Today brought the NBA trading deadline, closing out a week of hectic trades and rampant speculation on would or wouldn’t be moved.  The NBA is a scary world of quirky salary rules and things like trade exceptions and expiring contract values, but in order to impress your date you don’t have to know everything, just some of the key trades and why they are relevant.

Key Deadline Trades to Talk About…

Carmelo Anthony Trade

One of the biggest issues hanging over the NBA all season was resolved on Tuesday night when Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team swap between the Knicks, Denver Nuggets, and Minnesota Timberwolves.  Remember that Carmelo was involved in trade rumors with the Knicks, Nets, and Lakers as recently as two weeks ago.  You definitely don’t need to know all of the nitty-gritty details to carry on a conversation, just the main points in the trade.

There are two main points of view on this trade: those who say the Knicks gave up too much, and those who say the Knicks are primed for success.  If you go with the first theory then make sure to know that the Knicks gave up a first round draft pick, their starting point guard, small forward, and a key reserve (one of the bench players who is an important part of the team) in order to acquire a handful of new players to work into their system.  The second point of view focuses on the Knicks being better prepared for the long haul regardless of the quality and quantity of players surrendered to acquire Carmelo Anthony.  The main point here is that the Knicks will have two elite players in Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony who can help attract a third elite player to rival the “Big Threes” of the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.  In addition to having just those two players, the Knicks received Chauncey Billups from the Denver Nuggets with Anthony.  Billups is a quality veteran with significant playoff experience who historically makes the players around him better due to his leadership on and off the court.

Deron Williams Trade

If you’ll recall from the No More Football…. post a few weeks back, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan resigned abruptly causing a lot of speculation that star point guard Deron Williams had something to do with it.  Some of the prevailing thought around the resignation of Sloan focused on the Jazz being able to re-sign Deron Williams when he became a free agent.

All of that changed on Wednesday when the Jazz traded Williams to the New Jersey Nets (remember they struck out on the Carmelo Anthony trade, but still wanted to land a big time player) for a bounty of quality young players and draft picks.  The Williams trade brought out some press for Williams who was reportedly unhappy with the trade, but seems to have now had his fears quieted by Nets brass.

This trade shifted the balance of power in the NBA to the Eastern Conference, a sentiment superstar LeBron James made sure to express to the media.  Whether or not Williams stays with the Nets when the move to Brooklyn in 2012 remains to be seen, but the next year will shed more light on that.

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