That the Wizards are terrible should not surprise you. A terrible team looking to change its personnel should not surprise you. But when any team declares itself completely open for business outside of one player, yeah, that’s worth at least a look. From the Washington Post’s Michael Lee:
So as bad as the Wizards are, there are players worth pursuing. JaVale McGee can be a blockhead, but he’s also an extremely talented athletic center with upside. Chris Singleton is a gifted wing defender. Jan Vesely is raw but shows a world of potential to make an impact all over the floor. Nick Young is a sharpshooter. And Trevor Booker is an extremely underrated big man who attacks the ball like a bulldog.
It’s good that the Wizards recognize the problem that Andray Blatche gives them considering his contract, and that they’re open for business. They’re not pursuing trades for everyone, they’re just making it known. Even if they take a loss on a deal, who cares? They need to clean house, by any means available, and being willing to take on a little blood loss to do so is worth it. They can’t squander John Wall’s career any more.
The Wizards do have to be careful, though. Moving Blatche and taking on more long-term contracts (for say, Stephen Jackson) only digs them a different kind of hole. Moving Blatche for nothing is fine. Moving Blatche for something worse is unacceptable.
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake City Tribune has the report:
The Jazz remain open to moving starting point guard Devin Harris, league sources said, and reserve small forward C.J. Miles could be made available in the right situation. But Utah continues to take a long-term approach in building its team after the Deron Williams trade last February, and the Jazz won’t make a move simply to pull the trigger.
The 29-year old Harris, whom the Jazz acquired along with Derrick Favors in the Deron Williams trade last season, has struggled this season, averaging just 9.1 points and 4.5 assists per game. It’s hard to imagine that there will be many suitors at the deadline for Harris, considering that his large contract doesn’t expire until the end of next season and that his athleticism was one of the main keys to his success as a young player in Dallas, but you never know what can happen at the deadline. Still, I’d be fairly surprised if Harris doesn’t finish this season in Utah.
The defending NBA champions started slow — we’ll call it a championship/lockout hangover — but have found their footing of late. Despite all the roster changes this summer they look good — Dirk Nowitzki is healthy again and their offense is clicking.
But the Mavs don’t as good as Oklahoma City in the West. Or Miami or Chicago in the East.
So is Dallas going to make a move to chase that back-to-back ring? Probably not, owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com.
“We’re not looking to change unless someone makes us an offer we can’t refuse,” Cuban said. “We’re not looking to shake anything up. We think we’ve got a good team that hasn’t played its best basketball yet.”
(Cuban’s dismissive take on the rumor that Rodrigue Beaubois is available: “That’s what people in New Orleans say because they’ve always liked him.”)
Dallas went through a lot of pains to have a lot of cap space this summer — enough to sign Deron Williams or Dwight Howard to a max contract. If someone wants to take Shawn Marion’s contract off their hands, the Mavs can sign both of them. Do any of that and Dallas is not only a contender next year they set up a bridge to the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.
After all that effort to clear the cap space, you’re going to have to blow the Mavs out of the water to get them to make a big move before this summer.
Last month you pulled up the old trade machine and found a way for your team to finally move that bloated contract that’s an anchor on your rebuilding efforts and move him a team that could actually use him. A win-win. It’s brilliant. Why isn’t your GM talking about this deal with the other team’s GM?
Because they may not be talking.
The NBA, like many businesses, is about relationships. It’s a pretty tight community. And as Ben Golliver points out at Hoopshype from his time at the MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, those relationships influence trades.
“The first misunderstanding about trades is that the NBA is an efficient market for trades,” (Mavericks owner Mark) Cuban said. “It’s not. Not all teams talk equally to each other. It’s not like the stock market… Different teams have different relationships, more of a trust factor.”
Just as relationships can help deals get done, they can prevent deals from happening….
“Because some teams are more into analytics, [some GMs] may be less willing to deal with you because they may think you’re taking advantage of them. If you go back through history, there are teams that have not only not done trades, they don’t even talk to each other.”
Shortly thereafter, the panel kidded (Rockets GM Daryl) Morey for trading with the Memphis Grizzlies “every February.” Surveying some of the moves made during the trade season, Cuban’s comments cast them in a new light. Who could forget the New York Knicks hired former Denver Nuggets executive Mark Warkentien as a consultant just weeks before trading for Carmelo Anthony? Was it simply a coincidence that the best deal available for the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats were with each other, given that the president of the Blazers, Larry Miller, is the former president of Jordan Brand and keeps a picture of himself with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in his Rose Quarter office? Who knows, but relationships can’t hurt and they certainly don’t play a role when fans or writers fire up the ESPN Trade Machine.
You would think the GM that can put the relationships aside and just do business with anyone would have an advantage. It’s never that clean or simple, but the more doors you can keep open the more options you would have.
Hey, we traded you to Indiana as part of a… hold on a sec….. oh, never mind.
It has to be a little weird for O.J. Mayo. It’s one thing to hear your name circulated in trade rumors for months, it’s another to hear about a done deal and have the owner telling the Commercial Appeal how hard it was to trade you.
Except they didn’t. Memphis had a deal with the Indiana Pacers that would have sent Mayo north for Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick, but the Pacers wanted a third team in the deal to lower the costs. That team was the Hornets until they backed out at the 11th hour setting off a scramble to find a new team. They did (but we don’t know who that team was) but by the time they got the paperwork to the league office the deadline has passed.
So Mayo is still with the Grizzlies.
The Bulls also ended up getting a little serious in talks for Mayo, but how serious remains up for debate, according to Sam Smith at Bulls.com.
The Bulls supposedly offered the Grizzlies three draft picks, a player and were willing to take a bad contract from Memphis, but were turned down. Though there were questions on whether it ever reached the stage of an actual offer.
“That told me they didn’t want to deal with Chicago,” the source said.
Either way, Mayo is going to walk back into a Grizzlies practice Friday, and on to the court Saturday when Memphis plays Sacramento. He’s a professional, everyone will get along just fine. He’s a Grizzly. At least until the flurry of trades around the draft.