Posts tagged ‘Raymond Felton’

February 22, 2011

Musings on Melo

by Jeeves

So Carmelo Anthony finally got traded to his dream locale, New York (not New Jersey). As of now the trade shakes out as follows:

New York Knicks get: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman, and Corey Brewer

Denver Nuggets get: Timofey Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Raymond Felton (plus draft picks)

Minnesota Timberwolves get: Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph

So lets take a quick look at this trade from the viewpoint of the teams involved and then at the end I’ll have some random observations that you may or may not see elsewhere.

New York Knicks

This trade is a no-brainer, to me, for the Knicks. As the team was structured before the trade, they were a middling playoff team in the Eastern Conference and that’s it. It’s possible, though unlikely, they could have pulled off an upset in the first round, and such an event represented the best case scenario for their season. The Knicks are not the Bobcats; the franchise doesn’t need the money from a playoff run. If this trade represents 1 step back before 2 steps forward (and thus costing the Knicks a playoff trip) they’d still make large sums of money as they sell out MSG. Blowing up (most of) the core of low playoff seed will not cost the Knicks anything. If anything, by adding Melo and Billups, they made themselves a more dangerous playoff team. Bench play is less important in the playoffs and if those two plus Amare are healthy, I would be much more worried about playing the Knicks than when they had Gallinari, Chandler, and Felton.

In the short term, the Knicks will probably sacrifice a couple regular season wins, but will come out of this as a better team in the future. They have assured themselves the addition of a top 10-15 player (depending on your view of Melo) which is a far cry from merely positioning themselves with the cap room for a top 10-15 player. Anytime you can do that in exchange for non-sure thing prospects, you do it, and worry about how the pieces fit afterwards. In basketball trades, the big thing, unless you’re trying to round off a championship squad or shed salary, is to come away from a trade with the best player. The participants in the trade may have differing opinions on who the best player is, but in this instance, Carmelo is vastly superior to everyone else involved.

Denver Nuggets

Masai Ujiri can take a bow for this trade. He continually raised the price for Carmelo and ended up getting it all. He knew that the Knicks wouldn’t (Renaldo) balk(man) at the price, as they were desperate to add Melo. It took a lot of balls and it paid off. Not only does Denver pick up some really intriguing pieces, but they get loads of cap relief. In fact, the $14 million-ish coming off the cap is enough to bring them under the luxury tax threshhold which has a two fold monetary effect. First, they don’t have to pay dollar-for-dollar the amount that they are above the tax line and second, they receive money from the pool created by teams that do have to pay the tax.

As far as Gallo and Chandler are concerned, I think they picked up two really good complementary pieces. They aren’t good enough to lead you to a championship by themselves, but they certainly are good players. I’m actually a big fan of Gallinari. He shoots really well from outside and gets to the line a ridiculous amount, plus he’s super young. There’s a lot to like about him. Chandler is a bit of a wild card for the Nuggets. He’ll basically tryout with them for the rest of the season which gives them time to decide whether he’s worth bidding on over the summer (assuming there’s a season) as he is a restricted free agent.

Minnesota Timberwolves

They did okay for themselves. They get some nice financial relief in Eddy Curry’s expiring contract, as well as $3 million to cover the rest of his expiring contract. They gave up Brewer who didn’t figure into their long term plans and they took a Michael Beasley style shot on Anthony Randolph. The Fighting Kahns need talent and this gives them some. Whether Randolph cashes in on that talent it another story.

Quick Thoughts

– Anthony Carter has a no trade clause. I think it would be hilarious if he exercises it and blocks the trade.

– The Knicks could play a high priced game of chicken by not signing Anthony to an extension until after the new CBA. They own his Bird rights so if they don’t sign him now, under the current CBA, it’s likely no other team will be able to then trump a hypothetical Knicks offer under the new CBA. It would be way to savvy and risky of a move to happen, but it’s still a possibility.

