Teams gear up after busy trade deadline

Raul Magana

NEW KNICK: After making headlines on possible trade scenarios that would ship him out of Denver, four-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony was shipped to New York. Photo Credit: Courtesy of MCT.

The NBA trading deadline has come and gone, and there were more trades this year than I could remember.

Some teams filled their needs and some made trades for little more than what equates to salary dumps such as the Clippers and Bobcats.
Others managed to trade its superstars in exchange for young talent, such as the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz.

Still, others managed to make trades that can actually bring home a title, if not this year than somewhere down the not-so-distant future (New York and Oklahoma City).

As for winners and losers, here is a look as to which teams came out on top.

The Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks’ 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 and 2013 second-round picks and $3 million in cash.

That was a mouthful, but both teams seem to have won in this trade.

Denver not only acquired an influx of young talent, but they managed to rid itself of any distractions that would have continued, had Anthony stayed the rest of the season.

The Knicks on the other hand, get two very savvy players on the offensive end who do not back down late in tight games and are willing and able to knock down game-winning shots at the end of close games.

The big question for New York is whether Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony are willing to put forth the same intensity on the defensive end as they exert on offense, and if so, can they do it on a nightly basis.

The Charlotte Bobcats traded Gerald Wallace to Portland for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first-round picks.

The winners in this trade are the Trail Blazers, which get one of the best defensive players in the league in Wallace, who can defend anybody from shooting guards to power forwards, thanks  to his length and athleticism.

The Blazers have been dealing with franchise player Brandon Roy’s knee injuries, which have kept him in and out of the rotation, and Wallace should provide the stability desired at the wing position.

The Washington Wizards traded Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a first-round draft pick.

The winners in this trade are the Hawks, which hope Hinrich can become the vocal leader at the point guard position they have been looking for since they passed up All-Stars Deron Williams and Chris Paul in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Oddly enough, the Miami Heat are frontrunners to obtain Bibby after he was bought out by the Wizards.

The Los Angeles Clippers traded Baron Davis and a first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

I don’t think there are any winners in this trade, although the Clippers did manage to rid themselves of Davis’ heavy contract, even though he did fit in well with the Clippers and provided experience and leadership to an otherwise young team.

Just when Davis was beginning to get in a groove in Los Angeles and play with some of enthusiasm, he was traded for an underachieving player in Williams. The one-time All-Star has shown glimpses of having the skill and talent to be an elite guard in the past, but has proven to be inconsistent and injury-prone and everything but a leader.

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a first-round pick to the Boston Celtics for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. The winner here is definitely the Thunder.

Not only does the young team now have the size and toughness inside to compete with anybody’s front line, but they gave up Green who is a true small forward, but was a defensive liability because he was being used as an undersized power forward thanks to All-Star Kevin Durant.

The Celtics on the other hand, which were head and shoulders above any other team, have now returned to the pack as they’ve lost what a lot of people felt was their big advantage, which was their size and toughness inside.

The 2011 trade season shook many teams, for better or for worse.