The NBA Trade Deadline Comes and Goes With No Megadeal

Phillip Barnett —  February 21, 2013

As expected, the Lakers didn’t make any moves as the NBA Trade Deadline came and passed. With the Lakers struggling to get back to .500 this year, many wondered if another big move was on the horizon for the Forum Blue and Gold, but there was never anything that made any sense. There were rumblings about both Howard and Pau Gasol being moved (which would have potentially been a bit louder had he not been injured). But in reality, the Lakers don’t have any pieces that other teams want that they want to move. Going into this trade season, it was expected that the team the Lakers had before the All-Star break would be the team that they finished with at the end of the season. The nature of the contracts, the ages of the guys with those contracts, and the fact that this team hasn’t really gotten a chance to really play together as a unit — especially under D’Antoni’s system.

Furthermore, there were no trades that were of the blockbuster caliber. J.J. Redick was the centerpiece in the most high profile trade of the day, and Thomas Robinson was the headliner in the biggest (and only) trade from yesterday. While I won’t provide much analysis here (i.e. none) here’s a look at all of the trades from the last two days.

Orlando-Milwaukee Trade
Orlando gets: Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb, and Tobias Harris
Milwaukee gets: J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith

Houston-Sacramento-Phoenix Trade
Houston gets: Thomas Robinson and a future 2nd Round Pick
Sacramento gets: Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas
Phoenix gets: Marcus Morris

Portland-Oklahoma City Trade
Portland gets: Eric Maynor
Oklahoma City gets: The draft rights to Giorgio Printezis

Oklahoma City-New York Trade
Oklahoma City gets: Ronnie Brewer
New York gets: 2nd Round Pick

Dallas-Atlanta Trade
Dallas gets: Anthony Morrow
Atlanta gets: Dahntay Jones

Atlanta-Philadelphia-Golden State Trade
Atlanta gets: Jeremy Tyler
Philadelphia gets: Charles Jenkins
Golden State Gets: Two 2nd Round Picks, one from each team

Charlotte-Orlando Trade
Charlotte gets: Josh McRoberts
Orlando gets: Hakim Warrick

Boston-Washington Trade
Boston gets: Jordan Crawford
Washington gets: Leandro Barbosa

Phoenix-Toronto Trade
Phoenix gets: Hamed Haddadi and a 2nd Round Pick
Toronto gets: Sebastian Telfair

Memphis-Miami Trade
Memphis gets: Dexter Pittman
Miami gets: Trade Exception

Phillip Barnett


to The NBA Trade Deadline Comes and Goes With No Megadeal

  1. I am happy we did not make any trades, as I think it was more likely that we would have messed ourselves up in the longer term, more so than any help we could have given ourselves in the short term.
    DH: I don’t understand the back diagnosis. I am not a doctor, but I know enough about backs as follows: If you had a back injury and you lost mobility, then you can try to stretch and go through therapy to regain that mobility. I am not sure basketball would be part of that, but perhaps. However, if after an injury, or during your therapy, you start to experience pain or numbness or “can’t feel my legs”, you would rest. The last thing you would do is play basketball (well perhaps second to weightlifting which for all I know DH is doing that too). If DH is experiencing pain on and off, then he needs to rest until he doesn’t. I have seen no logical explanation of this. This is not like playing through a sprained ankle or a jammed finger. I do not blame the team for getting him (obviously), I do not blame them for keeping him (obviously), but they are messing up in one of two areas – if he is not physically fit to play then he should not be playing or if he is physically fit to play then he is not being utilized properly. Saying that he can’t play effectively because of his back is akin to saying someone can’t drive because they are inebriated. Duh – they should not be driving.


  2. Dead right Robert. While the benefit of hindsight ensures it’s too late to fix the problem you see, they really should have held off playing Dwight for a month or two at the start. As disastrous as the start of the year was, at this point it may have worked out the same sans-Dwight if he was given a chance to recover that back a bit more. I think the rest showed in his performance against the lepers, and at this point while it may be something he can “play through” it obviously is impeding any progress in his recovery.


