First Pat Riley handed Shawn Marion cab fare and a one-way plane ticket to Toronto
in order to acquire Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal -- on the books for only $23 million next season! -- and now the New Orleans Hornets are shipping Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City
for The Expiring Contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. Awesome.
And in case you were wondering: Yes, it's a salary dump. According to Marc Stein: "With a payroll at nearly $67 million this season and scheduled to reach almost $77 million next season, New Orleans felt it had to part with Chandler before Thursday's 3 p.m. trading deadline regardless, even though dealing away the 26-year-old almost certainly takes the Hornets out of serious playoff contention in the West."
No word yet on how Chris Paul feels about the move -- chances are he's too busy throwing up in his own mouth to comment -- but David West is NOT a fan: "I don't know if that's somebody we can afford to lose. So I'm not sold on that idea. You just don't find a 7-foot-1 athlete like that and he's the only 7-footer we have. Especially if we're planning on making a run into the playoffs, we're going to need size to compete with Portland, San Antonio and the Lakers. I'm not sure that would help us." It won't, David. It wasn't meant to. In related news, following a rainbow will not lead you to a leprechaun's magical pot of gold.
Great move for the Thunder, though, assuming Chandler ever gets healthy. I know the Thunder Cats have been an ongoing punchline around these parts, but seriously, with the way Kevin Durant is developing, they might be only another year or two away from actual mediocrity, even competence. Which is more sweet torment for the denizens of Seattle. The only way those poor people could receive a more thorough cornholing would be if the Thunder won a title within the next five years. Don't laugh. It could happen. Just ask Cleveland Browns fans.
Also, some people have been asking what I think about the Marion-for-O'Neal trade. Simply put: Very little. The Drain won't make Miami any better until the summer of 2010...when his contract comes off the books. Besides, he's already played, what, 41 games this season? He's almost reached his 50-game quota, after which his total value is reduced by exactly one Jermaine O'Neal plus a Jamal Tinsley. (Could Chris Quinn be this year's Jamal Tinsley? Stay tuned.) The move will give Michael Beasley some room to grow, though, since he's likely to take over Marion's spot in the starting lineup. And he's the future, whereas Marion was a placeholder. So there's that.
As for Toronto, well, they'd have to start running the ball for Marion to have an appreciable impact. (Trading for Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire and then bringing in Mike D'Antoni to coach would help, too.) Some people believe Marion could be the do-everything guy that the Craptors have needed, but isn't that sort of what the Heat thought when they got him? And with O'Neal gone, who's going to guard the big boys? 'Cause you know Chris Bosh doesn't want that job. On the upside, Marion's contract expires this summer, which will allow the Craptors to pursue top-notch free agents
like Allen Iverson, Ron Artest, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby, Drew Gooden.... So, you know, they're totally screwed.Meaningless trade update: The Boston Celtics are sending Sam Cassell to the Sacramento Kings
, otherwise known as Suburb B of Basketball Hell. In return, the Celtics will receive a future second-round pick they will never, under any circumstances, actually use. This, of course, on-ups Detroit's trade of Alex Acker to the Clippers
for the right to swap future second-rounders they won't use either.
Labels: Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith, Sam Cassell, trades, Tyson Chandler