After NBA trade deadline, everyone a winner

At least that's the way most teams are spinning the deals and non-deals intended to change the landscape for this season and the summer free-agent extravaganza

February 23, 2010|By Mark Heisler On the NBA

Wasn't that something?

After last week's trades, in which some teams cleared the deck for this summer, and others stood pat because they're already in great (?) shape, everything is now imperfectly clear.

We have a better idea of what the landscape will be with the Cavaliers getting Antawn Jamison to help LeBron James and the Knicks getting their second maximum salary slot back after the shrinking cap had whittled them to 1 1/2.

What we await are the events that will take place on that landscape that will decide everything.

In the meantime:

•With the Cavaliers getting Jamison, James is staying for sure!

Owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Danny Ferry deserve credit for messing with a red-hot team - which they couldn't bring themselves to do a year ago when the Suns offered Shaquille O'Neal.

Of course, what happens if they fall on their faces short of the Finals, as they did last spring?

Tracy McGrady is about to take New York by storm!

Yeah, a cold drizzle, followed by two months of whimpering.

McGrady couldn't handle the pressure in Houston. How do you think he will do in Gotham?

Still, dumping Jared Jeffries' money gives the Knicks two maximum slots!

After messing up everything else (not playing Eddy Curry, taking Jordan Hill over Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor and/or Darren Collison), this, at least, restores the Knicks' direction.

Of course, if no one wants to play with Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Curry and Toney Douglas, the only Knicks sure to be there, there's always Carmelo Anthony in 2011 and Chris Paul in 2012, if they can hold off the angry villagers.

•With Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, the Mavericks are in the race!

They will help but what happened to the Lakers and Nuggets?

•With Kevin Martin, the Rockets are back in the race!

He will help but what happened to the Lakers, Nuggets, Mavericks, Jazz, Thunder and Suns?

•The Trail Blazers are back in the race with Marcus Camby!

For No. 7-8, anyway. It was a great move, they could afford to move Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw … but there's no getting out of their predicament, with their future still revolving around Greg Oden.

•The Clippers have a maximum slot to woo James!

Or try to get Camby back, if James breaks up in laughter.

•With Dwyane Wade leading cheers, the Heat couldn't land Amare Stoudemire, but Miami still can sign him this summer!

Or the two can go play together in New York.

•With the Suns welcoming Stoudemire back, they can work on a long-term deal to keep him from walking for nothing!

However, owner Robert Sarver has money problems, not to mention a vision problem.

•With Butler and Jamison's problem contracts gone, the Wizards can build toward a bright tomorrow!

Perhaps in this century!

They still have Gilbert Arenas' biggest-problem-of-all contract, even if both sides should be amenable to a settlement.

They said it: Wade, on nicknaming Kevin Durant: "I heard him say he likes K-Smoove. That's nice, but Durantula makes a statement. I think it's going to stick. It's going to be a good marketing tool for him."

Deron Williams, on Durant's new nickname: "I'm not rolling with that. Durantula? Seriously?"

TNT commentator Kevin McHale on James' celebrations: "If a guy was doing the Riverdance like that, Coach would come over and say, 'Who has the fewest amount of fouls of my big fellas?' If you raised your hand, he would say, 'We'll let him drive and then we'll throw him on the ground.' When he's laying there we would say, 'Do you feel like dancing now?' And that pretty much solved the dancing problem."

mheisler@tribune.com

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