“NBA Trade Deadline-Good Deals-Bad Deals-No Deals”
The NBA trade deadline came crashing upon us on Thursday.
When it was done, some 11-trades, a couple of blockbusters, some of no consequence, others just dealing bad contracts.
There’s no doubt what the New Orleans Pelicans did hours after the All Star game on Sunday night, shook the world.
The blockbuster acquisition of controversial Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, a great talent, and a great headache. He forms quite a combo front line with Anthony Davis, the Pelicans all-star forward.
But can you imagine Cousins on Bourbon Street? Can you imagine giving him a 5-year max contract worth 179M-and hoping he stays out of trouble?
This guy had problems in every corner of Sacramento, locker-room, coaches, teammates, media and in the bars. Nightlife in New Orleans will be something to watch.
Dallas, not wanting to have the great career of Dirk Nowitzke end the way it seems headed, did a good deal to go get a shot-blocker with great upside, in the trade with the 76ers. In comes the young pup Nerlens Noel, finally healthy after three years of injuries. Maybe it extends Dirk’s carrer. Maybe they finally recapture some success for owner Mark Cuban.
Oklahoma City may have lost Kevin Durant in free agency, but they they did re-sign Russell Westbrook, and then showed how much tey want to win, by trading for Chicago Bulls shooting forward Doug McDermott and feisty grinder forward Taj Gibson. Yes they gave up a great young guard in Cam Payne, but the Thunder showed they were going to try and help Westbrook win.
The Lakers just moved pieces, Lou Washington to Houston for a number 1-pick. The key going forward for Magic Johnson, make sure you hit the jackpot on the two number one picks you now have in your pocket next June.
The other big deals never came down.
Paul George remains sentenced to mediocrity in Indiana. The Pacers shopped him, but the asking price was too high.
The drama that is NY Knicks basketball continues. Owner James Dolan is still vilified, failing Team President Phil Jackson is still failing, and Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose are stuck there. Melo’s market value is strictly in his own eyes. Self-centered scorer, who has never really won anything. Rose looks like he has 100,000 miles on his body suddenly, and does not have much market value.
Chicago still has Jimmy Butler, and his rumored trade only happens if the Bulls get a bundle in a deal. That did not happen on Thursday. He has to feel left behind. In a 6-month span, Pao Gasol left as a free agent, now Gibson and McDermott have been dealt.
Boston, which has gotten good, didn’t add, but still has all those draft picks stockpiled.
Detroit retained Andre Drummond, who looks at times like he can take over the league, but other times not.
Cleveland will go to the playoff wars with the last key acquisition, 3-point bomber Kyle Korver, a big component if they are going back to the finals.
And that brings us to the Clippers. They’re good, but they are not Golden State-nor-San Antonio good. They have their big three, Blake Griffin-Chris Paul-DeAndre Jordan, and those three have their contracts. But there’s nothing else there.
And for another post season coming up, they won’t likely get out of the Western Conference playoffs. New ownership has stabilized everything, and they are better than the Lakers, but they are not elite.
It makes you wonder if ownership is capped-tapped out. Or if Doc Rivers may not be the bold GM-Coach they really need to get the job done.
Till they can do something bold, to add to what they have, they will never see the month of June in the postseason