“NBA Trading Deadline-Do You Like What You See”
We knew it was coming. We knew big names would be changing teams. We knew ridiculous prices would be paid.
And what we have now, is a players league, this NBA, where stars dictate contracts, dictate where they will be traded, and likely dictate the style of play teams will operate by.
It is a very different NBA.
When they got done at the Thursday afternoon deadline, there were 16-trades made, involving big stars, guys about to become free agents, names who would be rental players, a pile of young players, and loads of draft picks.
Once upon a time, draft picks were gold, but not now. Unless it’s a top fivge draft pick in the one and one lottery we see each summer, the draft picks wind up being a crapshoot. More washouts than stars. And second round picks have become nothing more than cannon fodder, here today, likely traded tomorrow.
There was no Anthony Davis trade from New Orleans. He still has a year and a half to go on his contract, and he wants out and off the Pelicans roster. It was thought the Lakers could engineer a deal that would give them two superstars, AD joining LeBron James.
Never happened for a number of reasons. Magic Johnson tried to off load tons of fringe players in five different scenarios. New Orleans said no. Then the Lakers came back with a mammoth offer, 2-first round picks and 8-players, including all their young stars, Kyle Kuzma-Brandon Ingram-Lonzo Ball and more.
The Pelicans had the brass to demand the Lakers put a combined 6-draft picks in the deal, not just the two first round picks. End of talks for now.
New Orleans is trying to set up a bidding war that could happen this summer before the draft, the Lakers on one street corner, the Celtics, with all their assets on the other.
Around the NBA road map, there were fireworks. The dysyfunctional New York Knicks moved star Kristaps Porzingas to the Dallas Mavericks, not liking his attitude, or scared off by his year long rehab from a knee injury. The Knicks moved so many players, they have cap space to get two superstars this summer. But then again, who wants to play for a team owned by Jimmy Dolan?
Memphis, giving up on it roster, sent big center Marc Gasol to Milwaukee. A good Bucks team just got better, but the real reason for the deal, the Bucks trying to load up and win, before they might be forced to trade their star Giannis Antetounkmpro before he becomes a walk free agent.
Milwaukee also added hi scoring Nikola Misotic, meaning they might have the best roster the Bucks have put on the floor since the days of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Marques Johnson, Brian Winters etc.
The 76ers, tired of the injury riddle act of G-Markelle Fultz, gave him away to Orlando, though the Sixers had stunned the world 24-hours prior to the deadline, rolling the dice to bring in the Clippers budding star Tobias Harris, hoping to sign him to a future deal to keep him. The Sixers have 4-stars now, with Tobias joining Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embid
Miami got Ryan Anderson out of hopeless Phoenix.
Houston did a 3-team deal to land Iman Shumpert of the Kings
Lowly Chicago picked up Otto Porter of Washington.
Dallas added Justin Jackson from Sacramento after the huge deal for the Knicks Porzingas.
The Clippers snared young center Ivika Zubac from the Lakers, to go with Wilson Chandler, who came from the Sixers in the Tobias Harris package.
The Lakers picked up 3-point shooters Reggie Bullock and and Mike Muscala in the final 24-hours.
It went on and on till the Thursday afternoon deadline.
End result, two things.
Alot of NBA games are unwatchable. Defense has become optional, that why we have teams scoring 149 points in games this year, or shooting 65% from the floor, or hitting 23-3 pointers in an outing.
And it’s very apparent too, that the star players and their agents are running the teams now, not the NBA boss Adam Silver, the owners like Jeannie Buss or the legendary GMs like Pat Riley, or coaches like Greg Popovich.
So now we have 5-to-8 super power teams, with the payroll and the stars in orbit. And we have another 222-or so teams, with no chance, but a a full season to play games and draw less that sellout crowds, to see substandard basketball.
Oh yes, everyone wants to see the Lakers and Golden State on a Christmas day. What about all those other games, with Utah-Orlando-Detroit and the really rag-tag teams the league has as members.
And what happens if the Lakers, who failed to get Anthony Davis, fail to even make the playoffs, even with LeBron James in the lineup.
Big picture, there are alot more bad NBA teams than there are good players, because the good players all want to wind up in just a couple of NBA cities.
Trade deadline day, pretty exciting. Stars move to new teams, but the game is suffering terribly.
It’s a very different NBA-not necessarily a good one.
And I don’t like what the game has become. The owners can’t like this. The fans shouldn’t either.