Melo Out!

2011 NBA Trade Winners and Losers

The MeloDrama is finally over. As has been widely reported over the past several months, Carmelo Anthony is now, officially, a New York Knick. The Knicks, with Anthony and fellow superstar, Amare Stoudemire, are instantly a team to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. So much of the focus has been on Anthony, but Chauncey Billups was also a huge addition for them. He should be able to offset the solid production of PG Raymond Felton, as well as being a huge presence in the locker room. If they can get 1 or 2 more solid pieces, preferably a sharpshooter on the wings, Spike Lee will be a happy fan for years to come!

"Playing for D'Antoni? Lovin' it...I still don't have to play any D!"

In addition to Melo, across the river, the New Jersey Nets made some major news with their acquisition of All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz, which, given what the Nets gave up to get him (PG Devin Harris, rookie F Derrick Favors, 2 first round draft picks, AND $3 million in cash?) is probably one of the biggest gambles by a front office in recent memory. And with Williams already publicly stating he is not prepared to immediately sign an extension, to stay in New Jersey, there are going to be a lot of nervous people from Newark to Moscow for the next year and change!

OK, first the BIG WINNERS:

New York: Not a lot of critics here will say the Knicks gave up too much to get Carmelo, when they could have just waited until Carmelo went to free agency this summer and just signed him without giving up players, especially given Melo’s known desire to play in Gotham. But waiting might have been nearly as big a crapshoot as the aforementioned Nets! If you want a superstar, unfortunately you have to give up some solid players (which the Knicks undoubtedly did!). But considering the addition of Billups and the opportunity to add at least one other star, I think the Knicks win big not only in the court, but in the box office.

Oklahoma City: Huge, HUGE winners here! Sure, they lose promising F Jeff Green, but in return, they get a proven inside presence with championship experience in C Kendrick Perkins. He is going to fit in perfectly with the Thunder from day one and OKC instantly becomes a better team by getting what they desperately needed: a consistent banger in the paint. They also acquire G Nate Robinson, who should be a solid player off the bench for the Thunder as well. They give up the Clippers 2012 first round pick (which, given the Clippers annual trip to the Lottery, is a pretty big deal), but for Perkins, that’s an easy tradeoff. Great job GM Sam Presti!

Danny, I told you I don't like tornadoes! Damn!!!

Memphis: The Grizzlies might quietly be the biggest winners of the trade year. They somehow convinced the Rockets to take on arguably the worst #2 overall draft pick in recent history in C Hasheem Thabeet (OK, I’ll give you guys Darko Milicic, but only because he was picked over the likes of Anthony, and Heat superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, among others!). In addition, they welcome back veteran F Shane Battier who, by most accounts, is Memphis’s favorite player outside of Elvis Presley. And the Griz can use him on the court as well, given F Rudy Gay is going to be out for an extended period of time. Memphis did very well for themselves.

Phoenix: You probably won’t see the impact for a couple of years, but Phoenix acquired a hell of a PG in Aaron Brooks. Brooks was on his way to becoming an all-star before injuries (and the emergence of fellow PG Kyle Lowry) slowed him down. He’ll have some time to get healthy in Phoenix while the Suns try to figure out what they’re going to do with Steve Nash, but in Brooks, they have a great PG for years to come. I’m even going to throw Houston in as a winner on this too. In exchange for Brooks, they get G Goran Dragic, who will provide great depth and is a reliable shooter at the guard position. And they no longer have a “point guard controversy”, which should help them as well. But wait, isn’t this the same team that gave up Battier and brought in Thabeet? Nevermind, scratch Houston from the winner’s list!


Boston: GM Danny Ainge, what the hell were u thinking here? You give up a solid proven center (not to mention, the only one who’s under 50 years old and can get up and down the court without passing out or pulling a muscle), for a young player, who, while talented, does not figure to have a major role in the short term, as he’s playing behind 2 future Hall of Famers in forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. This obviously is a “money move”, as Boston may have feared they would (to a lesser degree of course), have a similar situation with Perkins as with Anthony or megastar LeBron James with their former teams. Still, this makes little sense to me, but what do I know?

Sacramento: The best the Maloofs could pull off was getting journeyman G Marquis Daniels from Boston from a future draft pick? Clearly these guys are so tired of watching their team that, when they’re not in Anaheim negotiating a future move to the OC, they’re partying at their Palms Hotel (which by the way, is a great spot. That basketball suite is unbelievable!)

Jury is still out..

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New Jersey: We will know by the fall of 2012 whether this will be a coup or a bust (and make no mistake, it WILL be one of the other..nothing in the middle here!), and not just because the world is ending. Either GM Billy King will convince other stars to come in and play alongside Williams and they will head to Brooklyn major players in the Eastern Conference, or they will have given up a veteran G, a promising rookie, draft picks, and the rights to Jay-Z’s first 3 albums for a short term rental. If that becomes the case, Billy King and others will likely be reassigned to scouting duties in Siberia, and Jay-Z will have more than a little “dirt on his shoulder” to knock off”!

Why are we smiling again? Oh that's right...we're still RICH!!!

Should be interesting to see how all of these deals play out, and of course, which GM’s get an extension…and which ones get the Ax.

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One Response to “Melo Out!”
  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    As long as no D and no boards Stoudemire is a main man on your team, you will win nothing.

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