The NBA Trade Deadline: Where The Rockets Win An Active Day

Today's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline has come and gone after a host of deals. SB Nation's NBA experts analyze and react to all of the trades, with a little help from our network of team sites.

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McGrady Headed To The Knicks In Three-Team Deal

The proposed three-way deal between Houston, New York, and Sacramento appears to be coming to fruition. According to ESPN's Mark Stein, the teams have agreed in principle to a blockbuster deal that sends McGrady to New York along with Sacramento PG Sergio Rodriguez, sends Sacramento shooting guard Kevin Martin to the Rockets, and brings Houston's Carl Landry--along with Joey Dorsey and Larry Hughes' expiring contract (about $14 million)--to Sacramento.

Because we're talking about the Houston Rockets and the best GM in the league, Daryl Morey, Houston also gets New York's 2009 lottery pick, Jordan Hill,  the right to swap first round picks with the Knicks in 2011, as well as taking the Knicks' first round pick outright in 2012. Per usual, building through the draft is not one of New York's top priorities, while Morey seems content to stockpile assets.

For Sacramento, they'll get some much-needed help on the frontline with Landry, one of the better young big men in the league, as well as some valuable cap space when Hughes' deal expires this spring. It comes with an expense, though: giving up Kevin Martin, the lone bright spot for Sacramento the past few years, and still one of the most talented young guards in the league.

For New York, the trade allows them to take a flier on McGrady, and potentially use his star power to lure a superstar this summer. And either way, his massive $23 million salary will come off the books this spring, clearing the way for New York to add not one, but two max contract players. They also gave up Jordan Hill, this year's eighth overall pick. But again, these are the Knicks. Swingin' for the fences, amirite?! Tracy McGrady was totally a superstar like five years ago!

And finally, Houston wins. God Houston wins. They traded Carl Landry, Tracy McGrady (who was inactive for them), and Joey Dorsey. So basically, they lost one player from their rotation (Landry). What did that net them? Two first round picks, a lottery pick from last year's draft (Jordan Hill), Jared Jefferies, and one of the more effective shooting guards in the league, Kevin Martin. And again, from this year's core, they lose only Carl Landry.

That, my friends, is a good day at the office for Darryl Morey.

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Heat, Jazz Talking Carlos Boozer Trade

With Amare Stoudemire off the market, the Miami Heat are making an 11th-hour push for Carlos Boozer, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford.

It’s not yet clear what pieces could be involved.

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After Tons Of Hand-Wringing, Amare Stoudemire Likely Staying In Phoenix

For the second straight year, Amare Stoudemire was the big fish in the pool at the NBA Trade Deadline. For the second straight year, it looks like he’s not going anywhere.

Fanhouse first reported yesterday that Stoudemire was likely to stay in Phoenix, quoting Stoudemire himself, coach Alvin Gentry and a couple sources. ESPN’s Marc Stein confirmed Fanhouse’s report just now with a quote from owner Robert Sarver indicating he met with Stoudemire last night to tell him he’s likely staying put.

This isn’t exactly a good thing for either party. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that Stoudemire’s agent and Suns GM Steve Kerr had “several tense conversations” last night about this. ESPN’s Chad Ford quotes a source saying Stoudemire is going to be upset about this. Fanhouse, who wrote earlier that Stoudemire was considering not opting out of his contract this summer, asked Stoudemire again last night, and Stoudemire said nothing had changed on that front. In other words, it appears we’re headed toward an unsavory divorce.

For more on the Amare situation, check out SB Nation’s Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun, who has been tracking this news all day.

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Kevin Martin On His Way To Rockets For Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry

One of the reasons the trade deadline is so interesting is that trades can come out of nowhere. Last night, as most of the East coast was sleeping, we saw one of those out-of-nowhere trades come together in a hurry.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Sacramento Kings have decided to trade Kevin Martin, previously seen as a keeper, to the Houston Rockets in a package for Tracy McGrady and his $23 million expiring contract.

