They won't be the lead stories in any evening papers, as the since-rescinded Chris Paul trade was, but two minor NBA trades should go down, once the NBA allows player transactions, at around 2 p.m. Eastern on Friday. And they involve three teams sort of giving up on things. And one team, in Boston, finding themselves a gem.
The Toronto Raptors will be sending a "conditional" (read: never to appear in reality) second-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for defensive stalwart Mickael Pietrus. The Suns want to dump Pietrus because he's due to make $5.3 million this year, they're about to re-sign Grant Hill, and his services are somewhat superfluous with Hill and the highly paid Josh Childress on the roster.
The Raptors, who had double-figure cap space heading into this deal, will receive a needed wing stopper while essentially giving up on the 2011 offseason -- if you can call it that. We don't blame the team, they're about 15 signings away from being a playoff contender, and the free-agent pickings are rather slim these days. Makes sense to take a pass and gobble up lottery balls in anticipation for the 2012 draft.
The Orlando Magic are giving up on offensive-minded big forward Brandon Bass, who never seemed to click with coach Stan Van Gundy in the Magic rotation. They're shipping him, in an apparent sign-and-trade, to Boston for Glen "Big Baby" Davis -- who really won't click with Stan Van Gundy in the Magic rotation. Davis is essentially a poor man's version of Bass, short of everything Bass provides save for name recognition, and he'll get to work in full view of the father/son combination he tussled with a year and a half ago.
Bass does struggle defensively, he's the king of the turned head, and he's a bit of a center/forward tweener despite his obvious power forward size. With that in place, though, Davis considerably struggled defensively and barely had small forward size while often working as Boston's backup center. The Celtics weren't going to miss his front-rimmed jumpers even before learning that they'd take on a player in Bass who is superior to Davis in every conceivable way. Rarely do minor deals come this one-sided.
Toronto? We get it. Don't spend just because you have cash to spend, stink for another year, allow us so many more jokes, hand new coach Dwane Casey a defender, and try to get it right in 2012.
Orlando? This is why Dwight Howard hates you.
Boston? Nicely done.