Analysis: Making sense of the NBA trade deadline

Daniel Romero-Salas
Daniel Romero-Salas breaks down the deals made by the 2012 NBA trade deadline.

TRADED. Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a score against the Minnesota Timberwolves during a 105-84 win at Staples Center on February 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler’s NBA contributor Daniel Romero-Salas breaks down the deals made by the 2012 NBA trade deadline.

Golden State Warriors sent guard Monta Ellis and center Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown for Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut and forward Stephen Jackson

This was the first big trade that was pulled off before the deadline.

The Warriors get a defensive center that averages 12.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg for his career. Bogut however has not played a full 82 games in a season since his rookie year. He is currently out with a fractured ankle and has probably played his last game this season.

The Warriors have a good reason to lose their upcoming games because the Utah Jazz own their first round pick for 2012. However, if the Warriors finish with enough losses to qualify for the 7th pick in the draft, that pick will be given back to them (they are currently projected to have the 10th pick).

Monta Ellis is an undersized scoring guard who now gives the Bucks offensive production. Monta is a career 19.6 ppg scorer and in his 6 years in the league has increased his assists per game from 1.7 in his rookie year to 6 this season.

Udoh is a promising defensive big man who is 5th in the league in block percentage. That means that when he’s on the court 6.1 percent of 2 point field goals are blocked by him.

The Philadelphia 76ers get guard Sam Young from the Memphis Grizzlies for future cash considerations

Since shooting guard Evan Turner moved into the starting lineup the 76ers needed some toughness in their 2nd unit. Sam Young now steps in to fill that gap adding rebounding and steals to an already formidable defensive team.

The Toronto Raptors sent combo guard Leandro Barbosa to the Indiana Pacers for a second round draft pick

Looking for some offensive production in the back court behind Darren Collison and George Hill, the Pacers added Leandro “the Brazilian Blur” Barbosa. His 12.2 ppg this season and overall speed should add another dimension to the Pacers team that is looking like a formidable opponent in the playoffs.

The New Jersey Nets get forward Gerald Wallace from the Portland Trailblazers for center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams and a first round draft pick

Gerald Wallace’s contract was expiring and the Trailblazers could not afford to resign him so they shipped him off for some expiring contracts and a valuable first round pick.

Since Dwight Howard did not move to the Nets over the trade deadline, Nets management scrambled to find some talent to convince star point guard Deron Williams not to opt out of his contract this summer and sign with another team.

Wallace will slot into the starting small forward spot and while the Nets may not make the playoffs, a core of Williams, Brooks, Wallace, Humphries and Lopez is certainly an intriguing team.

Los Angeles Lakers receive point guard Ramon Sessions and forward Christian Eyenga from the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Luke Walton guard Jason Kapono and a 2012 first round draft pick

Ramon Sessions was expendable with top draft pick Kyrie Irving taking control in Cleveland so the Cavaliers were able to get back a useful first round pick next year to pair Irving with some more young talent.

The Lakers really needed help at the point guard position. Sessions will step in right away as the leading assist man at 5.2 per game this season. The combo of Steve Blake and Derek Fisher was averaging 11.6 ppg and 6.8 in 50.3 minutes per game between the both of them. Sessions in only 24.5 minutes per game with the Cavaliers provides almost the same production. Sessions’ is also better at defending quicker point guards compared to Fisher (who is 37 years old).

Houston Rockets receive center Marcus Camby from the Portland Trailblazers for center Hasheem Thabeet, point guard Jonny Flynn and a 2012 second round pick

The Trailblazers seem to be blowing up their team and starting over; they fired Coach Nate McMillan and are sending away their veterans for young, unproven players. Thabeet and Flynn are both former top 10 draft picks who have not been able to live up to their considerable hype coming out of college.
Camby will provide the Rockets with another big body to provide depth for starting center Samuel Dalembert.

The Rockets are more excited about the fact that Camby will be a free agent next year saving them over $9 million dollars in cap space in the offseason.

San Antonio Spurs receive forward Stephen Jackson from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Richard Jefferson and a 2012 first round draft pick

Golden State had only just gotten Stephen Jackson from the Milwaukee Bucks 2 days ago but were able to move him to the San Antonio Spurs. Jackson had previously won a championship with the Spurs in 2003.

Jackson has had problems staying motivated on losing teams like Charlotte, Golden State and Atlanta but few remember that he has been instrumental in post season runs by San Antonio and Golden State (in 2007).Tim Duncan has been quoted before as saying that Jackson was “the ultimate teammate” and will no doubt be happy to have another off the dribble creator in the lineup.

The Warriors will look to give their younger players more court time and accumulating draft picks helps them rebuild on the fly next year. The 2012 draft is absolutely loaded with talent that can transform franchises. Richard Jefferson will provide veteran leadership and tough defense for a squad severely lacking in both.

Los Angeles Lakers trade guard Derek Fisher and a 2012 first round draft pick to the Houston Rockets for forward Jordan Hill

It’s an end of an era for Laker fans, Derek Fisher has been let go for cost cutting reasons. The Lakers will save around $3.4 million in salary next year when Hill’s contract expires. Fisher, the former Laker was instrumental throughout their championship years and will now take the backup point guard duties in Houston behind Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry.

The Rockets are excited to receive a player known for his professionalism and clutch shooting. The trade also nets them a first round draft pick in 2012 allowing the team to stockpile draft picks, which is a favorite move of general manager Daryl Morey.

In a three team trade the Los Angeles Clippers receive guard Nick Young from the Washington Wizards for forward Brian Cook and a future second round pick while the Denver Nuggets receive center Javale McGee and center Ronny Turiaf from the Washington Wizards

The Clippers made a huge move to get Young. He gives the Clips another 3 point threat at shooting guard but has the size (listed 6’6”) to be effective on defense. Since the injury to Chauncey Billups, the Clippers have used Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Eric Bledsoe at that position. None of them are taller than 6’4”. The Clippers get a starting shooting guard who is averaging 16.6 points per game this season for a second round draft pick and a guy who has only played 16 games this season at an average of 7 minutes per game.

The Wizards had been fed up with the antics of center Javale McGee, his bad habits (the first video in a YouTube search of his name is called Javale McGee Top 8 dumb plays) in games often drew the ire of the coach. The Wizards have brought in an efficient low post scorer in Nene; he’s a career 67.8% field goal shooter who John Wall will enjoy passing to.

The Nuggets are hoping that the structure of the team, with many veterans and a strong coach in George Karl, will be able to get McGee to focus on rebounding and blocking shots. The offense in Washington is in disarray but Coach Karl employs a different system with specific roles. It is a wise gamble by the Nuggets because if McGee does not work out, he will be a restricted free agent this summer and they can just let him go. –

Daniel Romero-Salas is a lifelong NBA fan with an inclination to statistical analysis of the game. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and strives to bring a refreshing take on one of the most popular leagues in the worldFollow him on Twitter @danromerosalas.

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