Feb 18, 2010

Let the King James Lottery Begin.


NBA trade deadline is approaching and the Sixers have less then 4 and a half hours left to make a deal. We have seen many players move and some that we expected to move stay put. When I wrote about the possible trade situations last weeks in my article Sixers poised to make a move I noted four teams that might be on the move and eager to move contracts and not suprisingly two of them have already swapped players.

Washington Wizards / Cleveland Cavaliers:

First trade was right before the all star break when the Washington Wizards began their mass contract cleanig dumping the contracts of Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson in Dallas for Jason Terry and Drew Gooden. Both Gooden and Terry have expiring contracts and the young boost of Haywood could help Dallas make a huge surge in the Western Conference playoffs.

I had an sneaking suspicion when I wrote the initial article that if Washington made a move it might lead to a purging of most of the team and it looks like that is what they were headed for. We all know that the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking for help to keep LeBron James in town. The Cavs will make it far into the playoffs but they always seem to be one piece away, until yesterday.

The last real player in Washington after the Butler trade was Antwan Jamison and late yesterday it was reported that Jamison was a part of a three team trade. Basically it was a salary dump for Washington as they send Jamison to Cleveland and get back Zydrunas Ilgauskas who will most likley get dropped as soon as the paperwork is signed. The interesting part of the deal was the third team involved as the L.A. Clippers seem to be the odd team out adding Sebestain Telfair and Al Thronton in the deal, sending Telfair to Cleveland and Thornton going to Washington.

It was a good move for the Clippers because they lost Thornton and Telfair's contracts and only got back Drew Gooden,  Gooden was a part of the initial Dallas trade and was quickly sent to L.A. because of his expiring deal. Now I know this all seems confusing but Ill break it down like this:

Cleveland wanted Jamison to keep LeBron in town and hopefully contend for a title. Washington wants to clear money so that they can compete for a top tier free agent and the Clippers win the deal losing contracts, getting back money and now putting themselves in the best situation going into next season around $20 million under the cap and an ideal situation for LeBron to end up..... And we thought it was about money.... EVERYTHINGS ABOUT LeBRON.

Houston Rockets / New York Knicks

The next team I discussed as a possible place for a Sixers move would have been Houston and the chances of getting Tracy McGrady and his expiring contract. This seemed possible and even probable seeing and Tracy has publically said he would like to play in Philly. Mark Stein of ESPN.com reported that there was a deal in place to send Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert to Houston for Tracy McGrady and rookie sharp shooter Chase Budinger. Apparently the deal was just waititng for the Sixers to approve but they refused. Aparently dumping almost $28 million and getting a prime free agent is not in the teams best interest...... ANYWAY.

It looks like T-MAC is going to be moved and he may be headed to either New York or the Sacramento Kings. Right now there are is trade in the works to send Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin to Houston which would send T-Mac to either NY or Sac and the Knicks would move either Nate Robinson or Jared Jefferies. This is a HUGE move for the Knicks and the Kings with both teams setting themselves up for alot of cap room in the off season. Once again markets are opening themselves up to court LeBron and other free agents like D-Wade and Chris Bosh. The Knicks have reported that they are the front runner in the LeBron lottery but with this I would not leave out Sacramento as they are a California mid market team and with players like Omri Cassipi and Tyreke Evans they could stand to be a interesting team for LeBron or Bosh.....

Phoenix Suns: O Where O Where Will Amare Go??

All of this leads to the final team in the pseudo Sixers wish list. It has been reported for the last few years the Phoenix Suns want to move Amare Stoudemire and it seemed that he was headed to Cleveland but all of the semantics of the deal couldnt get worked out. When that fell through Cleveland made the move Jamison and left Phoenix once again looking for a suitor.

Aparently the Suns feel that they have not recieved the right amount for Amare and are completely comfortable keeping him around instead of sending him to another team just to clear money. ESPN.com analyst Marc Stein reported this morning that Suns have announced that they are no longer shopping Amare. Owner Robert Sarver issued the statement. This puts to rest the last chance that I saw for the Sixers to make any kind of substantial move.

As I write this we still have 4 hours of trade time left and little to no chance of the Sixers making any of the moves that would prove to the fans that they actually give a damn about this team. This time of year always comes to me as the most frustrating. It looks like without a move the team will either not make the playoffs or make an early exit. And without a move the team is going to be stuck with what they can do in the off season. It looks like as the summer of LeBron approaches the Sixers will be in no place to woo anyone.

-b.chan

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