Another trading deadline is past, and a few big names involved. The biggest name being Tracy McGrady, although he is past his prime now and his biggest asset is the fact that his contract expires this summer. That has to be the Knicks biggest reason for pursuing him. Perhaps they also think they may be able to sell a few more tickets by adding a "big name" as well. Quite typical of the Knicks, to trade for a guy with a huge contract who has at best questionable character. But it's all supposed to change this summer (at least that's what they want you to believe). Even though McGrady is the biggest name, he probably won't have the biggest impact on his new team. In fact, I would put him more along the lines of 3rd biggest impact. The player with the most impact in this trade will almost certainly be Kevin Martin, who is an offensive force that doesn't get a lot of attention because he's been playing on a bad Sacramento team. He's also being reunited with Rick Adelman, the coach he had a breakout season with in 2006, and plenty of opportunities to score as the Rockets are playing the entire season without star center Yao Ming. The Rockets also get Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries, Hilton Armstrong, the Knicks 2012 draft pick (if it's not top 5), and the option to swap picks with the Knicks in 2011 (if it's not #1). The Rockets sent Carl Landry to Sacramento, which I like for the Kings because it gives them a post presence they really don't have, and Martin's scoring essentially duplicates a lot of what Tyreke Evans does for them. Essentially, the Knicks are giving up 2 first round draft picks (potentially high) to clear salary cap space. At that price, they better get Lebron or Dwyane Wade. Jordan Hill looks like a good pickup for the Rockets future, as they're basically playing for next year right now anyway.
The second biggest trade was the Cavaliers getting Antawn Jamison. Jamison is versatile at the power forward position, giving them a guy that can go inside and outside. He's not a superstar though, which if you look at Cleveland's roster they don't really have a superstar outside of Lebron. I'm not sure if this is the move that keeps Lebron in Cleveland, as he was more interested in the Cavaliers pursuing Amare Stoudemire.
The Chicago Bulls look like a team that's more interested in next year than they are in trying to improve the current roster, or cleaning out some locker room issues. They sent John Salmons to the Bucks, who was a key pickup for the Bulls last year at the trading deadline. They also sent Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats. The Bulls are currently in position to make the playoffs in the East (6th), maybe they don't feel like this year is their time to make a big jump.
The Caron Butler trade from last week looks like a good move for Dallas as they try to close in on the Lakers in the West. Let's face it though, nobody in the West is beating the Lakers unless Kobe is having injury problems during the playoffs. Nice move to get a little better right now, not sure how much it's going to pay off though.
The Boston Celtics acquired Nate Robinson from the Knicks for Eddie House, Bill Walker, and J.R. Giddens. This was a case of the Knicks needing to get rid of Robinson because of his strained relationship with Knicks coach Mike D'antoni. Maybe the Celtics aren't happy with their bench scoring, but I don't know if Robinson is necessarily a better fit than House in that backup point guard position as they've relied on House's 3 point shooting off the bench.
The Utah Jazz traded Ronnie Brewer to the Grizzlies for a 1st round pick. The Jazz needed to save a little money as they are over the luxury tax threshold and the pick gives them a building block for the future. Not sure why the Grizzlies did this, as Brewer will mostly serve as a backup to O.J. Mayo. Not a huge impact there.
Not sure how much impact any of these moves will really have. The Cavs were on their way to the best record in the East. Perhaps Jamison helps them match up better with Orlando (Rashard Lewis) or the Lakers (Lamar Odom) in the playoffs. The Rockets probably have a slightly better chance of making the playoffs with Kevin Martin's scoring added to the mix, but they are really playing for next year when Yao comes back. Tyrus Thomas could make the Bobcats better, but not enough for them to win a playoff series. The Knicks will continue to be bad. The Kings still won't be very good, but it will be interesting to see how Carl Landry plays with Tyreke Evans. Boston may be slightly better with Nate Robinson, but I don't expect him to make the difference in any playoff series.