Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 NBA Offseason: The Winners, Losers, and Drawers

The NBA offseason is not only about acquiring guys through free agency but also via trades. Of course, the big domino everyone is waiting on is Dwight Howard, so there are still exciting times yet to come. A Dwight Howard trade could potentially include stars like Andrew Bynum, Al Horford, Josh Smith, James Harden, or Serge Ibaka, so be prepared to read hundreds of rumors each day until it happens.  Here are the winners (and subsequently, the losers) of the trades that have taken place so far:

1. The Atlanta Hawks traded Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, and a 2017 second-round pick.

Albert: Winner – Atlanta Hawks
How did new GM Danny Ferry pull this deal off? He shipped off what is considered the NBA's worst contract ($90 million left for 4 years) and got back a couple rotational players and guys that will most likely be bought out. This also opens the door for Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jeff Teague to really showcase their talents and audition to the organization if they are worth being kept or not. But ultimately, the amazing part of the trade is getting rid of that monstrosity of a contract. I still can't believe they pulled it off. From Brooklyn's point of view, it is clear that Mikhail Prokhorov is going all-in. It's a new franchise, new arena; they brought back Deron and Brook Lopez with max deals, and they signed Gerald to $40 million. Good luck.

Jonathan: Tie
I'll call this one a draw. Atlanta shed its payroll of one of the worst contracts in NBA history, and Brooklyn gained an all-star to its roster.  Yes, Joe Johnson is expensive, but the Nets may have 99 problems, but money ain't one.  Most importantly, the trade helped convince Deron Williams to stay on the team, instantly making Brooklyn a potential top-4 team in the East.

2. The Phoenix Suns signed and traded Steve Nash (3 years, $27 million) to the Los Angeles Lakers for two first-round draft picks (2013 & 2015) and two second-round draft picks (2013 & 2014).

Albert: Tie
I'm actually in the minority on this, but I don't think there is a clear-cut winner. The two-time MVP is a great player, and it is apparent that the Suns organization was doing him a favor by shipping him to Los Angeles. But the truth of the matter is he is 38 years old; his body has to break down sometime, right? Meanwhile, getting a total of 4 picks in the next 3 years may not sound too sexy, but it does give Phoenix the flexibility to potentially use them in future trades. Also, the Suns are currently in full cost-cutting, rebuilding mode, and the fastest way to do that is to trade your most valuable asset -- your superstar. The only beef I have with this move is that Phoenix could have made the Lakers pay more for Nash since he was offered $36 million for 3 years from the Raptors.

Jonathan: Winner – Los Angeles Lakers
Yes, Nash is pushing 40, but it's obvious that his quickness, vision, and shooting is still intact. This acquisition won't help the Lakers stop Russell Westbrook, but it gives them something Kobe has never had: a real point guard. Nash will not only help space the floor, but Lakers fans will finally start seeing some easy buckets for the first time in years.

3. The Houston Rockets traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for Gary Forbes and an unspecified first-round draft pick.

Albert: Winner  Toronto Raptors (but the Rockets have the potential to come out on top)
Forbes is a nice player, but Houston has a plethora of forwards, so I don't know what they are doing there. But depending on what that first-round pick ends up being, it may be all worth it because Lowry was already on his way out last year since he wasn't on the same page as Coach McHale. On the other hand, the Raptors have a legitimate point guard who can push the tempo, play in the half court, and defend. He won't have too much pressure on him to perform up in Canada, so he has the potential to thrive with guys like DeRozan and Bargnani. Remember, he was playing at an all-star level before he went down with his illness just a year ago.

Jonathan: Winner – Toronto Raptors
I love Daryl Morey, but I can't help but think the Rockets could have gotten more for Kyle Lowry. The way the deal is structured, the worst case scenario for Houston would be if Toronto makes the playoffs for the next 6 years and the Rockets end up with a low first round draft pick. And maybe it's just me, but Kyle Lowry might be exactly the type of player they need to do that. (Of course, this is all moot if Daryl ends up trading this pick.)  Oh, and the only point guard the Rockets have on their roster is Courtney Fortson.  It's only July, but still funny.

4. The Houston Rockets signed and traded Marcus Camby (3 years, $13.2 million) to the New York Knicks for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and two unspecified second-round draft picks.

