February 23, 2013

Dead on the Deadline



February 22nd done came and went. And it was definitely a trade deadline to remember.

For the next few minutes at least. 

Or in my case, for the next day and a half, since I've set up for the unenviable task of rounding up all the magnificent small moves that 'highlighted' the NBA's Trade Deadline Day. 

Many NBA observers are calling it the Most Boring Trade Deadline ever. But all jokes aside, the lack of big moves isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a sign that many NBA teams are getting smarter about moving some pieces just for the heck of moving them, and are instead hoping to improve chemistry in the unit that they already have. On the flipside, one could say that it is also a sign that teams are just being over-cautious and are scared to take a risk. 

Sometimes though, the best moves are the small ones. We're already around 60 percent into the season, and any drastic change would require new players in starring roles to learn their new system in limited time, without the luxury of a training camp or a pre-season. Sometimes, the small moves, such as adding a much needed back-up point guard and beefing up the front-line can make a big difference. 

This year, the list of players that didn't get traded has been far more exciting than the ones who did. Circulating in the rumours over recent weeks were names like Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, and Carlos Boozer amongst many others. In the end: all of the above will be wearing the jersey at least until the end of this season. 

But here is a list of the 'biggest' players that did beat the buzzer and move to a new squad before the Deadline expired:

JJ Redick: Redick isn't going to be your team's best or your team's second-best player (unless your team is the Bobcats), but on good night's, he can surely be the third best. That - my friends - is the marquee name in this deadline. The Magic traded Redick along with my main man Gustavo Ayon (#AyonSanity) and Ish Smith to Milwaukee in return for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and rookie Doron Lamb. Redick is a solid shooter and will make an interesting clog of guards in Milwaukee along with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Is his arrival the early sign of Jennings' departure over the summer? 

Thomas Robinson: Fifth pick in the NBA draft and the best player for last year's national championship runners-up Kansas, Robinson never quite found his footing in Sacramento behind a logjam of big men. The strong power forward only played about 16 minutes a game. The Kings traded him along with Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a second round pick to Houston in return for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas, and cash. Hopefully the young man can fit in well along with the core of Harden, Lin, Asik, Parsons, and the eighth place Rockets. This trade happened earlier than Deadline Day, but I'm adding it here anyways because I'm desperate. 

Jordan Crawford: Famous for once dunking on LeBron while still in High School and proclaiming that he is better than Michael Jordan, Crawford is a professional high-volume/low-efficiency scorer from Washington. The Celtics traded for him on the deadline, because I guess they need an off-the-bench offensive spark urgently, especially since the injured Rajon Rondo isn't around to get them easy shots anymore. Leandro Barbosa and others went the other way to Washington. 

Eric Maynor: The Thunder sent their half-decent back-up point guard to Portland in exchange for Giorgio Printezis and a trade exception. That's all I've got to say about that. 

Ronnie Brewer: Brewer is a solid perimeter defender who was being wasted away on the New York Knicks' bench after a decent start to the season. The Knicks sent up to Oklahoma City in exchange for a future second round pick and cash. Brewer will be a good defensive back-up for the Thunder, while the Knicks used the extra cleared cap space to sign Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract.

Sebastian Telfair: Arrived in Toronto from Phoenix in exchange for Hamed Hadaddi. Yawn. Remember when Telfair was supposed to become a big deal?

A few other smaller trades look place, and you can find a nice recap of updates here on SLAMOnline.com.

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