Wait, I'm going where?
The Celtics obviously stood pat this year, but that doesn't mean it was a quiet trade deadline. First there was the news that Dwight Howard was (shockingly) staying put in Orlando for another year. Then there was the news that Mike D'Antoni was NOT staying put in New York. And that was even before we got to the trades. Here's a quick look at some of the news that happened yesterday from our wonderful SBNation partner blogs.
First, we go to Portland. Everyone was talking about "blowing up the Celtics" but they were off by an entire coast. It was detonation city in Oregon.
As anticipated, the tectonic plates shifted under the Rose City today with Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby both exiting for a combination of draft picks, young players, and guys who will never wear the uniform. The curious part of that story is that among the four players on the block, Camby and Wallace were the bottom two. Neither had perfect seasons but both were contributing for the Blazers. The guys everybody thought would go--Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford--are still here. Obviously the offers weren't good enough to facilitate their departure. But that leaves the team in an odd situation.
Next there are the hated Lakers. Yesterday they were in a similar spot to the Celtics, with two draft picks, an aging roster, and a middle of the road record. They had their share of rumors surrounding their star players but when the deadline came and went, it was a few deals that nobody talked about that went down.
In pair of deals today, the Lakers made a significant effort to change the fortunes of their franchise this season, landing Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Luke Walton and Jason Kapono, and in arguably the most surprising transaction since the Pau Gasol trade, Jordan Hill from the Houston Rockets for Derek Fisher. Both of the Lakers' first round picks in the 2012 draft, their own and the one acquired from Dallas in the Lamar Odom trade, were also shipped out, indicating the degree to which the team has set its sights on competing in the present and make no mistake, these trades have certainly changed how we view this current team.
Well after today's events - which saw Nene traded to (of all places) the Washington Wizards for young center JaVale McGee - it's clear that Ujiri and the Nuggets didn't want to wait for Nene to become an overpaid albatross down the road, so they parted ways at the peak of Nene's value. And seeing how Nene has played - and not played - these past few weeks, one can hardly blame the Nuggets. From Nene's questionable conditioning to his matador-style defense lately, I'm sure Ujiri and head coach George Karl have been steaming at the return they've been getting on their investment in the big man. But does this mean it's a good trade basketball-wise?
There are so many questions that still need to be answered about Thursday's trade deadline blockbuster that brought Nene to the Wizards, JaVale McGee to the Nuggets and Nick Young to the Clippers. Here's one thing that's inescapably clear, though: so much for Ted Leonsis' plan. In acquiring Nene, the Wizards have moved up their timeline to compete to far sooner than originally expected. Not only is Nene not young (29), but he also just signed a five-year, $67 million contract last winter. In essence, the Wizards decided it'd be better off to pay Nene's deal for four more years than give a similar deal to McGee. Centers are hard to find, sure, but if the Wizards truly were sticking to Leonsis' plan, they'd probably either pay McGee or find a young center option and kick the can down the road a little further until they were ready to compete.
And finally, you can always count on something under the radar but solid by Daryl Morey.
Another year, another quiet, clever trade deadline from the Houston Rockets. What else were you expecting? Deron Williams? Dwight Howard? You must be out of your mind. This was a solid, safe deadline from Daryl Morey and the Rockets.