The big news coming out of the NBA today hasn’t been the draft (yet), it’s been all of the big trades that have been going down today. These deals should change some things, particularly in the Eastern conference.
Jermaine O’Neal to the Raptors
The first deal was the deal between the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers get point guard T.J. Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic, forward Maceo Baston and Toronto’s first-round pick (No. 17) in tonight’s NBA draft in exchange for forward Jermaine O’Neal.
The deal been agreed upon but won’t be finalized until July 9th because that is after the league’s mandatory moratorium period ends and Ford’s base-year compensation tag comes off the books. The players also have to pass physicals but besides those things, this deal is all but done.
The deal will change the look of the Raptors. If Jermain O’Neal can stay healthy (which he couldn’t do in Indy) than he is one of the top forwards in the league. He and Chris Bosh will make one of the toughest front line in the league.
The deal should free up the point guard position in Toronto for the Jose Calderon and will also help the Pacer solidify their point guard issues.
Richard Jefferson to the Bucks, Yi Jianlian to the Nets
Marc Stein reported today that the Nets made a deal sending forward Richard Jefferson to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Summons. There were no draft picks involved with the deal.
This deal kind of surprised me considering that Yi is a young player who was just developing and he had a fairly productive rookie season averaging 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 66 games. I guess since they decided to get rid of their old GM Larry Harris this season, they decided that getting rid of his draft pick would also help.
The deal helps both sides a lot. The Bucks get some veteran leadership in Jefferson. RJ is a proven winner who can help them attempt to turn things around on a squad that has better talent than their 26-56 record would indicate. Milwaukee will also get rid of the huge contract of Bobby Simmons. He is under contract to receive $20 million over the next years
The Nets are in the process of attempting to rebuild their team and acquire as much young talent as possible. In Yi they get a 7 footer who has a great stroke. He is a younger version of Dirk Nowitzki and he is only 20 years old so he get added to a team of a lot of good young players.
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