The full trade has Martin, Kenny Thomas, Hilton Armstrong and Sergio Rodriguez going to the Rockets for McGrady, Sixth Man Of The Year candidate Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and cash. There’s also a rumored second part of the deal, in which the Knicks will acquire McGrady from Sacramento and Rodriguez for Houston in exchange for the Jared Jeffries/Jordan Hill/draft picks package discussed earlier in the week.

It’s an interesting trade, that’s for sure. For the Kings, it’s a complete turn from the vibes they were giving teams about Martin’s availability. For the Rockets, it’s a sign that they were willing to give up more than just McGrady’s expiring contract to bring in a big-time player. Landry has had an outstanding season and is a genuine asset for the Kings in the future, even though the Kings already have two young frontcourt building blocks in Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes.

For more discussion on the proposed trade, visit SB Nation’s Kings blog Sactown Royalty and SB Nation’s Rockets blog The Dream Shake.

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Celtics On The Verge Of Acquiring Nate Robinson

It’s looking like the Celtics are about to acquire Nate Robinson from the Knicks, though there’s still some confusion as to when the trade is finalized.

Newsday’s Alan Hahn first reported the news:

Nate Robinson trade with #Celtics done, I’m told. Getting details now….. #Knicks #NBA

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski said the Knicks and Celtics are still talking about a Robinson for Eddie House deal, but that it might not be done until tomorrow. One source told Wojnarowski that the Celtics love Nate and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni loves House, so everyone’s “motivated” to get the deal done.

Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports, meanwhile, tweets that the deal is not done. We’ll keep you posted.

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Celtics Trying To Acquire Nate Robinson From The Knicks

For a while, it looked like Boston’s move at the trade deadline would be bigger than this. They have Ray Allen’s expiring contract on the market, with the goal to get a marquee player that can help them this year and in the future.

However, Boston’s first move might be a bit smaller than that. Literally. They’re closing in on a deal to acquire three-time Slam Dunk Champion (!) Nate Robinson from the Knicks, according to A Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet New England.

CSNNE.com has confirmed that the Boston Celtics have had discussions recently about a trade that would send New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson to Boston.

Although the particulars have yet to be completely agreed upon, Boston will include at least one player with an expiring contract (Eddie House, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine are the possibilities) to New York along with either a future draft pick or cash considerations.

If the C’s were to pull the trigger on such a deal, it would likely be done sometime Wednesday.

Robinson is a base-year compensation player, which Blakely explains later in the article, but the Celtics have been rumored to want him for quite some time. If they get him, it would be an interesting test of the Celtics’ culture, but it would also give their bench a nice shot in the arm.

SB Nation’s Celtics Blog has more on the rumor here.

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It's Official: Camby On His Way To Portland

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Marcus Camby to Portland trade is a done deal.

The Clippers will receive Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and $3 million in cash for Camby. The latter part is being held up as the reason for the Clippers making the deal, which has drawn the “cheap Clippers” meme out again. It certainly looks bad from their end, because Blake and Outlaw are both expiring contracts like Camby.

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Marcus Camby On The Verge Of Heading To Portland, Isn't Happy About It

After missing out on Brendan Haywood, the Portland Trailblazers are reportedly about to acquire Clippers’ big man Marcus Camby, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears.

The price is pretty cheap for the Blazers — the expiring contracts of guard Steve Blake and injured forward Travis Outlaw, as well as cash — considering their desperate short-term need for a center after injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. It’s a no-brainer for them.

However, there is a snag, and that is Camby himself. He’s reportedly not happy about the trade, even though the Blazers are competing and the Clippers are floundering. He’s so mad that he walked out on a team dinner and never came back when he found out about the trade.

After taking the call from [his agent], Camby immediately walked out of the restaurant. A source close to Camby says that while he recognizes the benefits of playing for a better team, he is upset because his family is comfortably settled in Los Angeles. He had hoped to re-sign with the Clippers this summer.

“He likes the Clippers, he likes the organization, he likes L.A.,” the source said. “His wife is happy in L.A. And he’s not one for change. He’s definitely not happy about this.”

