The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, with only, let’s see, 15 hours remaining. As the rumors continue to fly, here’s a look at the deals that went down Wednesday evening.
Cavs strike it rich with Jamison, Wizards get Big Z, Drew Gooden traded (again!!!) to Clippers
Details: Cleveland pulled off the big trade it failed to execute at this time a year ago, and it could provide the spark needed to propel the Cavaliers to an NBA Title. Antawn Jamison heads to Cleveland, headlining a six-player, three team deal. The Wizards received Big Z, the draft rights to Emir Preldzic, and a first round pick from the Cavaliers. The Wizards sent newly-acquired Drew Gooden to the Clippers in exchange for Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair–yes, the young, immature gun-toting NBA bust. Don’t worry Wizards fans, Telfair won’t be staying–he will join Jamison in Cleveland.
Analysis: A superb deal for the Cavs and Wizards and a decent deal for the Clippers. Jamison will be a perfect fit in Cleveland for several reasons: He moves well without the ball, something few NBA stars today even bother attempting, and is able to put up very productive numbers without being a ball-stopper. He can score without having plays run for him–sort of like a younger Shawn Marion with a much better jump shot. Jamison is adequate defensively and can play inside and outside. He is the perfect player to defend against Orlando’s Rashard Lewis, who gave the Cavs fits last year during the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic once again appear to be the primary obstacle between Cleveland and the NBA Finals.
The Wizards are going nowhere and management knows it. Josh Howard won’t be a Wizard for long, and unloading Jamison and Gooden opens the door for Andray Blatche and Nick Young to get minutes they might not deserve but need in order to develop. Who knows about Preldzic and the first round pick probably will yield a decent player but not much more. Al Thornton (another guy who should have been in the dunk contest instead of the crappy selections) is young and has shown tremendous potential. He had fallen out of favor with the Clip Joint, but that’s likely the result of being coached by the idiotic Mike Dunleavy. The Clippers might have given up on Thornton too soon, and add another weird dude to play alongside the NBA’s weirdest dude Baron Davis. Gooden has played for nine teams during his eight years in the NBA–that should probably tell you something. The Clips won’t keep Gooden for long and will most likely turn the small forward spot over to newly-acquired Travis Outlaw.
Salmons to Bucks for next to nothing
Details: The Bulls are probably not done yet. The team freed up cap space this season and next by sending John Salmons to the Bucks for Francisco Elson and/or Kurt Thomas.
Analysis: Salmons provided the Bulls with something they hadn’t had since before I started college long, long, long ago–a shooting guard taller than 6’2″. His poor shooting caused him to lose his starting spot earlier this season, but Salmons has played better since mid-January. The Bulls will miss his scoring ability and size, but in reality his nothing more than a decent NBA player. Salmons should help the Bucks dramatically this season and maybe next–his player option for the 2010-2011 season was the primary reason the Bulls wanted to move him. Thomas and Elson would provide exciting 2-on-2 matchups with Lindsey Hunter and Jerome James during Bulls’ practices.
Darko to Wolves for…Brian Cardinal!!!
Details/Analysis: In terms of salaries, this was actually a fairly significant deal. In terms of basketball value, it is basically worthless. We forget that Darko is still only 24 and might, possibly…not totally suck if he gets minutes and takes the game seriously. I’m not sure if both of these things will happen, but you never know. Darko will most likely return to Europe once his contract expires following this season. Brian Cardinal got arguably the worst contract in NBA history from Jerry West and is still making tons of money for doing nothing. He offers no value whatsoever. None.
Stay tuned for the latest updates and rumors, including the possibility of T-Mac going to the Kings…