Analysis of the Four Team, Five Player Trade
So it doesn’t happen often, but there’s been a four team trade. Exciting, huh? So this one actually makes a little sense although if we had to pick a loser there’s a team we can give that label. Trevor Ariza, Darren Collinson, James Posey, Troy Murphy, and Courtney Lee will all be playing in new zip codes new year. Houston, New Jersey/Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Indiana have all got new toys to play with. Let’s explain who got what and what it means for that team.
Indiana Pacers – ( Grade = A )
We’ve put them first because they are obvious winners in this trade. Darren Collinson has shown what he can do. He was one of the hottest names in trade talks. He is young. He is talented. He’s short, but so what…he can score. He had a long college career. He’s a smart player. He’s an up-tempo ballplayer. He’s a great teammate. He’s on a rookie contract. Should we stop? Can you tell how much we like Collinson? Indiana just got him by giving up Troy Murphy and all they had to do was take on James Posey’s contract. Posey’s a great teammate. And before this trade they had less than $20 million tied up in contracts beyond this season. Indy now has the perfect, young point guard to run the system in place and they’re going to have him for a very long time. They have young pieces to surround him with. This team could be scary in a few years. Posey will provide veteran leadership as they grow. We like Troy Murphy, but if you can get Collinson for Murphy, you have to pull the trade. You’d be a fool not to.
Houston Rockets – ( Grade B )
We also like what they did. Trevor Ariza was always a good sidekick. Should have never signed for first-option money and expectations (all though the mid-level exception really isn’t first-option money). He was fun to watch, but a guy like that is expendable. Ask the Lakers. If he was smart, he’d have taken what the Lakers had offered and he would be a two-time champion. Now, he’s been traded for a younger, cheaper, low-budget him. In the right system and organization, Lee can flourish. He was going to have a hard time doing that with the Nets. Especially considering how well Terrence Williams played at the end of last year. They also signed like thirty two combo guards/forwards over there in Newark. In Houston, Lee gets to work with Kevin Martin, who he works out with in the off-season and he gets to be the second-team spark plug. If they don’t start him (and we don’t expect them to…Battier will). But more importantly, the Rockets were able to relieve themselves of some of those luxury tax dollars they were spending and still got a more than serviceable replacement in return. You’ve got to like what the front office does in Houston. Now if only Yao could stay healthy.
New Jersey Nets – ( Grade = B )
The Russians are coming! Well, maybe just one. But he just picked up a great guy to tutor and bring Derrick Favors along. He’ll also fit very well with Brook Lopez. Troy Murphy can stretch the floor at the power forward position. He’s also someone that people have been trying to get for the last few years. Everybody loves Troy. He plays defense. He can shoot. He can rebound. And they basically traded Lee for Murphy. Not a bad move at all. While it won’t make them that much better, it definitely did not hurt them. This team is still a few years, if not more, from being good. However, they’ve got themselves not only someone who they can play while Favors learns the in’s and out’s of the league. They’ve also got themselves a very good power forward and a valuable trade asset in the last year of his contract if an opportunity presents itself.
New Orleans Hornets – ( Grade = B- )
Like we said. If we had to pick a loser, it would be New Orleans. What they did wasn’t too bad. Ariza is a HUGE upgrade over the two P’s, Peja and Posey. Ariza will likely benefit well from playing alongside Chris Paul. He’ll also fit in well with Thorton, West, and Okafor. Anticipate ESPN highlights often from he and Paul. But they just gave up a huge trade asset for a guy who is on his fourth team and doesn’t have an imposing skill set. Darren Collinson was bound to be traded. He and Paul weren’t going to work well together because Paul is Paul, and Collinson was a really good young point guard. Can’t have two of those on your team. But all they got from the gold was some silver. Was that trade supposed to make Paul want to stay in New Orleans. They could have gotten so much more. True, they did get rid of Posey. But Ariza has about 4 more years on his mid-level exception contract. They didn’t save THAT much. You have Collinson locked in for up to three more years and you just give him away. The New Orleans Hornets have been FAR from spectacular this off-season. If I were Chris Paul, I’d be taking note of what’s going on around him. It’s not too pretty.