Much Ado About Nothing: The 5 Biggest Trade Deadline Teases

You can blame it on the Grizzlies.

Ever since they traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a bag of peanuts and some slightly used underwear, NBA teams have become more and more fickle about pulling the proverbial trigger. With the state of the economy, and some owners desperately trying to cut payroll before the cap and luxury tax thresholds decline, it’s a buyer’s market out there. And those buyers are looking for Gasol-type deals. On the flip side, Chris Wallace took all kinds of grief over that trade and general managers around the league don’t want to follow in his footsteps.

After two or three weeks of covering all of this trade chatter, the biggest deal to speak of is the Shawn Marion/Jermaine O’Neal swap and that happened almost a week ago. Sure, guys like Brad Miller, Andres Nocioni, John Salmons, Rafer Alston, Larry Hughes, Tim Thomas, Chris Wilcox and Drew Gooden changed zip codes, but I doubt any fans out there are sporting wood at the idea that one or more of these players is joining their team.

This year’s trade deadline was mostly about teams setting themselves up financially for the next two summers of free agency. Even though there were a number of big names bandied about, the Marion/O’Neal deal is the only semi-blockbuster trade of the season. And, barring some last-minute, late-breaking deal, we have these five teams to blame…

5. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs were in talks with the Nets about acquiring Vince Carter and also spoke with the Bucks about Richard Jefferson. Either of those players would have been a nice addition, but the Spurs just don’t have the pieces (or the balls) to pull off a trade like that. They were willing to trade for Carter, but they didn’t want to give up Roger Mason or George Hill. So they offer the Nets Bruce Bowen and Fabricio Oberto. Great, the numbers don’t even add up. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t really think that the Spurs should have given up Mason and/or Hill to acquire Carter. They’re arguably the second-best team in the West and their current lineup, if healthy, is likely to give the Lakers fits if the two teams meet in the playoffs with a less-than-100% Andrew Bynum. Plus the Spurs are notoriously conservative when it comes to messing with their chemistry. Jefferson wouldn’t have been a problem in that area but Carter might have been. So the Spurs stand pat. Shocker.

Read the rest after the jump...

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2008 NBA Preview: #4 San Antonio Spurs

Offseason Movement: The Spurs were pretty quiet this offseason, apparently content with their roster. They re-signed Michael Finley and Kurt Thomas, and drafted George Hill, a combo guard that could really score in college.
Keep Your Eye On: Manu Ginobili’s ankle
Manu Ginobili will be out of action until mid-December after undergoing left ankle surgery. The Spurs won the title in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and I would pick them this year if not for the uncertainty surrounding Ginobili’s health. If he comes back at 100%, the Spurs have a great shot at a fourth title in seven years. Ginobili’s ankle is especially worrisome considering his style of play. He’s most effective when he’s able to drive to the hole, and a shaky ankle may limit his ability to get to the rim.
The Big Question: Do the Spurs have another title run in them?
Ginobili (31 years old), Tim Duncan (32), Michael Finley (35), Bruce Bowen (37) and Kurt Thomas (36) are all pretty long in the tooth and they’ll all be playing a major role in the Spurs’ rotation this season. Obviously, Ginobili and Duncan are the keys – if they are healthy and can play at a high level, the Spurs are going to be a very tough out, especially considering that the 26 year-old Tony Parker is just hitting his prime.
Outlook: Same ol’ same ol’. The Spurs recipe for success is pretty simple. They’ve signed their stars to reasonable contracts and with regard to the supporting cast, chemistry outweighs ability or upside. Duncan is signed for four more seasons, which would make him 36 in the final year of his contract. Realistically, the team has a 2-3 year window in which to win another title. Duncan is still playing at a high level, but there’s no guarantee that at 34 or 35, he’ll still be able to post franchise-cornerstone numbers. There is no doubt that the clock is ticking. This season probably represents the Spurs’ best chance for another title.

Related Posts