TORONTO - Now thatís how you do a trade deadline!
With deals for superstars Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony out of the way, the floodgates opened on Thursday with NBA general managers conducting a flurry of trades that brought the total number of bodies on the move over the past week up to roughly 10% of the entire league.
The Knicks have created an immense buzz by acquiring Anthony ó they are doing boffo box office, with the tele≠vision numbers from his debut coming in as the highest since Michael Jordanís 55-point comeback effort back in 1995 ó but it says here, while more competitive, they still arenít a contender even to come out of the East.
The Williams deal was a shocker since he is a better player than Anthony and was traded for less, but thatís because there are no guarantees he stays in the swamp. When introduced on Thursday, even Williams said as much.
It didnít seem like a lot was going to happen on Thursday, until things went haywire ahead of the 3 p.m. ET deadline when deals started coming in a mile a minute.
The show-stopper, moreso in terms of potential impact rather than the names on the marquee, was Bostonís bold move to ship centre and defensive lynchpin Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Perkins has been a key to Bostonís success, few set better screens than the big man and he is an intimidator in the middle, but he missed most of the season after getting injured in last yearís final and recently turned down a lucrative extension so Boston must have figured he was going to leave.
Green is talented, but also up for a big raise soon and is more of a jack-of-all-trades, than a standout. With so many old, banged-up bodies up front, it is hard to give Boston a thumbs up for the deal, seeing as the team was still seen as a legitimate championship contender with Perkins.
Charlotteís dumping of its best player, Gerald Wallace, even though the team is in the playoff race, was a mild surprise, but the team saves $22 million US and gets two (likely mid-range) first-round picks in exchange for Wallace, who, like most Blazers, is often-injured.
Houston made a very clever move, parting ways with former most improved player Aaron Brooks ó who has been awful this season ó in exchange for a future first-rounder and Goran Dragic, who has played well as a backup to Steve Nash in Phoenix.
It is possible Brooks returns to form, but Phoenix paid a hefty price for him and will have to dole out cash to the restricted free agent in the off-season. It will be then that the team makes a call on Nash, many expect the move for Brooks signifies the end of Nashís time in the desert.
Cleveland shockingly took on Baron Davis and his NBA-worst contract in exchange for Mo Williams, Jamario Moon and a potential lottery pick this season. The Cavs showed that they were willing to pay big money in order to upgrade their sparse talent level through the draft and Davis apparently has patched things up with his former coach, Byron Scott. The Clippers now become a player in free agency.
Finally, one other impact move was Atlantaís acquisition of Kirk Hinrich for Mike Bibby. Trading a complete defensive sieve in Bibby for a very good defender in Hinrich will come in quite handy come playoff time for the Hawks.