We’re about three weeks away from the end of the 2009-2010 regular season in the NBA, and it’s time to take a look at what the trade-deadline moves made about a month ago and how have they changed things for Dallas, Cleveland, Charlotte, Chicago, Portland and Milwaukee.
Dallas Mavericks – Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson
The first big trade in the week leading up to the trade deadline, as the Washington Wizards decided to dump every significant player they had (we’ll get to Jamison later) and begin to rebuild. Dallas? They made, apparently, a great move, adding a fantastic scorer in Butler, a very good rebounder and solid paint presence on both ends in Haywood and a tough player to come off the bench in Stevenson. They lost to the Thunder the first night the trio made their debut, but since then, in 15 games, came only one defeat, with the Mavs winning 13 straight along the way, including wins at Orlando and Atlanta and a home win over the Lakers. They probably won’t finish first in the West, it’s going to be second or third, battling for the final position with the Nuggets (Dallas host Denver in 9 days), but with this move have certainly made themselves dangerous challengers to go all the way. Numbers – Butler – 17 points, 4.4 rebounds per game. Haywood – 8.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks per game. Stevenson has been playing about only 11 minutes per game, but he might come in handy when it’s playoff time.
Portland Trailblazers – Marcus Camby
The Blazers needed another big man, with Juwan Howard clearly not enough as the teams only Center (Greg Oden finished the season, to every-one’s surprise). So they got another aging big man, Marcus Camby, from the Clippers, for Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake. Any good? Yeah. Camby isn’t exactly an offensive threat, but the Blazers have enough firepower. They have gone 10-4 since Camby arrived, good enough for 8th in the West, 5.5 games ahead of the Rockets. Camby’s numbers – 4.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Antawn Jamison
When the Cavs brought Shaq during the off-season, Dwight Howard was on their mind. Another big body to help wear Howard down and maybe take the leadership load off of LeBron’s shoulders, but frankly, Shaq is mostly a role player on a good day. Well, February came, and after a slow start the Cavs chemistry seemed perfect. So the reasonable thing was to make a trade… Well, that’s what they did anyway, making a three team trade which eventually got them Jamison while giving up on Ilgauskas, who ironically, might return to the Cavs before the playoffs begin. So, Jaimson, veteran, proven scorer. Will he be enough for the Cavs? He just might be. Since his arrival the Cleveland have gone 13-3 with two of the losses coming on Jamison’s first two games. More importantly, LeBron seems happy and is playing as good as ever, so the bottom line is, Cleveland have three players now that can score 20+ on any given night. Enough for a title? Jamison’s numbers – 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals per game.
Chicago Bulls – Acie Law, Ronald Murray, Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander
The Bulls might be the biggest losers, at least in a short-sighted type of view, of the trade deadline. They gave up Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats and John Salmons to the Bucks. Right now, it looks like both of these teams will make the playoffs. The Bulls? They’re currently on a 10 game losing streak, with Derrick Rose injured again. Warrick and Murray have been the more significant members of the trade, with Flip averaging 11.1 points and Warrick 10.3, including some highlight-show dunks. Acie Law has been playing 12 minutes a night, when he gets to play and Joe Alexander isn’t even worth mentioning considering the playing time he’s getting. The Bulls are already 3.5 games behind Toronto who are 8th in the East, and it might be getting too late for the Bulls for a late playoff surge.
Charlotte Bobcats – Tyrus Thomas
After being injured half the season in Chicago and generally becoming quite an unpopular figure in the organization, Thomas got sent to Michael Jordan’s (now it’s official) Bobcats. Well, it looks like it has paid off for the Bobcats, well on their way to a first playoff appearance in franchise history. The Bobcats have gone 9-7 since Thomas has arrived, which is good enough to put them at the 6th spot in the East, four games ahead of the Bulls. Thomas since arriving at Charlotte – 11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
Milwaukee Bucks – John Salmons, Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec
We can begin by saying the Ivey and Brezec are insignificant in this trade, as the two are a combined 1.7 points per game since arriving in Wisconsin. Salmons however is something else. Salmons has been fantastic since arriving from Chicago, leading the Bucks to a 13-2 record, putting them fifth in the East and en route to a first playoff appearance since 2006. Salmons has been the teams top scorer since arriving, averaging 19.4 points per game and finally filling in the place of Michael Redd, taking a lot of pressure off of Brandon Jennings, who looks much better in March after a steep decline in his production after his dream start to the season.