SACRAMENTO- Carl Landry
NEW ORLEANS- Marcus Thornton
SACRAMENTO - C-
For a fan base desperate for some type of splash at the trade deadline, this was a small rock falling in the ocean. The general consensus was that Landry was not going to resign in Sacramento and also that he was not in the Kings long term plans, however I think most fans and NBA executives believed that a legit NBA "3rd Big" would be able to generate more than an unproven guard in return. There is a chance that Thornton becomes a solid NBA guard, but its a longshot that he will prove more valuable than the other guards playing alongside Tyreke Evans (Udrih, Garcia, Jeter). What hurts the most is that Sacramento traded for Landry just last year, giving up a 22+ ppg young scoring 2 guard in Kevin Martin. Connecting the dots the Kings essentially traded their franchise player for Marcus Thornton. Its safe to say that Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie will have to answer for that in the near future.
NEW ORLEANS - A-
The Hornets were able to acquire a big man that should fit into their rotation right away without giving up much in return. Landry has proven in Houston and Sacramento that he is a capable scorer off the bench and can help the Hornets playoff push. In his first game in New Orleans, Landry got more minutes than any of their bigs. He didnt have a great game, but that shows that the Hornets feel like they got a solid piece to plug into the rotation right away. Whether or not Carl resigns in New Orleans is anybodys guess, but there is a good chance he gets at least one playoff series and a chance to play major minutes in some meaningful games.
HOUSTON - Aaron Brooks
PHOENIX- Goran Dragic, 1st Round Pick
Its hard to pick a winner or loser in this trade. Aaron Brooks had a huge playoff run two years ago and then Dragic answered with some playoff magic of his own last year. After that neither player has become the future star that their previous teams hoped they would become. Houston received a first round pick in the deal as they begin their rebuilding Post-Yao era. If nothing else they have a shot to add some young talent to a roster that is not ready to compete in the West.
Its hard to pick a winner or loser in this trade. At one point Phoenix believed that Dragic was their future in the backcourt, but clearly that time has come and gone. Aaron Brooks is a special talent if he can regain his form of 2009. His combination of three point shooting, explosive quickness, and ball handling was worth the gamble for the Suns to bring him to the desert to be the successor of the great Steve Nash. Brooks has a chance to be something special, and its not coincidence that his game reminds people of what Phoenix already had in Leandro Barbosa before they let him go.
LOS ANGELES- Baron Davis, 1st Round Pick
LOS ANGELES- D+
Is Mo Williams that much better than Baron Davis? That question will be answered in time, but I just dont see it. The back story on this trade and reasoning behind it is the Clippers could not become Blake Griffin and Eric Gordons' team until Baron Davis was no longer in the locker room. That makes sense because Griffin is a once in every 10 years talent... but how often was Baron Davis the guy throwing Blake Superior the passes on his highlight dunks. The counter argument is that anyone could throw the ball anywhere near the rim and Blake does the rest. Its just hard to justify trading a player who became a pass first PG for a scoring PG and including a 1st rounder on top of that.
Cleveland is in full rebuilding mode. The problem with the Cavs is that unlike most of the bottom feeders, the Cavs dont have any young talent on the roster. This is because this roster was built to support LeBron and make him stay in Cleveland. Anybody remember that thing called "The Decision"?!? The Cavs got a 1st round pick for Mo Williams and a player would probably has just as much value on the court.
HOUSTON- Shane Battier
MEMPHIS- Hasheem Thabeet, 1st Round Pick
This might be the rare trade where both teams are happy with what they picked up. The Rockets are rebuilding and Battier's contract is expiring. The reality is Shane is not getting any younger and probably was not in the Rockets post-Yao plans. Houston brings back a future 1st round pick and the former 2nd overall pick in Thabeet. The Rockets get a free trial on Thabeet to see if he can become even a fraction of what Memphis thought they were drafting less than two years ago.
This might be the rare trade where both teams are happy with what they picked up. Its clear Memphis had seen enough of Thabeet to let him go, and In return they get back Shane Battier. Its hard to find anybody with anything negative to say about Shane. He is an elite perimeter defender, he doesnt need or ask for the ball on offense, he brings a ton to the locker room, and was recently voted the most intelligent player in all the NBA. Despite being a little long in the tooth, Shane might be just what Memphis needs to get into the playoffs. The Grizz dont have any championship dreams, but the playoffs would be everything the organization and its fan base have been hoping for.