Camby also was similarly upset when the Nuggets traded him to the Clippers before the start of last season.

The Clippers’ players are also, predictably, upset about the trade. Why wouldn’t they be? Camby became a locker room leader, and now he’s being given away for no immediate on-court value. The Clippers probably feel Outlaw’s a better long-term answer at small forward than the enigmatic Al Thornton, but the current players will never grasp that.

It should be noted that the trade isn’t official, because neither owner has signed off on it, but all signs point to it happening, despite Camby’s own misgivings.

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Wiz, Mavs Officially Complete Blockbuster Trade Involving Caron Butler, Josh Howard

The Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks agreed to a deal Saturday that will significantly change the appearances of both teams involved. The Wizards will receive Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross. The Mavericks, meanwhile, will get Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson.

The deal, which has yet to be approved by the NBA, is expected to be finalized on Monday.

Michael Lee of the Washington Post notes how radically this trade will transform the Wizards:

The trade dramatically changes the look of the Wizards (17-33). Butler made two all-star appearances in his five seasons in Washington, Haywood was the longest-tenured Wizard and final link to the Michael Jordan era and Stevenson was a starter on two playoff teams. But a person with knowledge of team's thinking said on Saturday that there could be more changes on the way before the Thursday trade deadline.

"It's time to go in another direction," said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade is still being worked out. "This wasn't working."

Add this to the removal of Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon from the roster weeks ago, and you have a Wizards team that looks much different from the squad that tipped off in the 2009-10 season opener.

Mike Prada of our Wizards blog, Bullets Forever, has already tweeted his displeasure. First:

So this trade doesn't get us all the way out of the tax. It only gets us halfway there. And we lose two good players on good deals for it?

And to reiterate:

I'll say it again: the Hornets get out of the tax by trading a bunch of stiffs. The #Wizards? They trade two good contracts for nothing.

This seems to be a good trade for the Mavericks. For thoughts on this trade from a Dallas perspective, you'll want to check back with SB Nation's own Mavs Moneyball.

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Everyone Wants Tyrus Thomas, Except The Chicago Bulls

We’ve talked before about how the Chicago Bulls do a terrible job of getting something out of their high draft picks, back when Tyrus Thomas was rumored to be heading to the Knicks for Al Harrington. Basically, if you’re a high draft pick, you don’t want to be drafted by the Bulls.

One benching and outburst later, Thomas is back on the trading block, and this time, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, there are several suitors.

The Charlotte Bobcats bid Acie Law, Flip Murray and their 2010 first-round pick, a league executive said. The Bobcats have been searching for a long, athletic forward like Thomas, the fourth pick in the 2007 draft, and are expected to be aggressive pursuers. Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard made an offer they’ll have to improve upon to be taken seriously – one of his expiring contracts (Steve Blake or Travis Outlaw) and two future second-round draft picks.

The New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets are among the multiple teams who’ve spoken to Chicago about Thomas. The Bulls are telling people that they have several teams willing to offer first-round picks – in 2010 or beyond.

The Bulls want to get something for Thomas before they need to relinquish his rights in free agency to clear up maximum cap room to sign a big free agent, so it’s understandable why they want to move him. Still, doesn’t it say something that so many teams want Thomas? Charlotte’s offering a pretty good haul for someone like him (though it should be noted that the specific trade Wojnarowski throws out there is impossible because Charlotte already traded their 2010 first-round pick), and there are tons of other teams interested.

It speaks to how much talent Thomas has and how much teams feel his struggles have a lot to do with his environment rather than anything he did. Yahoo! Sports’ Kelly Dwyer touched on this yesterday.

I can’t think of a single player, with the possible exception of New York’s David Lee, that has been jerked around more than Thomas. And I can’t think of a single player, with no exception, that has acted like more of a prat than Tyrus. A nasty combination.

