2010 NBA deadline trades recap
A team-by team look at trades completed before the deadline.
To cover all bases, in addition to the gold, silver and bronze, we added a lead medal, for deals that only could be classified as toxic.
Gold medal strikes
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.
As for having to take DeShawn Stevenson, well, such is the price of doing business.
Portland Trail Blazers: Let's see, a third-string point guard and an injured forward for one of the league's top rebounders and shot blockers. After what the Blazers have endured with the injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, they deserved a turn for the better.
Will Marcus Camby cure Brandon Roy's hamstring? No. But he will take the pressure off LaMarcus Aldridge and deliver hope. Portland couldn't have found a better fit, in terms of a short-term rental.
Cleveland Cavaliers: The common theme with this gold-medal group is the presence of platinum-level ownership willing to spend whatever is necessary for a playoff payoff.
In landing Antawn Jamison, Dan Gilbert essentially maxed out his ability to retain LeBron James. There is no downside to the three-team deal with the Clippers and Washington, especially if Zydrunas Ilgauskas can make his 30-day turnaround.
New York Knicks: The ultimate measure of any trading deadline is a team accomplishing its ultimate goal.
The Knicks' ultimate goal for the past two seasons has been creating 2010 cap space, a process that began with the salary dump of Zach Randolph.
Now, with the unloading of Jared Jeffries, the Knicks can go to LeBron or Dwyane Wade, "Name your choice of a running partner and he's yours."
Suddenly, when it comes to cap cash, the Knicks are the Yankees.
And, puh-leeze, no overstating of Tracy McGrady. If he had anything left, the Rockets would have kept him and played him.
Silver medal statements
Houston Rockets: No, we didn't see this one coming, considering all the other venues that were projected as Kevin Martin landing sites.
But Daryl Morey accomplished his goal of flipping Tracy McGrady into something tangible while squeezing a maximum draft payout out of the Knicks.
This is an inside-outside gambit that could provide a huge payoff next season, when Yao Ming returns.
There might have been a higher place on the podium if Martin had inspired any confidence since his return from the injured list. What Houston can't afford is another outside specialist who doesn't prove so special.
Los Angeles Clippers: Had there just been the Camby trade, with the negligible gain of Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw, we would have been comparing Mike Dunleavy's management skills to his coaching skills.
However, by unloading the salaries of Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair in the three-way deal with Cleveland and Washington, there now is room to add a 2010 max free agent to the core of Chris Kaman, Baron Davis and Blake Griffin.
We previously would have scoffed at anyone taking Clippers money in free agency, but Davis did a couple of years back, so, if nothing else, the Clippers created hope this week.
Chicago Bulls: Like the Clippers, the Bulls put themselves in the thick of the 2010 free-agency game by unloading John Salmons, and his possible 2010 opt-in, on the Bucks.
Now there is room for a max free agent alongside Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. And we hear Wade is from Chicago and owns a lovely townhome there.
Of course, the next part of the equation is the most difficult part, actually signing someone.
As a bonus, the Bulls rid themselves of the headache that is Tyrus Thomas, and with an offense that could use a boost after dealing Salmons received the serviceable Flip Murray back from the Bobcats and Hakim Warrick (who some claim is Thomas) from the Bucks.
PBT: The Spurs saw the NBA title slip through their fingers Tuesday night. Do they have it in them to rebound from their meltdown in time for Game 7?
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