Contenders Doze At Trade Deadline

In Miami, crickets. In Chicago, the gentle whoosh of wind on an eerie 80-degree day in mid-March (take that, Dwight Howard). In Oklahoma City, tumbleweeds.

While so many others throughout the league scrambled at the NBA trade deadline to plug holes or add pieces that might aid in getting after a championship three months from now, the very best teams did nothing. Given what little time remains to adapt to significant changes, the shortage of practice days to acclimate or road trips to bond, doing nothing seems like a wise non-maneuver for top contenders.

The Heat still need size but figure they can find someone on the scrap heap of buyouts now that deadline day has passed. The Bulls have most of the answers in-house, though unfortunately also in the trainers room. The Thunder have been set for a while and weren’t interested, either, in change for change’s or for headlines’ sake. Only San Antonio did anything, and they took the past-is-now route by trading for Stephen Jackson.

Then there was Philadelphia, which didn’t want to mess with a winning formula but managed to upgrade nonetheless, acquiring swingman Sam Young from Memphis for the rights to center Ricky Sanchez, a player it had no use for. Young, a career 6.9 ppg guy and 45.5 percent shooter whose numbers are down this season, was available primarily because Memphis had some salary-cap housekeeping to do. According to Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Sixers might have stumbled upon that rare occurrence when a deal that seems too good to be true actually is pretty darn good:

Young is a 6-6, 220-pound bulldog who weighs as much as Sanchez and who doesn’t care if you know his name. He will be a selfless bench player who can give Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala breaks. Occasionally, he will get all Joe Dumars on annoying hybrid players like, oh, LeBron James.

“Sam’s overall skill set can be a valuable asset to our team and he adds to our depth at two positions,” team president Rod Thorn said in a statement.

“We needed to add some toughness,” said Sixers coach and chemist Doug Collins, who clearly is wary of altering the delicate formula that has his young squad atop the Atlantic Division. “There was nothing out there that you would say you would change your team for.”

Will Young get the Sixers into the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket? Not likely. He probably won’t do much, if anything, to stop Miami’s dominance over Philadelphia in the short term; the Heat takes a nine-game winning streak in the series into Friday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center and has won 11 of the past 13 meetings.

But Sam Young is addition without subtraction, a helpful piece now and for offseason planning, and the sort of things the less-desperate, more-serious teams prefer when a season is getting short and things mostly are going well.


  1. Miami has 2 major problems:
    #1. real big man to give them some against teams like the Lakers, Chicago, etc.
    #2. a better coach

    If they can fix those 2 problems they are guaranteed a championship. If they win with Spoelstra at the helm, it won’t be because of his coaching or his system.

    • djkurk says:

      Do you know how to coach though? If not, you’re opinion is nonsense.

      • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Look at how the entire league is going about big men. The teams that Miami has the biggest problems with are teams with big men. The Big 3 didn’t get together to be runner ups in the finals. They got together to win rings…multiple rings. Look at other coaches like Chicagos. He is able to coach his team and get the right match ups to win a lot of games that they probably wouldn’t have under a different coach. The right coach matters!

        Sure, Spoelstra knows more about coaching than I do, but then again, I don’t get paid millions per year, otherwise it would be a different story. Battier can make 3s, but the games that we lost, he couldn’t buy a 3. The coach needs to be able work James Jones into the picture and let him do his thing instead of sending him out when the game is all but lost.

        Maybe Miami can get old man Phil Jackson(LOL), but if something doesn’t change or Miami doesn’t acquire a center, we may have a repeat of last year’s finals.

  2. Jose de Arimathea says:

    For us, Miami Heat, is so dificult win a title!!!We have no center, we have no bench and our coach in my opinion has a bad taste. James Jones, for exemple, scored 6 points in 3.2 mts. Battier scored 2 points in more than 20 mts. But Jones has no chance…Maybe a personal problem. We signed a bunch of aged players for nothing!!!
    Look at Chicago Bulls. Young players, but does the main objetive of the game: ball inside the basket.

    • HeatWade says:

      Battier is a defensive piece while Jones is a liability so considering Spo as a defensive coach, he favors using Battier over Jones, plus Battier can shoot 3s too (but Jones’ better). Miami always rely on having defensive stops especially at crunch time and let the big 3 especially Wade and Lebron do the offensive lifting so Jones hardly gets his minutes.

  3. Boston Fan All the Way says:

    The only two teams that needed a big time trade never made it. Boston and LA are sinking ships with aging superstars. Can’t wait to see how those two teams make it work after all their major stars retire or get traded.

  4. tmillz says:

    leggo 76ers!

  5. rap batallon says:

    lebron jame foreve

  6. nbafan says:

    this guy is pathetic all the prblems the heat has ??? 2nd best record in the east? orlando has problems they have a one man show and he was scared to getridiculed like LBJ thats why he stayed haha what a wimp.

    • Prix says:

      those stars lost to lone star orlando
      they will not win this year again
      wait and see it will be either the knicks or the bulls that will come out of east
      and they will ultimately to lose to okc in finals

  7. at says:

    lets go bulls all day

  8. acaaron says:

    the sixers did a nice upgrade yet the team in the east is the knicks……..SCARED…..LETS GO HEAT!!!!