By Kiera Thomas
All eyes are on the NBA “trade season,” as the final push toward the playoffs begins. All-Star weekend gave fans incredible plays, near impossible dunks, but also signified the new level of intensity needed to make it to the post-season.
There are just over 20 games remaining in the regular season. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs are focusing on sharpening their skills and executing on offense and defense.
“I am not worried about the Lakers this year, but I can see a lot of teams in the Eastern Conference preparing for next year,” said Sylvester Bell.
However, other teams looked to trade for superstar players to reach the upper echelon of NBA teams. And stockpiling superstars became the name of the game for many big-market teams who looked to improve their standings.
Athletes are focused on moving to teams where they can play with more superstars, rather than holding up a team by themselves.
The greatest example of this was the infamous “Melo-War” between the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets over superstar forward Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks were finally able to land Anthony by trading Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and two first-round picks.
For the East coast team, the deal was even sweeter as seasoned veteran and point guard Chauncey Billups will also join Anthony and Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks. Fans are excited to see how this powerhouse will rejuvenate Madison Square Garden.
“This is by far the best trade of the season. Both Anthony and Billups to come together with Stoudemire, the combo will definitely bring fans back to the Garden,” said NBA fan Brian Clark.
The Knicks also received guard Anthony Carter, forward Renaldo Balkman and forward Sheldon Williams in the trade.
The Knicks did give up quite a bit of talent and the trade will not allow them to go far in the playoffs this year but they did set themselves up to possibly win a championship in years to come. It is much easier to replace Felton and Chandler type talent than it is trying to get another superstar of Anthony’s talent.
Guard Deron Williams made the big move to the New Jersey Nets from the Utah Jazz. Williams was traded for guard Devin Harris and forward Derrick Favors, who was a 2010 first-round draft pick.
Along with Williams, the Nets acquired center Dan Gadzuric and power forward Brandan Wright from the Golden
State Warriors in exchange for center Troy Murphy.
This is a great short-term trade for the Nets as they get a supreme talent in Williams. However, Williams is only under contract through the 2011-2012 season so the team better hope that Williams is willing to sign a long-term contract. If not, the Nets gave up a supreme talent in Favors for a one and a half year rental of Williams.
The NBA swapmeet did not stop there. One of the most shocking deals came when Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson were traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Jeff Green and Nedad Kristic.
Boston still remains among the top seeds for the playoffs. With the recent trade, the Celtics improved their team and increased their chances of getting the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Now that the NBA trade deadline has passed, the true test will be in the home stretch over the last 20 games in the regular season. Fans are sure to be on their toes as their favorite players hit the court in hopes of pulling out wins for their new teams.