In practice, the winners and losers at this trade deadline will be determined in the playoffs, the summer free agent market and this and future drafts.
But we’re not that patient, either. Enter Ira Winderman, who gave out medals to the winners. The gold goes to a few teams, including the Dallas Mavericks.
It’s not that Caron Butler is a clearly superior talent to Josh Howard. He’s not. It’s that Butler is far more reliable, and in the midst of another competitive Western Conference playoff race, that’s particularly meaningful.
Just as significant was the Mavericks’ acquisition of Brendan Haywood in the trade with the Wizards, which not only upgrades Dallas in the middle, but also adds more fouls to play with.
Those fouls will come in handy when the Mavericks take on the big front line of the Lakers or the physical play of the Nuggets.
Winderman also gave gold medals to the Cavaliers (well, duh), the Portland Trail Blazers and the cap-clearing Knicks. He’s got silver (the Clippers, when was the last time they were winners) and bronze medalists.
Then there are the teams that won lead for their performances. I won’t spoil the surprise, but he doesn’t think teams trying to sell new arenas to a community should be selling off assets.
In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.
That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.
It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.
If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.
Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.
Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.
Pitino, via ESPN:
When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.
I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.
Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.
It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.
But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.
The Warriors are charging $60 million over three years for their jersey ads – about double what any other NBA team is getting.
Golden State chief marketing officer Chip Bowers, via Darren Rovell of ESPN:
“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered.”
Bowers said the team felt it was important for the deal to be with a worldwide brand.
Light years ahead.
The Bulls hired Doug Collins as an advisor.
Is Collins, who has coached only one winning season in the last 20 years and often sounds analytically disinclined, too behind the times?
I’m old. Let me finish. But I’m not old school. I’ve got a young brain. And I think you get pigeonholed: That guy is old school because he’s old. Now, if being on time and working hard and doing all those things are old school, then yes, I’m old school. But I will match my wits with anybody in terms of young people, in terms of what’s going on now and what’s happening. So, I am woke.
Suddenly, Kyrie Irving‘s statement on ESPN – “Oh, if you’re very much woke, there’s no such thing as distractions” – has a challenger for the most awkward use of “woke” by NBA personnel this week.