Looking at the 4-team, 5-player deal

A fairly big trade happened earlier today, involving 4 teams and 5 players. Here’s who gets whom:

New Orleans acquires Trevor Ariza (from Houston);

Indiana gets Darren Collison and James Posey (from New Orleans);

New Jersey gets Troy Murphy (from Indiana);

and Houston gets Courtney Lee (from New Jersey), in addition to a $6 million trade exception.

So who wins in this deal? There’s no clear winner, as each team has their own reasons for the trade – DA explains these here. Basically, the Hornets get an athletic young forward who’ll eventually replace Peja; Indiana gets the point guard they’ve been desperate for and can start straight away and be a long-term piece; New Jersey gets a veteran power forward, allowing them to bring Derrick Favors on more slowly – and also gives them an expiring contract allowing them to make a play for Carmelo Anthony next summer; and finally, Houston gets some salary relief after spending big on Lowry and Scola, while giving Kevin Martin a solid back-up. Additionally for Houston, Ariza became superfluous after they acquired Kevin Martin at the deadline to be the go-to guy, Aaron Brook’s emergence and the rapid improvement of rookie forward Chase Budinger.

After my initial reaction of ‘wow, what a crazy deal’, I have calmed down somewhat. I don’t think this deal makes any team any better or worse than they were already. Houston is still a top team in the West, while I don’t think adding Collison helps Indiana move out of the Eastern basement anytime soon. A couple of teams still have work to do – Houston still has a bunch of forwards and are over the maximum roster of 15, along with Indiana being overloaded at the wing and also having more than the maximum amount of players. That’ll be worth keeping an eye on over the coming days.

That’ll do it for now.

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