After a flurry of moves that came down just prior to the trade deadline all the way up to the 3 P.M. Eastern Time cutoff, the NBA has seen quite a dramatic shift. Now that it is over teams are still jockeying to shore up their assets and acquire role players for a deep playoff push. Of course every team wants to enter the playoffs healthy, but that may be easier said than done. On to the Stew!
Money, money, money
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed newly acquired big man, Kendrick Perkins, to an extension. It is a four-year deal that will net him $34.8 million. As an added incentive, the deal also includes bonus clauses that can increase Perkins’ pay. Furthermore, the Thunder have increased his 2010-11 salary from $2.3 million to $6.7 million and based the extension off the new salary. Perkins had been hesitant to sign an extension with the Celtics this season which factored into the team trading him. It looks as though the Thunder’s General Manager, Sam Presti, is playing for keeps.
In the epic saga that is Troy Murphy’s life, he now faces his greatest decision ever: what team does he want to chase a ring on? After being bought out of his present contract by the Golden State Warriors (he was traded to them at the deadline for Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric) it looked as though Murphy was well on his way to Beantown. That is until the most shrewd operator in the business came calling. Gordon Gekko, er…Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have shown interest in Murphy. Decisions, decisions. Miami would have to free up roster space to add the power forward, however, it would seem that there are plenty of players on their roster who are expendable outside of their marquee three. The only thing for Murphy to do now is to sit back, wait, and quote Cuba Gooding Jr. BREAKING: As this piece was being written, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Murphy has chosen to play in Boston. The terms of any deal between the two parties are not yet known. I hope ABC was filming this, there was certainly potential for a bad reality show in there. Throw in some roses and you have a hit.
Everyone knew that the Washington Wizards really did not want to take Mike Bibby. He is old and that team is young. He likes to mall walk and they like to sleep in. It just was not going to work. Therefore, the Wizards did everyone a favor and bought out the remainder of Bibby’s $6.2 million salary for the season. Bibby had chosen to waive the final year of his present contract so that he would be able to be bought out. He is set to clear waivers on Wednesday. Once that occurs, it is widely believed that he will become a ring chaser on the Heat. Now, that Murphy has decided on Boston, Miami’s push for the veteran point guard will likely be stronger than ever as they do not have the best point guards in the league. Bibby is by no means the player he once was with the Sacramento Kings, however, he would be a positive offensive upgrade over both Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo. UPDATE: reports are saying that Arroyo has been cut to make room for Bibby.
After the New York Knicks swung their deal for Carmelo Anthony, they also acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves Corey Brewer. However, Brewer has not seen a single minute of playing time with his new team as Mike D’Antoni prefers to play Renaldo Balkman instead and the team deactivated Brewer. Now, the Knicks are in the process of buying him out. In the hunt for him now, according to various reports, are the Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Thunder, and Dallas Mavericks. He is expected to meet with several coaches from interested teams on Tuesday including mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle.
Pain, pain, pain
Somehow, the Spurs have managed to stay healthy all season. Did they make a deal similar to Robert Johnson’s? Was it pure luck? Is it still the revenge of the small market? Whatever it was, it came to an end. Tony Parker is likely to miss two to four weeks with a sore calf muscle. In the long run this injury will not hamper the Spurs’ playoff quest. They already have 49 wins this season. However, they may seed some ground to the Mavericks, who are looking at catching the Spurs for the number one overall seed in the Western Conference.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to make the playoffs. They would not even get an invitation to the NIT this year. They are awful. Yet, somehow they know how to beat the Los Angeles Lakers and the Knicks. They have beaten the Knicks twice. Ouch. However, the team may have just suffered its biggest loss of the season. Antawn Jamison will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken finger. The Cavaliers just cannot catch a break. Cleveland was actively engaged in trying to move Jamison to Golden State at the trade deadline but the two sides could not reach an agreement. After that news sunk in, Jamison’s left pinky decides to ruin the rest of the season. Poor guy.
Fresh off his recent arrival to the Denver Nuggets, Danilo Gallinari has fractured his left big toe in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. According to the team, the injury will keep him sidelined for a week to ten days.
In the same game that Gallinari was injured, Josh Smith left midway through the game with a stiff knee. Smith will be re-evaluated once the team returns to Atlanta.