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. . . A Look Back at February
Posted Mar 3 2008 12:41PM
A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY
March 1, 2008 – February may be the shortest month of the year, but the NBA sure packed a lot into the last 29 days. From a memorable All-Star weekend complete with thrilling contests capped off by a hard-fought game to long winning streaks and the game’s top rising star reaching another milestone, the month had many highlights. But what February will be remembered for more than anything else is the amount of star players that switched teams, leaving an indelible impact on the league for this season and years to come.
A total of 50 players were traded last month in 11 combined trades. That’s not even counting the 10 draft picks that were involved in those deals. If you missed any of the moves, I’ve prepared a quiz to better acquaint you with some of the players dealt between the first of the month and the Feb. 21 trading deadline. The answers are listed below. I have provided hints on several of the questions. If you feel you don’t need them, feel free to use something to cover them up.
1. Name the three former No. 1 overall draft picks to be traded in February?
2. Which player traded in February won MVP honors at the 2006 FIBA World Championship?
3. What four-time All-Star had averaged at least 17 points and nine rebounds each of the previous seven seasons?
4. The second overall pick in the 1998 draft was traded in February. Who is he?
5. Which player traded last month was the first Maverick to start an All-Star Game?
6. Just days after attempting to defend his title in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest, a player was traded. Name him.
7. The Most Outstanding Player of the 2002 Final Four was traded just before the deadline. Who is he?
8. Which rookie was the point guard on the last two NCAA championship teams?
9. Which two veteran players traded in February have yet to appear in a game this season?
10. Name the four-time Defensive Player of the Year who was traded last month.
Player Movement 2008 has a complete wrapup of all of the month’s activity, but I’ll break down the five February trades that I expect will have the biggest impact this season.
1. Pau Gasol getting traded to the Lakers – The addition of Gasol has more than made up for the absence of the injured Andrew Bynum. Los Angeles is 11-2 with him in the lineup, including a 10-game winning steak, and the Lakers have charged to the top in the West. Imagine how good they will be when Bynum returns.
2. Jason Kidd getting traded to the Mavericks – Kidd may be a bit older than the elite point guards in the West but he brings a lot to the table and has plenty of playoff experience. Dallas lost valuable big man
3. Shaquille O'Neal getting traded to the Suns – By swapping Shawn Marion for the four-time NBA champ, Phoenix gave up a valuable component of it’s run-and-gun offense to obtain a big presence in the post and allow Amare Stoudemire to move to power forward. The experiment can't be judged until the playoffs, but the deal will definitely have a major impact one way or another.
4. Ben Wallace, Delonte West, Joe Smith and Wally Szczerbiak getting traded to the Cavs – Cleveland remade its roster with a three-team, 11-player trade just before the deadline. The results have been mixed so far as the Cavs try to return to The Finals, but with so many new players it will take time to judge how successful a deal it was.
5. Mike Bibby getting traded to the Hawks – Atlanta was the surprise winner in the Bibby sweepstakes and hopes the arrival of the veteran point guard can guide them to their first playoff appearance since 1998-99.
Let's take a look back at some of the other teams and players making news in February.
Got an opinion on February's trades? Drop me a line and tell me what you think.
The Best of the Rest
Answers: 1. Shaquille O’Neal, Joe Smith, Kwame Brown; 2. Pau Gasol; 3. Shawn Marion; 4. Mike Bibby; 5. Jason Kidd; 6. Gerald Green; 7.Juan Dixon; 8. Taurean Green; 9. Aaron McKie, Keith Van Horn; 10. Ben Wallace
Have your own thoughts on the month that was? Disagree with my picks? Send an e-mail and let me know.