season, plus they get a motivated McGrady to finish the season. Don’t be surprised if the Knicks finish the year as the eighth seed. The East is that bad. Houston gets a 20 point a night shooting guard in Martin plus a power forward with huge upside in Jordan Hill. Jared Jeffries provides defense which is a given in Houston now. All in all no one loses, but it doesn’t change much in way of seeding for each team.
LA Clippers acquire: F Drew Gooden from Wizards
Washington Wizards acquire: C Zydrunas Ilgauskas from Cavaliers & F Al Thornton from Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers acquire: F Antawn Jamison from Wizards & G Sebastian Telfair from Clippers
Rundown: The Clippers were a throw in and got one in Gooden. His contract will be bought out and he can sign with a contender. Most likely Dallas who dealt him in the trade for Caron Butler. Washington would like a redo on the season so they have now broken up their big three with this trade. Ilgauskas will be bought out as well and return to Cleveland so all the Cavs had to give up was a first round pick. Al Thornton is a nice pickup for the Wizards, but not a game changer. Cleveland now has a running mate for LeBron and it won’t be a rental. Jamison is locked up for two more years and if LeBron does come back to Cleveland, Jamison is a reliable scorer and matches up well with defending conference champion Orlando.