Let’s Grade Em

Deron Williams to the Nets for Devin Harris, the 2010 3rd pick in the draft, Derrick favors, two first round picks and $3 million in cash.

Jazz: B

This move is a pre-emptive strike. One that no one saw coming. The Jazz likely saw the hell that Carmelo Anthony put the Nuggets through and figured they better get something for him now than 30 cents on the dollar later. All told, a small market team like the Jazz needs to take chances in order to remain at or near the top every year. They gave up the best player in the trade, but hauled in a point guard who has now been traded for Jason Kidd and Deron Williams, the 19yr old beast in power forward Derrick Favors and two first round picks. The Jazz have additional assets to possibly get themselves out of the luxury tax.

Nets: A…with a bullet

The Nets made the trade of the deadline, surprising the entire league with this deal. 24 hours Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was the laughingstock of the NBA, having been shut out in 2010 free agent class and then being suckered back into the Melo trade talks after announcing his walking away from negotiations. Yet, he quickly regrouped and arguably made the better deadline deal than their crosstown rivals. The Williams deal has shades of the Jason Kidd deal. The problem here is the Nets made the trade and gave up plenty of young talent without knowing whether Williams will sign an extension. He is a free agent in 2012 and may not sign an extension before then. The Nets have a year and a half to convince Williams that they will be a winner by the time they hit Brooklyn. hence the bullet. If he leaves, this trade likely will set the Nets back years. If they see signs of his unhappiness next year, the Nets will be in the same situation the Nuggets were this season. A situation the Jazz shrewdly avoided entirely.

Trade Winner: Nets…for now.

Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic

Thunder: A-

Sam Presti scores major points for getting the Thunder’s two biggest needs and at the hands of (potentially) their Finals opponents –  starting center that can bang with the big boys and straight gunner off the bench. Yes, the Oklahoma City Thunder in this trade have set themselves up for a Finals run. The little guys are all grown up. The Thunder were in desperate need of a 7-foot banger and Kendrick Perkins fits the bill. He’ll board and play defense and now partnered with PF Serge Ibaka, the Thunder form one of the most intimidating front courts in the NBA. Nate Robinson is a pure energetic scorer. And you know what? When Kevin Durant is on the bench, who scored for this team? James Harden is rounding out nicely as a solid shooting guard with a nice stroke, but no one can fill it up like Donkey. I think the Oklahoma City faithful are going to fall in love with Nate. Rumblings are that Perkins may miss a week with a sprained MCL and he is coming off a major knee injury. Plus he has only played 12 games this year. The Thunder need him to get healthy in the playoffs. Perhaps Danny Ainge knew what he was doing? Because frankly, I do not.

Celtics: C-

This grade deserves to be lower but I am giving Ainge the benefit of the doubt here. Apparently, he is comfortable relying on the dyanmic corpses of Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal. Maybe the Marquis Daniels loss put Ainge in panic mode. Didn’t Doc say they still never lost a playoff round with their starting 5 that included Perkins? Well, I guess that will always be the case. The Celtics in a later move also traded away bigs Luke Harangody and Semih Erden to the Cavaliers. Obviously, they are positioning themselves to sign Troy Murphy. I still do not understand why they needed to trade their starting center and turn over the bottom half of their roster for a solid player in Green, and a player with a nice jump shot in Murphy, who hasn’t played all year, when you are the number one team in the east and have already beaten the Heat three straight times. I know the Heat, Bulls, Magic and Knicks are happy today. You can even throw in the Hawks for good measure.

