The Different Types of Trades
Well, I'll save my comments on the next few days of transactions until after the trade deadline passes. Right now I want to remind everyone about the types of trades. Every basic trade either devolves to "I'm saving money", "I'm trying to win now", or "Get the C-4, I'm blowing this up".
The disgruntled superstar trade (better known as I hate it here, get me the hell out trade): This is usually the trade you see when a player openly either tanks or becomes a malcontent to force the team's hand. It generally happens when a team used to be pretty good then sucks (many times the player wanting to be traded is the one responsible for the team being bad). These are your proverbial "50 cents on the dollar" trades. These can go great (last year's Jason Kidd trade) or horrible (the Pau Gasol trade for Memphis). The best you can hope for is a young prospect AT THE POSITION YOU'RE TRADING (too many teams get this part wrong), multiple firsts, and expiring contracts. This will also usually follow-up with the C-4 scenario.
The salary dump (better know as the salary dump): This is a trade for no other reason than to drop payroll, usually to avoid the NBA luxury tax. This year, there are WAY more teams looking to dump payroll than looking to take payroll on. Consider that Sarver (Suns), Gilbert (Cavs) and the Celtics owner among others have real-estate-based riches and some teams (New Orleans, Memphis, Sacramento, Charlotte) are in cities that may not be able to financially support their team. The Marcus Camby trade at the beginning of the season is a CLASSIC example of a salary dump.
The change of scenery trade (it usually takes 2 forms, either the garbage for garbage trade or the I think if he's on my team he'll play better trade): This is the most similar to our own personal situation. Being on the same job for 12 years gets boring. Your productivity goes down and you begin to hate your life. Then someone offers you a new job based on your previous performance, assuming the new job will revitalize you. Shaq is the poster child for this type of trade. The advanced form is one man's trash is another man's treasure (the Larry Hughes/Ben Wallace swap) where you are so desperate to get rid of a malcontent you're willing to take on someone else's in hopes you can reign in the new guy. Zach Randolph was part of this trade twice and he just punched a white guy in the face in a basketball game. Sometimes they just don't work out.
The rescue trade (better known as the rescue trade): This is the trade where a really good-to-great player is playing for a lousy organization and maintains his professionalism the whole way. The good teams out there think if we can get this guy, he can change everything for us. Kevin Garnett to the Celtics is an example of this type of trade. This one rarely happens because organizations can be SO inept that they tend to over reach on these trades and ask for too much. The KG trade doesn't happen if Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale don't play golf with each other or something.
The start over trade (the trade that signals I'm blowing it up): This one is obvious. Any time a trade occurs where the team is CLEARLY getting the short end of the stick, they are letting everyone know we are hitting the reset button on the Playstation (or Wii, or XBox). These trades are usually tough to justify...except for now because of the Summer of Lebron (who by the way looks like he's not going anywhere). The Knicks made 2 trades this year alone to send that signal.
This year the current economic climate and implications on lower tickets (translating to a lower Salary Cap) will mean more teams will be looking to shed money off the bottom line and quite possibly, sign players to smarter contracts. We'll see. Enjoy the trade deadline!