  3. Anti climactic trade deadline.


  4. if he is not physically fit to play then he should not be playing or if he is physically fit to play then he is not being utilized properly.

    Not exactly. It is very clear that Howard is not the same guy he was 18 months ago; this is readily apparent either from the eye test or the numbers. But he has been cleared to play by the team medical staff. So, it may be that this is simply who he is now. There are adjustments that D’Antoni could make in how he is using Howard, of course, but coaching adjustments will not bring back Howard’s lateral movement, his first step, his ability to jump 2 or 3 times quickly, or his explosiveness on the first jump.

    If this is the case, it is nothing like driving drunk, in the fact that being drunk is a temporary condition. Howard’s loss of athleticism may not be.


  5. Hard to believe a team in 10th place, under .500 with holes at SF and no back up center couldn’t find one player to help. Seems Houston did, Portland did, OKC did and even the Knicks signed Martin.

    If Lakers finish behind Houston and Portland I would have some questions for Mitch.


  6. I think Ronnie Brewer could end up being quite the steal.


  7. Jordan Crawford, biggest steal hands down. Wiz traded for an injured once “fastest man in the nba” in Barbosa and a guy who barely see any minutes (Jason Collins).


  8. @randomsz exactly who said Mitch was the only GM who can pull off one sided trades? The wiz messed up big time and the Celtics got younger, more athletic.


  9. I had back trouble (disk removed) and I used weightlifting to make my back stronger – rather, to make my back muscles stronger, so that my back would not be doing the work. That was 30 years ago and I am now in good shape.

    The team doctors cleared Dwight to play and the team does not employ incompetent doctors, however, team doctors will always be employed by the team, not the player. IMO, Dwight has his own doctor and his doctor has not told him to sit. We fans are trying to intuit what Dwight means when he says he feels numbness. There are a lot of degrees of numbness and they all mean different things – I have felt a number of different types of numbness over my time since my back injury. All this means is that I am saying we should not be trying to play ‘doctor’ with an NBA player.

    My opinion is that Dwight is going through a tremendous learning period – both with his back, shoulder, and his approach to playing basketball. He has never before had a serious injury and must adjust his approach to health – as Kobe has done in the past. He has come to an entirely different atmosphere in the pressure of playing for the Lakers – a franchise with very high expectations and very high rewards. IMO he is learning how to play on a team where he is no longer so superior to the other players. This is the first time he has done this and he is having to constantly change his game to adapt to other player’s strengths (more pick-and-roll and less back-to-the-basket). The game isn’t designed exclusively around him. This is a superstar. This is a hard adjustment. He is not a very young, pliable player (like Michael Jordan was at North Carolina), but one in his prime years.

    Give the guy a break. What he is going through is doubly difficult. I hope the all-star game and the Celtics game have helped him better see the true team concept and the strength in operating in a team system – Orlando wasn’t that situation.

    I have confidence he will get better and I suspect the front office approaches the situation the way I do. It is a risk, but when haven’t the Lakers been able to take a risk?


  10. okc gave up maynor but got brewer? hmmmm interesting


  11. So, it may be that this is simply who he is now.

    Excellent point Rr. To expound upon it a lil further, Dwight has stated, on numerous occasions, that his back is at about 75%. My question is, unless said individual (in this case, Dwight) has had this type of surgical procedure before, rehabbed it and returned to the same type level of play (athletically) that they were accustomed to before the surgery, how would he know that he’s only at 75%? To simplify it, who’s to say that what Dwight believes to be 75% is, in actuality, his new 100%? Once again, athletically speaking.

    As I’ve stated several times before, I appreciate the fact that he came back ahead of schedule and I commend him for continuing to play through his aches and pains, but there’s a real possibility that, as Rr mentioned, the Dwight that we see now is the Dwight that we’ll have as long as he adorns the Fb&G.


  12. All the Lakers did this deadline was shop Duhon or Blake for a 2nd rounder. No takers.


  13. “So, it may be that this is simply who he is now.”

    It is possible that Dwight will never be the same. And yes we do not have all the facts, we are not doctors, blah, blah, blah. We are not coaches or GM’s either but that doesn’t stop us in those areas : )

    My “speculative” point is this. If DH is permanently damaged and let’s say 75% of what he was, that is not good, but what I would expect is that on day 1 of his comeback he would have been at let’s say 65-70%, and after working out the kinks he gets up to 75%. That is not what we are witnessing. What we are witnessing is after some rest (perhaps mentally as well as physically), he is at 85%, and then when he has numbness/pain, he goes down to 60%. This has repeated several times. Yes – if I were running the Lakers – I would yield to the medical opinions, but at this time I would be saying “are you sure?” And the alternate point is that “IF” he is truly ready to play, then I think these wild swings are more mental and utilization, which leads me back to the questions about coaching, chemistry, and working with Nash/Kobe.

    What I do not buy is the following: Our coaching of DH is perfect, our utilization is perfect, Nash’s relationship with him is perfect, Kobe’s relationship with him is perfect, and all of DH’s problems are due to his own head and his back. This pins it all on DH and his body.

    What I buy is something like this: DH “might” not ever be what he was, and let’s say he has permanently lost 10% (maybe). He is a head case, and this has been exacerbated by him being coached ineffectively, utilized ineffectively, and less than stellar relationships with Kobe and Nash. This theory means that DH’s lack of productions is a MD issue, and KB issue, and SN issue, and a DH issue. So I am giving DH a break. It is those other names that I want to share in this : )

    And with regard to driving drunk – it is like that – because of the completely inconsistent performances from game to game. If he is “permanently disabled” then he would not be able to flip the switch and have good games. This is mental, coaching, and chemistry, and we do not have the right formula.

    rr: This discussion is critical, because if he is permanently damaged, we may not want to sign him. If it is other items causing this, then we do, but there might be others who we don’t want around : )


  14. I dont get it Robert. You cried and cried for a Bynum for Dwight swap and now you want to ship the dude out…. Dude had major back surgery. Its too early to tell if he’s as good as he’ll ever be or in the process of recovery. You say you are giving him a break, but then criticize him to no end… so what is it that you want now?


  15. MannyP: ? You need to read my posts. For the record. I wanted Dwight. I want to keep Dwight (pending his health report). I am not blaming DH, but rather am spreading the wealth of blame for his performing at less than historical norms (as I stated above). I do not think he is being utilized properly. I do not think we have good chemistry. I think we “might” be getting inaccurate medical reports. I am not criticizing him – please sight where I am – others on this site are – to no end as you say. You really need to re-read. DH leads the league in rebounding. He is in the leaders for blocks and FG%. Please go back and read where I said the is the first time in ages where two legitimate 1st team All stars are in a struggle to make the playoffs. We have no business being under 500 with Kobe and DH. What I want should also be clear, but I banned myself from talking about the top item on that list. : )

    Sorry everyone – but evidently I am not being redundant enough – so my views are not clear : )


  16. Just watched the memorial videos. All the speakers were good but Magic was perfect. Eloquent, funny, touching, rallied the crowd at the end. Reminded me of how charismatic and personable the guy is. He and Dr Buss may have had the best owner-player relationship in sports history.


  17. robert: as we age, we don’t always remember so well……

    for the first five minutes or so i personally could not hear a single word david stern was saying while eulogizing the midas man, jerry buss as steam was coming out of my ears…. for basketball reasons i suppose.

    at first glance i thought it was jerry buss and not johnny buss speaking. overlooked in all this, i have newfound respect and admiration for pau gasol. slowly limping on to the podium to speak in spanish to all the spanish speaking faithful. respectfully, he was asked to do so.

    pat riley, wow. brings back the 80’s; the original GQ look; showtime era, the leader of the pack. jerry west, past and present seems to tie all things lakers together for me. a respectful shaq and kareem despite their separate and past circumstances not with each other but with laker management put loyalty and honor first. phil jackson, awwww… phil jackson. then there was the mamba deviating from his prepared eulogy to reference back at phil. seems a little of the venom resurfaces whenever the snake charming phil speaks. and he speaks to all. in reference to not always remembering, did not know the magic one was the chosen one; the adopted one, the one and only closer; loved all his stories and especially caught my attention of his references to jeannie buss; omitting the obvious.

    It was a who’s who of the whose who.

    it’s lakers vs the blazers from portland oregon tonite.

    another winnable opportunity.

    Go Lakers


  18. “But he has been cleared to play by the team medical staff. So, it may be that this is simply who he is now.”

    And they used to send us into the coal mines and never mind any breathing apparatus to protect us from the coal dust.

    That said, the problem that I have with “this is simply who he is now” is that what he described to Steve Smith does not fit that model, as it were. Here are the possible explanations for his described condition:

    (1) surgery did not remove all of the disc material impinging on the exiting nerve root, so while the radicular pain is gone he has the radicular numbness and tingling;

    (2) a new herniation, post-surgery, of the same disc;

    (3) a herniation of a disc other than the disc that was the subject of his surgery (this herniation could have arisen either before or after his surgery);

    (4) nerve damage, either permanent or temporary (the impingement might have been severe enough to cause actual damage to the nerve, either temporary or permanent).

    I’m going to rule out (4) based on his comments to Steve Smith, i.e., he does not describe the numbness and tingling as constant nor does he describe the numbness and tingling as random, i.e., he blames sitting down. If there is nerve damage and no impingement of the nerve, the symptoms should either be constant or random. As I remarked in a post on a prior thread, the sitting down is used to make the differential diagnosis, i.e., sitting down puts the most pressure on the discs in one’s back, and so when one either has onset or worsening of the symptoms with sitting down, that pretty much tells everyone that something, a disc, is impinging on the nerve (i.e., when he sits the disc compresses, except not merely in the vertical plane (up/down) but also in the horizontal plane (ends/sides), and so on disc compression owing to the sitting, the disc both flattens (vertical plane) and expands (horizontal plane) and is the expansion (horizontal plane) that either causes the disc to impinge on the nerve in the first instance or takes an exiting impingement to the point wherein there are symptoms. Again, don’t try this at home, unless you have affordable cleaning products handy, and a jelly doughnut, but picture yourself pressing down on a jelly filled doughnut. Will both flatten and expand the doughnut. When the doughnut is compressed too much, the jelly will exude from the disc. That is a herniation of your jelly doughnut.

    If the circumstance is one or more of (1) through (3), then we cannot say what his long-term status might be until the underlying pathology is addressed.

    Lastly, we could do a better job of diagnosing Dwight if we had more of the history, i.e., was there ever complete relief from any and all symptoms for any significant period of time. Meaning, if he went for a couple of months with no symptoms despite sitting, standing, lying on his side, lying on his back, what have you, then we could more than likely rule out the surgery having left any disc material impinging on the exiting nerve root and so would be either a new herniation of that same disc or a herniation of some other disc.

    Almost forgot, but there are some other possible causes of his symptoms, call them “exotic”, but so far as I know, Dwight has not been diagnosed as having what I will Steve Nash Condition (spondylolisthesis), nor spinal stenosis, nor cauda equina syndrome, nor etc.

