Trade-deadline winners and losers
The Bulls and Magic scored with their moves at the trading deadline
The Hornets benfited when their trade of Tyson Chandler to OKC was rescinded
The Cavaliers may end up regretting their decision to stand pat
Which teams can declare victory after the NBA's trading deadline passed Thursday? Which teams have executives who are hurling their phones against the wall in defeat? Let's examine.
What they got: G Rafer Alston
Skinny: The Magic have sent a clear signal that they believe they can win this season without All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson, who had season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday. Alston, who has started all but two of the games he has played for the Rockets over the last five seasons, is a legitimate point guard who should keep the Magic on course with Nelson out of the lineup.
The cost was minimal: Cook, Foyle and Wilks weren't part of the rotation, and Orlando's pick will likely be low in what is perceived as a weak draft. The Magic could end up with an even better pick or another player in the offseason by dangling Alston, whose $5.3 million expiring contract will be attractive.
Skinny: Miller, who played in Chicago from 2000-2002, gives the Bulls a physical inside presence who can spread the floor with his jump shot. There are risks, such as Chicago's introducing an immobile player into an up-tempo offense run by the speedy Derrick Rose, and questions about how much the 32-year-old Miller has left in the tank. But if Miller is reenergized by the deal, he can stabilize what has been a very inconsistent frontcourt.
Salmons has been having a career season with Sacramento, averaging 18.3 points and connecting on 41.8 percent of his three-point attempts. He is under contract for next season (with a player option for 2010-2011), giving the Bulls protection should they opt not to re-sign Ben Gordon.
Giving up Nocioni and Gooden hurts, but the additions should boost the Bulls down the stretch. They are 1˝ games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"They're definitely going to help us," guard Kirk Hinrich told the Chicago Tribune. "John is very versatile. Brad has been in the league forever. Everybody knows what he can do. He's one of the best passing bigs in the game."
New Orleans Hornets
What they got: Nothing
What they gave up: Nothing
Skinny: The Hornets were roundly criticized for dealing Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City. When that trade was rescinded after Chandler flunked his physical, general manager Jeff Bower did the right thing and kept his starting center. The Hornets will likely reconsider trading Chandler in the offseason, but for now they remain a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Maybe I'm still waiting for Shelden Williams to turn into the next Carlos Boozer, but I like this pickup. Minnesota needs help up front with Al Jefferson's season-ending knee injury. Williams, an afterthought in Sacramento, could become a solid third big man off the bench.