Monday, April 11, 2011

Top Pu Pu Platters of All-Time: NBA Edition

In light of Charlie's latest post on some of the blockbuster trades during the 2011 NBA trade deadline, I decided to craft a list including some of the biggest fleeces of all time. The common theme in these trades is that NBA superstars are being traded for what is perceived as 70 cents on the dollar, but in reality are essentially being given away. Teams like Philadelphia (Charles Barkley), Milwaukee (Kareem Abdul Jabar), Minnesota (Kevin Garnett), and Memphis (Pau Gasol) have talked themselves into trading away superstars for packages of slightly above average journymen. None of these trades takes into account that the NBA is not like the NFL. A 12 man roster stocked with capable players does not win championships; stars do.
Nothing is better than a Pu Pu platter, Unless you are an NBA GM
Platter #1: The cheestake Foo yong
Philadelphia: Trades Charles Barkley
Phoenix: Trades Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry

Sir Charles slimmed down (probably fewer Pu Pu's ) during his 3 dominant years in Phoenix
Number one on our Pu Pu platter list deals with TNT's own sir Charles Barkley. Although the round mound of rebound had overstayed his welcome (start at 4:39) in Philadelphia, he had established himself as one of the best players in all of basketball and was in his prime. The package Phoenix sent Philadelphia was headlined by Jeff Hornacek who had just come off a 20 PPG season and was complemented by Andrew Lang (55th all-time in blocks) and Tim Perry (12 PPG and 6 RPG). At the time, reviews of the trade were mixed. Many knew that Phoenix would be a contender, but also thought that the package Philadelphia was receiving would keep them competitive.

Like most Pu Pu platters, hindsight is 20/20. Hornacek played out of position for one year with Philadelphia, Lang followed with only one mediocre year in the city of brotherly love. Perry was the only member of the trade to play more than one year (he played three) but never reached double figure points. Oh and how did Barkley do? How does 25/12, 21/11, and 23/11 sound? He also was named the 1993 MVP.

Platter #2: The crispy beer brat platter for two
Milwaukee : Trades Kareem Abdul-Jabar
Los Angeles: Trades Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers & Junior Bridgeman
Kareem Doesn't get enough love for the sky-hook
Following the 1974-75 season the Milwaukee Bucks did maybe the dumbest thing in the history of basketball; they traded away a top 3 all-time center in his prime for no pressing reason. The year the Bucks made this fateful decision Abdul Jabar was coming off a season where he averaged 30 PPG, 14 RPG, 4 AST, 3Blks, all on 51% shooting. One may ask why the Bucks would trade someone like this? The answer is that Abdul Jabar was sick of living in Milwaukee. Wait thats it!? No free agency issues, money issues, attitude problems? Yep, thats right, Milwaukee catered to a players sensibilities about which city he would reside in for 7 months a year.

Now that I've gotten my hatred for Milwaukee management out of the way lets look at the four player platter they received. Each of the four players did not do that horribly with the Bucks. Winters averaged 16 PPG over 8 seasons, Bridgeman 14 PPG in 9 seasons, Meyers 11 PPG in 4 seasons, and Smith 13 PPG in 1 season. Although these numbers are not awful, this quartet did not produce a single all star game, MVP, or NBA title for the Bucks. Abdul Jabar would go on to play 14 season with Los Angeles, collecting 5 NBA titles, and becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader.

Platter #3: The twin city drop soup
Minnesota: Trades Kevin Garnett
Boston: Trades Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and Theo Ratliff
Danny you Dawg you
Here at the collective we all know that Danny Ainge is a hero, gentlman, and clearly a scholar. No trade epitomizes Ainge's mastery more than the one to aquire Kevin Garnett. Ainge had been collecting assets for over 3 seasons waiting for his chance to turn those assets into stars. You see, Ainge does it the collectives way, he sees solid NBA players as chips not the end-all-be-all. Although Ainge did it the right way, it also required a fair amount of luck to aquire Garnett. After the 2006 season it had become clear that Garnett was stuck in a hopeless situation in Minnesota, and the Timberwolves, out of their respect for his years of service (take notes cleveland) bid fairwell to their franchise player. In addition, the Celtics had already become a significantly more attractive location that offseason by aquiring Ray Allen for Jeff Greene and Delonte West.

Now that we see the background of this trade, lets take a look at the platter that Boston sent. Al Jefferson was the crown jewel of the trade. Jefferson was an emerging big man who demanded a double team in the post and was a capable rebounder. He ended up averaging 21/11, 23/11, and 17/9 in his 3 seasons in Minnesota. The second important piece of the platter was Gerald Green. Green, an explosive dunker was thought of as having a world of potential. Green's career never panned out in Minnesota. He ended averaging 5 points in only one season with the Timberwolves. Gomes actually ended up being the next most important part of the deal, averaging 12/5, 13/5, and 10/4 during his three seasons in Minnesota. Gomes also added toughness, manliness, and beauty to the Timberwolves roster. Telafair had limited success, and Ratliff was added into the trade for his expiring contract. And for Garnett; He only went on to be the runner up for league MVP during 2007 and lead the Celtics to a championship.

Platter #4: The pork spare rib with barbaque sauce
Memphis: Trades Pau Gasol
Los Angeles: Trades Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, Marc Gasol, and a Pair of First Round Picks
Marc "John Hendrie" Gasol
Nothing is better than a trade involving brothers, particularly when one brother is fat. Both of these scenarios came true when Memphis traded away Pau (good, not fat, brother) Gasol for his brother Mark (medicocre, fat, brother) and a bunch of other Pu Pu all-stars. Mark Gasol has not been terrible while playing for Memphis (11/7), but is far from the player of his dominant brother (18/10). Crittenton only played 28 games for Memphis, Aaron McKie was a throw-in contract, and the two first round picks (Donte Greene and Greivis Vasquez) have done little to muffle the blow of losing the franchise's best player. Pau Gasol not only thrived statistically since leaving Memphis, but also has become the ultimate 1A player on a two-time defending champs.


John Hendrie said...

I remember when I was excited about a Telfair and Gerald Green back-court. Marc Gasol is a beast and should be on the cover of GQ. If Pau is 1A, who is 1? Odom isn't there yet.

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