Well, that was a dizzying week, no? Overall, I thought perception changed more than reality. None of these deals were the sort of Pau Gasol to L.A. for Marc Gasol and Kwame Brown type game changing deals. The Knicks got a little better short term in exchange for much of their long term flexibility. Ditto the Nets. Denver and Utah, got younger and more athletic. If I’m a Nuggets fan I probably buy a Masai Ujiri t-shirt. In exchange for a guy who said he would leave town at the end of the season, the Denver GM got a rising star (Gallo) two solid NBA starters (Chandler and Felton) and one interesting prospect (Mozgov). I think the Nets trade takes Utah out of the playoff mix, but they have now have a persausive road map to a post-AK-Boozer-DWill future.
Boston’s move reeked of desperation and a .741 team shouldn’t be stressed out. Either that or they see something in Jeff Green that I don’t. I think Green is a great athlete but a so-so basketball player. In his first 37 minutes as a Celtic he’s shot 36.4% on 11 shots, grabbed three rebounds and committed two turnovers. Okay small sample size caveats apply, but still. He just doesn’t strike me as the sort of player you trade your starting center for. As Barkley says, I may be wrong….
The part of post deadline commentary that bothered me was the bit about how the league is evolving into super teams and all others. Please. The NBA is already and has been for several decades the most hegemonic league in North American sports. There hasn’t been a five year period where the Lakers weren’t in the championship conversation. They’ve gone from the Mikan era to the West-Baylor era to the West-Wilt era to the Kareem era to the Magic-era to the Shaq-Kobe era to the Kobe-Pau era almost seamlessly. The last time the San Antonio Spurs endured a long period of irrelevancy they were in Dallas and in the ABA. The last time the Dallas Mavericks won fewer than 50 games, Bill Clinton was still in the White House. The Eastern Conference is more fluid thanks to the personnel coups that created each of the Big 3’s, but the Detroit Pistons went to the Conference Finals six straight seasons! but in the time it’s taken the Chicago Bulls to go from lottery team to second tier playoff team to first tier playoff team, the Arizona Cardinals have gone from mediocre to minutes from a Super Bowl title to mediocre again.
I’m not arguing that NFL style unpredictability is better, but that the NBA’s disparity is hardly new. People whining about it simply have little sense of the Association’s history.