NBA Trade Deadline Shifts Power to East

Posted: February 24, 2011 in News
Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony dropped 27 in his Knick debut, proving that New York has indeed become serious on winning (everyjoe.com)

As the countdown to the trading deadline arrived this week, three large deals were done to help solidify the futures of certain franchises.

The trades of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis, and Deron Williams to Eastern Conference teams this week in anticipation of the league’s Feb. 24 trade deadline has made one thing crystal clear – the Eastern Conference has jumped the West in the power standings.

The New York Knicks started the power shifting earlier this week when they acquired Anthony and Billups in addition to Sheldan Williams, Anthony Carter, and Renaldo Balkman in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, one pick a year for the next three drafts, and $3,000,000 cash.

Feeling like they got the short end of the stick after failing to land Anthony, the Nets wanted to make a power statement of their own. In fact, they did just that by picking up Utah point guard Deron Williams for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first round picks.

Not to be outdone, the Caviliers made an eleventh hour move to get Baron Davis and a first round pick, sending Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

All three trades were inter-conference moves where the teams in the East landed the star power and the teams out west picked up youth and future selections.

These moves may sound fair and balanced, but one must look underneath the deals themselves to truly analyze what’s going on here. The NBA has become a player-driven league, as was made evident by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh this last summer. Players are now forming together in trios to try to create the next great dynasty in the NBA. While it may sound good for league ratings and popularity, the idea has consequences.

The NBA has become a game of Robin Hood where the rich are getting rich and the poor are getting poorer. These moves to absorb and drain stars from small market teams so that the popular contenders can use them in a pair or trio is dangerous to the security of the league’s bottom markets.

James joked earlier in the season about the NBA shrinking so that each team would have more star power and fewer low-followed franchises.

For fun, I named out loud eight teams from each conference to keep and seven from each to implode. Sadly, what I found out was that the NBA might be better off without some of the horrible markets.

I took into consideration how often the franchises win now, their recent relevancy, their past successes, rivalries, and markets. Here’s who I felt should remain:

EAST – Boston, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Detroit, New Jersey (after the move to Brooklyn)

WEST – San Antonio, LA Lakers, Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Denver, Utah, Phoenix

In this example, the NBA would be ridding itself from Philadelphia, Indiana, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Portland, Memphis, Houston, Golden State, LA Clippers, Sacramento, and Minnesota.

While this idea sounds ridiculous from a dollar and cents standpoint, think to yourself what this kind of radical change may do to the game. Then think to yourself that this is actually what is happening. The players from these fourteen low-end teams continue to be stolen away by trades and free agency. This year is a golden example of that very act.

Think the league has to do something to keep the power somewhat balanced between the markets and the conferences? You’re not alone.

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