Cavs, Mavs -- not Sixers -- made best deadline deals
Posted: Thursday February 24, 2005 8:48PM; Updated: Sunday February 27, 2005 1:13AM
End of an era: Chris Webber was the identity of the Sacramento Kings the past five years.
The big NBA trade news, of course, was the deal that sent Chris Webber from Sacramento to Philadelphia, a steal for the 76ers in the minds of many.
I don't see it that way.
True, the Kings didn't get any better when they unloaded a multi-talented player for Corliss Williamson, Brian Skinner and Kenny Thomas. But Webber is widely seen as damaged goods, lacking the old explosion after his knee injuries.
I do feel sorry for Webber, a man of immense pride. Any past Webber trade scenarios -- and there were many -- invariably involved big-name players.
Webber to Dallas? Kings have to get Dirk Nowitzki. Webber to Boston? Kings have to get Paul Pierce. Webber to New York? Kings have to get at least Allan Houston and Kurt Thomas. But now? This is how Bruce Springsteen would feel if they dealt him for Frankie Valli, the bass player for The Turtles and a drummer to be named later. But, alas, that is the current reality for the 32-year-old multi-purpose center/power forward.
Anyway, the Kings weren't going anywhere with him, so better to clear his monster salary ($22.3 million in 2007-08) and try to get moving in another direction.
I'm calling this one a draw.
As for a thumbnail look at a few the other deals:
Dallas Mavericks -- acquire Keith Van Horn from Milwaukee for virtually nothing
Nice move. And unexpected, too. Van Horn is just the kind of player who may thrive in Dallas and could win them a playoff game or two. Soft? Hey, they don't care about that kind of thing in Big D, where Big O is all that matters.
Nazr Mohammad -- goes from New York to San Antonio in Malik Rose deal
Think of your best dream ever. Now you know how Nazr feels. He wakes up one morning mired in the sinkhole that is the New York Knicks and by the end of the day he can start thinking about fitting himself for a championship ring. He's going to play, too. Already the best defensive team in the league, the Spurs pick up a shot-blocker. True, they lose a good citizen in Malik Rose, always a class act even as he sunk lower and lower in the Spurs' rotation. But the Spurs have other good citizens.
Cleveland Cavaliers -- acquire Jiri Welsch from the Celtics for a first-round pick
With all the talk about Webber going to Philly and Walker back to Boston, this could be the deal that wins the East for the Cavs. Welsch is not an All-Star, but he's a real good outside shooter who will complement LeBron James, a fine defender and a smart all-around p
Boston Celtics -- get back Antoine Walker from Atlanta in Gary Payton deal
This doesn't make the Celtics any worse; heck, in that Atlantic Division, maybe it wins them the title. But this is what it has become for the most storied franchise in pro hoops: They get back a player whom they trashed, and who trashed them, when he was traded to Dallas. As for 'Toine, he doesn't even get his old number back (No. 8 now belongs to rookie Al Jefferson). Oh, well, Walker will be somewhere else when next season rolls around, for this was purely a salary-cap move. I think.
Speedy Claxton -- goes from Golden State to New Orleans in Baron Davis trade
Does anyone remember that just two seasons ago this guy was helping the San Antonio Spurs win a championship? Point guard Tony Parker went south a few times during that six-gamer over the New Jersey Nets, and in his stead Claxton produced every time. Then he goes to the Warriors via free agency. He didn't exactly become a star there, but down the road I think the Warriors will improve if they keep their nucleus together. But Bourbon Street? That's a long, long way from championship memories of The Alamo.
Los Angeles Clippers -- did nothing
But, then, they always do nothing. Mired in a nine-game losing streak, needing some kind of spark, they sat on their hands. The once promising future of that team is now gone.