Chuffed with their ability to possibly pants the Nets out of a lottery pick, the GM-less Portland Trail Blazers have decided to pay it forward as they submit to a rebuilding process, and now they're just doing teams favors. Which is why they've decided to essentially hand the Houston Rockets C/F Marcus Camby on Thursday, in return for 2009 draft washouts Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet and a conditional second-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Camby has slowed a bit in his 16th NBA season, but this is in relative terms as the 6-11 big man can still pull in gobs of rebounds (23 percent of all available caroms have ended up in Camby's hands this season, a number that rivals Dwight Howard's rebound rate), something that will fit quite well on the Houston frontline while Samuel Dalembert bites on every pump fake and/or eyebrow roll. The Rockets are currently tied with the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and the ability to make life hellish for either the Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs in the first round. No, Rox GM Daryl Morey didn't get his superstar at the trade deadline (he has long coveted Lakers big man Pau Gasol), but this is a pretty solid haul; especially considering Camby's expiring contract.
For the Blazers? We have no clue why they made this deal, outside of benevolence. Camby deserves to play with a playoff team as his career winds down, and the Blazers (with embarrassing losses to Indiana and New York dotting the days up to the trade deadline) were clearly out of the playoff hunt due to the injury woes of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, and the flan-based falloff of point guard Raymond Felton. Not to be cruel, but Hasheem Thabeet does not have a future in the NBA following the expiration of his contract this July, and Flynn isn't far off.
The former Syracuse product showed flashes during his rookie year in Minnesota, but a debilitating hip injury has limited Flynn in the years since, and he's shot just 35 percent in his last two seasons. Thabeet, though just 25 years of age, appears to have little interest in the game of basketball, and is regarded as one of the NBA's biggest draft missteps of all time in the wake of Memphis drafting him second overall in 2009.
The Blazers will receive the rights to a conditional second-round pick from Houston, but these rarely materialize. There isn't a prospect here, no cap relief for next year, no player to take a flyer on (even Flynn). Not a bad trade for Portland by any stretch, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an absolute gift sent Houston's way.