Can't say this year's trade deadline is a bore. The Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers were all involved in the trade that brings Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfiar to the Cavs, Drew Gooden to the Clips and Al Thornton, Brian Skinner and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Wizards.
What are teams trying to do?
Cavaliers - Win a championship, keep LeBron in Cleveland.
Clippers - Save money, shed contracts, sign a big name this summer.
Wizards - Save money, shed contracts, rebuild this team.
The Cavaliers get Jamison, a SF/PF who can score from the post and hit a 3 pointer. He does OK on defense. He won the 6th man award for the Mavericks. He's averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds on 45% shooting this year (just about on point for his career averages) for a losing Wizards team. What makes this league crazyis that he left the Wizards arena before their game tonight after not wanting to deal with all the questions and press. Honestly though, this guy was JUST ABOUT TO PLAY A GAME and then he gets traded! Players still on the trading block must be on pins and needles.
For the Cavs, it's definitely an upgrade, especially if the Wizards buy out Ilgauskas's contract and he resigns with the Cavs. Until then though, the lineup should feature Jamison at PF, with Shaq at C, Lebron at SF, and Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson at the guard spots until Mo Williams return from injury. JJ Hickson will probably go to the bench with Varejao, Delonte, and Jamario Moon, possibly Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and newbie Sebastian Telfair as a little Mo Williams insurance? This team has a lot of guards so it might be hard for him to crack the rotation. Don't forget this team also has Leon Powe who should be coming back soon from injury that's kept him out all year.
The Clippers lose Al Thornton, the 14th pick in the 2007 draft who slipped that far due to his age (aged 24 when drafted). He was solid averaging 13 points his rookie year, and 17 points last year. Except these were bad teams with losing records. This year he started the first couple months, then was sent to the bench due to his lack of defense and great production from Rasual Butler. He wasn't a first or second option when he was in the game because the team went to Kaman all the time and Baron and Eric Gordon were scoring from the outside and driving. They weren't going to resign him and didn't want to pay him $2.8 million next year. Brian Skinner sucks and doesn't play so they got rid of him to match the contracts with Drew Gooden who's making $4.5 million this year and will probably be bought out soon. Clippers save 2.8 million dollars next year clearing space for some FAs (Contract info from HoopsHype).
The Wizards lose Antawn Jamison and his $13.3 millon next year and $15 million the year after that. This team has cleared SO MUCH MONEY from next year's payroll, they're looking like the Knicks. You question though why they took on Al Thornton who's due $2.8 million next year, but that's still a net saving of $10.5 million. They're still stuck with Gilbert Arenas but they'll only be responsible for about $30 million in payroll next year, which is a lot of money available to sign some FAs.
So who do we feel sorry for? Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were saved from basketball hell to play for title contenders. The Wizards and Clippers are saving millions of dollars to sign some potential big names this summer. Lebron is getting all the help he can plus the best record in the NBA so far. I'll tell you who we feel sorry for. The Clippers and Wizards fans. Both teams' fan bases had high hopes for this year and 50 games in and both are throwing in the towel. Blake Griffin's injury and Gilbert Arenas' gun incident seemed to derail their respective teams and now the Clippers have lost fan favorite Marcus Camby and are literally selling out their players for money. The Wizards are getting rid of their fan favorites when it was Gilbert Arenas and his fat contract they'd most like to get rid of but simply can't.
The Clippers at least have a core and cap space to build on. The Wizards have a lone star PG in Arenas, Andray Blatch, JaVale McGee, and Nick Young plus around $40 million to spend. Compare that to the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Baron Davis plus around $33 million to spend. Neither are probably going to get Lebron, Wade, Bosh or Amare but Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Manu, Mike Miller, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal would undoubtedly find the Clippers more appealing than the Wizards (all other things equal like contracts, and if they are in it to win).
I'd also feel bad for the Cleveland Cavaliers' GM Danny Ferry who will lose sleep after after any loss this season and in the playoffs (if he didn't make so much more money than I do). This is his all-in. Win a championship or lose LeBron James.
So to the Wizards and Clippers fan base, ebay is a great place to sell this season's unwanted tickets and hopefully you sign the right players this summer. And to Fantasy Ballers, hope you held onto Mike Miller because he looks to be the best player on the Wizards right now.