Who needs Chris Paul when you have Jared Jefferies.
Floyd Mayweather just celebrated his birthday with an over the top cake. Yes a cake. Now the questions is which egotistical athlete had the better birthday cake? I personally think LeBron take the cake, no pun intended.
With the trade deadline come and gone its time too look at the winners of the trade deadline.
Celtics: Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
This is a great trade for Boston. They gave up Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson and in return get the guy they gave up for Ray Allen. Green is 6-9 and can play inside and out for the Celtics. His numbers are a bit down this season, averaging 15.2 points per game and 5.6 rebounds. Nonetheless Green gives them something for the future as he is only 24 years old. Green and Rondo is a solid combo and Green is certainly an upgrade from Perkins on the offensive end. In return the Celtics also get Nenad Krstic, a former starter in New Jersey. Krstic is averaging 7.6 points per game and 4.4 rebounds. He has the ability to score more though, back in 2006 he dropped 16.4 points per game. When the Celtics only have to give up Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins to get Jeff Green and a serviceable big man, you got to love it. This is a great trade for the Celtics, and it came out of left field. Sidenote Boston was also able to dump the corpses of Semih Erden, easily the worst player in the NBA and Luke Harangody, easily the second worst player in the NBA for a second round pick from the Cavs.
Nets: Deron Williams
The Nets lost out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, so plan B was apparently Deron Williams. One hell of a plan B I would say. The Nets get a 2 time All Star who is averaging 21.3 points per game and 9.7 assists per game. They gave up Devin Harris, Derick Favors and a first round pick but this is still a good deal for the Nets. They get one of the best point guards in the league for a couple average players. Williams has star power and can attract other big name free agents in, mainly Dwight Howard in 2012. Prokhorov promised to turn around the Nets and make them relevant and yes he struck out on every other big name but he hit a home run here. There is no guarantee that Williams will stay after next season but you have to like that Prokhorov is willing to take the chance.
Trail Blazers: Gerald Wallace
The Blazers gave up two future first round picks and Joel Przybilla to acquire Wallace. Wallace is having another solid season averaging 15.6 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. This trade allows Portland to add another athletic scorer as they wait for Brandon Roy’s knees to fall off. Przybilla’s 1.8 points per game will certainly not be missed by anyone in Rip City. With this trade Portland becomes a tougher out in the playoffs. Aldridge has already shown he can be a star, now he has another capable scorer along for the ride. If only Brandon Roy did not have the knees of a 90 year old man.
Knicks: Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups
If Isaiah Thomas was behind this trade the grade becomes a D because Thomas will ruin the future of the Knicks, however I’m not entirely sure he was so for now I’ll be more generous. Melo makes the Knicks a contender, not this year but defiantly in the future. The Knicks are still not better than the Heat, Celtics or Bulls. The problem is they have two great scorers who play zero defense. D’antoni system has yet to prove that it can win but now that he has two of the ten best players we will see. Melo brings life back to the Garden and that is a good thing for basketball. The NBA is better when the Knicks are relevant, its just a fact. The big question mark now becomes if Chris Paul will join them in 2012? It is certainly possible, but will the new CBA make it tougher on teams to give that max deal? Either way the Knicks gave up a bunch of average players to get a top eight player. Not only that they got big shot Billups, who will provide them leadership before he bolts in two years.
Other notable trades:
Hornets acquired Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton. A deal that gives them more size down low and also helps the Kings shred some more money. A good trade for both teams. Grade-B.
Aaron Brooks gets dealt to the Suns for Goran Dragic and a first round pick. Dragic has had a down year shooting just 27 percent from three. Brooks has struggled as well this year shooting just 34 percent from the field and 28 percent from three. With his struggles Brooks was moved to the bench and has been unhappy of late with his role. Both players are similar in style, they shoot well and don’t play much defense. The deal is a wash for both teams with the Rockets getting a first round pick that is a bit better, but it is a down draft. Suns Grade-C, Rockets Grade-C+
The Rockets were not done as they traded Shane Battier to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet. Battier played his first five seasons with the Grizzlies and should be excited to return. Battier is in the last year of his contract and is only averaging 8.6 points per game. Thabeet on the other hand has been a bust and a half since being taken number 2 in the draft. Memphis Grade- C+, Houston Grade- D
Baron Davis is probably the most missed of person in Cleveland right now. Davis and a first round pick was sent to the Cavs for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. Davis was having a decent season but that will all change now that he is going to the Cavs. He played for Byron Scott back when he was the Hornets and that did not go so well. Williams and Moon don’t add much at this point other than trimming some payroll for the Clippers. Cavs Grade- C, Clippers Grade- C+
Notre Dame -4 vs Providence: Notre Dame is coming into this game fresh off a loss at WVU. They were catching four and still found a way to get blown out by 14. That is why I believe they are in store for a bounce back game. Providence is just 3-11 in conference play but have played well at home, going 13-4. The Irish however have dominated this series taken nine of the last ten. In their last ten games overall the irish are 7-3 and have went 6-2 ATS in their last eight. They will need a better game from Tim Abromatis who was held to nine points on 2-9 shooting against WVU. The friars who are just 1-5 ATS in their last six will be led by Marshon Brooks. Brooks leads the Big East in scoring with 24.4 points per game, and is coming off a 27 point outing against Cincinnati.
