Around the World (Wide Web): Trading Frenzy, Kobe Update

Phillip Barnett —  February 18, 2010

Before I get into any of the trade links, here are a few links on Kobe’s status as of yesterday after the Lakers’ practice. Kobe was interviewed after practice, and when asked if it were a definite no in playing in tomorrow’s game against the Celtics, he responded saying, “right now it’s a no, but if I wake up tomorrow and feel drastically different, I’ll play – but I doubt it.”

Land O’ Lakers also have post-practice interviews from Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol on various topics like Kobe, the trade deadline, tonight’s game against the Celtics and the season beyond. Also, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Lakers Blog has some analysis on Kobe’s post game interviews and what his recovery is looking like:

I had earlier maintained that the situations involving his finger and ankle are different. Though having a fractured finger is far from enjoyable, playing through that injury is technically doable. As far as Bryant’s insistence to play through his ankle before and his decision to take a long-term approach now seems pretty straight forward and doesn’t really need much parsing (though I’ve kind of already done that). The strained tendons and muscles in his left leg has added difficult to the recovery process, with Bryant noting “tendons are a little different; they have their own agendas on what they want to heal.” But his outlook on recovering from injuries appears the same.

Yesterday, there were a few moves by teams either trying to improve, or teams trying to clear cap space for this year’s free agency. The most notable of those trades was Washington sending Antwan Jamison to Cleveland in a three way deal that also included the Clippers.

Cleveland gets: Antwan Jamison, Sebastian Telfair
Washington gets: Cavs 2010 1st round draft pick, Draft Rights to Emir Preldzic, Al Thorton
Los Angeles gets: Drew Gooden

Reactions:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer gives all of the details of the trade
Clipper Blog explains what it means for the Clips as far as cap space is concerned
Cavs: The Blog explain how Jamison is going to be able to help the Cavs offensively (yes, help them) with his ability to spread the floor:

Jamison can shoot. He has to be guarded beyond the three-point line, and is comfortable catching and shooting. Even if he’s not on fire, he’ll provide Shaq with space in the post and Andy space to cut. He’s also crafty off the ball, and should be able to find cuts and angles to receive an interior pass from Shaq or Andy when Antawn dives to the rim. When he gets it near the hoop, he has great patience and can finish from a variety of angles. Jamison’s been in the league for a long time. He knows how to score from everywhere on the court. He’ll be able to make it work on offense in ways that pairings of Shaq/Hickson, Shaq/Andy, or Andy/Hickson weren’t able to.

The Kings and Rockets also made a deal yesterday involving Tracy McGrady and Kevin Martin.

Sacramento gets: Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and cash considerations
Houston gets: Kevin Martin, Sergio Rodriguez, Kenny Thomas, Hilton Armstrong

Reactions:
ESPN gives all the details of the trade
Cowbell Kingdom gives all the details and much, much more:

“And I don’t blame the Kings for doing so, either. Sacramento had to figure out if Evans and Martin could coexist together. The only way to do that was to force the issue and get them to form some chemistry on the court. What happened was the Kings already existing struggles to score inside were amplified because the ball stayed on the perimeter. The Martin-Evans duo needed an inside presence in the post to balance out the attack and open up the perimeter. Unfortunately, they never had that weapon at their disposal and the rest of the team seem to be forgotten too often.
“With Martin’s role becoming less and less defined in the offense over the recent stretch of games, there was some confusion as to what the next step would be. The immediate reaction was to think he’d be traded (especially after the weird sitting out of all but 15 seconds of the fourth quarter on Tuesday night). However, since the Kings were demanding a low post presence and none of the rumored deals seemed to be meeting that criteria, a Kevin Martin deal seemed to be improbable.
“But here we are. Kevin Martin is traded and the Kings received a low post threat that they desperately have been seeking.”

One last notable trade was the Chicago Bulls dumping John Salmons contract on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chicago gets: Hakim Warrick and Joel Alexander
Milwaukee gets: John Salmons

Reactions:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives the details of the trade
By The Horns explains that this trade was purely for cap clearing reasons:

“In the meantime, the Bulls are a little worse.

