A lot of stuff have been going on in All-Star weekend. Rookies beat the Sophomores, Krypto-Nate wins his third Slam Dunk contest, Steve Nash performs well to win the Skills challenge, Durant holds his title in H.O.R.S.E., and Paul Pierce stole it away in the three-point shootout. Now the Eastern Conference All-Star will be facing the Western All-Stars. It looks to be good. But another thing happened too.
A trade was rumored and it was finally made. Caron Butler wasn't fitting well with the Wizards' play, or in other words: Flip Saunders' style. And Josh Howard wasn't fitting well with the Mavericks' play, or in other words: Rick Carlisle's style. Both were going to get shipped off, and they both knew. It's business. Just flat-out business, nothing else.
And the trade happened. The Mavericks shipped off Josh Howard and Drew Gooden along with reserves, Quinton Ross and James Singleton, to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson.
The Mavericks decided not to trade Erick Dampier, who is the only shot-blocking center left who can still contribute. That's where Brendan Haywood came into the mix. Josh Howard wasn't doing well lately with Dallas anyways, and he kept struggling. The Wizards were in large talks in other players like Andre Iguodala, Amare Stoudemire, and most notably: Tracy McGrady.
But this looks good for the Mavs. I believe they got the better end of the deal. With these guys, they can contend better in the West now, but not fully.
"It [the trade] makes us significantly better," Mark Cuban said.
Butler will most probably fall at shooting guard with Jason Terry backing him up. Shawn Marion will be at small forward. DeShawn Stevenson will be used as a pretty good backup player . Haywood will most probably start in front of Dampier at Center with Nowitzki at power forward.
"Caron is an established professional and an All-Star with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations. "Brendan will solidify our center position with athleticism, shot-blocking and defense. DeShawn has also shown that he can be a talented asset to this team."
Washington also could've brought in Rodrigue Beaubois, but Cuban told the media that he is "untouchable."
"We're all disappointed in how our season has gone. We need some freshness and we're getting proven players who will help us, and it gives us some flexibility down the road," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "We want to remain competitive and maybe this group can provide a spark. The group had gotten stale, and we needed a change."
With this trade, Antwan Jamison will no longer be in trade talks, in my opinion. They have been heating down as the days have gone by, and now after this, it should be dead. With Gilbert Arenas gone, the Wizards need Jamison. With their additions, Josh Howard will start at SF with Ross backing him up. Singleton will be a backup power forward to Jamison while Gooden will be the starting center. Randy Foye and Mike Miller will stay at the starting guards.
Butler will be heavily missed by Washington. He says he will play with the same desire like he did with the Wizards.
"Different teams go through different situations. The Mavs went through it in the '90s, the Wizards are going through some issues right now," Cuban said. "Sometimes giving guys a fresh home I think re-energizes them, and will work the other way, too. I think Josh will find himself re-energized with the Wizards."
With All-Star break coming to an end, the Mavericks look to play real tough in the closing games of the 2009-10 NBA Season.
"We haven't been playing well, that's for sure. Sometimes people might think that moving someone or making a trade can help," Jason Kidd said before the trade was announced. "We have a big week coming out of the All-Star break ... 30 games left, it's a sprint now, not a marathon. I think we're going to be ready for that."
Kidd tells ESPN that he is excited about the trade.
"It gives us a chance to win," Kidd said. "When you're talking about Caron, Haywood and Deshawn Stevenson, you have three quality players. The West is strong. This hopefully gives us a chance to compete against [the Lakers] and Denver."
It's a good trade for both teams. I look forward to see what happens when All-Star break closes and it's back to NBA action.