Obviously, this is a New Jersey Nets blog, however, the NAS crew absolutely love the NBA in general. So, every week, Sebastian, Mark, Devin, and myself will answer questions regarding the L.
1) Is Darren Collison the PG answer the Pacers have been looking? Project his production for next season.
Sebastian: Yes, he is going to be the answer for the Pacers. He turned the ball over a ton last year, even for a rookie, but with the Pacers determined to move T.J. Ford, this is going to be Collison’s show to run the entire year, good or bad. He will struggle early on, but during the end of the season and two years from now, he will shine.
Mark: Collison was quite the pleasant surprise last season for NOLA and I’m shocked that they got rid of him with the Chris Paul situation so precarious. I think he’s going to be a huge plus for Indy. Predicting his number is tough business, but if he starts every day as expected, I can easily see a 16 and 8 season from him.
Devin: I think so. I’m not really sure how he fits in Indiana’s offense (since I flat-out don’t know much about Indiana’s offense in the first place), but he was certainly very exciting and turned a lot of heads when CP3 was out and he’s always been known as a talented asset. However, he seemed to be playing too fast for his own good a lot of the time – my guess is that it was due to the pressure of being Chris Paul’s replacement. If he can control the ball a little more effectively – it’s hard to forget his near-triple double of 25 points, 9 assists, and 10 turnovers – chances are he can make a big splash in Indiana.
DV: I’m a huge fan of Collison and definitely think he’s the PG answer for the Pacers. He’s quick, has excellent court vision, and can play defense. No matter the personnel around him, it’s hard not to have his talent mesh with any offense unless Larry Brown is running it or it’s the triangle offense which isn’t as friendly to point guards. I think it’s a good move for Larry Bird and the Pacers and think Collison will average 17 and 8.
2) Will the addition of Trevor Ariza be enough to make Chris Paul want to stay with the Hornets?
Sebastian: Ariza just as a player isn’t enough, but I think what this trade represents is change. By trading a backup PG for a starting wing shows that new management is trying to make the team better. I think that will convince Paul to stay.
Mark: No. Like what we inevitably saw with LeBron, I think Paul has already made up his mind and wants to do his own version of “Superfriends.” Whether NOLA facilitates that with a trade, or Paul just waits two years for free agency, I don’t see him sticking around. For what it’s worth, I still don’t think NOLA is a playoff team in the West, even with Ariza.
Devin: Doubtful. Paul wants to play with superstars; the name “Trevor Ariza” isn’t going to impress him. Ariza is a serviceable asset, and moving Darren Collison is a sure sign that the Hornets are committing to Paul, but if this is the big move that New Orleans makes to show Paul they’re committed to winning I have to assume he’s disappointed. The whole landscape of NBA movement is so wild nowadays that it’s hard to predict whether Paul will force a trade to a specific team or whether New Orleans ownership will put its foot down and force him to play out his contract, but even if he stays for his final two years I’m certain they will be his last in Louisiana.
DV: Chris Paul, Marcus Thornton, Trevor Ariza, David West, and Emeka Okafor is a pretty solid 1-5. If that core and the players on the bench can mesh, who knows what can happen? The starters themselves can get the Hornets into the playoffs and if the bench plays well, they can go far. So, will this deal keep Paul in NOLA? Ariza himself, no… Ariza as a part of a whole, maybe.
3) Which players win becuase of the four-team trade? Doesn’t necessarily have to be the players themselves that were traded.
Sebastian: T-Will and Anthony Morrow. In my opinion Courtney Lee is the perfect Avery Johnson guy, and I think he would have spent a lot of minutes at the SG spot. This would have left Morrow as the backup and T-Will splitting minutes between three backup positions. Now, Morrow will more than likely get to start with T-Will coming off the bench.
You can also call Favors a winner. There was a ton of pressure building on his shoulders, but now he can sit behind Murphy, and learn the NBA game without critisim from the media.
Mark: I’m going to be Net-centric here and say Terrence Williams. By unloading Courtney Lee, the Nets essentially gain TWill as a starter. And I think he’s going to prove his worth. He was the team’s most dynamic player last April and he deserves this opportunity to play 30+ minutes a game and be a crunch time player.
Devin: This is a unique trade: almost everybody wins, but I think two guys on the Nets came out really well here. Derrick Favors gets more time to season and develop behind a legitimate double-double threat, and Anthony Morrow likely gets a chance to start and become a huge part of the offense. For non-Nets, Darren Collison also gets the opportunity to really run a team for a full season, and it’ll be interesting to see how he plays alongside a star in Danny Granger and a solid developing center in Roy Hibbert.
DV: I think Collison wins because he’ll get starter minutes now. Derrick Favors wins because the pressure to perform as a starter is now gone. Terrence Williams, Anthony Morrow, and Travis Outlaw also win because there won’t be such a glut at the wing positions with Courtney Lee now gone.