    For yet one more, as I related in another post on another thread, I sent an email to Ding. I got a reply. Then I sent him an even longer than my original by way of follow-up. That said, it was not the first time I have said or written so, but I prefigured Robert’s comments above in my original to Ding and so I entirely question why Dwight is being allowed to play with numbness and tingling in his one leg there. Again, please note item (4) above. If he does not have that yet, and I don’t think that he does, but if he does not have that yet and there is still an ongoing impingement of the nerve root, and there likely is, and so the numbness and tingling, but Dwight risks a permanent damage to that nerve root so long as he keeps doing things that cause the compression/impingement and consequent numbness and tingling. And so all get my point, Dwight did not have surgery owing to the numbness and tingling, which is not to say that such was not present before his surgery, but he had the surgery to eliminate the radicular pain. He apparently does not have that pain now, but if something, a disc, is currently impinging on a nerve root, he risks not only a return of that pain, but a permanent pain owing to a permanently damaged nerve root.

    Now on the notion of team doctor:

    A recent lawsuit suggests that the problem of concussions suffered by professional athletes may involve more than the way the sport is played or the equipment that athletes are wearing. It may also involve physicians that do not appreciate the severity of brain injury that can be suffered by athletes, and who release players to play again following a concussion without considering the long term ramifications.

    A soccer player has filed a $12 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a team after the team reportedly failed to properly evaluate his injury. This follows a number of other lawsuits where players sued physicians and hospital chains for being cleared to play again after suffering concussions.

    Here’s a piece on that 12 mil lawsuit:

    And I don’t know how this one turned out:

    Actually, he won, though it appears that the only claim against the team was for fraud/misrepresentation:

    And here’s one more:

    Here’s part of an interview on ESPN:

    KEENAN MCCARDELL, JAGUARS WIDE RECEIVER (1996-2001)- The doctor numbs him with novocain with the needle, and he just takes a scalpel and cuts into his leg, you know, and then they just start pushing the bruise’s blood out. It looked like grape jelly. It’s, like, “Is this really happening right here in the training room?”

    FARREY- You operated in an unsterile environment.

    LUCIE- We operated at the treatment room in Alltel Stadium, which has been defined as a training room, and it’s certainly not [unsterile].

    FARREY- But it was a sterile environment? I mean, you had your — you had your watch on. I saw your hair in the picture. Players were in the room.

    LUCIE- It was a — it was — it’s designed to do a similar surgical procedures as physicians all over the country do in their offices or in emergency rooms.

    FARREY- Lucie left the one-inch hole open to heal naturally.

    MCCARDELL- It was a big hole. You could see clear to his bone, almost.

    NOVAK- But what was interesting to me is that — that he kept me — he told me I was going to have to stay off the field because he didn’t want it to get infected. And then that changed 48 hours later. I had the same opening, the same hole in my leg, but the worry about it getting dirty and infected was no longer there.

    FARREY- Jeff Novak was going out there with a wound that you knew could get infected and could be aggravated by continuing to practice.

    LUCIE- But we didn’t — if we’d have thought that, for sure, sending him back out there, it was going to make it worse, we would have obviously never sent him back out there. There was a small risk of infection with draining the hematoma. There was a small risk of infection with letting him continue to play.

    FARREY- A few days later, Jeff Novak woke up in a pool of blood. His leg was not healing. Still, the next day he was cleared to play in the rain and mud of a pre-season game at Charlotte. After the game, at the airport, teammates noticed more blood seeping from his cowboy boot.

    NOVAK- I took the boot off and poured it out and hopped off the bus. And I was standing on the tarmac of the airport, because our buses pull up to the — right on the runway. And in the minute or so that I was standing there, another big pool of blood formed. And Brian DeMarco, who’s an Italian kid from up north, you know, he’s hollering, you know, “I’ve seen gunshots that didn’t bleed this bad. Somebody get over here! Somebody get over here!”

    FARREY- At this point, are you saying to yourself, “We have a situation here?”

    LUCIE- Sure.

