Created on: February 24, 2013
Late February used to be an exciting time for NBA basketball fans. For contending teams, the arrival of the trade deadline was the opportunity for the club to possibly add that missing piece that could give them a realistic chance at the NBA title. For the teams in the lower echelon of the league, it gave them the ability to dump salary and gain draft picks, which fans hope can be parlayed into a quick ticket back to respectability. The 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, unfortunately, was none of these things.
If fans wanted to see prominent names being traded, then they had better been paying attention before the season started and on January 30. During those two time periods, All Stars James Harden and Rudy Gay were dealt in the closest thing to a blockbuster that the NBA season had to offer. The trade deadline was more akin to the Fourth of July, when one lights the grand finale and it ends up being a dud. Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, the NBA trade deadline could be changed forever.
There are now high punitive tax penalties in place that are meant to keep teams from taking on long-term money commitments. What this did was effectively shutdown most teams from making those deals that would have taken place in the past, where a team would add salary over the cap for short-term gain. Now the luxury tax has real teeth, and NBA owners are not liking the thought of having to pay the hefty fines.
With that said, the biggest trade that took place was probably Orlando dealing J.J. Reddick to the Bucks for three players. While Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih, and Doron Lamb are entertaining young players, none of them is expected to become an NBA All Star. Reddick gives Milwaukee an excellent long-range shooter, but serves as a sort of a consolation prize for having not gotten Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks.
The other high profile name that went in a deal was Thomas Robinson. Trying to figure out what Sacramento is doing is anyone's guess, but for a team that is rumored to be headed to Seattle, it sure looks like they are trying to send them off with a bare cupboard. Robinson was a top five pick in the 2012 NBA Draft but has not blossomed yet into a big time star. Of course, he was playing in Sacramento, so who knows how much chance he had to accomplish that there. The Kings got Patrick Patterson and two other players back, but they were nothing more than rotation players in Houston, so it would seem the Rockets got the best of the deal there.
After those two trades, there was nothing substantial to speak of. Washington dealt off a disgruntled Jordan Crawford to Boston for an injured player and a bench warmer. Ernie Grunfeld painted the deal as a chance to free up more money for free agent signings in the offseason, but it is hard to imagine what high profile player would come to a team that trades an 18 point a game scorer for two guys that will not see the floor. All the other deals were swaps of replaceable bench parts, or deals involving second round picks, which are mere throw-ins that rarely turn out to anything constructive for an NBA club.
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