Couple of trades went down today. So, forgive me for interrupting the Lebron/Kobe team whatever it was I was trying to do last week.
First off, is the three-team deal involving the Hornets, Grizzlies and Wizards.
The Wizards got point guard Mike James and combo guard Javaris Crittenton. The Grizzlies got a Wizards future first-round pick. The Hornets got guard Antonio Daniels.
Now, from the Wizards standpoint, not entirely sure what they are doing. They’ve got a whole host of guards, DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Juan Dixon, and, oh yeah, Mr. $111 million man Gilbert Arenas. With the trade, they are subtracting one guard and adding two more. Mike James, let’s be honest, is a salary dump thing. And, adding JCritt means that they got the most potential talent out of the deal, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that, JCritt, much like he was on the Grizzlies, doesn’t really have a spot in the rotation. Of course, Crittenton does have a chance to be better than all of the guards on the Wizards' roster not named Gilbert (actually, kind of plays like GA without the range), but, he’s only 20 and Hibachi is supposed to be coming back into the rotation in the next few months.
As for the Grizzlies, I really don't like this deal. Critt was one of their more valuable pieces. Sure, the more DNPs or 3-minute outings he racked up, the further his value fell, but trading him for a conditional first round pick? Eh. This team needs veterans, not more youth. Hell, their starting rotation averages 21 years of age. Adding more draft picks to this team is like herding more kids into Neverland Ranch. Just more youth for the man in charge to screw up.
As for the Hornets, Antonio Daniels is exactly what they need…in theory. Daniels is pretty banged up. He spent the early part of the year recovering from a knee injury and has recently dealt with some back issues. After back-to-back seasons (05-07) where he averaged 80 games, Daniels has been injury-prone this year and last. He’s had all sorts of ailments all over his body: sprained wrist, messed up ankle, bone spurs. But, when he’s right, or, that is, if he can get right, he will be a welcome addition to the squad. His ability to play turnover-free basketball and run the point as well as consistently get to the line, is exactly the type of production the Hornets lack. On defense, he’s great at drawing offensive fouls. He’ll struggle to guard quicker point guards, but he’ll have a lot of help with a defensive-minded second unit.
As for the other trade between Phoenix and Charlotte that sent Boris Diaw, Sean Singletary and Raja Bell to the Bobcats in exchange for Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and a second round pick…I have my reservations.
First and foremost, I have my reservations because I know who the respective GMs are. If you’ve read this blog, we all know what Steve Kerr has done to the Suns…hint, he’s really big and frequently pops off at the mouth.
As for Charlotte Bobcats GM Rod Higgins, he’s done some piss poor work himself. And, like Kerr, in only a season and a few months. He signed PF/C Emeka Okafor, SF Gerald Wallace and SF/SG Matt Carroll all to huge and lengthy contracts well beyond what any of them deserve (especially Carroll). Then he exercised the rights to two more SFs Adam Morrison and Jared Dudley (okay, he can kind of play power). This year he signed Marcus Williams, Donell Taylor, Andre Brown, Justin Williams, and Linton Johnson, and then waived each and every one of them.
So, forgive me if this trade smells of disaster from the get go. Higgins needed to trade for some big bodies, and instead flipped a guard and a small forward for two guards and a small forward on a team littered with, you guessed it, guards and small forwards.
I mean, I get why he got Bell. Bell’s a Larry Brown guy through and through. Bell came up with Brown on the Sixers. Brown helped mold him into the player he is today. But, that was 8 years ago. Bell isn’t close to what he was defensively, even two years ago. His 3-point percentage is up, but you have to consider that he’s trading in the passing skills of Steve Nash for the combo of D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton, and the spacing provided by Shaq and Amare, for the no spacing provided whatsoever from Nazr Mohammed and Okafor.
But Diaw? Diaw is represents everything that makes Brown furious. A talented, lazy, non-head user. And that’s for three more seasons. Have fun with that Larry.
Worse comes to worse, in the end, the Cats saved a few million dollars.
Say what you will about Richardson’s overall game—lacks handles, can’t play D, doesn’t know how to pass—but dude could consistently score 20 a night. Diaw and Bell are the opposite of consistency.
Who knows, Diaw could blossom under Brown and get back to averaging 16, 6 and 6. Truly scary numbers…
As for the Suns, they got the best player in the trade, but they also added his $12.5 million salary for three more seasons. He’s a dude who lives off his crazy athleticism (twice a dunk champion) coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery. He’s a bit one dimensional, but he’ll make that starting five a lot better…if everyone is willing to share the ball. Cough, cough, Amare, cough.
The problem here is that Phoenix swapped out Singletary as well, leaving them with statistically, one of the worst players in the NBA, Goran Dragic, backing up Steve Nash. And for a team whose main goal this season was to get a lot better at defense, trading J-Rich for your best defender is like a Mormon marrying a pornstar. Dudley’s got some game, like a garbage man (cleans up trash, gets down and dirty), but he’s sort of redundant with Matt Barnes.
We’ll see how this all turns out. Amare could be content in taking less shots and instead focus on defense and rebounding so J-Rich can get his 16-18 points per. The Suns defense could get better despite trading their best defender for a horrible one. Grant Hill could act as a point-forward off the bench…er, wait…this all sounds so familiar.