    FARREY- Lucie rushed Novak to a hospital for emergency surgery, where his leg was stapled shut. But Novak’s trust in his team doctor had run out. When little black dots showed up around his wound a month later, he went to a doctor not connected to the Jaguars. That doctor found E. coli and staph infections. Novak saw limited action later in 1998, but that would turn out to be his final NFL season.

    He later sued Lucie and Jacksonville Orthopedics for malpractice, claiming his leg never fully recovered. The suit went to trial this summer, a year-and-a-half after Lucie resigned saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

    And on that note:

    “These doctors in the NFL are in the trenches with the player and that’s not where they belong,” Novak said. “They’re part of the team instead of being your physician.”

    That’s Novak’s way of alluding to the inherent conflict of interest.

    And here’s where the team, here the school itself, paid up the money:

    Preston Plevretes was once a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker for La Salle University.

    These days, the 23-year-old can barely speak – he uses a computer laptop to communicate because of a brain injury suffered during a game – and he can walk only short distances accompanied by someone to steady him.

    Plevretes’ parents, Tammy and Ted, take turns caring for their son in their Marlboro, N.J., home. He needs 24-hour care.

    Now Preston and his parents have some relief. La Salle University has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of Preston Plevretes, the former athlete’s attorney, Shanin Specter, said yesterday.

    The family’s lawsuit claimed that substandard testing and medical attention by La Salle’s personnel were responsible for Plevretes’ being cleared to play despite an earlier concussion, and that that decision led to his brain injury.

    The trial was to have begun yesterday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

    And that’s about how much the generic claim of, he was cleared to play, means.


  19. What I do not buy is the following: Our coaching of DH is perfect, our utilization is perfect, Nash’s relationship with him is perfect, Kobe’s relationship with him is perfect, and all of DH’s problems are due to his own head and his back. This pins it all on DH and his body.

    I don’t think anyone is claiming this is the case; I am certainly not. But I do think Howard’s main (not only but main) problem is his back. Most of his rate stats are the same on O; his O is down largely because his USG is down from 26 to 22. His blocks and OREBs are the same. The drop in DREB is probably a combination of playing with Pau and being out of position due to breakdowns. His TOs are up some, but he has always had a high TOV rate.

    But his effect on Team D is not the same, he is getting more shots blocked than he ever has, and these things are directly tied to his decreased explosiveness and mobility.There were two basic reasons that Buss and Kupchak wanted Howard on the team, rather than Bynum:

    1. Howard had the athletic ability to anchor the team D in ways that Bynum never could.
    2. Howard was durable enough and elite enough to be the post-Kobe team centerpiece and is a big enough name to help with recruiting.

    But the fact is that 2013 Howard is arguably a downgrade on 2012 Bynum, whether one likes the numbers, the eye test, or both, so the whole premise is in question. This is not to say I would have kept Bynum and not made the deal, but you have said over and over that you don’t get how the team could be worse this than last, unless D’Antoni is messing the whole thing up. One reason is that the Lakers have not actually upgraded at the 5.

    And I think it is clear that the main reason this is true is the decline in Howard’s affect on Team D, which has exposed how bad the Lakers’ perimeter D generally is, which is the main reason the team is 26-29. Even with all the issues, the Lakers are still a pretty good team on O. But they just get torched sometimes on D, as they did in the blowout by the Clippers.

    I agree with you that if I were in Kupchak’s chair, I would at this point be asking tough questions of the medical staff, and I would be asking Howard about what he told Stephen A. Smith. But it may be that resting it won’t change anything.


  20. Slappy,

    You forgot to emphasize that I wrote that this “may be” simply who he is now. Two pretty big words.

    And, like I said, if I were Kupchak, I would be talking to the team’s medical staff and asking Howard about the Smith interview.

    But, as your post shows, where that leaves us is:

    a) Diagnosing Howard’s back on-line, as you do.
    b) Suggesting that there may be a serious issue with the team’s medical staff, as you also appear to be doing, at least by implication.