In the 2002 movie Signs, Merrill, played by Joaquin Phoenix is commenting on his minor-league baseball career. He set the record for the longest home run. He also had more strikeouts than any two players combined. When asked about striking out, his response was perfect, he said, “It felt wrong not to swing.” This is exactly how I fell about any lower tier team in the NBA that didn’t make a trade at the deadline. If a GM didn’t “swing,” they aren’t doing their fan base any justice. The only team that won’t make the playoffs and gets a pass for not making a deal is the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have four starters under the age of 26. Ricky Rubio (26), Zach LaVine (21), Karl-Anthony Towns (21), and Andrew Wiggins (22). Their core, along with the Milwaukee Bucks, are built for the future.
Below are the Losers of the NBA Trade Deadline.
The New York Knicks: The team that plays in Madison Square Garden has not won an NBA Championship since the 1972-72 season. The Knicks have 1 PLAYOFF SERIES WIN since 2000. They are clearly the Cleveland Browns of the NBA. Carmelo Anthony has a no trade clause but why he would want to remain in New York? The Knicks have a bunch of wounded warriors in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Both players are often injured and on the “back 9” of their careers. Phil Jackson should have convinced Melo that trading him to a contender was the best thing, short term, and long term, for him and the future of the Knicks. If the former Syracuse National Champion couldn’t get to an NBA finals in his prime (when he played in Denver) how is he going to get to the Finals now? He is older, slower and has a ton of miles on his legs. This will be the 3rd straight year, under Jackson, that the Knicks haven’t made the post-season.
The Chicago Bulls: In 2015, the five players who started this season for the Bulls, Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez combined for 133 three pointers made. Just to give everyone some perspective, J.R. Smith, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, made 204 shots behind the arc last year. In an era of wide-open, offense and spreading the floor the Bulls starters can’t shoot from long range. So, what did they do to strengthen their team? They traded away arguably their best low post offensive and defensive player in Gibson and arguably their best 3-point shooter in Doug McDermott. In return, the Bulls acquired Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow. I would be shocked if any of the players from OKC have a long-term career in Chicago. The Bulls are 30-29 and If they make the playoffs the will be one and done.
The Sacramento Kings: The Kings trade DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi to New Orleans for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks in 2017. Evans will never be an all-star, Galloway is a mediocre role player at best and Hield will never be the best shooting guard in the NBA. So if the Kings don’t get an absolute stud player in this year’s NBA Draft… They failed with this trade. Cousins is the best center in the NBA and the Kings could have gotten a great player and a draft pick in return. There is a reason Sacremento hasn’t made the playoffs since 2005-06. Incompetent moves like this one leave this franchise in total disarray.
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