The 2012 NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone, and while it may not have been the most exciting deadline in recent years, there were many minor moves made by teams whose sights are set on both the present and future. Let’s take a look at some of the trade deadline’s winners and losers.
While this may not be the case a year from now, the Magic have to be thrilled that they were able to keep Dwight Howard. Add to the fact that Howard decided to waive is opt-out clause, postponing his free agency until after next season, the Magic could make some noise in this year’s postseason. However, one has to wonder if this will be a distraction once again next season if the Magic fail to meet Howard’s expectations. The whole debacle was a circus, one in which Stan Van Gundy, Otis Smith, and Magic fans are sure to want to avoid next season.
Los Angeles Lakers
The loss of Derek Fisher will certainly be felt in the locker room, especially if Kobe Bryant didn’t have a say in the matter from the get-go. Fisher’s leadership is unparalleled across the league, and while he may not be missed as much on the court, Kobe and the Lakers will miss his experience and his place as the vocal leader. With that said, they picked up a guy in Ramon Sessions who is a tremendous upgrade over Fisher. He’s younger, more athletic, and is very capable of running the offense. Plus, he’s not the type of point guard that needs to dominate the ball, which will mesh well with Kobe. Although he’s only averaging 11 points per game on 40% shooting, Sessions is a playmaker. The Lakers once again are a dangerous threat out West.
Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs
Already playoff teams, the Clippers and Spurs helped their chances even more with strong additions before the deadline. The Clippers, in need of more backcourt help after Chauncey Billups was lost for the season, traded for shooting guard Nick Young. While his all-around game leaves much to be desired, Young can score. He’s a solid perimeter shooter, averaging nearly 17 points albeit on 41% shooting. He should be a nice compliment to Chris Paul, and remember, Young played his college ball at USC and hails from California. He should be motivated playing at home.
As for the Spurs, already considered a top three team out West, went out and brought back Stephen Jackson, a key piece to their 2003 title run, in exchange for Richard Jefferson. Jackson can be a cancer at times, but when put in the right situation, he can thrive. Coach Gregg Popovich won’t deal with his nonsense, and both Jackson and the Spurs should benefit.
New Jersey Nets
Not only did the Nets fail to get Dwight Howard, but they traded away some assets that could help pursue Howard next year, as well as keeping Deron Williams around. They brought in Gerald Wallace, a hard-nosed player who can defend multiple positions, but it cost them a first-round draft pick. Williams certainly won’t be happy that they were unable to get Howard, leaving the Nets with a lot of uncertainty as they get ready for the move to Brooklyn.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers started the year on the right foot, and with the emergence of LaMarcus Aldridge, all signs pointed up for Portland. However, the ship sank fast. They basically gutted the team, trading Wallace and Marcus Camby, firing Head Coach Nate McMillan and releasing the injury-riddled Greg Oden. They may have gotten some draft picks out of those trades, but it’s clear they are rebuilding.
Many NBA fans were expecting a high-volume of trades involving big names before the deadline, however that wasn’t the case. Pau Gasol stayed put, as did Rajon Rondo and Boston’s Big Three, and of course, Dwight Howard. The top three teams in the league; the Bulls, Heat, and Thunder, decided not to make a move, going forward with their rosters intact. All in all, there may not have been any major moves, but the trades that did take place will certainly have an effect on those respective teams.
KDM a.k.a. K-Rose 23