The NBA trade deadline came and went. No, it really did. It didn’t feel like the usual wheeling and dealing we have grown accustom to this year and the average fan went to bed last night highly disappointed. No Christmas in February for your favorite team. The biggest names that were traded this season, Rudy Gay and James Harden, happened before the start of the season and three weeks ago respectively. Fans are outraged. Derrick Rose‘s brother is outraged. NBA owners have grown cautious.
The lockout that ensued last year was about what most lockouts come down to, money. Owners wanted players to sacrifice for mistakes they, the owners, continuously made. Some owners chaffed at the idea of the super team phenomenon after LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh decided to play together down in Miami. In short, the owners wanted control over player movements and to recoup some of that money they frivolously spent on players who didn’t deserve it. Welcome to the the new NBA folks. A place where even big market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers will stand pat not wanting to add extra salary dreading the new luxury tax system which penalizes teams severely who repeatedly go over the cap.
There is very little chance Josh Smith re-signs with the Atlanta Hawks but the pickings were slim as they tried to trade him by the deadline. Teams are holding onto and valuing draft picks. Teams are trying to stay under the salary cap knowing that a penalty would not only hurt their pockets, but also restrict their ability to make certain trades and signings. Allowing a player to walk away for nothing has become just as valuable as taking on contract just to say you got something out of the deal.
The days of the wild trade deadlines may be behind us. Yesterday’s deadline highlight, a tie between J.J. Redick going to the Milwaukee Bucks and Jordan Crawford going to the Boston Celtics. We can thank the new CBA for that. Owners are attempting to be cautious, at least during the season. This is the new NBA, love it or hate it.