Following on from Part 1:

Chris Paul traded to LAC

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – Wow!!

They had to do this deal, for a number of reasons: To bring some cachet to the sad sack Clippers, to keep Chris Paul away from the Lakers, to give Blake Griffin a reason to re-sign, and more importantly, the opportunity to build a legitimate contender around two otherworldly talents.

As far as I can see, injury (to Paul or Griffin) is the only roadblock to the Clippers becoming a perennial Western Conference power.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve already reserved my place on the Clipper bandwagon.

Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected 2012 first-round pick traded to New Orleans

Dell Demps and the New Orleans Hornets should be on their knees giving thanks to the ‘great man’ Stern (he’s as shrewd as they come). I never understood the backlash on the aborted trade to the Lakers, in the sense that it was supposedly a ‘good deal’. You can kill Stern on the execution, but not the decision; it was a bum deal for the Hornets. They were taking on a boatload of salary in return, it was merely delaying the rebuild by two years, and they weren’t getting one prime young asset for CP3, which was borderline criminal. It should have been nixed.

This package is a tremendous haul for New Orleans. Gordon and Aminu are nice building blocks for the future, and with both their own and Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick in next years draft, the deepest in recent memory, on the court the Hornets have a bright future indeed. Off the court, not so much. New Orleans is not a viable NBA market.

Vince Carter: Dallas – three-years, $9 million

I wouldn’t pay this guy a dime. When the pressure is on he’ll fold like a cheap suit.

And I know it’s only partially guaranteed in years 2 and 3, but c’mon Mark, you’re better than that. Giving ‘Wince’ Carter a three-year deal at this stage of his career, and after everything you’ve done this offseason, makes no sense.

Delonte West: Dallas – one-year, $1.3 million

A decent pick-up; just make sure you have his meds handy.

Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer traded to Denver

A surprising move by Dallas, but it fits with the plan. Understand this – if the Mavs amnesty Brendan Haywood next year and decline their option on Lamar Odom, they will have enough cap space to go after BOTH Deron Williams (who is from Dallas) and Dwight Howard in free agency. And that’s with Dirk still on the roster. Mark Cuban, you sly son of a bitch.

DeAndre Jordan: LAC – four-years, $42.7 million

Expensive but that’s the going rate for a functional center, especially one with Jordan’s potential as a defensive game-changer.

And why did the Warriors even bother with the offer sheet? It was always going to take ‘funny money’ to steal him away from the Clippers and his best bud Griffin (ok, this is funny money, but it could have been funnier – see Marc Gasol).

Nene: Denver – five-years, $67 million

Unless they were willing to completely fall off the cliff, Denver had to re-sign Nene. It’s steep, but palatable (just).

Marc Gasol: Memphis – four-years, $58 million

A max contract for Marc Gasol? I like the guy and he’s a good player, but geez a lou, this is madness.

J.J. Barea: Minnesota – four-years, $19 million

The weird point guard obsession continues. And does Kahn even realise he has just one NBA-calibre big man on the roster? Until they sort that out they’re not going anywhere.

Kwame Brown: Golden State – one-year, $7 million

When you consider the following: they swung and missed on all the big names (Chandler, Jordan, Nene), they desperately need big bodies, and it’s a one year deal, it’s acceptable. And for those of you crying “$7 million for Kwame Brown?” well, get over it. He didn’t pick himself number one in the draft and he has evolved into an effective defensive big man.

Just on the Warriors; on my list of amnesty candidates in July, I said this in relation to Andris Beidrins: “If they don’t take this opportunity to remove this noose from around their neck, then I am giving up on the Warriors”. Well, they amnesty’d Charlie Bell’s $4.1 million expiring contract instead (what the??).

With this decision, and their reluctance to trade Monta Ellis, I am officially giving up on this fundamentally flawed, clueless Warriors team.

Rip Hamilton: Chicago – three-years, $15 million

A good signing but I would have preferred younger legs – perhaps an offer on restricted free agent Nick Young, or explore a trade for OJ Mayo, who is clearly available.

Jamal Crawford: Portland – two-years, $10 million

And what exactly does a defenseless chucker like Crawford do for this group? With Roy’s retirement/amnesty and Oden’s never-ending knee troubles, they should be rebuilding around stud big-man LaMarcus Aldridge.

Carl Landry: New Orleans – one-year, $9 million

Carl Landry’s a quality player and somewhat underrated, but I would have let him walk. With two lottery picks on the way in an outrageously good draft, the number one goal should be to snare a top-three pick, which essentially means tanking the season. The Landry addition just doesn’t jive with that.

Chauncey Billups claimed off waivers by LAC for one-year, $2 million

For only $2 million, I like it, alot. Expect to see Mo Williams traded for a shooting guard or some frontcourt depth.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: Milwaukee – four-years, $18.7 million

For those of you who don’t recognise defense you will scoff at this deal, but if the Buck’s wanted to maintain their defensive identity, they had no choice but to match Denver’s reasonable offer sheet.

Josh McRoberts: LAL – two-years, $6 million
A nice low-key pick-up.

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