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Shaun Powell

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Carmelo Anthony was one player smiling after the dust had settled at the NBA trade deadline.
Chris Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images

Players' emotions rise as fervor of trade deadline day fades


Posted Feb 25 2011 11:14AM

We won't know the true effects of Trade Deadline 2011 for a while, maybe years, because of all the uncertain factors: the Draft picks exchanged, the upcoming labor deal and the number of players still in the developing stage of their careers. We did learn this though: It is possible to get traded from the Clippers and be upset about it.

And that's the point, here in the aftermath of another busy trade deadline. We can't list the winners and losers yet, but we can take a fairly accurate gauge of the emotion that's running through players and teams and the league itself right now, as a result of the deals.

Here's a sampling.

Happy campers

Carmelo Anthony: He got his money and his team, and unlike LeBron, won't hear boos from city to city, probably not even when the Knicks visit Denver for the first time (next season). 'Melo played his hand smoothly, avoided a public outcry even though he was under contract to the Nuggets, and now is in position to get the Jeter treatment in New York. Provided he wins, of course.

Knick fans: Starved and abused by management for a decade, New Yorkers now have a right to be obnoxious again. The Garden is a happy place. Rumor has it they're working on a James Dolan cheer. OK, we made that one up.

Dwight Howard: With Kendrick Perkins gone West, that's one less big body for Howard to plow through in the playoffs. Wait. The Magic are making the playoffs this season, right?

Vinny Del Negro: He can now cross "motivating Baron Davis" off his list of Clipper coaching hazards.

Stan Kroenke: His son Josh, groomed for ownership of the Nuggets, passed a stern test, with an impressive assist from first-time GM Masai Ujiri. You figure Silent Stan, so named because he almost never speaks to the media, is ready to brag out loud.

Kirk Hinrich: You could see from his body language alone that he hated every second he wore that Wizards uniform. Now he gets to pass to Josh Smith, Al Horford and Joe Johnson. Big difference.

Chris Paul: If Carl Landry doesn't convince Paul to stick around in two years, at least Paul knows there's something special waiting for him in New York. It's looking like a win-win for CP3, either way.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook: After watching Pau Gasol tip in a big shot in Game 6 of a close series with the Lakers last spring, KD and Westbrook have to feel a little better about their chances now that they've got some inside help with Perkins.

Sad sacks

Hawks: No offense to Hinrich, who brings security at both guard spots, but they couldn't come up with enough scratch to get Deron Williams. And that's a coincidence. They're still paying for bypassing Williams (and Paul) in the draft for Marvin Williams, seven years later.

NBA owners: The recent trend of stars either complaining their way out of town or threatening to leave through free agency (or both) is alarming. Especially to the small market owners who know Memphis had to pay $85 million for Rudy Gay and the Hawks $126 million for Joe Johnson to keep their stars.

Jerry Sloan: He must be saying to himself: You mean all I had to do was take two more weeks of Deron ignoring my instructions?

Bulls: They're a solid shooting guard away from being taken very seriously as a championship contender, but couldn't land one, and haven't had a decent one since Michael retired.

Shane Battier: He's actually content to be back in Memphis, but will he ever play for an NBA team that wins as much as Duke?

Mad Men

Baron Davis. He probably never knew there was a worse fate than being stuck with the Clippers, until now. You think Davis will stay fit and focused and anxious to give 100 percent every night in Cleveland?

Cavaliers and Raptors. They're now the poster boys for how not to handle players approaching free agency. Utah and Denver decided they didn't want to turn out like the Cavaliers and Raptors, and so they cut the cord early. Wise move.

Bobcats. It was just a year ago this time when Larry Brown was in his element and Stephen Jackson arrived to help Gerald Wallace lead Charlotte to the playoffs. Now? Brown was fired and Wallace sent to Portland. What happened?

Mark Cuban. He doesn't like the NBA running the Hornets, because it gives a wrong appearance when it comes to trades. As usual, Cuban has a point. The NBA can't sell the Hornets fast enough and avoid this conflict of interest.

Rip Hamilton. By refusing to buyout terms with the Cavs or any team that tried to trade for him, Rip assured himself of eight more weeks purgatory with the Pistons, a team he has grown to despise.

Dazed and confused

Grizzlies: What. A. Franchise. By looking to dump two recent high picks, they essentially conceded the massive draft day mistakes they made with Hasheem Thabeet and O.J. Mayo (giving up Kevin Love), but could only erase one when given the chance.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce: Help me here: Aren't the Celtics making a run for it this year, before their three stars add more mileage? Then why sacrifice a portion of the present for the future by dumping Perkins for Jeff Green? The Celtics traded a starting center with solid defensive skills for a backup forward who can't shoot well enough for the small spot or rebound enough for the big spot.

The Northwest Division: When the season began, Oklahoma City was a slight favorite over the Jazz and Nuggets. Today, the Jazz and Nuggets are rebuilding in light of trading their stars while the Thunder, after getting Perkins, are loaded for a championship run. How time flies.

Deron Williams: He needs to do some damage control after the Sloan firing and whining his way out of Utah. But how does he embrace the Nets and a losing situation that won't change overnight and still keep a happy face? And if he doesn't sign a contract extension, he'll be blamed for wrecking the franchise, given what the Nets gave up to get him.

Steve Nash: With Aaron Brooks aboard, it's clear the Suns are ready to move on. But they'll keep Nash around for two more months, then move him this summer. Yeah, that makes sense.

Shaun Powell is a veteran NBA writer and columnist. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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