It has come and gone, that magical time of year when NBA teams make crazy deals for that final piece to the puzzle. As another trade season passes let’s go over the winners and losers.
The Bucks landed shooting guard J.J. Redick. Redick is averaging career highs in points (15.1) and field goal percentage (45.0). Redick will play backup to Monta Ellis and adds another offensive threat to the Bucks rotation. Ellis and Redick could both be free agents after the season, Ellis does have a player option for next season, Redick’s contract would be more cap friendly and allow the Bucks to go after more players. The Bucks are currently the 8th seed in the east, but are only 6 games out of the 4th seed. Stretching opposing defenses with the addition of Redick should open up lanes for Ellis and company.
The Celtics dealt Lenadra Barbosa and Jason Collins to the Wizards for Jordan Crawford. The Celtics did two things in this deal, got younger and more explosive. Barbosa is 30 and Collins is 34, Crawford is only 24. The Celtics desperately needed to get younger and move aging parts. Crawford if you remember is the guy that dunked on LeBron, and is averaging 13.2 points per game. Barbosa and Collins combined average 6.4 points per game. With Rondo out for the rest of the season and Jared Sullinger also out the remainder of the season the Celtics need athletic youth to balance out an older core. Crawford will be a restricted free agent after next season but will likely be groomed to replace Paul Pierce as the teams go to guy, and offered a long-term deal from the Celtics.
The Lakers stayed with Dwight Howard. Instead of moving the disgruntled big man they are hoping to lock him up to a long-term deal this offseason. This is a huge gamble as Dwight is seemingly more and more unhappy as days pass. His relationship with Kobe Bryant is very public and very ugly. Neither side seem to respect the other. Takes proverbial swings at each other through the media. Los Angeles is not moving Kobe anytime soon as he is signed through next season. If he is still scoring 20 plus point per game next season what do they do with him? Do they not resign arguably the best Laker of all-time if he wants to come back? Dwight surely thinks about this, or at least his agent does. The Lakers are now in the same Dwight Howard position the Orlando Magic were last season, and we all saw how that turned out.
Josh Smith is still in the A-T-L, not what the H-A-W-K-S had hoped for. Smith is going to want a max deal this offseason. The Hawks don’t seem willing to give Smith that type of deal. Can you argue with them? Smith only averages 17.2 points per game 8.6 rebounds per game, not max contract numbers. He is a dynamic player but he is not in Lebron, Durant, or even Bosh’s league. He doesn’t naturally take over games, or carry his team. He has, don’t get me wrong but not at a level that deserves max money. Still Smith is the Hawks best player and he will most likely bolt this summer. Not getting anything in return for him is a huge blow to the Hawks, and a disappointment to the Hawks fans.
There were other deals made and many others that were rumored and didn’t take place. The Celtics may be the clear winners from this trade season. Crawford is a raw talent that under Doc Rivers tutelage can become a complete player. Pierce and Garnett are close to moving onto the golf course and a possible anchor seat in the next year or two. This is the first step in retooling before the Danny Ainge has to go into rebuilding mode. On the flip side the Los Angeles Lakers are still old, and still possess Dwight Howard. The only way this decision ends well to not trade Howard is a long-term deal and a truce between he and Kobe. If they can not coexist on the same team then the Lakers are doomed until Bryant hangs it up. By Steve Kish @SteveKGuardian