This years NBA Trade Deadline left a lot of us on the edge of our seats, and brought superstars to new cities. Some we expected others, we never saw coming.
Here’s my breakdown of the deadline winners and losers:
Oklahoma City Thunder
By grabbing centers Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed, they strengthened their interior defense without losing Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison their best in-house paint defenders. Losing Jeff Green should be offset with increased offensive production from James Harden, if not from him, Westbrook and Durant can make up the difference. New addition Nate Robinson should be another spark off of the bench.
New York Knicks
They thrust themselves into the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture, though they don’t have much depth, in the NBA, stars win games. Picking up Chauncey Billups was underrated, he lends the playoff experience/success/leadership that ‘Melo and Stat will need. They kept nice pieces in Landry Fields and defensive specialist Ronny Turiaf.
New Jersey Nets
This move has to be part of a bigger rebuilding effort, I list them as “winners” because they added the arguably the best point guard in the game to their roster. They only lost a second tier point guard and a rookie big man. A Relatively small cost for a superstar.
Forsaking the depth of a gigantic frontline is a blow. Perkins was their best defender and gave Dwight Howard fits the last three years. Perkins’ value was underestimated. Besides, why break up a starting five that has reached the NBA Finals two of the last three years? Jeff Green gives them youth, but I don’t see the point in losing the backbone of your defense.
Other Moves to Watch
Gerald Wallace to Portland TrailBlazers
Troy Murphy to Golden State Warriors
The Nuggets haul of young talent from New York (Gallinari, Felton, Chandler and future 1st round Pick from New York)