-Along those lines, imagine if the Knicks try to trade Anthony or Amare in 2012 for a signed-and-traded Dwight Howard.

– The Knicks are probably out of the 2012 Free Agency Derby which is probably for the best. Who know with the new CBA how things would even work out. As they say, a bird in the hand is better than a better bird in the bush.

– Denver’s trade makes Bryan Coleangelo look even more incompetent. Do you think the Raptors would prefer a package like this rather than the 2 Miami draft picks and trade exception they got?

– The Nets are probably lucky that the Knicks didn’t have the balls to stick to the original asking price. Prokhorov was willing to give up a ton of assets for Melo.

-If Isiah returns, him and Renaldo Balkman will be reunited. I guess it really was true love at first sight.

-This probably will signal the beginning of open trading season. I think most GM’s were waiting for this domino to fall before proceeding.

– I guess this trade happened much like Melo’s offensive game…jab step, jab step, jab step, pull the trigger when everyone knows its coming.

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February 10, 2011

Trade-a-palooza: Eastern Conference

by Jeeves

The NBA’s trade deadline is fast approaching. In the next couple weeks, leading up to the 24th, teams positioned for the playoffs will look to strengthen their squads while other teams will try and stockpile assets and rid themselves of salary. I’ve gone ahead and brainstormed some possible trades so check them out below.

A few things to note:

I focused on trades between playoff contenders and non-contenders. It’s hard to come up with a trade where two teams change up their rotations while still trying to make the playoffs. This also means that if I made a trade between a contender and a fringe contender (eg Boston and Indiana) or two fringe contenders I made the assumption one team was gearing up for the stretch run while the other was willing to punt for salary relief/assets. I also only looked at two team trades; I didn’t want to get too fancy. So feel free to dismiss these trades or to propose better ones; I’m all ears. I’ve put *** by the trades I particularly liked.

Celtics

Anthony Parker or Jamario Moon for Marquis Daniels and Semih Erden

The Celtics do not have a lot of assets, so they’re a tough team to work a trade for. One thing that they do need is a back-up SF now that Daniels is out with his spinal cord bruise. The Cavs do this because at this point they are desperate for talent and Erden is fringey enough to take a look at. Plus the Celts and Cavs could do this trade with the understanding that the Cavs buy-out Daniels when he’s healthy and he can then just resign with the Celtics.

***Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace for Marquis Daniels and Semih Erden

This trade gives the Celtics a little more roster flexibility. They can drop T-Mac in at PG or SF and Wallace gives them another big body to throw at Dwight. The Pistons do this to dump a little salary and pick up Erden. The question is, are the Celtics worried about T-Mac and his inability to advance past the 1st round? Yah, probably not.

James Posey for Jermaine O’Neal and Erden

I would love for this to happen just so we can get O’Neal back on the Pacers and Posey back on the Celtics. I will always associate those two players with those two teams. Again, Boston needs a small forward and it’s possible that management thinks Posey can find the effectiveness he’s lost since leaving Boston. Indy does this for the same reason as the Detroit trade above. Save some cash and get Erden. Plus there’s always the chance that O’Neal is done and his contract gets covered by insurance.

Grant Hill for Marquis Daniels and  Semih Erden

This would be the best trade for the Celtics. If it were to happen, it means that Phoenix could not find a more attractive offer elsewhere. Suns do this to try to get some value (Erden) out of Hill’s expiring contract, and as a way to give him a shot at a title.

Knicks

Nazr Mohammed and Eduardo Najera for Eddy Curry

I’m working this trade from the view point that the Knicks want to do as much damage as possible in this year’s playoffs. To do that, they need to get some size in the middle to help out Amare. Mohammed (and Najera for that matter) provide the size they need. This would preclude them from getting Melo in the off-season since only Mohammed’s contract expires, and therefore a reason why this trade probably wouldn’t happen, but it does make them better in the near term. Najera’s salary also comes off the books in time to go after Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, so that’s a plus. The Bobcats take on extra salary for the end of this season, but then see Curry’s larger salary come off of the books. MJ is trying to save money in Charlotte while also squeezing out a playoff appearance; this trade will achieve the former.

