The trade deadline has come and gone and while we saw Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams head East, and the Oklahoma City Thunder get stronger with the acquisition of Kendrick Perkins, the San Antonio Spurs decided to keep their team intact, which is exactly what you would expect out of the team with the league-leading record.
Several teams in the West improved, like the aforementioned Thunder and the Blazers, who added Gerald Wallace. But several teams’ GMs didn’t do their franchises any favors. Houston traded away Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier and got only Hasheem Thabeet and Goran Dragic in return. While the Rockets were not much of a contender or a division rival anyway, with today’s trades, they aren’t more than an afterthought in the West.
The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, who traded away Anthony and Williams, are currently sixth and ninth in the West. With Williams in New Jersey, I don’t see Utah moving into a playoff spot at all. The Nuggets did well for themselves in getting as much back as they did, considering they were practically held at gunpoint to trade Anthony. However, with so many new pieces, chemistry will be an issue and the Nuggets lack a true franchise player. I can see the Nuggets dropping a bit.
What does this mean to the Spurs? Probably not much, considering they seem to be out of reach and will likely enter the playoffs with the number one seed. I can’t see the playoffs getting too interesting out West until the second round.
As for player movement, the Spurs will be watching closely to see which players agree to buyouts with their teams. Joel Przybilla and Troy Murphy are among the names mentioned, and if the Spurs think a player can help them, they’ll likely look at a few options. They can also still pick up players off of the waiver wire and call up D-League players, but I doubt that anyone of much significance that will play a major role for the Spurs will be putting on the silver and black any time soon.