Albert: Winner  Houston Rockets
This is the epitome of a Daryl Morey deal -- he took the Knicks to the woodshed on this one. I realize that Camby is a nice piece to the Knicks' puzzle, but at the end of the day, he's just a backup center for them. Sorry New York fans, I'm just stating facts. They had to give up two contributors from a year ago, a young 7-footer in Jordan, and two picks. I can see their thought process -- maybe Toney Douglas was not going to see much time this year with the potential signing of Jeremy Lin and the newly acquired Jason Kidd. But I'm going to guarantee that Kidd will miss over 20+ games this year and only play around 20 minutes a game when he is healthy. And on top of that, Douglas is an expiring contract. Are we sure Isiah isn't back in New York? In a nutshell, they gave both Jason Kidd, 39, and Marcus Camby, 38, not 1, not 2, but 3-year deals.

Jonathan: Winner – Houston Rockets
Get a warrant for Madison Square Garden because it looks like Isiah Thomas is acting as GM again.  Aside from the fact that the Knicks overpaid for an aged backup center in a league where centers are becoming obsolete, they gave up far too much in this trade with Houston.  At first glance, it doesn't seem like much, but when you look deeper, you'll see two 2nd round draft picks, two unguaranteed contracts, and one expiring contract -- essentially, the only tradeable assets the team had.  Oh, and by the way, the Knicks will be paying the salary for that expiring contract.  All this for a player that the Rockets were not planning on bringing back anyway.  Have I mentioned that I love Daryl Morey?

5. The Dallas Mavericks signed and traded Ian Mahinmi (4 years, $16 million) to the Indiana Pacers for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones.

Albert: Winner – Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs, after a disastrous start to free agency, basically traded their #3 center from a year ago for a starting point guard and a guard that will be in the top-8 of their rotation. Collison is not only an expiring contract, but he's also a young, up-and-coming guard who was Indiana's best player in the playoffs in 2012 (highest PER on the team). Since both guys have one year left on their contracts, Dallas still has the flexibility to go after a big free agent again next summer after striking out on Deron Williams this year. But seriously, why didn’t Indiana just sign Mahinmi outright? Instead, they GAVE the Mavericks a couple players? He was an unrestricted free agent and Dallas wasn’t going to pay that much for him. The departure of Bird has already negatively affected them. Ouch.

Jonathan: Winner – Dallas Mavericks
Dallas wins this one by default. I'm not impressed with either Darren Collison or Dahntay Jones, but the trade fulfills a couple of short-term needs for the Mavericks with the sudden absence of Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.  On the other hand, the Pacers shore up their frontcourt with Ian Mahinmi to back up the newly maxed-out Roy Hibbert, but you don't need to bring back Larry Legend to tell you that this guy isn't going to put your team over the top.  Word on the street is that the organization's next offseason goal is to ink Gerald Green to a deal, so... splash?

6. The Orlando Magic traded Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets for Gustavo Ayon.

Albert: Winner  New Orleans
To the casual fan, you may be asking yourself who the hell Gustavo Ayon is right now. Another cost-cutting move by new Magic GM, Rob Hennigan. It looks like he's trying to start over and rebuild from the ground floor. And for this very reason, he didn't want to ink Ryan Anderson to a long-term deal. Anderson, coming off a great season in which he shot the basketball extremely well from three-point territory, provides the Hornets with much-needed spacing and veteran leadership. With #1 overall pick, Anthony Davis, and fellow lottery pick, Austin Rivers, coming in, they need guys who have been around the block a few times. Ryan Anderson not only fits this mold, but can provide a lot from a basketball standpoint as well. This could end up being a great move if they are able to bring Eric Gordon back.

Jonathan: Winner  New Orleans
Does anybody realize that the Hornets are about to push out a lineup of Austin Rivers, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson, and Anthony Davis a year after losing an MVP-caliber PG? Not bad, Stern. I mean, New Orleans. And the Magic continue to lose any remaining leverage they had in a possible Dwight deal by shipping off the team's best rebounder not named Howard.

