Friday, February 25, 2011
First Cup: Friday
- Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe: "I can hear the weeping and wailing among the faithful. 'Perk? Perk! How could they give up Perk?’ Well, here’s how: You trade Perk if in return you get someone who is a much more accomplished basketball player and one who fills a critical need. There is no argument here. Jeff Green is the best player of the four players involved in yesterday’s deal. Green is 6 feet 9 inches, 235 pounds, and a born team player. Just about my only concern is that there may be a bit too much KG in him; i.e. he is so selfless that he occasionally over-passes himself out of a good shot. I can see KG and Green passing themselves into a shot-clock violation. Overall, I’d say he’s the young Antonio McDyess; something like that. As an aside, most people are aware of the great coincidence involving Green. He was taken out of Georgetown by the Celtics with the fifth pick of the 2007 draft, the key component in the deal bringing Allen to Boston. Once again, Danny Ainge reminds us that when the topic of the NBA’s most fearless executives is introduced into the discussion, his name tops the list. No one saw a deal of this magnitude coming. All that was asked of him when the day dawned was to produce a warm 6-6/6-7 body to gobble up minutes behind Pierce. No one would have been surprised had the result been a 10-day contract for some fringe piece of NBA flotsam and jetsam."
- Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: "A member of the Celtics entourage walked by, spotted the large group of media in the team hotel lobby, and spread his arms. 'Don’t ask me about it,' the person said of the abrupt end to Kendrick Perkins career as a Celtic. “'I’d probably start crying.' He wasn’t alone. Nate Robinson, who was traded with the Celtics center to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, had left Perkins upstairs in a dejected state. 'He’s taking it pretty hard because he’s been here eight years,' Robinson said. 'He was very emotional, crying. He has to move his family, and he’s been really tight with (Rajon) Rondo and other guys on the team. I feel his pain. It was tough when I left New York (last season to join the C’s) because of all the guys I’d been around.' Robinson was as struck by the sight of Perkins in tears as anyone else would be who has come to know the big, raw-boned Texan -- the one with the gametime scowl and an impressive back log of technical fouls. 'With Perk, everyone thinks he’s mean because of how he looks, but he’s a soft giant with a big heart,' Robinson said. 'I told him he’s not alone. We’re going together. I told him you won’t be by yourself. You’ll have me by your side. We’ll make it work together.' "
- Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman: "Tony Parker drove the lane Wednesday night against the Thunder, Nick Collison delivered a moderately hard foul and all kinds of brimstone ensued. Parker took umbrage, Spurs teammate Antonio McDyess shoved Collison, and Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan received off-setting superstar technicals. Hey, Tony. You thought that was a hard foul? Wait til the next time you enter Thunder paint, which could come this May in the Western Conference playoffs. Gran Torino is coming to Oklahoma City. The Thunder traded Thursday for Boston strongman Kendrick Perkins, the NBA's Clint Eastwood. Get off my lawn. Stay out of my lane. Same effect. The not-so-jolly green giant is going from Boston to Boomtown, and the message is clear. A Thunder franchise that has preached long-term, long-term, long-term suddenly stands on its porch with a dead-aim gaze that says the future is now. Oh, for sure, Thunder mastermind Sam Presti wants to sign Perkins to a new contract. Wants to make him a permanent part of the Thunder landscape. But that's for a day beyond this post-season and the next collective bargaining agreement."
- Bill Livingston of The Plain Dealer: "The Cavaliers' trade is only as good as the upcoming draft, and that, unfortunately, is not so good. The swap of the disappointing Mo Williams and Jamario Moon for Baron Davis and the Clippers' top draft pick was money-driven. The Los Angeles Clippers wanted to get out from under Davis' contract. It works in one sense, though. As coaches say, before you lay a new foundation, you have to clear the lot. ... I believe Davis will just be passing through here. He is a volatile player on the downslope of his career, but his streakiness on the three-point arc could steal a game or two. Look for him to threaten all franchise records for three-point attempts per minute played. He could be, in the best case, World B. Free, who came in, gunslinging and winning a handful of games by himself on a very bad team in the Ted Stepien years. That is also the worst case because it would be counterproductive in the overall scheme now. The idea is to collect ping pong balls and enhance lottery chances. It really says a lot that the Clippers were willing to part with a lottery pick to dump Davis, not only about Davis, but about the upcoming draft class."
- Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times: "Baron, we hardly knew ye … Oh, right, you're from here, went to UCLA and remained a local favorite … until you were traded here. As homecomings go, this was like deranged, ax-wielding Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining,' chopping through a door, announcing: 'Wendy, I'm home!' Wendy, home is now Cleveland. In another deadline surprise, the Clippers traded Baron Davis and this spring's unprotected No. 1 pick -- currently No. 7 -- to Cleveland for Mo Williams, a defrocked All-Star, and Jamario Moon, who's like Al-Farouq Aminu, without the polish. Of course, now that the Wicked Which-Persona-Is-He-In-Today of the West is gone, happy days are here again! Or not … If Williams is lower maintenance and has $17 million coming over two seasons to Baron's $28 million, he isn't as good a playmaker. With Blake Griffin a restricted free agent in 2013 and free as a bird in 2014, momentum is everything. ... Davis took his shot at a storybook ending, leading the Clippers' 14-7 run, averaging 14 points and 7.3 assists, shooting a torrid-for-him 44%. Unfortunately, Eric Gordon was hurt, the team spun out -- and Davis asked to rest his sore left knee, as he did in New Orleans on Wednesday, going out with a DNP. Whether that did it, or Davis was already a goner for the previous 1,001 letdowns, it was at least one too many."
- Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer: "Anyone who has been to a Bobcats game knows the 'Gerald WALLACE Wall-ace wall-ace' cry that comes from the P.A. man after every Wallace basket. It's an inspired bit -- my kids love to repeat it to each other, at random times, with the name fading away at the end just like the P.A. man says it. Now Wallace has faded away for good from the Bobcats, and that means this is a sad day in franchise history. Wallace was the last remaining player from the original Bobcats in 2004, and so in some ways this day feels a bit like the one coming sometime when John Kasay and the Panthers part ways. The trade? It's easy to say the Bobcats got creamed, for what they are getting that is coming in on the airplane is nothing like what is going out. The players, on the other hand, are mostly throwaways. But two first-round draft choices? Now that you can do something with -- if owner Michael Jordan makes the right choice. And how confident can you be of that? Adam Morrison, Kwame Brown, etc etc. The visceral reaction I have to the trade is I hate it. Without Wallace, the Bobcats just went from a team with a 50 percent chance to make the postseason to about a 25 percent chance. ... if I'm Paul Silas I'm not too fond of this deal in large part because my rebounding and defense just took a major hit, and I got nothing short-term to help me. As for Jordan? He's playing blackjack again, and with this deal he just took a hit on 16."
- John Canzano of The Oregonian: "What we had at One Center Court was a wonderful dose of ambition on Thursday. What we had was initiative. What we had was a determined franchise that woke up on the biggest day of the year for any NBA front office worth a darn and decided it would not be left behind. The Trail Blazers traded Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first-round draft picks to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Gerald Wallace. Right about now, I imagine owner Paul Allen is celebrating what amounts to a slam-dunk trade by running around his estate with a headband on, high-fiving the help while dribbling a basketball past all that priceless artwork hanging on the walls. ... I'm not convinced the Blazers can win a playoff series, but they're looking more like a dicey matchup if Camby can get healthy. For sure, you can drag back out that old W-A-L-L-A-C-E Blazers jersey you confiscated from your kid a few years ago. The thing takes on a new meaning today. The arrival of Wallace doesn't get Portland close to an NBA Finals. It doesn't scare the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks or Thunder. It probably doesn't sell many season-ticket renewals, either. But the trade announces the Blazers as a small-market franchise that refuses to be left behind. That's worth celebrating."
