With such a flurry of recent trades in the NBA, even an avid basketball fan may find it difficult to keep up with all the activity. Here’s a recap of the major trades that have happened during this year’s tranfer window:
1. Shaq was traded to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.
2. Jason Kidd was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Devin Harris and Dasagna Diop.
3. Pau Gasol was traded to the Lakers.
4. Mike Bibby was traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
5. Kyle Korver was traded to the Jazz for Gordon Giricek.
6. Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and Wally Szerbiak were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes.
So, who got the best deal? Who is now a major contender in their conference? The following is a list of grades for each of the trades and the teams involved.
1. Shaq-Marion: For this trade, the Heat get a B+. Getting a perennial All-star in Shawn Marion and getting rid of an ailing Shaq was a good move. Once Marion gels with the rest of the Heat team, he will make Miami a lot better. The Suns, on the other hand, get an incomplete. This trade could either work out really well and result in a long awaited championship or blow up in their face. It all depends on Shaq’s health and willingness to give everything he has, even if his tank is almost empty. If Shaq can perform like the Shaq of old or even the Shaq of Miami’s championship days, the Suns may win it this year.
2. Kidd-Harris: Personally I think the New Jersey is getting the better point guard. Not only is Devin Harris putting up better numbers than Kidd this year, but he is young and will be a great player for years to come. Like the Suns, it seems as if the Mavericks are focused solely on the short term. They want a championship now, and they think Kidd can bring it home. Mavericks: B- Nets: A-
3. Pau Gasol: Outside of Boston getting Garnett and Ray Allen without losing Paul Pierce, this is the best trade I have seen in awhile. The Lakers got everything without losing anything. Gasol is a talented, fluid big man who fits in perfectly with the Lakers. Once Andrew Bynum gets healthy, the Lakers are going to have the nastiest front court around – Bynum, Gasol and Odom. I don’t know of any team who can deal with that much speed, height and talent. A++
4. Mike Bibby to the Hawks: This trade received less exposure than did the aformentioned trades. Why? Because it will not have that much of an impact. Yes, Mike Bibby is a good point guard, but he has definitely lost a step or two over the years. He will help the Hawks make the playoffs, but will not make them good enough to overcome the Celtics, Pistons or even Magic. So, while this trade is a good one in terms of getting a good player, it will not have that big of an impact. B+
5. Korver-Giricek: The Jazz could not have made a better trade. Yes, they could have dealt a number of their talented bench players for another big name. But why mess with a good thing? The Jazz are playing really well. The only thing that was holding them back was turnover artist Gordon Giricek. Trading him for sharp-shooting Kyle Korver was a stroke of genius. The Jazz get an A for this trade.
6. Wallace, Smith, Szerbiak – Gooden, Hughes: I really don’t know about this trade, for either team. The Bulls are injury riddled at the moment. To break up the flow of the few remaining players they have may seal their playoff fate. However, Larry Hughes is having a pretty good year and Drew Good is pretty dependable. So, the Bulls get a B- in my book. As for the Cavs, I am a little torn. I want to give them a good grade for securing a big name, experienced player, but I don’t know how much improvement the Cavs will show, if any. The Cavs are generally a good defensive team. What has been hampering them is their lack of scoring options aside from Lebron. Neither Ben Wallace nor Joe Smith are very dangerous on the offensive end. They did Wally Szerbiak who is a good outside shooter and can help them in that regard. But what he adds in offense, he lacks in defensive capability. I am not that sure this trade is going to work out. Only time will tell. Cavs: B
Although I am unsure about some of these trades, the amount of activity during the this year’s trade season has me very excited to see how the trades will shake things up. The second half of the season is going to be very fun to watch.