Don’t get me wrong. Salmons hasn’t had a great season by any stretch of the imagination. But he’s still the team’s second-best three-point shooter and its third-leading scorer. Make that was. I guess it’s time for Devin Brown and Jannero Pargo to step up.
Said Derrick Rose: “Man, that’s crazy thinking about John leaving. He just came here [in a trade with the Kings on Feb. 18, 2009]. But, it’s the NBA. If he does get traded we’ll definitely miss him, but [the season] must continue. … It hurts your team a little bit. Like when you have a game right after [a trade]. But that’s just how the NBA goes.”

There was also a trade between Minnesota and the Knicks where Brian Cardinal and Darko Milicic were swapped and it still remains to be seen if Tracy McGrady will end up in New York or if Amare Stoudemire will end up in Miami. Teams have until Noon PST to make their decisions.

Today, I leave you with a post from Eddie Maisonet, the newest member of SLAMonline.com, who introduced himself by writing a bold piece proclaiming Pau Gasol, not Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ MVP. Here’s a few lines from the post:

“Sure, Kobe’s more dynamic. He’s going to shoot the game-winners. He’s the poster child for the League. We all know this. If we were talking about the Most Outstanding Player for the Lakers and the NBA, of course Bryant wins this award.
“However, the title is “Most Valuable” and from a value perspective it’s extremely tough to say isn’t more valuable. Plus, who’s to say that Gasol doesn’t make players better? Lamar Odom was almost traded roughly 38 times before Pau got there, however Gasol and Odom (and Bynum to a degree) remind some of the Uncles in our family to a Parish/McHale/Walton ’86 Celtics feel of a frontcourt. Other teams in the NBA have strategically reshaped their teams to beat LA, by adding frontcourt depth in particular.”

Check out the article. Thoughts?

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Some updates on today’s trades

As many speculated yesterday, Tracy McGrady wasn’t done moving. The Kings were able to come to terms with the Knicks to complete a three-way deal with the Rockets.

New York gets: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez
Houston gets: Kevin Martin, Jared Jeffries, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, NYK’s 2011 pick, the right to switch picks with NYK in 2012
Sacramento gets:

Reactions:

– NBA Fanhouse tells how Sacramento was able to helm make this a great trade for Houston:

Houston’s role in all of this is interesting, and it’ll be worth following the next few days of explanations to see exactly how this came together. The Rockets had been working with the Knicks on the non-Martin, non-Landry portions of the deal for weeks. It seems as though Houston got tired of waiting and made the deal for Martin about 12 hours early, perhaps putting pressure on New York to give up those picks. It worked. It looks like Sacramento really helped the Rockets here.

– Ball Don’t Lie explains McGrady’s worth for the teams who dealt him:

The deal? In the latest of many permutations, it appears as if Tracy McGrady is heading to New York. An expiring contract, and nothing more, despite the long term outlook they’ve been trying to sell you through the media. The Knicks will no doubt play Tracy this season, but come July, he’s gone. Come July, thanks to the work of Donnie Walsh, most of these Knicks are gone, and they’ll have a real shot at signing two big free agent contracts.

The Knicks were pretty busy today. Not only did they acquire McGrady, they were also involved in a five player deal that sent Nate Robinson to the Celtics in exchange for Eddie House.

Boston gets: Nate Robinson, one other Knicks player not mentioned yet
New York gets: Eddie House, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens

Reactions

ESPN gives the details of the trade.

Celtics Hub on why bringing in Robinson was the only move the Cs made.

A lot of Celtics fans are going to be disappointed that this is the only deal the C’s have made at the deadline, considering the number of other deals that went down around the league. The truth is, Danny Ainge hands were tied, given the team’s salary concerns for next year (63 million committed to just 6 players) making it tough for the team to absorb any bad contract that would be required in return for receiving any “impact” player the C’s were looking for, as seen in the excerpt above.

The C’s had plenty of expiring contracts to deal besides Ray Allen, but all of those guys were either a) lacking talent that would make them appealing to other teams (Giddens, Walker, Scalabrine, Williams) b) important parts of the team’s rotation (Daniels, TA, House)

There were also a few other minor deals made before the deadline:

The Chicago Bulls traded Ty Thomas to the Charlotte Bobcats for Acie Law IV and Flip Murray.

Ronnie Brewer was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for a protected 2011 pick.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded Primoz Brezec and Royal Ivey to the Milwaukee Bucks for Jodie Meeks, Francisco Elson and a second round draft pick.

-Phillip

Phillip Barnett

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