Trading Places

So, when it was all said and done, when the dust finally settled, there were no big shocks on the Trade Deadline Day (or D-Day) this season. Most of the big names speculated to change their addresses by the end of March 15th remained exactly where they are. That is why, some of the most important moves made in this year’s trade deadline were the moves that were not made. But first, here’s a recap of the few who have already donned different jerseys since the deadline (I’m just going to mention the major pieces involved in each trade): - Bucks sent Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown, and Ekpe Udoh: On paper, this looks like a decent move for both sides. Milwaukee brought in a bonafide star scorer in Ellis to make a power-packed back-court with Brandon Jennings. Plus, they got rid of injury-riddled Center Andrew Bogut, whose absence was being aptly replaced by new sensation Ersan Ilyasova. Meanwhile, the Warriors officially, finally make their ‘Betty-or-Veronica’ choice between Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, as they decided to build around the shaky knees of Curry. If Curry and Bogut are healthy (a big if), they make a great combination, along with the likes of David Lee and Dorrell Wright. If not, then I feel that hindsight will tell us that Golden State could have really gotten much better value for Bogut. - Nets get Gerald Wallace from Trailblazers and give up chillar: Gerald Wallace is a former All Star who is loved by any team he plays in, loved by the fans, and is definitely a solid all-round contributor, but one who has already been traded twice for next to nothing in the last year. Great pick-up for the Nets, who hope that Wallace’s defense, rebounding, and a little scoring will help in the future to keep Deron Williams with the team in Brooklyn next season. But without Dwight Howard, the Williams-Wallace duo will still not be enough to make too much noise in the East. - Nick Young goes to Clippers, Nene to Wizards, JaVale McGee to Nuggets: A very, very strange trade for all parties involved. Does anyone have the advantage here? Nuggets and Wizards essentially swapped big men Nene and McGee, exchanging an injury-prone guy for a stupidity-prone guy. The Clippers stuck their nose in and were able to steal high-scorer Nick Young for the Wizards. On paper, Young fits the shooting guard void well in the Clippers starting lineup, but will his selfish/no-defense ways bode well with the team? Wait, on second thought, this is the Clippers we’re talking about. He’ll probably be the perfect fit. - Warriors send Stephen Jackson to Spurs for Richard Jefferson: Stephen Jackson, the mercurial star, once flourished under the Popovich system in San Antonio and won a championship with them. The Spurs have decided to bring him back in exchange for the rarely-useful Jefferson. Great move by the Spurs: if it works out, they have a solid shooter and a guy with a big heart for big games. If it doesn’t work out, well, all they lost was Richard Jefferson. - Lakers lose Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, get Ramon Sessions: The Lakers, thankfully, didn’t make any outrageous moves, and instead moderately filled-in their two basic needs: point guard and age. Sad for Derek Fisher, a Laker-legend, who was sent to the Rockets, but I won’t be surprised if he’s cut and signs with the Lakers again in a month or so. Lakers finally rid themselves of dead-weight Luke Walton and got a young point guard in return from the Cavaliers in Ramon Sessions. They also scored a first-round draft pick in the trade, and will hope to inject some more youth in their squad next season. But, as I said before, the best trades that the Lakers or a few other teams made were the ones they didn’t make! Pau Gasol is still a Laker, keeping alive the team’s rare advantage over the rest of the league in boasting of two skilled seven-footers in their starting five. Hopefully the passing of the trade deadline will lift some tension of Gasol’s shoulders and we will start to see improved play from the great Spaniard. The player who Gasol was rumoured to be traded for – Rajon Rondo – also stayed with the Celtics, and every Celtic fan can breathe a sigh of relief now. Why the Celtics would even think of giving up their only young star, and one of the league’s most unique players, was a mystery to me. Word was that Boston even thought of committing blasphemy by shopping Ray Allen and (gasp!) Celtic-great Paul Pierce, but luckily for the team’s good-will, they are still in green post D-Day. I’m saving the marquee name of the D-Day talks for last, of course. That name is Dwight Howard. Howard has gained a lot of negative PR in the handling of his contract situation over the past few months and a lot in the last few days, the kind of negative PR only reserved for LeBron ‘Decision’-type moments. But Dwight’s attitude has been more like ‘The Indecision’. He said he wanted to go, said he wanted to say, said he will sign with another team in the off-season, refused to be traded to a contender, said he was too loyal to leave, and then finally, extended his stay with the Magic, but for just another year. So we can all look forward to more Dwight-drama for yet another year. Yip-pee. But it’s been good for the Magic though, who were close to trading him for next to nothing at the Deadline, and instead, get to finish the season with the league’s best Center still on their roster. And if they are to trade him in the future, they will now have much more time to look for better deals. The only ‘un-trade’ that I’m not happy about? That would be the Steve Nash trade, to pretty much any team that has a real shot in the playoffs or plays in Nash’s home country (so, Toronto). Nash is too much of a legend to demand a trade, and it looks likely that his twilight years (where he’s still leading the league in assists, by the way) will be spent fading away in Phoenix. I’ve always liked the Suns, but it’s time that they give their legendary point guard a real chance to win a championship ring before he retires. That chance didn’t happen at the trade deadline. We wonder how much more chances the 38-year-old has left?

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