I love trades. Roster moves in general, really. I play sports video games and aim directly for franchise mode. I start checking the transaction wire the day after the World Series to see what my teams will look like for next year. I've been charting the 2008 NBA Draft since late 2006.
So even though it's five below outside, gray and miserable, I count this as the most wonderful time of the year: NBA trading deadline season.
(Now, I expect you're thinking it's the most wonderful time of the year for an entirely different reason, but I'll give you that. Nice work by your Giants, by the way.)
If I'm reading the signs correctly, it seems we may have an active deadline this year. There are a bunch of teams that are eager to get under the luxury tax threshold. There are a few teams that are -- or think they are -- just a piece or two away from making a nice playoff run. And there are several proud franchises who are clearly headed for overhauls, and who may want to start work on that as soon as possible.
That in mind, let me throw a couple of names at you - how many of these guys do you think will actually change addresses between now and the deadline? For the guys who are traded, do you think it will improve their fantasy value or hinder it? And do you see anyone else getting a big value boost as a result of any of these potential deals?
- Jermaine O'Neal
- Zach Randolph
- Eddy Curry
- Andre Miller
- Pau Gasol
- Mike Bibby
- Ron Artest
- Shaquille O'Neal
- Tracy McGrady
- Shawn Marion
- Ben Wallace
Who's going? Who's staying?
Subject: Re: Give and Go
Date: January 22, 2008 11:37 AM PDT
The Giants run has been truly exhilarating because it's been so improbable. Before their regular season game against the Patriots, I said that they have to play all of their starters because that was their Super Bowl - the only chance they had to put a meaningful stamp on the season. It's not like they were going to do any damage in the playoffs anyway, so who cares if a couple guys get hurt? Well, it's Week 17 all over again, and the Giants have another chance to derail the perfect season, and once again it's their Super Bowl. Only it's everyone else's, too. Unbelievable.
If you're an NBA owner, you probably want to work extra hard to avoid the luxury tax this year because you've probably lost 10-20 percent of your net worth in the market of late. Maybe that produces more trades as the over-the-cap teams take less. Or maybe that produces less because the under-the-cap ones are fine with saving some money. Seriously, it's a bloodbath out there, and I wouldn't be surprised if some franchises are feeling the pinch.
As for the guys on your list, here's what I think:
Jermaine O'Neal - his knee injury is too risky for anyone to take on. He stays.
Randolph - if the Knicks could clone themselves, maybe the clone would trade for him, but I don't see too many sensible teams making serious offers. They have access to plus/minus stats - his lack of defense is well known.
Eddy Curry - he's Randolph with more size and less game. I doubt anyone takes on his carcass.
Andre Miller - likely to move - still a capable point guard, though a lot of teams might opt for cheaper back-up types like Sam Cassell, Brevin Knight or Damon Stoudamire.
Pau Gasol - I'd be surprised if the Grizzlies move a franchise big man who's still pretty young and has two years left on his deal.
Mike Bibby - a good candidate to move, especially since he can score as well as handle the ball. But he might have the same issues as Miller
Ron Artest - in a contract year and also a real difference maker when healthy and focused. I think someone on the cusp of contending takes a chance on him.
Shaquille O'Neal - another difference maker, but that contract - even for two more years is terrible. I think he stays put.
Tracy McGrady - his contract runs two more years, and his health problems are legion. But if he looks good for a few games in a row, he could be pretty tempting for a team needing a perimeter scorer. I think Houston would move him and build the team solely around Yao.
Shawn Marion - I think the Suns would move him for the right price, but they still have legitimate title aspirations, so it would have to be for a player who would help them right away. Artest/Bibby for Marion and some cap fodder? Doesn't really help the Kings, though, with Marion in a contract year and likely to test the market.
Ben Wallace - bad contract, not the same player he was. I think the Pistons are stuck with him.
Am I off-base here? Do you disagree with any of the above?
Subject: Give and Go
Date: January 22, 2008 12:25 PM PDT
I agree with you on the guards... I think there are a couple of teams that really need floor leaders that might make a play for a Bibby or Miller -- Cleveland being the most obvious candidate there. Then, you've got some other teams that need depth at the point but don't necessarily need a starter. Boston is one. Toronto, depending on T.J. Ford's status. Maybe Orlando. Those are the teams that might look for a Cassell/Stoudamire type, or maybe one of the guys from Houston.
I'm not sure that I'm prepared to write off Randolph entirely. To be fair, he went from a truly atrocious situation in Portland to an even-worse situation in New York. Yeah, some of the issues in Portland were his fault... but not all of 'em. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think he could help the right team. (Ideally, that'd be a team with a defensive monster at the five and a couple of ball hawks on the wing, something the Knicks very clearly are not.)
I've never understood why Memphis would be looking to shop Gasol. Didn't they just get Juan Carlos Navarro specifically because he's Gasol's buddy? And I'd have a hard time defending any team acquiring McGrady, Shaq, or Jermaine O'Neal -- but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Hey, the Bulls found a taker for Eddy Curry -- heart condition, uninsured contract and everything -- so anything's possible.
Subject: Re: Give and Go
Date: January 22, 2008 12:59 PM PDT
Right, but that's why I suggested that the Knicks could find takers for Randolph and Curry if they cloned themselves. Only the Knicks would give up a premium pick for a player like Curry who doesn't rebound or play defense. Fortunately for them that pick turned out to be Tyrus Thomas who really should be getting more of a chance to play on a bad Bulls team, but I guess they want to see what they have in former No. 1 overall pick Joe Smith. (You could also make the argument that LaMarcus Aldridge is the guy that went for Curry, too, because of the Portland-Chicago trade, and that looks even worse).
Randolph is a major offensive talent, so maybe in the perfect situation he could work out, but his contract is pretty big for a one-way player with a questionable attitude. I think Artest is the best gamble out there for a team like the Magic - one that's good, but probably not ready to win it this year without help. The Lakers would be a lot better as well - if they had Artest along with Kobe and Lamar Odom, especially when Andrew Bynum comes back. To me, he's the best get because there are several point guards available, and I'm not sure that Andre Miller or Mike Bibby are going to be that much of an upgrade over Knight and Stoudamire - old pros who can handle and distribute.
Article first appeared on 1/22/08