Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 NBA DRAFT REVIEW: Part IV-The Trades

Felipe M.

With so many trades happening in the 2011 NBA Draft, it's probably a good idea to add some perspective to these deals.  The first trade dealt with three Western Conference teams: the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets.  Here's how it breaks down:

  • Blazers receive Raymond Felton
  • Nuggets receive Andre Miller and Jordan Hamilton
  • Mavericks receive Rudy Fernandez
The Portland Trail Blazers looked like an old team for most of last season as they must figure that they need a guard who can run the court better and be successful doing so as Ray Felton was in New York and in Denver.  I don't know why teams find holes in Felton's game as he's been fairly productive everywhere he's played.  Whatever the case may be, he is quickly becoming the reincarnation of Chauncey Billups.  Let's hope for his sake that he wins a ring soon.  It won't be easy with Nolan Smith breathing on his shoulder, but I think the two complement each other fairly well.  As mentioned in a previous article, Jordan Hamilton in Denver is a potential nightmare for defenses.  However, with shaky defensive play and questions about his conditioning lingering, it's tough to see him beating out other veteran perimeter players in Denver.  

Rudy Fernandez joining the Mavericks is almost too perfect.  Fernandez was part of a logjam of wing players in Portland, but he should easily revitalize an aging Dallas team who would welcome his athleticism.

Andre Miller goes from leading the point for a group of veterans to playing that same role for a younger team.  Miller should flourish with the change in scenery, however, I'm not sure how he will handle Ty Lawson creeping up his shoulder if the Nuggets offense proves too inept with him running the point.

The second trade is as follows:

  • Charlotte Bobcats receive Bismack Biyombo and Corey Maggette
  • Milwaukee Bucks receive Tobias Harris, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, and Beno Udrih
  • Sacramento Kings receive Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons
Where to start?  Well, in Charlotte, Michael Jordan is on a mission to drive that franchise to the ground, one player at a time.  The Bobcats acquired Corey Maggette--for some reason unbeknownst to me.  Probably to be the first scoring option off the bench.  At least Jordan was able to pick Biyombo Thabeet.

The Bucks rid themselves of the oft-injured John Salmons only to replace him with the oft-injured, but more explosive, Stephen Jackson.  Certainly an upgrade, but I can't wait for the first time that I hear Jackson and coach Scott Skiles butting heads.  Beno Udrih should play the same role that he played in Sacramento: a player that can come off the bench as a backup point guard or as a combo guard playing alongside Brandon Jennings.  Statistically it worked when he played alongside Tyreke Evans.  Not sure how Shaun Livingston will fit with this team except to play in matchups that take full of advantage of his height.  Offensively, this makes the Milwaukee Bucks a more potent lineup.

The Kings got John Salmons back, but with a crowded frontcourt and an emphasis on speed in the backcourt, his days are pretty much numbered in Sacramento.  He can play shooting guard, but the Kings enjoyed having both Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans play together and it looks like that Jimmer Fredette will be the first player coming off the bench to spell one of the guards.  At forward, he has players in Omri Casspi, Tyler Honeycutt, Francisco Garcia, and Donte Green to worry about.  

The third trade is as follows:

  • Houston Rockets receive Jonny Flynn, Donatas Motiejunas, and Chandler Parsons
  • Minnesota Timberwolves receive Brad Miller 
  • Chicago Bulls receive Nikola Mirotic
With Ricky Rubio making his way to Minnesota, Jonny Flynn becomes expendable.  Unfortunately for him, the Rockets have a crowded backcourt so it looks like he'll be playing very sparingly. 

The T'Wolves acquired Brad Miller to remind Kevin Love what he would look like by the time he's 40 years-old.

And the Chicago Bulls pick an undersized European player that needs to develop his game overseas and add more muscle to his physique.  

The next trade is truly heartbreaking for both teams involved:
  • Indiana Pacers receive George Hill
  • San Antonio Spurs receive Kawhi Leonard and Davis Bertans
When it was announced that the Indiana Pacers would be getting a high energy player who has a lot of heart and is passionate about playing defense and rebounding you couldn't help, but feel good about the eventual turnaround for this team.  Unfortunately, it was a set up to acquire yet another point guard in George Hill.  The Pacers have been plagued at the PG position and it's Hill's turn to try his luck.    

The Spurs, on the other hand, showed their willingness to continue on their winning ways by trading away a player who is highly regarded within the Spurs' organization like Hill for the chance to be more athletic in the perimeter, especially on defense.  Also, the Spurs acquired Davis Bertans as it was rumored that the Spurs all but guaranteed Bertans that he would be drafted by the club.  San Antonio is looking pretty good in this draft as they were able to get the players that they clearly were targeting.  Too bad it was at the cost of trading away George Hill.

We already mentioned the trade involving the Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets involving JaJuan Johnson and MarShon Brooks.  To summarize:
  • JaJuan Johnson is a defensive force who will play for a team that loves to play defense.
  • MarShon Brooks has some offensive skill, but has suspect defense going to a team that also has some offensive skill and a suspect defense.  
The Knicks would eventually acquire Josh Harrellson as they add depth and size to their Center position.  More on him in our 2nd round coverage.

Norris Cole of Cleveland St. gets traded to the Miami Heat and is almost guaranteed a roster spot just for his low salary alone.  The T'Wolves acquired foreign player Bojan Bogdanovic.  More on him in our 2nd round coverage. 

Finally, the Magic receive Justin Harper from the Cleveland Cavaliers for two future second round picks.  Harper will do his best to become the next Ryan Anderson.

The first fifteen 2nd Round selections are good to go!

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