What’s up, Troubadour sports fans? I’m back to what I do best here at the Troub, and that’s just word vomiting my sports thoughts onto paper. What’s been happening most recently in the world of sports that I’d like to cover is the craziness of the NBA trade deadline. I’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what a few teams would do, and it’s been fun to dissect some of these trades. Anyway, let’s take a closer look at what moves have been made around the league.
Dallas Mavericks/New York Knicks
These two teams made what was probably the most high-profile trade of the season by dealing the unicorn himself, Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks sent off their franchise player, who’s been injured for more than a year, along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke. The Mavericks said their farewells to Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and a first round draft pick.
As a Mavericks fan, I think the Mavs definitely won the trade, but here’s why I’d be disappointed if I were a Knicks fan. The Knicks should already have Dennis Smith Jr. because they passed up on him in the draft to take Frank Ntilikina, who’s proven to be nothing thus far into his NBA career.
Also, the Knicks acquired DeAndre Jordan, who is on a one-year deal and said he wants to test the free agency after this year. Granted, he could’ve just wanted to get out of Dallas for whatever reason, but that doesn’t quite seem to be the case, since his role with the Mavericks was more involved than what he ever had with the Clippers. Only time will tell if the DeAndre leg of the deal will be worth it, but let’s look at the rest of the trade.
Wesley Matthews is a solid player who works hard and will give you good 3-point shooting with a lot of effort on the defensive end night in and night out. However, the counterpart shooting guard of the deal, Tim Hardaway Jr., has proven to be a more dynamic scorer and is still relatively young. Knicks fans may have been tired of waiting on Hardaway to become a star, but as a Mavericks fan, I’m excited to see how he works in Rick Carlisle’s system. Not to mention Trey Burke, who’s started to prove himself as a dynamic guy, and Courtney Lee, who is hurt but essentially does what Wes Matthews does.
Your opinion may differ, but I think the Mavs took advantage of a Knicks franchise that is always panicking to sell as many tickets as possible at all times. That meant giving up their franchise player for a guy they should’ve had in the first place and some other pieces that might not even be sticking around.
The Sixers acquired Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović and Mike Scott but parted ways with Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala and a hand full of picks. With this trade, the Sixers managed to add another low tier superstar to their roster, making them a bit more dangerous in the east. Will it be enough? To win the East, maybe, but to win an NBA title, not even close.
The West is so incredibly stacked with good teams top to bottom that the only way a team from the East could win it is if a young team, like the Nuggets perhaps, got hot and somehow took down the gauntlet that is the NBA playoffs in the Western Conference and then fizzled out in the finals to an Eastern team.
I think the Celtics are really good and that they have some veteran guys who have gotten the job done before. Kyrie Irving’s experience and ability to ice games brings a lot to the table, not to mention the fact that a ton of the young players for the Celtics last year got some really valuable experience being in the finals without a few of their best players. However, for the Sixers, I still think it’s going to take a few years before they can be taken seriously as a threat for the finals.
I think both teams got what they wanted out of this trade, so there’s not a clear winner or loser, but I just don’t think it makes a difference for the end result of the season. My prediction is that the Sixers lose to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
I know he’s not a team, but Markelle Fultz is a winner in this deal. I don’t really care about any other proponents of this trade, but I think this could be good for Markelle as a player. He’s headed to a smaller market where he can work on his game without ridicule (Philly is brutal) and take time off without the media looming overhead constantly.
Sometimes all someone needs is a fresh start. A guy like Fultz has so much talent and ability that has been underappreciated thus far into his career and I’d love to see him flourish as a player. A point guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan who’s crazy athletic and has good court vision is always a dangerous combo. If the city of Orlando can work some magic and fix his shoulder/shot, I think he’ll have a solid few years there before either moving on or resigning.
That’s it for this edition’s sports column; come back next time for more sports-related information to fill your brain with.