Jazz Improvisation and the Association in Chaos
10 thoughts after a whirlwind of a trade deadline:
1. I really wish I had more to say on the Deron Williams trade. I had a whole slew of points immediately on the tips of my fingers when Carmelo Anthony was traded barely more than a day before, and I consider Williams the superior players. Ideally I’d have more to say about it – heck, ideally *everyone* would have more to say about, but they may be suffering from a bit of the same thing I am. It’s just clear that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of the decision making in Salt Lake City. I’m generally one not to bothered by the prospect of venturing forth with theories in the wake of incomplete knowledge because complete knowledge is never assured, but here there’s just too much uncertainty.
2. That said, odds still seem pretty dang good that the Jazz don’t trade Williams unless they think he’s not going to be happy there in the long term. So yes, anyone not willing to include this happening amongst the trend of stars leaving well run small market teams, is being unreasonably cautious.
3. Good trade for the Jazz? They lost Deron Freaking Williams, and traded him for players you certainly can’t expect to be his equal. The most you can say is that given the macro trends of stars in the NBA right now, it’s hasty to call Jazz management incompetent for what when down.
4. Good trade for the Nets? They *got* Deron Freaking Williams. As long as he’s on board for the long haul, I’m for it. Of course there is the matter of Derrick Favors. How good is he? Well, my mind is open, but I don’t care what anyone says: If an American-born rookie can’t get 20 MPG on a bad team, this is not a player with strong odds of becoming a player of Williams caliber. I say this talking specifically about the current context where there are no straight from high school rookies. Yes Favors played only one year in college, but it’s pretty much par for the course nowadays that guys with that level of experience are coming in ready to be a rookie of the year candidate.
5. I was shocked at the Kendrick Perkins trade. I’ve heard this was a matter of the Celtics not wanting to pay the price Perkins’ was sure to demand with the new contract. Maybe that’s the case, but if it’s just a matter of money, that seems very strange to me. Yes the Celtics are paying a lot of big salaries right now, but they’re also experiencing great success with an excellent shot at another title. If you really feel like Perkins makes your team better, why wouldn’t you wait until season’s end to make the money saving trade? Makes me think that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers weren’t as in love with Perkins as was thought.
6. Still based on my perceptions before the trade, this is a win for the Thunder. Green never impressed me, and I love adding the additional strong big man defender for the team considering that they’re aiming to take down the big dogs, who tend to have length to spare.
7. Shane Battier going back to Memphis was unexpected, but actually makes a good deal of sense. The team’s got a good, young nucleus now, so adding the smart, veteran role player and leader seems smart. I guess that Rockets weren’t as in love with Battier as some of us had thought though.
8. Gerald Wallace to Portland is interesting. For the past couple years, the Blazers have felt like a team of somewhat redundant parts. That’s not entirely a bad thing as it tends to make a club robust in the face of injury, but rarely does a title winner give off that kind of a vibe. Wallace is a guy who is quite distinct in the league. I’m excited to see what he can do on a team that actually had a lot of the niches solid.
9. Baron Davis traded along with a first round pick for Mo Williams. Ouch. Y’know, I feel for Baron when everyone calls him lazy because let’s not forget that he signed with the Clippers with the understanding that Elton Brand was staying there. Still, it’s certainly a black mark to have teams so eager to part with you. I compare him to draftmate Andre Miller: Miller’s actually played on more teams, but no one’s ever said about Miller that he’s a huge waste of resources that must be discarded at all cost.
10. I’m happy to see Kirk Hinrich presumably get another shot at being his team’s floor general. Hinrich was really a guy who felt like he’d be a one-team guy for life, so it’s a shame he got traded away from the Bulls simply so the Bulls could fail more obviously in the bidding for LeBron.