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The NBA Trade deadline has come and gone, and there was a flurry of activity relevant to the Celtics right before it passed. Cleveland made a huge 3-team trade, and Gerald Green already has a new home.
First, let’s look at the Cavs-Bulls-Sonics deal. Did Cleveland’s new acquisitions give them enough at the deadline to overtake the Pistons and Celtics?
|Cavs Get:||Bulls Get:||Sonics Get:|
|C Ben Wallace||PF Drew Gooden||F Donyell Marshall|
|PF Joe Smith||SG Larry Hughes||SF Ira Newbie|
|SG/SF Wally Szczerbiak||PF Cedric Simmons||SF Adrian Griffin|
|G Delonte West||SG Shannon Brown|
|2009 2nd Round Pick (CHI)|
Cavs: Simply put, they definitely improve. I’m not sure it’s to the degree that everyone says it is (Charles Barkley, Michael Wilbon). But, it’s definitely a cause for concern for the Celtics. One of the chief rivals for the rest of the year got significantly better–significant enough to perhaps compete directly with the Pistons and Celtics. Ben Wallace is playoff proven and by far the best commodity in the trade. Adding him boosts the defense, and gives you a nice and oafy front line of Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Joe Smith is pretty old and doesn’t play as big as he is, but he can still provide a veteran presence in the front court. At least he’ll make less mistakes than Drew Gooden.
As far as the backcourt part of the deal, Wally Szczerbiak will be a good addition if he can manage to stay healthy for the rest of the season. He’s still one of the sharpest shooters in the NBA. He’ll join Daniel Gibson launching threes, which helps to open up Lebron’s game. Delonte West is NOT, I repeat, not a true point guard. He was forced into that role here but now all of a sudden he’s the PG Lebron’s been lacking. He has good passing skills and can shoot the three, but Delonte cannot shoulder the PG load, he can just help relieve it.
Bulls: They get younger, and they manage to unload Ben Wallace’s contract. Now they have a team full of punks. Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas: all punks. Kirk Hinrich is going to have to take a veteran role if the Bulls hope to make the playoffs this year (they’re only a couple games out). Gooden gives them young size up front and Hughes gives them much-needed size at the guard position. If anything, it makes Ben Gordon totally expendable in the offseason (in say, a sign-and-trade deal?). Bulls weren’t going to do much this year anyway, and they helped unload a little money and built for the future.
Sonics: Sonics grab three players all with the purpose to unload money and gain trade assets. Donyell Marshall will be a nice trade asset next year at the deadline, and the other two (Griffin and Newbie) are certainly not in their future plans. The Sonics are preparing for an eventual move to Oklahoma City, so it’s in their best interest to save money whenever they can.
A quick look at the Gerald Green trade:
|T-Wolves Get:||Rockets Get:|
|SG Kirk Snyder||SG Gerald Green|
|2nd Round Pick|
Well, this trade has no impact on anything. The T-Wolves are trading for more assets for the future, and for some reason are giving up on Gerald Green already. He’s known as a “raw talent” and may get to show it from time to time. Tracy McGrady usually finds a way to get injured so you may see Gerald Green sooner than you think. Maybe we’ll see him dunk over Yao at next year’s dunk contest. That would be simply amazing.