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Major Draft Trades

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You don't often see big names get traded on draft night.  Obviously last night was an exception.  What struck me, besides the marquee value of the names, was that this ended up being kind of a "nerds vs. jocks" battle between GM's.  Granted they're all ex-jocks, but you had the high-profile, big-names on one side (Ainge, Thomas, and Jordan) and the glasses-wearing, boy geniuses on the other side (Presti, Pritchard, and Mullin...who's definitely a famous ex-NBA player but he looks semi-geeky so he plays for this side now).  Who won this six-man battle royale?  Time will tell.

Trade #1:  Seattle sends Ray Allen and Glen Davis to Boston for Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak

I think this move makes sense from both angles.  Boston needed someone on Paul Pierce's timetable.  Allen fits.  In the East the goal is to hit the playoffs and see what happens.  Boston should now.  Unlike some commentators I don't see a problem pairing Pierce and Allen because although Ray shoots a lot he doesn't dominate the ball as he does so.  He doesn't have to hold it to score.  That makes it easy to team him with another big scorer.  If Al Jefferson continues to develop Boston should have a nice inside-out attack.  They're not serious contenders but, at least for next year, they're better off than before.

On the flip side Allen didn't fit Seattle's schedule at all.  His contract was enormous.  He's older than all of their other promising players.  And they weren't winning anyway.  Szczerbiak is a contract pill for sure but West should be able to contribute right away.  Durant and Green would be a dream forward tandem for a lot of teams.  Rumor has it they try to re-sign Rashard Lewis now.  That makes sense in the short term but I don't know about Lewis, Durant, and Green playing together once the youngsters mature.  But then that's just more trade bait later, right?  Seattle got a new start without spending years in the sewer.  If they're not that great this year...well...they probably weren't going to be anyway.  They saved a little money in the process, which was probably as important to them as anything.  They did what they wanted to do.

Trade #2:  Golden State sends Jason Richardson and Jermareo Davidson to Charlotte for Brandan Wright

This is probably one of those deals where each GM thinks they got the best of the other.  Jordan and the Bobcats were saying, "We don't like anybody available to us here, we think Wright is a coin flip, and we need a proven player.  Enjoy taking a chance on this guy Mullin!"  Meanwhile Mullin and the Warriors were saying, "We hate J-Rich's contract, his knee is bad, and without his explosiveness he doesn't help the team.  Who will take him?  Enjoy paying him up the wazoo for the next four years Mike!"

Personally I'm siding with the Warriors on this one.  I like J-Rich but his game might not ever get back to where it was.  I think Jordan could have brokered a better deal with that cap space if he had been more patient.  Whether Wright ever pans out or not I suspect the Warriors got what they wanted.

Trade #3:  Portland sends Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, and Freddie Jones to New York for Channing Frye and Steve Francis.

Isiah Thomas is gloating over the talent inequity in this trade.  Kevin Pritchard is saying, "Wait and see..."  Basically both teams dumped their doofuses on each other.  Portland's ex-doofus has a better chance of playing well.  New York's ex-doofus costs less in the long run.  Frye is probably a better talent prospect than Dickau and Jones combined so Portland wins the secondary deal.  This deal is like starting a race and giving New York an intentional head start.  Portland is eating their dust now but it'll be interesting to see what's happening in two years when Francis' deal runs out and the Knicks still owe Zach $33 million over the next two years.  Is this a masterpiece for Isiah or yet another inadvisable acquisition of a land-mine contract?  Again, time will tell.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)