Pacers/Raptors Trade: So the much talked about Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors trade is finally completed and here are the details of the trade, via ESPN:
Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Pacers and the Raptors have agreed to a deal that, pending review of medical information, would send Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto in exchange for T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the No. 17 pick in Thursday's NBA draft. ESPN.com has also learned that the Raptors will get the 41st pick from the Pacers as part of the deal while the Pacers will receive Raptors forward Maceo Baston to complete the deal.(ESPN)
Personally, I think this is a good trade for the Pacers because they get to dump the injury prone O'Neal on the Raptors and pick up another first round pick. I have the Pacers taking Darrell Arthur and Brook Lopez with their two first round picks but their are plenty of options for them at the 11th and 17th spots in the draft possibly including: Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, Alexis Anjica, Kosta Koufos, Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert and even JaVale McGee or DeAndre Jordan if they really want to take a flier on a big man. They also could still take D.J. Augustin and have an all Texas point guard rotation.
Let me not forget that they also get T.J. Ford, who played excellent last season and is good for about 12 points and 6 assists a game. He is a quality point guard who is lightning quick and definitely an upgrade from Jamal Tinsley, who they can now shop around for spare parts. Overall, I really like this trade for the Pacers.
As for the Raptors, I think Jermaine O'Neal is better than anything they could have drafted with the 17th pick, the question is whether or not he will be healthy enough to stay on the floor. Here is what I had to say about O'Neal a few weeks back:
At this point in his career, Jermaine O'Neal is one of the most overpaid players in the NBA and he can't stay on the court to save his life. The last four seasons he has played 44, 51, 69, & 42 games. Even Chris Webber was on the court more than that. I mean it's great that Cleveland wants to surround Lebron with good talent but I really don't think that Jermaine O'Neal is the answer to that. He can't stay on the court and quite frankly when he is on the court he isn't even that good anymore. I mean who wants a center that shot 43% from the floor the last two seasons?
I mean the guy just can't stay on the court anymore and when he is on the floor he isn't that effective. He still is good on the defensive end of the floor, which will help the Raptors who are a team I have continuously ragged on for being soft. However, if he's not on the floor, then I think this trade will be a big time failure for them.
After seeing that Denver traded their first round pick at # 20 for basically nothing because they were allegedly dead set on taking Ty Lawson, I have to wonder if maybe some kind of deal could have been struck with Denver for the #20 pick. Not sure if the salaries would work but maybe T.J. Ford for someone like Nene and the # 20 pick, would have been a good trade for both sides. Denver would have their point guard and Toronto could target two big guys with their picks, perhaps Robin Lopez and Roy Hibbert.
There is tons of size in this draft and I think some decent bigs are going to be around late into the first round. It's also possible that Toronto will be targeting someone like Joey Dorsey in the second round now that they have picked up the # 41 pick.
Detroit Pistons: There are other trade rumors out there and a lot of them involve the Detroit Pistons. I'm not really buying into the hype of the Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups to Golden State for Baron Davis and Al Harrington trade. It just doesn't make sense for the Pistons to give up Billups for Baron Davis, when Billups fits their system better and is their leader of their team. Other trades involving the Pistons include Josh Smith in a potential sign and trade and a potential trade for Carmelo Anthony:
ESPN.com reported, without citing a source, that the Pistons offered Billups and Tayshaun Prince for Anthony. But the Nuggets weren't interested. Denver countered with an offer of Allen Iverson or a package featuring Marcus Camby, but the Pistons are only interested in Anthony. (Detroit Free Press)
I would consider the first deal if I was the Pistons but it's no surprise the Nuggets turned it down. They will probably have to be overwhelmed to trade Carmelo. However, I would also be hesitant to make any trade if I was the Pistons that included Chauncey Billups. He just means so much to that team and I'm not sure Stuckey could handle the point guard role for a whole season at this point in his career.
Josh Smith: I already noted that the Pistons might get in on a sign and trade for Josh Smith but another team that has been mentioned in a sign and trade for Smith is Philadelphia. I personally would hate to see the Hawks trade Smith instead of resigning him. The Hawks are coming off their first positive season in years and Smith is a stud of a talent that they should resign and keep, so they can continue to grow with the young and talented group of players that they have right now. It would be a shame if they didn't keep this group of talent together that also includes Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Josh Childress among others.
TEAM USA Roster: Carmelo Anthony (F - Denver Nuggets), Carlos Boozer (F - Utah Jazz), Chris Bosh (F - Toronto Raptors), Kobe Bryant (G - Los Angeles Lakers), Dwight Howard (F/C - Orlando Magic), LeBron James (F - Cleveland Cavaliers), Jason Kidd (G - Dallas Mavericks), Chris Paul (G - New Orleans Hornets), Tayshaun Prince (F - Detroit Pistons), Michael Redd (G - Milwaukee Bucks), Dwyane Wade (G - Miami Heat), Deron Williams (G- Utah Jazz)
I probably would have replaced Jason Kidd and Tayshaun Prince but I'm not sure who you would replace them with. Either way, I don't think they will see a lot of minutes because the core of your team has to be built around Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Chris Bosh.
NBA Draft Second Round: I already came up with my 1st Round 2008 NBA Mock Draft but I thought I would touch base on some players who won't be drafted in the 1st round who I promised I would keep track of since I started following the draft process way back in April.
Locks to Get Drafted: Joey Dorsey, Gary Forbes, Jamont Gordon, Richard Hendrix, Kyle Weaver, George Hill, Pat Calathes, D.J. White, Sonny Weems, DeVon Hardin, Mike Taylor, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Davon Jefferson, Malik Hairston
Possible Late 2nd Round Picks or Undrafted: Will Daniels, Josh Duncan, Joe Crawford, Othello Hunter, Shan Foster, James Gist, Trent Plaisted, Reggie Williams, J.R. Giddens, DeMarcus Nelson, Jaycee Carroll, Bryce Taylor, Darnell Jackson, James Mays, Walter Sharpe, Sean Singletary
If you are looking for a player who wasn't mentioned, then chances are he is either a possible late first round pick or there is no buzz what-so-ever that he is going to get drafted. Also, this is only American players because I know nothing about the foreign ones.