So yesterday was pretty fun, right? No? Yes? Fine, we’ll ask the panel. Reactions to the trades that moved the needle a little less significantly, and one word to sum up the hullabaloo. It’s Robby, Raffers, Ian, Jared, Brian, Derek and Jack with a little music for your eyeballs. — Ed.
1. Yesterday, the Warriors traded MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore for Steve Blake. The bench has been an issue for Golden State. Can Blake’s presence make a big enough difference to stabilize a team that’s in trouble of potentially missing the postseason?
Robby Kalland: The Warriors clearly have lacked a solid backup at point guard this season and I think Blake is a big improvement for them there. I’m not sure it’s a move that makes the Warriors a vastly improved team, but I do think his presence will be a steadying influence on the second unit.
Scott Rafferty: After the trade deadline came to a close, Kobe Bryant tweeted: “Not cool with @SteveBlake5 being gone AT ALL One of my closest teammates and psycho competitor GS picked up gem #smartmove.” Therefore, I’m saying yes because the Mamba knows best.
Ian Levy: He doesn’t even move the needle.
Jared Dubin: They’ll make the playoffs, but it won’t be because of Blake.
Brian Schroeder: He stabilizes them through the simple virtue of being a guy who will play minutes, whom they received in exchange for two guys who weren’t playing minutes.
Derek James: Considering the pieces they gave up and Blake’s usefulness when he is healthy it only seems logical that he could fortify the Warriors’ point guard rotation. Maybe being off of the injury-plagued Lakers will magically enable him to stay on the court more than he has so far.
Jack Winter: Blake will certainly help the Warriors, but is hardly the piece that will push them from playoff team to actual Western Conference contender. Only a select few reserves in the league are capable of such an impact, and despite his career season – and the quality of GSW’s backup ballhandlers up to this point – Blake just isn’t one of them. I’m interested to see how often he shares the floor with Steph Curry, though. That’s a wrinkle the Warriors have missed this season since letting Jarrett Jack walk last summer, and it could be an important one.
2. The Miami Heat cleared a roster spot by trading Roger Mason, Jr. to the Sacramento Kings for a second-round pick. The Kings, in turn, waived him. What’s your ideal revenge scenario for Mason, and is it against the Heat, the Kings, or the CBA?
Robby: Mason should hate everyone/thing right now, but I think mostly the Heat. The living was good in Miami and then he gets shipped out — and then waived — for a pick the Heat will likely never see. Revenge scenario: Mason poisons the Heat’s pre-game meal before a crucial Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals against Indiana. Likely Result: Because he’s inhuman, LeBron James scores 55 and the Heat win as he has his own “Flu Game” — which in turn causes a meltdown of Basketball Twitter — and then Mason is caught and arrested.
Raffers: I’m going to keep mine simple and say that he auditions for a bench spot with the Oklahoma City Thunder and gets the job because he’s a proven three-point shooter. Then he rides the bench for the rest of the season, as well as the opening rounds of the Playoffs, but in the Finals – which just so happen to be a matchup between the Thunder and Heat – he has a Mike Miller-kind of game and scores an obscene amount of points (by his standards) in a crucial game. Game, set, match, Roger Mason Jr.
Ian: Considering that his elaborate revenge plots against the other six NBA teams who’ve traded him or let him walk have fizzled so spectacularly, I think it might be time for Mason to cut his losses, thank whatever spiritual being he worships for an NBA career that has lasted this long, and ride off into the sunset.
Jared: I’m still busy enacting my own revenge scenario against the Heat and Pat F’in Riley; I can’t worry about what Mase is gonna do.
Brian: By immediately becoming executive director of the Player’s Union, Renaming it the HowUnion, and making it ILLEGAL for players named LeBron James to win the NBA title. Other than that…nothing.
Derek: “Roger Mason”…”revenge.” Okay, I’m done laughing now. The most traditonal form of revenge for Mason would be to join up with the Pacers and hitting the game winner in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. However, that’s boring and uninspired. No, given Mason’s previous affiliation with the Player’s Union, Mason should do a 180 heel-turn and buy ownership into a team. Once entrenched in his new role, he becomes the ruthless and bloodthirsty owner we all love to hate during the 2017 lockout. Clearly, the CBA that he worked to become ratified has come back to bite him in the backside, so now he needs to turn to the “darkside.” Rage against the machine, Roger Mason Jr., rage against the machine.
Jack: Basketball can be a tough business, and Mason has been a fringe-level NBA player for several seasons. I’ll save my crocodile tears for Thaddeus Young and Danny Granger.
3. Antawn Jamison is a Clipper no more, traded to the Hawks in exchange for the rights to Cenk Akyol. Does Jamison ever put on an Atlanta jersey, and if not, is this the end for him?
