By Thomas Ross, Staff Writer
Sports fans that enjoy manipulating rosters and envisioning themselves as their hometown team’s general manager for a day went to bed Thursday night disappointed in their counterparts. The NBA trade deadline has now passed without any major deals involving star players. The closest thing we got to a blockbuster deal was one that involved a washed up Danny Granger and young asset Evan Turner.
Because I’m a Knicks fan, one may be able to understand my dismay in seeing the day come and go without any movement
But, even more than a Knicks fan, I take myself as a sports enthusiast, and, to me, nothing quite compares to the NBA trade deadline. The ability to bring in a premier talent mid-way through the year — someone who could potentially salvage a disastrous season and maybe even revamp a franchise — intrigues me. I relish the opportunity to play fantasy G.M for a day and conjure up potential transactions for my New York Knicks.
The NBA is the only sport of the three major American professional sports where one player can truly transcend a franchise. Unlike in football and baseball, one player rarely has as much of an impact on his team as one individual does in basketball. Therefore, there are far fewer trade deadline transactions, by and large, in football and baseball.
There were no major deals at the deadline this year, but there were 11 trades that happened within 24 hours of the deadline. I do not believe any of them will have a significant impact on the playoff race, but a few playoff teams did bolster their bench.
The currently eighth-seeded Charlotte Bobcats improved its bench by unloading the expiring contract of Ramon Sessions for Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal. This trade gives the young Bobcats a little bit more three-point firepower off the bench, which the team desperately needed.
The Washington Wizards, who right now hold the fifth spot in the East, made a very nice trade by acquiring Andre Miller and unloading the disappointing first-round draft pick Jan Vesely.
I really like this trade for three reasons. Firstly, it finally gave the Wizards a backup for their star point guard John Wall. In accomplishing that they also acquired a savvy veteran who is familiar with the playoffs and can help a young team like the Wizards. Lastly, it allowed Washington to get rid of the absolutely dreadful Jan Vesely. Vesely was drafted sixth overall in the 2011 draft and has amounted to nothing more than 3.5 points per game, .8 turnovers per game, 2.3 personal fouls per game, and a terrible player efficiency rating (PER) of 8.58 (the league average for PER is 15.0).
The most significant trade deadline transaction was the Golden State Warriors’ acquisition of former Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Steve Blake. Similar to Washington, Golden State was in dire need of an insurance policy to protect their all-star point
Steve Blake is an excellent backup point guard who can play either position in the backcourt. This gives head coach Mark Jackson the ability to play multiple different lineups with Steph Curry at the one or the two position on the floor.
Right now the Warriors are the number seven seed in the West, but I can assure you no one wants to meet them in the playoffs because they are young, energetic and have a lot of firepower. I would not be surprised if the Warriors end up in the Western Conference finals.
Senior Thomas Ross is a staff writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.