One doesn’t lead to the other, but it doesn’t help. Thomas was drafted as a project by the Bulls in 2006, but he was never treated like a project. Instead, he was treated like some four-year college starter that had been on CBS too many times to mention, and someone who was used to the grind. Thomas wasn’t used to the grind. He was a basketball scrub until his late teens. He only had one year of slapping the backboards at LSU. He was ready, but he wasn’t ready.

Dwyer goes on to right that it’s a “near certainty” Thomas will be a very helpful piece for his next team. I won’t go that far, because I’ve seen firsthand (Kwame Brown) how a player can have his career ruined by the experience he had in his first professional organization, but Thomas is certainly a great buy-low candidate for a lot of teams.

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Wizards, Rockets, Knicks Working On Three-Team Deal

We might have our first big trade of the trade deadline season! Rejoice!

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards, Knicks and Rockets are discussing a deal that would send Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to Houston, Tracy McGrady to the Knicks and Al Harrington to the Wizards.

Other pieces would need to be thrown in to match the salaries. The Knicks are currently taking in $23 million while sending out only $10 million. The Rockets need to take in an additional $6 million, while the Wizards need to send out another $6 million or so. Here’s one way to get that all done. It should be noted that this is coming straight from my head and is not necessarily being discussed.

WASHINGTON TRADES: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, Javaris Crittenton
WASHINGTON RECEIVES: Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley, Jordan Hill, Jermaine Taylor, Houston first-round pick in 2010 draft

HOUSTON TRADES: Tracy McGrady, Jermaine Taylor, Joey Dorsey, 2010 first-round pick
HOUSTON RECEIVES: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, Javaris Crittenton

NEW YORK TRADES: Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley, Jordan Hill
HOUSTON NEW YORK RECEIVES: Tracy McGrady, Joey Dorsey

Houston receives two starters without dealing one of its top prospects. Washington gets financial relief and young talent, as well as a draft pick. New York gets McGrady. Looks good to me.

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No, Really: The Celtics Are Shopping Ray Allen

These are desperate times in Boston. Yesterday’s loss to Orlando, which included an embarrassing third quarter, may have been the final nail in the coffin. Boston now has just two wins against the other elite teams in the league (Lakers, Magic, Hawks, Cavaliers, Nuggets), and one of those was on opening night.

This is all enough to begin writing the eulogies on the Boston Three Party. CBS Sportsline’s Ken Berger, a respected, plugged-in scribe, wrote after yesterday’s loss that we shouldn’t bet on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all wearing Celtics green by the end of the season. In talking with a number of league executives, Berger deduces that the Celtics are shopping Allen’s large expiring contract for a young piece that can also help them now.

“[General Manager] Danny [Ainge] has said, ‘I can’t go back to square one where we were prior to the Garnett deal,’” a person familiar with the discussions said. “At the All-Star break, they’re going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Cleveland got better, we can’t beat Orlando, and we can’t even beat the Hawks. We’re not going to win it this year.’”

Berger writes that the Celtics have their eye on Sacramento’s Kevin Martin, who the Kings continue to hold out of trade talks. They’ve also inquired about Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas, who are both definitely being shopped. Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala has also come up in trade discussions, though it appears the Phoenix Suns are the ones who really want him.

Jeff Clark of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog had previously been vehemently opposed to trading Allen, but even he believes that the Celtics should pull the trigger if Martin or Iguodala is the prize. That probably tells you all you need to know about the Celtics’ state right now. If Sacramento or Philadelphia would really dump a strong player like Martin or Iguodala merely for the cap relief Allen’s contract provides, the Celtics definitely need to pull the trigger.

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Amare Stoudemire Says He's Leaning Towards Not Opting Out

One of the assumptions we all made throughout this trade deadline season is that Amare Stoudemire would opt out of his contract and become a free agent in the great 2010 free agent derby.

However, in an interview with Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse, Stoudemire implies that he’s actually leaning the opposite way.

“I can opt out this summer or I can opt in, which means I’ll be back another year (for $17.69 million),” said Stoudemire, speaking after the morning shootaround in preparation for Wednesday night’s game against Denver. “That’s definitely an option. I’m leaning more toward that right now. Maybe opting in. … (That would be to) buy time. See how we do. … I think we got our game back on track. A three-game winning streak.”