Trade Winner: Thunder…big time

Baron Davis and a first round pick to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon

Clippers: A+

The Clippers traded away a team cancer with an immovable contract to the worst team in the NBA. Worthy of an A in my book. B. Diddy was starting to turn it around in LA thanks to the Blake Griffin show. Still, he was in LA for 3 years and he played a total of 50 some odd games. He is still owed $28 million on his deal and the Clippers were glad to throw in an unprotected first rounder to Cleveland. Why? The Clippers are young as it is. Where would another rookie play? They also bring back Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. The Clips must, according to ESPN’s John Hollinger, pay the balance of Mo’s $9.3 million contract this year and $8.5 million in player options next year and the year after. the Clips could potentially rid themselves of MO’s contract altogether if he opts out at the end of the season. The deal also gives the Clippers space for a max free agent in 2012. With a young core that includes Blake Griffin, teams may actually be willing to go to the other LA…Deron? CP3 perhaps?

Cavs: B

Solid B for a team that needed to collect as many draft picks as possible. With an old decrepit roster that has the Cavs tapped out next season, the only way to start over is through the draft. The Cavs will likely possess two of the first 5 picks in this year’s draft, which experts agree is weak. Still, the experts have been wrong before. The 31yr old Davis will be reunited with Byron Scott, who he repeatedly clashed with during his tenure in New Orleans. Oh I like this little nugget. The coach who is in place when Baron Davis joins a team has failed to stay with that team for two whole seasons. Good luck Byron.Team cancer, unmovable contract AND a coach killer. Cleveland hit the trifecta.

Trade Winner: Clippers…peace out Baron

Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to the Hawks for Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a first round pick in this year’s draft.

Hawks: B

The Atlanta Hawks choose small forward Marvin Williams with the second pick in the 2005 draft, passing over point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul. They are still paying for it today. But, this trade will help ease the pain…slightly. Kirk Hinrich is an upgrade over the 32 year old Mike Bibby. Bibby can still make an open jumper or two but his defensive skills have greatly diminished and the Hawks needed to do something to upgrade the position. They also had their eyes on Cleveland’s Ramon Sessions but pulled the trigger with the Wizards instead. I like this move but I just don’t see the Hawks going anywhere in the playoffs. They also gave up some depth in relinquishing Mo Evans, but they received pf Hilton Armstrong as a throw in and a lack of depth for the Hawks just means more jumpers for Jamal Crawford.

Wizards: C

They are terrible on the road and no one trade will change that. John Wall after last night’s blowout loss at the hands of the Sixers said that “this team has no heart.” Not exactly what you want to hear from your rookie point guard. the move adds a little bit everything. veteran depth, a rookie guard in Crawford and a much needed first rounder to add to the stockpile. I see Bibby getting bought out. But that’s just me.

Trade Winner: Hawks…upgrade at the point.

Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers for Joel Pryzbilla, Dontae Cunningham and two first round picks.

Trail Blazers: C

This grade is lower because i am just not high on Gerald Wallace. He’s due to make $21 million over the next two years and owner Michael Jordan knew he better sell now before his stock dropped any further. Wallace’s numbers are all down this year and he was in trade rumors with Cleveland for months. he is an athletic wing but has a limited jump shot. With Nicolas Batum, Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews and Rudy Fernandez all in the mix at the wing in Portland, I see nothing more than a logjam for minutes until someone eventually gets injured. Which is likely because it’s Portland and that’s what they do.

Bobcats: B

Jordan has shed payroll since he took over as majority owner of the Bobcats and will likely try to rebuild through the draft. the Bobcats, with limited scoring capability as is, will likely fall out of playoff contention with this deal. Still, they needed to rid themselves of the Wallace deal and did so while acquiring two bigs with expiring contracts as well as future first rounders giving the Bobs payroll flexibility and assets for future trades.

Winner: Trail Blazers…got the better player.

Other Notable Deals:
Aaron Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic – Brooks a possible Nash replacement?

Shane Battier to the Grizzlies for Haseem Thabeet – Thabeet was just an awful draft pick by Grizz owner Michael Heisley

Carl Landry to the Hornets for Marcus Thornton – David Stern with a a great pickup in Landry. Mark Cuban is pissed.

Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to the Cavs for a second round pick –  Erden played valuable minutes when the O’Neals were hurt. I guess the O’Neals are fine now… What is Ainge doing?

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