Jeff Foster and Dahntay Jones for Curry

The same reasoning as above can be carried down here, except instead of Najera at power forward you get Jones a shooting guard. He could actually play some back up minutes as nobody behind Fields (on the ESPN depth chart) has a pulse. This move doesn’t do much for Indy except save $2.5 mil next season. Since Indiana is going for the playoffs it probably wouldn’t happen, but remember I’m working under the premise that one team is going for it while the other team in the trade is calling it quits.

***Chris Kaman for Curry

This trade is perhaps the most interesting one that I’ve proposed so far. Kaman (when he gets healthy) provides a massive improvement for the Knicks. His large salary also clears in time for the 2012 free agent class of Paul and Howard. The Clippers on the other hand get a massive expiring which could allow them to enter the Melo sweepstakes if they feel so inclined. Worst comes to worst, Donald Sterling saves some money and we all know he loves doing that.

***Beno Udrih, Samuel Dalembert, Jermaine Taylor for Raymond Felton and Curry

This is kind of a jackpot for New York; let me explain. Beno represents an upgrade (to me) at PG. He shoots a much better percentage and though his assists are low, but I’m sure in D’Antoni’s offense those numbers will go up. Dalembert is an obvious upgrade over Mozgov at center. Dalembert is also a larger expiring contract than Eddy Curry which will give them that much more room for Melo. Beno’s salary plus Taylor’s salary both expire by 2012 and add up to more than Felton’s salary meaning if they whiff on Melo they can try again in 2012. The Kings end of this trade is a bit iffier. New York would have to throw in some sort of pick to make it worthwhile, which means the Kings would get their, I dunno, 2020 draft pick. I guess the fact of the matter is they save money, in terms of salary, this season and next season by doing this trade, which is a bit of a boon as the Maloof’s are in financial trouble.

76ers

Nazr Mohammed and Stephen Jackson for Jason Kapono and Andres Nocioni

While the Sixers have found some success playing a small lineup with Brand at center, they still need the size Mohammed offers when they play some of the larger teams in the league. They could also use an upgrade at SG as they have Jodie Meeks starting. The Bobcats don’t get much in terms of talent in this trade; Kapono has barely played and Noc is a nice effort guy who can swing between the forward positions. It does get them out of Captain Jack’s 3-year contract, which saves them some coin. The 76ers are already fairly tied up with Brand and Iguodala’s contract, so I don’t see picking up Jackson as ruining all that much flexibility. Plus, like I said, I’m looking near term rather than long term.

Bulls

Anthony Morrow for Brian Scalabrine, JJ, Bogans, (pick)

Plain and simple, the Bulls need a SG. It’s sad because Brewer and Korver aren’t terrible, but Thibs for some reason insists on starting Bogans who blows, plain and simple. Unfortunately, the Bulls don’t have much in the way of assets, at least one’s they’d be willing to give up. They need to hold onto Taj as Noah and Boozer haven’t been the picture’s of health in their careers so far. I think the Bulls value Asik more than others, so he doesn’t help. That leaves Bogans (who blows), James Johnson who has a rare blend of athleticism and size though is a project and two picks (their own and a lottery ticket from Charlotte). So in this instance, the Bulls offer their package which helps the Nets clear cap room if they change their minds about Melo. Morrow is the 2-guard with range that the Bulls need.

Courtney Lee and exception for Bogans, JJ, pick

Same story here. The Rockets do this to pick up the pick(s) as they continue to stockpile assets.

OJ Mayo for Scal, Bogans, JJ, (pick)

The Grizzlies just cut bait with Mayo and recoup a pick or two. It’s questionable whether the Bulls would take Mayo with his recent character issues. In the past, Bulls management has been unwilling to do so.