- Geoff Calkins of The Commercial-Appeal: "The Grizzlies reacquired Battier on yet another bizarre day in the bizarre history of this franchise, during which the team fully intended to make two big deals: The Grizzlies sent Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a future, lottery-protected first-round pick to Houston for Battier and point guard Ish Smith. That deal went through. The Grizzlies tried to send O.J. Mayo to Indiana for a first-round pick and forward Josh McRoberts. That deal fell apart on the Indiana end of things. It was either hilarious or embarrassing, depending on your perspective. Heisley had already been quoted about the Mayo deal. 'I think it's probably best for the Grizzlies and best for O.J. that he'll get to play for a team where he can get a lot more minutes,' said Heisley. Whoopsie. But, then, they wouldn't be the Grizzlies if they didn't screw up somehow -- and this screw-up could work out for the best. Mayo may not be beloved by head coach Lionel Hollins, but he's worth a darn sight more than McRoberts and a draft pick. Heisley wouldn't even admit to being disappointed that the deal fell through. 'No, I'm not,' he said. 'To tell you the truth, we spent all day arguing about it.' "
- Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle: "At the interview podium in Toyota Center, Daryl Morey, obviously drained and exhausted, wore the sad look and sound of a man who had been up all night. Not that the moves he made could have been done in his sleep, but had he known his hard work would result in trades for three players -- Hasheem Thabeet, Goran Dragic and DeMarre Carroll -- with fewer than 20 starts among them, the Rockets general manager probably would have taken a nap. Understandably, the trade-deadline moves didn't awaken much excitement among Rockets fans. Go ahead. Think about the trades with Memphis and Phoenix and try not to yawn. Is the person next to you yawning, too? ... Morey says the trades of fan favorites Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks gave the Rockets more assets that could pay off in the future. The future certainly isn't now, and Morey has no idea when that more positive future will get here. Morey is the one who keeps saying the Rockets need a star. He is right about that. Morey is the one who keeps saying the Rockets, because of their bevy of assets, are in the best position to acquire such a star. He has been wrong about that. Or at least that is what NBA teams with stars keep indicating by not responding to those assets with the kind of enthusiasm Morey and Rockets fans would like."
- Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: "Steve Nash had flipped on his phone first, saw news that the Suns traded Dragic and a first-round pick to Houston for Aaron Brooks and caught Dragic before he saw his phone's messages. Dragic said he was 'shocked.' Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby was surprised too, having believed Wednesday morning that there was no chance of a trade. Then, Houston called and the Suns closed the deal five minutes before Thursday's 1 p.m. deadline. The Suns traded their third-year point guard, once called an heir apparent to Nash, with a protected first-round pick for Brooks, a fourth-year point guard who they believe can shore up their second unit and help a playoff push. Houston will get the Suns' June first-round pick unless they miss the playoffs. In that case, Houston would get Orlando's first-rounder that the Suns acquired in December."
- Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star: "I'm sorry, but somebody screwed up. Not sure if it was the Memphis Grizzlies. Not sure if it was the Indiana Pacers. Not sure if it was the New Orleans Hornets, who later got involved in the trade talks. But somebody somewhere messed up two huge deals Thursday -- the proposed O.J. Mayo-for-Josh McRoberts-and-a-first-round-pick deal and a trade that would have sent Brandon Rush to the Hornets for a first rounder and some other pieces -- and now, the Pacers are left with ... Nothing. Who's to blame? Shortly after news of the aborted trades broke, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley seemed to throw the Pacers front office under the bus, telling TNT's David Aldridge, 'Indiana was not able to get it all together.' That can be interpreted one of two ways, either 'Indiana couldn't get its (bleep) together,' or 'Indiana was waiting on New Orleans to make this three-team deal work, and it didn't come together in time.' Whatever. Sources told The Star, though, that the Pacers called the league at 3 p.m. to notify them of the three-team deal, and were on hold, waiting to get into the league's queue, when the deadline passed at 3:01 p.m. While the Pacers were waiting, New Orleans apparently backed out of the deal -- which wouldn't have been consummated anyway, since the league insisted it was 3:01. He said, he said, he said. Bottom line? The Pacers got absolutely nothing done at this trade deadline, and they missed a fabulous opportunity to add a draft lottery-quality talent who is still young enough to get his head screwed on right."
- Tom Couzens of The Sacramento Bee: "Chew on this while you watch the Kings tonight against Charlotte: Kevin Martin for Marcus Thornton. That's what Wednesday's trade comes down to, simple as that. Martin and Carl Landry were the key pieces in last season's multi-player, multi-team deal, and it sure looked as if Landry would be a key player this season. But things didn't work out, and the Kings sent Landry to New Orleans for Thornton. Word is that Thornton has a sweet shot - much like Martin, except Martin is a veteran, and Thornton is an unproven second-year player."