This strikes me as classic Amare — throw everyone a curveball and see what happens. Remember, this summer, he did all these radio interviews in other cities (such as Washington and Chicago) saying how much he’d love to play there. Amare’s probably considering opting in because he doesn’t think he can get the deal he wants this summer, but with the NBA heading toward a drastic reduction in salaries in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, this might be Amare’s last chance to get a large long-term contract. If Amare does not opt out, it could lessen his suitors, because there are number of teams who want him because of his expiring contract.

Basically, while this is interesting, I wouldn’t read too much into it, other than to throw our assumptions aside for a second. It’s just Amare’s way of adding intrigue to all of this. The truth is that Amare hasn’t decided what he is going to do, not that he’s definitely opting in.

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LeBron James Wants Help; Hear That, Danny Ferry?

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ interest in Wizards forward Antawn Jamison is hardly a secret. It’s been rumored for months now, even going back to last season.

However, it’s been unclear who within the Cavaliers brass is pushing for acquiring Jamison. Now, via CBS Sportsline’s Ken Berger, we find out that it’s none other than LeBron James.

It’s been well documented that the Cavaliers’ infatuation with Antawn Jamison has been rekindled. What’s been underplayed is the reason behind it: LeBron James is the one driving the team’s pursuit of Jamison, according to a source, and Cavs GM Danny Ferry – as usual – is trying to appease the King.

Well, that makes sense. LeBron basically runs that team anyway, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. If you’re Danny Ferry, you basically have no leverage here. If you don’t do what LeBron wants, he’ll just go to New York, Miami or anywhere else in the offseason. LeBron knows this, so he’s exerting pressure on his GM to make a move that will help now, but might hurt later.

The Wizards want more than just salary relief for Jamison, which makes sense because Jamison is an all-star caliber player, but the Cavaliers are reluctant to trade J.J. Hickson. To that, I say, really? Really, Danny Ferry? You have the league’s best player, who could walk after the season, begging for help, and you’re not going to give it to him because of J.J. Hickson? No disrespect to Hickson, but when a guy like Jamison becomes available, you have to pull that trigger.

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The Indiana Pacers: Where Hard Bargains Happen

Troy Murphy is a very nice player, don’t get me wrong. He’s the rare player who is an unbelievable three-point shooter and an excellent rebounder at the same time. At the same time, he’s overpaid, is a terrible defender and can’t create his own shot. Players like that are fairly disposable, or at the very least, don’t command major packages back.

Don’t tell that to the Indiana Pacers, thought. According to the Indy Star’s Mike Wells, the Pacers reportedly asked for a king’s ransom from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Murphy’s services.

The Pacers have already tried to send him to Cleveland, but those talks didn’t last long because they were asking for too much, according to a source. The Pacers wanted the Cavaliers to give up forward J.J. Hickson, center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and multiple draft picks for Murphy, the source said.

In other words, the Pacers want massive cap relief, Cleveland’s top existing prospect and more than one future draft pick for Troy freakin’ Murphy! Maybe Indiana doesn’t know the meaning of franchise players, having not had one since the Brawl, and thinks Murphy is a building-block type of player, but he’s not. Cleveland likely wouldn’t agree to that package for Washington’s Antawn Jamison, a significantly better player than Murphy, so why would they agree to do it for Murphy?

Just how ridiculous are Indiana’s demands? Here’s what SB Nation’s Indy Cornrows writes about the trade possibility.

Hey, I’m all for asking for the moon and I’m sure dealing fomr a position of strength has to be fun for Larry Bird and David Morway, but now that there’s room for negotiation don’t let it die. I’m assuming that’s the case since there’s still over two week before the trade deadline, so if the Cavs settle on Murphy and the Pacers get anything beyond Ziggy’s contract, it will be worth it.

In other words, back the eff off and face the music, Larry Bird. Murphy’s just not that valuable.

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