Pacers

Stephen Jackson for James Posey and Brandon Rush

So remember when I said, all these trades help one team in the playoff push and one team in salary relief/assets? Well this is another one of those. The Bobcats get out from that third year on Jackson’s contract and the Pacers get 2 SGs to play around with this year and have Jackson for when Dunleavy’s contract expires (end of this season).

***Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince for James Posey, Mike Dunleavy, and Paul George

This trade is exciting, I’m not going to lie. The Pacers now have a nice athletic rotation at SG/SF between Gordon, Prince, and Granger. If that’s too overwhelming, they can also flip Prince’s expiring to fill a greater need. Meanwhile, the Pistons get out from under Gordon’s contract. It would be one thing if he was their starter, but $11 million is too much money for 27 minutes a game. Dunleavy’s contract expires this year so the Pistons aren’t losing out by swapping Prince. As I said they kiss Gordon’s contract goodbye and they get Paul George who I like and think could be a good player.

Antohny Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Damion James, Ben Uzoh for TJ Ford and James Posey

There’s a lot in this trade. Morrow is an upgrade at SG for the Pacers. They perhaps can help Outlaw become productive again. James and Uzoh are just filler. Ford is a nice expiring for New Jersey and Posey’s two year deal is much more palatable than Outlaw’s 5-year deal.

***Leandro Barbosa for Ford

This is an expiring for expiring swap. Ford makes more which gets the Raptors that much more cap room; Barbosa is an upgrade for the Pacers.

Kirk Hinrich for Posey

The Wizards save some money over the next two years, while the Pacers get the better player. Both players contracts expire after next season.

Bucks

***Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw for Michael Redd

The Bucks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon after all those contracts they handed out, so they might as well go all in to realize their ceiling as a middling playoff team. With that in mind, they trade Michael Redd’s massive expiring contract ($18 million). They get an upgrade at PF in Diaw and have a SG/SF rotation of Maggette, Wallace, and Salmons.

Antawn Jamison, Boobie Gibson, Exception for Michael Redd, Corey Magette

The Bucks get a big upgrade at PF and a nice back up in Gibson. The Cavs save a boatload of money in the near term and get back a player with a pulse. Magette become their best player, instantly and though his contract is 3 years, they end up saving money over that span by trading both Jamison and Gibson.

Troy Murphy and Anthony Morrow for Michael Redd

To be honest, I’m not sure how in love New Jersey is with Morrow which is why I keep including him in these trades, plus, he’s interesting. The Bucks get an upgrade at SG and Murphy may be able to contribute at PF. Murphy’s $11 mil deal is done at the end of the year so they still get some money off the books. The Nets on the other hand get Michael Redd’s Expiring Contract.

Elton Brand and Thad Young for Redd and CDR

Like I said before, the Bucks seem pretty locked in with all the contracts they gave out. This just solidifies them being locked in for the next 3 years. Brand’s fat contract and revived play will hugely upgrade PF, while Thad Young will provide solid rotation play. The Sixers get some breathing room under the cap and CDR because he’s a nice player. The Sixers may be upset about losing Young, but it’s probably worth it to be rid of Brand. His contract feels like a ticking time bomb to me.

Samuel Dalembert and Beno Udrih for Redd

Two upgrades for the Bucks and Redd saves the Kings so much money that the Maloof’s instantly blow half of the savings on a bender in Vegas.

Heat

No assets therefore no trades.

Hawks

Mo Williams for Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague, Mo Evans

The Hawks get an upgrade at the point while the Cavs save some money and get something interesting in the form of Jeff Teague

Magic

They have fat contracts that are basically untradeable, unless someone has a change of heart and desperately want Hedo.

Bobcats

It’s tough to find a trade that makes them better, sorry MJ

The Western Conference will come out in a day or two.