7. The New Orleans Hornets traded Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis and the 46th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Albert: Winner  Washington Wizards
The Hornets are welcoming in a new era in New Orleans. They shipped off veterans, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, to open the door for Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis, and they bought out the rest of Rashard's contract. Long-term, this may be turn into a good deal for the Hornets. As for short-term ramifications, this gives the Wizards a pretty good lineup that includes John Wall and Nene. I know that may not be enough to contend, but when you've been the bottom feeders of the NBA for so long, picking up known commodities is always a good thing. Ultimately, they got rid of head cases Javale McGee and Nick Young and replaced them with solid veterans in Ariza, Okafor, and Nene.

Jonathan: Tie
One glance at Emeka Okafor's contract, and you might burst out laughing.  Then you would probably question how this trade could be deemed a tie in any form or fashion.  But alas, imagine the potential New Orleans lineup noted two paragraphs above, and just think how much better it might look with Trevor Ariza in there as well.  (FYI -- Trevor Ariza is one of my top 10 favorite players.)  A tie is a tie.

8. The Golden State Warriors traded Dorell Wright to the Philadelphia 76ers for Edin Bavcic.

Albert: Winner – Philadelpha 76ers
Clearly a salary cap move by the Warriors. Edin Bavcic is playing in Europe, and there is no concrete evidence on when or if he’s even coming to the NBA. This opens up room for the newly drafted Harrison Barnes, who is also a wing player. The 76ers get a guy with some size (6' 8") that can shoot the ball and play defense. He had a breakout season two years ago and did not live up to his new contract last year, but he can be a nice rotational player for a playoff team. Along with their acquisition of Nick Young, they have bolstered their backcourt and made Iguodala even more expendable with each passing day (but he’s in trade rumors every year anyway).

Jonathan: Tie
The Warriors make room for Barnes, who unfortunately, has the ceiling of... Dorell Wright. The 76ers get a replacement for Jodie Meeks, but they just lost Lou Williams and Elton Brand, so they have bigger problems to worry about.

9. The Atlanta Hawks traded Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for Devin Harris.

Albert: Winner – Atlanta Hawks
This is another cost-cutting move by Danny Ferry. Marvin Williams has been underperforming ever since he was a high draft pick coming out of North Carolina. The Hawks finally moved his contract and picked up a nice backup for Jeff Teague. Atlanta is shaping up to be major players in free agency next summer. They recently just signed Lou Williams as well, which gives them three lighting-quick guards -- not bad for a rebuilding year.

Jonathan: Winner – Atlanta Hawks
I like the change of scenery for both players, but Utah needs a whole lot more than Marvin Williams to get past the first round. And before you check Marvin's age and measurables and think he still hasn't reached his full potential, stop. The Jazz have not only traded away all-star Deron Williams for pennies on the dollar, but they've found a way to end up with the #2 draft bust taken in the exact same draft. Congratulations, Utah. Meanwhile, Atlanta continues unloading bad contracts by giving away 2 years of Williams for 1 year of Harris. If only they could go back and take back their promise to draft Williams, Shelden.

10. The Los Angeles Clippers traded Reggie Evans to the Brooklyn Nets for the rights to swap 2nd round picks in 2016.

Albert: Winner – Brooklyn Nets
Reggie Evans actually played very well for the Clippers a year ago. In fact, he single-handedly won them a playoff game against Memphis with his defense, rebounding, and tenacity during that epic second half comeback. Brooklyn picks up a hardworking big man who will do all the dirty work for you. They already have that guy on the perimeter with Gerald Wallace; now they have one in the interior as well. Furthermore, Brook Lopez might be the softest max player over 7 feet tall in history, so Evans will be his Charles Oakley. The Clippers had to do this to make room for Blake's max extension as well as for Jamal Crawford's acquisition, but it's going to be a pretty big loss because of Blake and DeAndre's habit of disappearing during big moments.

Jonathan: Winner  Brooklyn Nets
This is an absolutely great pickup for the Brooklyn Nets.  Next year you're gonna see the Clippers interior turn putty soft, and the enormously rich Blake Griffin is gonna get exposed on defense game in and game out.  The only question left is whether or not Chris Paul realizes that he can't win with a frontcourt of Blake and DeAndre as he's contemplating signing an extension in Lob/Flop City.

So where do you guys think this guy is going?

Photo content courtesy of,,,


Unbiased; I really don't see Dwight going to Houston.

good stuff guys! No way Dwight goes to Houston. And agree, good deal for Houston. Have fun with Jorts and TD. I love Jorts and will continue to root for him.

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