By most standards, even those of this standards-optional sports blog, the three-way deal that went down in the NBA today is of only marginal news value. Yes, it involves the Cleveland Cavaliers (and the ultra-moribund Milwaukee Bucks and intentionally godawful OKC Whatevers), and thus pertains to The Greatest Living Basketball Player, but the Cavs’ acquisition of disgruntled Milwaukee PG Mo Williams — for the relative pittance of Joe Smith and Damon Jones (above), the latter last seen battling Skip Bayless on ESPN’s “First and Ten” this AM — isn’t necessarily a franchise-changing move. The estimable Tom Ziller (writing for the less-estimable Fanhouse) doesn’t quite get it. For their part, people who care about the Bucks don’t either. No one, this side of a bunch of Bush Rangers, seems to give a shit about the OKC Robber Barons yet, so I’ll just link to this, about said Rangers, instead.
Williams is probably more talented than any of the dudes the Cavs threw out there at point guard last year, but he doesn’t like to pass or play defense, and probably is not the missing piece needed to elevate the LeBron Et Al Stars to a NBA championship caliber squad. The rest of the deal, though, is perhaps even more depressingly mundane: the OKC Profiteers receive hometown favorite Desmond Mason and mileage point-collector Joe Smith (who’s still a very useful player); Milwaukee gets Luke Ridnour (an obvious downgrade over Williams and perhaps reaching the end of his NBA rope) and Adrian Griffin (who’s a fucking multimillionaire, somehow). If Samuel Beckett could’ve written a one-paragraph, 170-page novel that was also a NBA trade, it’d be this one. Only somehow no one would be able to talk and they’d all crawl around a blighted landscape, sucking on pebbles.
That sounds extreme, but if you look at the numbers that’s essentially what Ridnour did last year in Seattle.
Anyway, if I think the trade is a bummer — and in its basic meaninglessness, I guess I think I do — that’s nothing compared to reader Brendan Flynn, who reads it as a bigger symptom of something rotten in three (admittedly pretty obviously rotten) franchises.
This trade today in the NBA really irritates me. I don’t get what any the teams get out the deal. I guess Desmond Mason returns to OKC as he starred for OK State? How is he different from Damien Wilkens and Kevin Durant (if you let KD play the 3). I mean given what they gave up its tough to argue, but I guess Jeff Green is fucked? Or is he the 4, and Chilcox and Collison battle for center minutes?
Milwaukee? Really? You trade Desmond Mason and Mo Williams for poop? Damon Jones, Luke Ridnour and Adrian Griffin? Are there salary dumps involved here? Couldn’t they have gotten young guys back to build toward the future? Richard Jefferson is so fucking stoked. Their starting point guard now is? Sessions? T Fucking Lue? Bumout. You got boondoggled by Danny Ferry?
I realize this is junk. In the grand scheme I shouldn’t care. I just get frustrated by NBA teams who don’t seem to be trying.
So yeah, they did kind of get boondoggled by Danny Ferry, who obviously got the best player in the deal and gave up only Joe Smith (who, to reiterate, is still good) and Damon Jones (who’s one of maybe 15 people alive who could lose an argument to Skip Bayless). “Poop” is harsh. But so is cheering for a team that doesn’t give a shit. Homewrecking-ass Oklahoma City, you’re kind of getting the pandering weakness you deserve; Milwaukee…I don’t know, sorry. Maybe a Promise Ring reunion is in the offing?