The NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday, and while the trade that everyone thought could happen (Dwight Howard being moved) didn’t, about 215 other transactions did occur before 3:00 pm that set Twitter, Facebook and any other form of social communication ablaze. The face of the lockout was cast away for a bag of peanuts, and the “ultimate teammate” has been summoned by the greatest power forward who ever lived.
Brooklyn New Jersey Nets try to appease Deron Williams; a Dwight deferred
TRADE: New Jersey gets Gerald Wallace. Portland gets Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a first-round pick (Top Three-Protected)
Let me get this out the way…yes, Gerald Wallace is an upgrade over anyone on the Nets roster other than Deron Williams. However, we’re not going to act like the trade deadline wasn’t all about the Nets trying to acquire Dwight Howard. In one sense, the Nets got another year to stall and plot out an opportunity to lure Howard to Brooklyn. Of course, when that new arena opens up, the ‘center’piece won’t be anywhere near the building. Nets fans better pray Deron is in the building.
2. The Portland Trail Blazers officially don’t care about the 2011-12 season
TRADE: Houston gets Marcus Camby. Portland gets Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, and a second-round pick
Along with the first trade mentioned with Wallace, plus trading off Camby to H-Town, the Portland Trail Blazers we’d come to love have officially come to an end. Once Brandon Roy chucked the deuce and went into retirement mode, the Blazers should’ve blown that thing up. The dream of B-Roy, Aldridge and Greg Oden never came to fruition, and with the release of Oden, there’s virtually nothing left, except for Aldridge as the new foundation.
Oh, what could’ve been if Portland had drafted Kevin Durant instead of Greg Oden…..muwhahahahaha. (Multiple Birdman handrubs while wearing my OKC Thunder gear.)
3. The Los Angeles Lakers finally get a point guard worth a damn
TRADE: L.A. Lakers get Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga. Cleveland gets Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and a first-round pick
TRADE: Houston gets Derek Fisher and a first-round pick. L.A. Lakers get Jordan Hill
Once again, this is why I’ll always be fearful of the Lakers and despise Kobe Bryant for landing on a franchise that actually knows what in the heck they’re doing. Somehow….the Lakers were able to upgrade at their worst position (point guard), add depth at a position they were thin (power forward/center), AND shed payroll. For what? A few measly first-round picks, two guys that wouldn’t get run at the Rucker, and the point guard of the Lakers last five championships.
As much hate and vitriol I might have for the Lake Show, there is respect for the old man that is Derek Fisher. From being the face of the NBA lockout for the players, to being involved prominently in five Lakers’ championships is something that can’t be ignored. Maybe he’ll return to L.A., but even I will hold up my lighters for a few seconds for the man. (Or until my smoke alarm goes off.)
4. The Javale McGee Era begins in the Mile High City.
TRADE: L.A. Clippers get Nick Young. Denver gets JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. Washington gets Nene, Brian Cook, and a second-round pick
Yes, the Clippers acquiring Nick Young is a great move for them. Yes, the Wizards acquiring Nene is a horrendous idea for them. It’s how things have been going thus far in 2012; it’s unexplainable. However, Javale McGee taking his talents to Mile High? This will be flat-out…interesting.
I’m fortunate enough to have seen the man play in person, and Javale always struck me as the type that once he finally “gets it,” then no one’s going to be able to stop him. Of course, when you play for a moribund and decrepit franchise like the Wizards, one can’t help but to assimilate to the lowly standards of his organization. Javale was the walking practical joke, and everyone got their laugh on.
George Karl will finally get an opportunity to get his second chance with a player that shows flashes of Shawn Kemp. Karl made Kemp arguably the best power forward for a stretch in the 90’s. While Javale might only have the mental capacity of these crutches I use to walk, the man does play hard. The experiment in Denver could pay serious dividends in a few years.
TRADE: San Antonio gets Stephen Jackson. Golden State gets Richard Jefferson and a first-round pick
Gregg Poppovich loves him. Tim Duncan loves him. Port Arthur loves him. Ed loves him. Stephen Jackson, a.k.a. Cap’n Jack, has always been one of my favorite players, and while he might not do everything you love on the court, he plays hard for his team and is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Nine years ago, Cap’n Jack put up a solid 13/4/3 line and helped the Spurs win the title. This present squad is damned good, and for all the good things that Richard Jefferson brings to the court, he’s not Jackson. As a Thunder fan, I’m terrified of this move, but I’m happy that Jackson gets a chance on reuniting with his old squad.
Bonus – Dwyane Wade doesn’t care about your loyalty
— Dwyane Wade (@DwyaneWade) March 15, 2012
One word, following by egregious laughter, via a tweet. While some (including myself) could take this as a dig on Dwight Howard re-upping (begrudgingly it seems) with the Orlando Magic, it really doesn’t matter who or what Wade’s talking about. This is the NBA, and everyone’s out to win, even for themselves. Loyalty is cool and all, until someone wants to get paid or is tired of losing. Or, from an owner’s perspective, when they’ve officially used you up.