Lets Make A Deal
In the world of the NBA, things can certainly change quickly. Within a matter of days, the futures of multiple NBA franchises have been altered for better or for worse. Some trades came as no surprise, simply confirming rumours that had been swirling around for weeks. But the fun trades are always the ones that nobody saw coming- the ones that cause NBA fans around the world to do a double take when seeing a headline that comes as a genuine shock. As with every trade period, there will be winners and losers. Whilst we won’t know the long-term success of each trade for a while, that won’t stop me from presenting my initial thoughts on the major winners and losers of free agency up to this point.
LA Lakers: Another year, and another Western Conference rival gift-wraps the Lakers a crucial piece to the puzzle. A few years after LA somehow convinced the Grizzlies to part with Pau Gasol for a package that included Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittenton (I am not kidding), they have now managed to convince the Phoenix Suns to give them Steve Nash for what will end up being a few very low draft picks.
Yes, Nash is 38. Yes, he doesn’t play much defense. However he stills ticks the boxes for being exactly what the Lakers need. The team will no longer need Mike Brown to coach the offense. Their offensive coordinator will be on the floor. Coming off yet another season in which he led the league in assists, it is easy to forget Nash’s shooting. So let me simplify this for you- he is one of the most accurate shooters this game has ever seen. After watching Ramon Sessions get destroyed in the playoffs last year, it is safe to say that Nash fills an enormous team need.
Whilst the Miami Heat will remain the title favorites for next season (and deservedly so), the Lakers have gone from having no shot at the championship, to a team with a legitimate chance of winning it all.
Miami Heat: Speaking of Miami, the rich seem to be getting richer. The team needs for this team were fairly obvious- an outside shooter and a centre who can defend. By convincing the man who has made the most 3 pointers in league history to join the team down in South Beach, one of those needs has clearly been taken care of.
What adds even more value to this trade is that the Heat only have to pay Allen around $3 million per season, which is well below market value. This trade also takes away an asset from the Celtics- who remains arguably as their biggest threat in the Eastern Conference. Seeing Ray Allen leave the team would be hard enough for Celtics fans, but seeing him catch the ball behind the 3-point line after a LeBron James double team will hurt even more.
If the Heat can follow this trade by acquiring Marcus Camby, then the rest of the league is in an awful lot of trouble.
Dallas Mavericks: After basically sacrificing last season for the chance to acquire either Deron Williams or Dwight Howard, the Mavericks have struck out and landed neither. Compounding this is the fact that longtime Mavs guard Jason Terry has decided to leave the team to join the Celtics. With Jason Kidd having just announced that he’ll be going to the Knicks, the team that won the title just over 12 months is now barely a shadow of its former self.
Unless owner Mark Cuban pulls a rabbit out of the hat, this team will likely miss the playoffs this season, which is an amazing thing to say about a team with Dirk Nowitzki on its roster.
To be Determined
Brooklyn Nets: Changes seem to be the prevailing theme of the Nets’ offseason so far. The team has changed locations from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and their roster continues to change, with their name seemingly coming up in just about every trade rumor going around.
Being able to re-sign Deron Williams to a contract was a major coup for the Nets, and gives the franchise a genuine star to assist with the opening of their new Brooklyn stadium. With Williams coming so close to going home to Dallas, this was a major win for the Nets.
Joining Williams in the backcourt will be Atlanta guard Joe Johnson, who has the richest contract in the entire NBA. Lets be honest here, for what he brings to the table, he is grossly overpaid. He is an all-star being paid superstar money. He simply is not good enough to elevate the Nets into title contention by himself. The Nets have gone from being a bad team to an average team, not exactly a team that can threaten the Knicks’ stranglehold on New York City, as currently constructed.
The key to all of this of course is what happens with Dwight Howard, who has let the world know that he only wants to play in Brooklyn. Johnson is not a player who will lead a team to a title as its leader. Although if he was to be a team’s third best player then that team immediately becomes elite (think Chris Bosh in Miami). With newly re-signed Gerald Wallace playing behind the big three, landing Howard would make the Nets by far the biggest winner of the summer.
The question is do the Nets have enough to entice the Magic into a trade? The Magic know they will be losing Howard anyway, and they are currently deciding which offer is best for them. Expect Howard to be traded in the next fortnight. To say the Nets have a lot riding on the decision is like saying Kobe Bryant is competitive- just a slight understatement.
Phoenix Suns: Losing Steve Nash was always going to hurt, but the reality was that the team was not going to contend for a title in the next three years. Whilst they could’ve received a little more in return for Nash, they have drafted a promising point guard in Kendall Marshall to take the helm.
The determining factor to the success of the Suns’ offseason will be whether they can obtain the services of young shooting guard Eric Gordon. The Suns have signed Gordon to an offer sheet and are waiting to see if New Orleans will match the offer.
With the recent signing of guard Goran Dragic, the addition of Gordon will give the team a nice young backcourt for the future. Adding Michael Beasley is a nice move, but it’s hardly a move that will make any kind of substantial difference to the future of the team.
The NBA free agency period is always an interesting and exciting time. Brilliant moves and head scratching moves never cease to amaze, and the ramifications of some trades are felt for years to come. Some trades that may seem small at the time often have a huge bearing on the league’s competitive landscape.
This offseason will be largely defined by where Dwight Howard ends up playing, but lets not forget about all of the other trades that have occurred. A few years from now, some teams will look back on this summer with great delight, while others will want to forget about this summer altogether.
Memphis got Marc Gasol as well. And 2 future first rounders. It's not as if it was just Critt and Kwame. There have been worse trades as well IMO.
Beasley in a run and gun offense can make a difference. Dude could end up being a top 10 scorer in the L and a mismatch nightmare. Just my opinion.
It is funny how to keep forgetting that they got Marc Gasol. Lakers wanted to include someone else but Grizz pushed for Marc and Lakers did the deal. If you have some international scouts, I am sure Grizz knew Marc could have promise but I think everyone was surprised by how quick he picked up on stuff. It would not have been likely that he would suck considering what he did overseas and who he brother was plus he was actually bigger physically than he brother. I know I was not shocked that he wind up being this good but I figure it would take a while or else Lakers would have kept him.
This article is Lazy.
I know the grizzlies got Marc gasol but he was just a second round pick that had serious weight issues when he was traded for all star and franchise pillar pau gasol, now the trade didn't look so lopsided but back then Marc was a mystery on how well he would become
I don't think Nash lead the league in assists. I'm pretty sure it was Rondo this year...
Not a very good article. Very lazy like HotSnot said. Some of the facts are not true and the rest of it is common sense that any basketball fan knew days ago. You can't just give false facts. This is supposed to be a professional site. Aran's getting lazy.
I didn't mean Aran was lazy, I mean he's bi tch*.
Arenas, Ellis, Boozer, Lou Williams, Rashard Lewis and many other were all 2nd round picks. Lakers could have thrown in a lot of players but Grizz wanted Marc and they already had Pau so they had to know something or else why ask for him in the deal. I guess a lot of media has no clue.
If you got off of the Gasol brothers. Grizz went with a win later and Lakers went with a win now.
The facts are correct. The article says Nash led the league in assists, not assists per game. Nash had more assists than anyone else last year. Look it up. And Memphis didn't think that Marc Gasol was going to be an all-star, as evidenced by not drafting him the previous year even in the second round. If you recall, Gregg Popovich wanted the trade banned. It was just a move to dump salary, and they didn't care if they were givivng the Lakers their missing championship piece.
Ok, I have a dirty mind, but doesn't the photo look a little like Kobe and Nash are going Brokeback?