NBA message board servers rejoiced when the NBA's trade deadline passed without a blockbuster deal last week. Instead of shutting down discussion forums as if they were the painted area, Dwight Howard pledged allegiance to Orlando for the rest of this season. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will continue to share the five combined touches that Kobe Bryant allows them. And the Boston Celtics are giving their Big Four one last ride.
But that doesn't mean the few trades that did occur were meaningless.
• The Houston Rockets gave up on the underwhelming young duo of Hasheem Thabeet and Johnny Flynn to obtain some length in the frontcourt in the form of veteran Marcus Camby. Camby does indeed provide the squad with a shot-blocking presence inside and is a player who can help improve their below-average defense (ranked 18th in the league).
• The Rockets also jettisoned Jordan Hill for a draft pick and Derek Fisher, whom they then bought out. It's a solid trade for Houston because they get a pick, and it's a useful trade for the Lakers because they make room for...
• Ramon Sessions, a point guard who can actually handle the ball and set up the offense. Defenses essentially ignored Fisher, who has shot less than 33 percent from 3-point range this season and has basically guaranteed opposing point guards a boost to their stats with his poor defense.
• That begs the question: where will Fisher end up? Miami and OKC are getting fanfare as possible destinations, but Boston is a dark horse. The Celtics love old guys, and Fisher is like the anti-Rajon Rondo; Rondo can do everything but shoot, while late game 3-point shooting in the playoffs is why Fisher is still in the league. Plus, you know Boston would love to stick it to L.A. by signing him.
• The struggling Blazers didn't just trade Camby- they also fired coach Nate McMillan, traded Gerald Wallace to N.J., and waived Greg Oden. 82-games-per-four-seasons Greg Oden. That Greg Oden. It had to be done: as said here, Portland needs to retool after the failed Brandon Roy-Greg Oden era.
• The Nets acquired Wallace, and everybody thinks it has something to do with Dwight Howard still, but nobody knows exactly what. Story of New Jersey, 2012...
• Stephon Jackson returned to San Antonio to be coached by Gregg Popovich, who had success channeling Jackson's energy into a positive for the Spurs in 2003. With only a few more rounds left in their current core, it's a good move.
• Washington got rid of JaVale McGee, who arguably has the lowest Bball IQ of any NBA player in history, for the consistent Nene Hilario, who should provide John Wall with a reliable target. In the same deal, the Clippers acquired Nick Young, who gives them a legitimate shooting guard for the first time all season. Denver should only consider resigning Mr. "$14 Million" restricted free agent center for the league minimum. The deal's biggest winner is John Wall's sanity.