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Who Is The Big Winner In All These Trades?

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Well another week, another Western Conference team tries to keep pace with everyone else.  Dallas and New Jersey have reportedly agreed to the parameters of a trade that will send Jason Kidd back to Dallas.  

At this point in his career Kidd’s reputation is certainly bigger than his ability.  He keeps getting triple doubles and it is impressive, but isn’t the triple double a completely contrived statistic?  Is a team really better off if Kidd gets a triple double as opposed to just having solid stats in every category?

Well, I looked it up.  This season the Nets are 6-6 when Kidd has a triple double.  When he does not have a triple double, but has triple seven (seven or more points, rebounds and assists) the Nets were 6-7.  

Not much of a difference in results, but there is a huge difference in media coverage?

Sure Kidd is a tremendous passer, and a very good rebounder for a guard, but he is a horrible shooter and is no longer a good defender.  Also, let’s hope that Tony Braxton is no longer in Dallas and is not dating any current Mavericks players.  

I believe these western conference teams are talking themselves into how they hope players can help them.  Phoenix talked themselves into the fact that Shaq could be the force in the paint that they have missed while virtually ignoring all the red lights (clogging up their free flowing offense, putting too much faith in their training staff) involved.

Dallas has done the same thing.  They have brought Kidd in probably as much for his mental toughness as anything else, but what will he do to their defense?  The trade definitely depleted the Mavs’ depth.  With Dirk and Josh Howard being players who like having the ball in their hands how much of an impact on offense will Kidd have?  He certainly is not going to take advantage of his open shots.  

This drives right at the heart of why the Lakers trade for Gasol was so good.  Everyone has gone on and on about how they did not give up any rotation players and that was huge, but the true key to the deal is that Gasol is only 27.  

Both Dallas and Phoenix have become considerably older in the trades they have completed.  Shaq is 35 and will be 36 next month.  Kidd is 34 and will be 35 next month.  They may help this year and next, but what about after that?  

As Phoenix and Dallas get older and Denver is now probably going to ship out young talents Linas Kleiza and/or J.R. Smith in exchange for a rental like Ron Artest.  To me there is a clear winner to all these trades.  

Portland.

These contenders are shrinking the size of their window in an attempt to compete this season.  That only means that in a year or two when Portland is ready to ascend there will be fewer juggernauts to overcome.  

As Bill Simmons pointed out, it is nice to see GM’s who are willing to take big risks this season after last year’s inconsequential trade deadline, but as they give away these assets they are all clearly saying that this is the year to make a push.  I have yet to see a trade that both makes a team better right now and in the future.  

Obviously, if Phoenix, Dallas or another team who makes a "trying to keep up" trade wins the championship at the end of the season then they made a good deal.  

If not, then advantage Portland.

Click here to see the succinct, yet insightful, thoughts on the deal from Wes over at Mavs Moneyball.

Update:
Devean George has blocked the deal because if he is traded he looses his "Bird Rights" which as we all know is what allows teams to exceed the cap to resign their own free agents.  This is a joke.  Does George actually believe anyone would sign him to anything more than the veteran's minimum next season?  He brings the double whammy to the table in that he is frequently injured, but makes up for it by being unproductive when he does play.

I still believe this trade will go through one way or another.  If George cannot be convinced to go to New Jersey, (something along the lines of being told he will be waived, thus losing his Bird Rights, if he does not go to Jersey) surely somewhere, someone can come up with an expiring contract in the $2 to $3 million dollar range.