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Which NBA team won the trade war?
Over the past two days, the New York area has seen the Knicks and Nets complete two blockbuster deals before the NBA trading deadline. We take a look at the four major teams involved, and which might have gotten the best bargain at the end of the day.
Positives: Carmelo Anthony's wish at the beginning of the season was to play on Broadway, and the Knicks finally made his wish come true after months of uncertainty. Now, an organization that had lacked star power in recent years has two All-Star talents to build around for a future championship run. If New Yorkers weren't excited after signing Amar'e Stoudemire last summer, they certainly will be now.
Negatives: While the Knicks may have gotten the superstar they needed to fill the seats in Madison Square Garden for this season and beyond, they also had to give up three starters to get their man. And with Chauncey Billups beginning to show his age at 34, losing Raymond Felton and his ability to run head coach Mike D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense could hurt this team the most.
Positives: With NBA franchises centering their teams around point guards more and more, the Nets got one of the best to lead their team going forward. Despite being near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, New Jersey adds an All-Star floor leader who can do it all — score, pass and defend — and will have the chance to see what he can do for the rest of this season and all of next.
Negatives: The Nets may have upgraded at the point guard spot, but they had to give up an awful lot to do so. New Jersey lost its second-leading scorer in Devin Harris and a Top 5 draft pick in Derrick Favors, who has yet to show signs of greatness in his rookie season. But what may be the biggest loss for the Nets in the whole deal is the first-round pick they conceded to Utah for this year's draft.
Positives: The Nuggets knew 'Melo wasn't interested in returning to the Mile High City next season, and with that knowledge they made the most of the situation in acquiring Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and big man Timofey Mozgov. Denver won't be as flashy as it was with Anthony's offense, but it will be able to build for the future with young, up-and-coming talent.
Negatives: No NBA team wants to lose a superstar, especially when they're in their prime like 'Melo is, but the Nuggets were better off getting something rather than nothing before Anthony hit the free-agent market this summer. Denver, however, does lose some key leadership and experience in Billups, who had hopes of finishing his career in his hometown.
Positives: Changing point guards in the middle of the season is never easy for an NBA team, but Harris will bring a raw energy Utah fans can rally around. At just 31-26 this season, the Jazz had shown with Williams leading the charge that they were a borderline playoff team. Infusing some youth under Tyrone Corbin, with the Nets' first-round pick in 2011 and the Warriors' first-round pick in 2012, could be just what this team needs.
Negatives: It's been one crazy month for the Jazz. After losing its head coach to retirement when Jerry Sloan abruptly resigned, Utah now has parted with its one and only superstar. Harris is a young, yet talented point man, but the real question mark could be Favors, who will need to become a formidable inside player down the road. If not, the Jazz must hope their pick in this year's draft pans out for them to get the most out of this deal.
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