I’ve felt like writing this post at every trade deadline or offseason for every sport, and that is the concept of value- or perceived value. Fans of every team struggle with the idea that their players and draft picks aren’t worth as much in the eyes of other fans’. Well, I shouldn’t say all do, but there is a good amount that do.
Take the most recent Timberwolves example of their offers of Derrick Williams and the 18th to the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2nd in an effort to in turn flip that pick to land Lakers big man Pau Gasol. Or something like that. The other rumor of course was Williams, Michael Beasley and the 18th for Gasol. It was no surprise that the Lakers balked at the offer of two so-far-underachieving tweener forwards and a crappy mid 1st for a player who helped win them a title.
This is the concept of value.
No team is waiting by the phone to take another team’s castoffs and misfits. Hey, if you don’t want them, no one else likely does either. And if you’re fortunate enough to unload those, you’re going to have to take back something off of their scrap pile. It’s just the way it is, and no team is going to agree to a trade that leaves them with a smoldering crater for a team.
Furthermore, unlike 2K, a handful of mediocre players does not in any way shape or form equal one really good player. There is no player equivalency chart for NBA GMs; things just don’t work that way. For instance, the Magic didn’t exactly swoon over the Nets’ offer of Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries for Dwight Howard because teams don’t think like, “Well, Brook doesn’t rebound, but Kardashian Humphries does, so that’s even.”
If you want something good, you’re going to have to give up something good or of equal value to acquire the player.
Finally, you can’t just “throw in a couple picks” to improve a trade like you’re trying to spackle over a hole in the wall or fix a botched paint job. Teams think ahead and figure that if you take their good player, get better, the now-valuable picks will be much less valuable by the time they get to use them. Heck, even if your team still sucks after the trade, draft picks are an ever uncertain commodity.
Of course there are still times when a player-turned-GM will giftwrap a top player to his former team, or a GM who flips his best player to a contender for nickels on the dollar, but these instances are exceptions, not rules.
When you see a rumor, or have an idea, ask yourself how you’d feel if you were on the other side of that. Much like the deals discussed above, they don’t make sense for one team.