Sunday, March 02, 2008

What's in a Trade?

For years, I've studied the daily sports transactions in newspaper. This tem acquires one guy or his rights, or a bunch of guys and the rights of others. It's a consistent type thing even in the era of players with "no-trade" clauses in their contract. Some trades, like the ones that have recently given new life to the Celtics, stacked the Cavs, improved the Spurs, and kind of confused the Suns are, for obvious reasons, the most visibly successful deals or, the ones the have the most impact.

Other trades are more subtle. Maybe only affecting the guys who have to pack their shit and move to another city. Sitting in front of the TV watching the Knicks for the past few weeks, I feel like the cold night air has got me sentimental. In September, NBA journeyman Dan Dickau was traded by the Blazers to the Knicks in the Zach Randolph trade. Soon after, the Knicks traded Dickau to the Clippers because he'd have a good shot of making the team. The Knicks accepted Jared Jordan in exchange because he'd have a good shot of not making the team and roster space was what they needed.

In the preseason, Jordan struggled and averaged about 1 point and 1 assist in 6 games. He graduated from Marist College a legend but was a long shot to make any NBA roster. He lasted most of the preseason, if I remember, and then signed to play in Lithuania.

Despite the fact that I think Jared Jordan might have been a decent component for the Knicks success. If the Knicks had won ten more games at this point and had Jordan was playing one of Jerome James or Randolph Morris' roles as the Knicks official practice players, I bet seeing the semi-local Jordan, a Hartford native, who lacks the erratic behavior and bad tattoos of Stephon Marbury, might give some folks another reason to cheer for a team that the city didn't really want to begin with.

Then there's Dickau to consider, keeping Dickau meant losing the only other guy that was technically on the Knicks roster over the summer who had any experience at the point guard slot. He's now been traded eight times and played on seven teams, avoiding picking up paychecks in EUROPE and the D-League at that. He'd of been tough for Robinson, Collins and maybe even Marbury in practice. He's been rumored to be working on becoming a Polish citizen so that he can represent them in the Olympic games.

Instead, the Knicks lost games early, Steph got all fucked up in the head and Jared Jordan never played for the Knicks, just a few preaseaon games, ten minutes total. Dan Dickau just went through the motion as the Clippers, who will probably never see a 100% Shaun Livingston, without mentoring anyone considering the Clippers sent Guillermo Diaz back and fourth in to the D-League and now picked up journeyman Andre Barrett finish out the year for Diaz, who's rumored to be signing in Italy.

My point is, the Knicks, who should have known better than to look to Stephon Marbury for leadership, signed a veteran (like Carlos Arroyo, who they narrowly missed at the trade deadline) or decent young point guard somewhere along the way this season and they might have been able to clean up their act enough to at least play hockey and spoil some Eastern Conference playoff hopes. Therefore, trading Dickau left the Knicks without a point guard in their back pocket and waiving Jordan left the Knicks without a feel-good story off the bench, something a team with a 18-41 record could probably use more of.

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