Pick: Notre Dame
Purdue -5 vs Indiana: An in state rivalry that has been fairly one sided of late will tip off again tonight. The Boilermakers have taken five of the last six and beat the Hoosiers by 14 earlier this year. Purdue enters this game red hot, winners of four in a row and covering in each of those games. In those games they defeated Ohio State and Wisconsin by a combined 21 points. JaJuan Johnson is certainly a candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year, averaging 20.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. E’Twaun Moore is Johnson’s sidekick, and is coming off a 38 point performance against the Buckeyes. Indiana on the other hand has lost four in a row and is 1-3 ATS during that stretch. It is a rivalry game so they will come out fired up, but at the end of the day they can not match up with Purdue’s talent.
The All-Star festivities have come and gone and now it is time to reflect. I spent All-Star weekend at BDL Headquarters in Morgantown but I was still able to catch most of the action. I will be assigning a grade from A-F for each event.
The Rookie Challenge- Most of the time this game has been a lopsided blow-out by the sophomores. This game was actually a little exciting. We got to see John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins team up and dominate once again, Cousins recorded 33-14 while Wall won the MVP honors dishing out a record 22 assists as we saw a talented young rookie class edge out the sophomores.
The Celebrity Game- Justin Bieber won MVP in a game that featured one of the 50 greatest players of all time (Scottie Pippen), enough said.
Three Point Shootout – One of the greatest players of the last decade Paul Pierce, the NBA’s leading scoerer Kevin Durant and the player who just became the all-time leader in three pointers, Ray Allen fell short to Miami Heat 7th man, James Jones.
Slam Dunk Contest- There were some creative dunks, like Javale McGee’s two hoop dunk and Serge Ibaka’s saving the teddy bear from the hoop dunk, but there was only one true all-star in the drunk contest, Blake Griffin. It was pretty much understood he was going to win, and although the jumping of the car dunk was cool, it was more theatrical than impressive.
The All-Star Game: Loved the all-star game. Tim Duncan got the start in what very well could be his last All-Star game. The West won but LeBron James recorded the second ever triple-double in A.S. history as he attempted to rally the East and out-duel Kobe Bryant who scored 37 points and won a record 4th A.S.G MVP in front of his home crowd at Staples. Perfect ending.
After months and months of trade speculation the deal has been done. The New York Knicks have sold their soul for 4 time all-star, Carmelo Anthony. Denver acquired Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks’ 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round draft pick and $3 million for, Anthony accompanied by Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman and former Finals MVP and all-star point guard, Chauncey Billups.
Was it worth it for Denver? Absolutely. They were in all probability going to lose him to free agency anyway, and they got 3 great role players and a bunch of draft picks to build on. Sure none of those players are of equal value to ‘Melo, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Was it worth it for New York? Probably. Melo makes Gallinari expendable as far as a perimeter threat goes. Raymond Felton was having an outstanding season thanks to D’Antoni. I am interested to see how the aging Billups will do in that system but he’s not their future at point-guard. There’s been speculation that Chris Paul and Derron Williams will be in N.Y. in 2012, but you can’t bank on them. Aaron Brooks is a very talented young point guard and a restricted free agent this summer if they don’t want to wait for Paul they could sign him and D’Antoni could make him an all-star. Chauncey can keep up till the talented 2012 free agency. However, they can’t count on a big signing in 2 years. They did that with LeBron and we all know how that went. Last summer is exactly why New York went through with the trade. Could they have kept their role players and gotten ‘Melo? Probably, but they were not going to let another superstar swingman slip through their fingers.
This obviously will make the Knicks better, but it does not make them a contender. The trio of Billups, Stoudemire and Anthony will likely be an offensive juggernaut in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun system, this could be the 2000’s Suns all over again. However offense was never the primary concern for the Knicks, it never is for D’Antoni’s teams. They are always top 3 in offense, bottom 3 in defense. You cannot expect to win a championship like that. Anthony and Stoudemire are prototypical D’Antoni players, high octane offense with a silent defense. They will always be in the mix, but the top 3 teams in the East are also the top 3 defensive teams in the league and are just as offensively talented. The Celtics don’t have much time left but that still leaves the Bulls and Heat. Orlando will always be a strong team with Dwight. Unless D’Antonio adjusts his system, he will never win a championship. Well.. if they get Chris Paul or Derron Williams that might just be too much offense for any opposing team to handle, I would love to see what D’Antoni’s offense would do with tremendous talents like that of Paul and Williams at point. Even as a New Englander who was bred to despise any team that calls NYC home, I am excited for this.