Up until about noon yesterday, nothing was really happening with the trade deadline. We figured it would come and go with too many teams nervous about the new CBA and all of the harsher luxury tax penalties that come with it. But then the switch flipped and all kinds of hell broke loose. Besides Orlando (who were obviously the biggest winners), the Nets were BY FAR the biggest losers, going from Dwight Howard (who would’ve been traded quickly to New Jersey if he had opted out) to a fading Gerald Wallace. Crash isn’t what he used to be, and his presence won’t be enough to convince Deron Williams to stay. But the worst part about the deal is they gave up this summer’s lottery pick which is only top three protected. Portland – with all that talent they have – will also likely have two lottery picks as well … The Lakers shipped Derek Fisher off in a coffin after finally nabbing a starting point guard (Ramon Sessions), Washington gave away two graduates of Clown University to place their bets on Nene on his knees and the Warriors went in circles… first looking like they were ready to tank with the Monta Ellis deal, and then trading away all types of future cap space with Stephen Jackson‘s contract for Richard Jefferson … Finally, it’s unbelievable what has happened to Portland this year. It wasn’t long ago that we were calling them one of the two or three best teams in the entire Western Conference. Now they’ve fired their coach and given away two of their starters … The NBA trade deadline was such a mess that we nearly forgot yesterday was the opening day of March Madness. We knew what we’d get from teams like Kentucky (a blowout win), Wisconsin (a blowout) and even Baylor (mess around for most of the game, but have enough talent to survive). But Syracuse had us nervous for a few minutes. They trailed by as many as seven and with the combination of taking on a no. 16 seed and not having their best interior player, it looked like they were feeling the heat. The officials were feeling it two. They hooked ‘Cuse up with two controversial calls – one a lane violation and the second an out-of-bounds call – in the final minute with the game very much in the balance … But the best game of the day was, of course, a No. 12 seed beating a No. 5. VCU looked on the cusp of blowing a lead against Wichita State before Bradford Burgess (16 points) hit a key corner three to push them back in front. When Garrett Stutz‘s triple at the buzzer was off, VCU had the tournament’s first major upset, 62-59 … As far as the draft is concerned, Andre Drummond had two points and three rebounds today while Perry Jones had only two himself. Still want to call this one of the best draft classes in years? … We’re out like Nate McMillan.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook