Ok, nothing to see here. Move along. I know it seems like a big deal, but honestly, this happens all the time. Four-team trade involving 3 top-ten players swapping teams? Standard. Not really even much point writing about it, but I guess I'll take a stab anyway.
In basketball as well is in markets, comparative advantage is the basis of trading. Comparative advantage means that trading is not a zero-sum game; it's possible for both sides to be better off after a trade. In basketball this usually happens because teams are overloaded at a position; a team with two great point guards might trade one to a team with two great small forwards for one of them. Both teams are better off because now both teams can have their two best players on the floor at the same time.
Well, Orlando wasn't paying attention in Economics 101 when they covered comparative advantage. This trade makes three teams better and one team a lot worse, which is pretty close to a zero-sum transaction. In other words, Orlando got fleeced in this trade. They are going to be a 30-win team (at best) for years to come. And their still above the cap!
If you've been living under a rock, the Orlando Magic have agreed on a four team trade to ship out Dwight Howard:
|Orlando||Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Josh McRoberts, and Christian Eyenga, 3 first round picks, 2 2nd round picks||Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark, Jason Richardson|
|Denver||Andre Iguodala||Al Harrington, Arron Afflalo, 1st round pick|
|L.A.||Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark||Andrew Bynum, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, 1st round pick|
|Philadelphia||Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson||Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, 1st round pick|
Seriously, how terrible is this deal for the Magic? They get some young players and picks, but they get no cap relief. In a 4-way trade involving 3 all-stars, they somehow manage to not end up with any of them. They still have to pay Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu. And with all the young bigs on this roster, the last thing they need is Glen Davis eating up court time, too. The only good news I see is that I really like Vucevic -- he's a very good rebounder and doesn't turn the ball over. If his shooting efficiency climbs, he'll be very effective.
For Philidelphia, this is an interesting trade that won't help them much this year. Philly is unfortunately about to discover how good Iggy was because as good as Bynum is, he is not going to make up for the downgrade that Young is from Iggy. I expect them to be a lottery team this year, which is truly amazing given how promising their core looked last year. With this trade, Rod Thorn has now achieved something astonishing -- he has managed to ship out every single win producer from last year's surprisingly successful season (except Hawes, who barely counts since he got injured early on, and who didn't play enough minutes for us to tell if his transformation was the real deal or not). All those moves are looking particulary moronic now, because wouldn't it be nice to surround your shiny new franchise player with competent players like Meeks, Williams, and Brand? They'd probably be a 45+ win team if Bynum stays healthy, and with Orlando and Chicago gutting themselves, that's probably a 6th seed. What will they do now, play Young or Hawes at power forward?
On the other hand, this is certainly better than the more likely outcome, which was Rod Thorn trading away Iggy for next-to-nothing. This certainly looks a lot better than Derrick Williams and 2 first round picks, right? And I guess if you are a philly fan, there's got to be some chance that Thorn gets fired midseason when the team is "underperforming" (although, sadly, Doug Collins is more likely to be the victim).
For L.A....well, it really doesn't matter much. The addition of Nash already pushed them to contenders (assuming Kobe lets Nash do his thing...if he doesn't, you're going to see the Steve Nash that played for Terry Porter). And Dwight is without a doubt a better center than Bynum. But...going from very good to great is not that massive an upgrade. This is really only a marginal upgrade for the Lakers. There's nothing really wrong with that, of course, since they barely had to give any other pieces up to get this upgrade (seriously, how the hell does this keep happening?). But at the end of the day, I do sometimes ask myself why the Lakers bothered.
Now...for Denver...wow, what an upgrade. To lose one of their worst players, and to get one of the best players in the league, all in one transaction? Massive upgrade. Of course, they now have a few too many small forwards, and there are still some bad players left that Karl seems to like too much (Brewer and Mozgov).
Here's what should happen:
- Iggy should slide over to shooting guard so that a) Gallo can play his more natural SF and gets more floor time, b) the Manimal gets burn at power forward, where he's basically Dennis Rodman 2.0, and c) Corey Brewer doesn't see the floor.
Here's what might happen:
- Miller/Chandler play the 2, Iggy the 3, Manimal the 4, and Gallo the 6th man. This isn't terrible.
Here, however, is what George Karl will do:
- Iggy plays the 3, Gallo plays the 4, Brewer or Chandler plays the 2, and Mozgov starts at C, with Miller the 6th man and Brewer/Chandler/Manimal/McGee all playing aroung 20-25mpg, Denver will only improve a little bit, and everyone will go back to bitching about how Iggy is overrated even though he'll be the best wing on the court in games not involving OKC or MIA.
Never get involved in a land war in Asia, Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and Never, EVER, bet against George Karl's stupidity. The best thing Masai can do now is to trade Chandler, Brewer, Mozgov, or all three, for...well, anything. Just take away George's toys and you'll be fine.