Robby: Ball. [Note: Robby works for the Hawks and thus cannot comment, so instead he's choosing to respond as Hedo Turkoglu]
Raffers: This is the end of the road for Antawn Jamison. Neither him nor the Atlanta Hawks will benefit from him suiting up. I mean, he’s nearly 38 years old and shot 31.5 percent from the field in 22 games with the L.A. Clippers. He used to be good, but now he’s an old, broken down man. Plus, that “veteran leadership” thing isn’t a good enough reason to keep him around anymore. He had a good run, but now it’s time to take the $1,399,507 he’s making this season and enjoy retirement.
Ian: Jamison’s career actually ended at the conclusion of last season. The 248 minutes he “played” for the Clippers this season were all accomplished with smoke, mirrors and the DisneyLand animatronics department; an elaborate optical illusion.
Jared: No. He’ll sign with Dallas to play with fellow Tar Hells Vince Carter, Brandan Wright, and Wayne Ellington.
Brian: I have to assume this is it for ‘Tawn, but I honestly assumed he’d retire after that disastrous Lakers season, so I have can’t say for sure. If it’s the end, we should remember him as the damn good sixth man he was for a few years.
Derek: He could hardly crack the rotation for the Clippers, which is understandable since the Clippers have a roster filled with more talented players than himself. The Hawks are another playoff team, so he could face the same situation in Atlanta as he did in Los Angeles. We don’t know for certain, but it certainly seems likely that he seeks a buyout and then either signs with a team or retires if there’s a lack of interest on the open market. Then again, he could just retire now as well. Jamison was once a very valuable contributor, but now he’s getting to the point where younger fans are stunned once they learn he was an effective player. So, Jamison is at a bit of a crossroads and we’ll have to say where it takes him.
Jack: Atlanta’s depth has been absolutely demolished by injuries recently; the Hawks dressed just nine players against Washington on Wednesday. If not for that rash of ill health there would be no chance Jamison wears an Atlanta uniform. As is, though, perhaps he’s a seldom-used Hawk for the remainder of this season. A buy-out or retirement seem just as likely scenarios, though.
4. While real trades were happening, apparently the Spurs sent Nando de Colo to Toronto in exchange for Austin Daye. Over/under for minutes played for those two the rest of the season, either individually or combined?
Raffers: Am I crazy for thinking that the Spurs could make something of Austin Daye? He’s shown some potential over the years and Gregg Popovich has a way of getting the best out of people. I’m buying in. As for Nando de Colo, well, he’s competing with Kyle Lowry, Greivis Vasquez, Dwight Buycks and Julyan Stone for minutes at the point. It’s not going to be easy for him to crack the rotation and I have a feeling he might be on his way back to the D-League. So to answer your question, I have no idea.
Ian: I’m actually of the belief that Austin Daye can be a useful rotation player for a good team. I know literally everything he’s done on an NBA court up to this point undermines that idea, but I’m still a faithful believer. He’s still reasonably young, moderately athletic and hypothetically, a good outside shooter. If anyone can convert those attributes to actual positive basketball contributions, it’s Popovich and the Spurs. I figure he plays a few hundred minutes over the rest of the season, as everyone else rests up and gets healthy. Nando de Colo, we may never hear from again.
Brian: 500. The Raptors don’t seem to like Julyan Stone (despite his being named JULYAN STONE) and Dwight Buycks did not work out. They could use a third point guard one in a while. The Spurs, meanwhile, have been proven to play basically anyone with a pulse, and Austin Daye has one of those. He also can sometimes shoot. Sounds like a Spur to me.
Derek: Roughly 30 games to go? Uh, 30?
Jack: 220, but it doesn’t actually matter.
5. What one word best describes the 2014 Trade Deadline?
Robby: HINKIED. The Sixers worked their way into nearly 50% of all of the trades that happened on deadline day. GM Sam Hinkie unloaded some contracts, acquired a ton of second round picks, pulled in a mix of random, um, we’ll say “talent” that will continue to help them plow their way to the top spot in the lottery. They were also part of the biggest deal of the day, which they got done right at the deadline, sending Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to the Pacers for Danny Granger. A text I got from a Sixers fan today “Sam is love. Sam is life.” Long Live Hinkie.
Raffers: Disappointing. I’m rolling with that word because nobody pulled off a trade for D-League sensation Pierre Jackson. In 31 games with the Idaho Stampede this season, he was averaging 29.1 points and 6.2 assists per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the floor. He’s only 5-foot-10! Now he is on his way to Turkey in pursuit of some more cash and who knows when he’ll be back.
Brian: WORLD B. HINKIEEEEEE