First up are the Lakers.
They didn’t land Dwight Howard as many had speculated, but no one else acquired his services either. Two of the most notable departures though were Derek Fisher, who was dealt to the Houston Rockets, and Luke Walton, who is now a member of the Cavaliers. Both of these players have been marginally productive for the Lakers as of late and the departure of Walton was predictable enough, but seeing Fisher pack his backs had to sting deep for many LA faithful.
Fisher is most renown for his clutch shooting that lead the Lakers to five championships, with him at point. In his place, the Lakers acquired Ramon Sessions who has been mildly successful with 10 points, five assists, and three rebounds as the Cavs backup point guard. These aren’t exactly championship numbers, but LA is hoping with more playing time and placed in the right system, Sessions can blossom.
He also addresses two key issues for the Lakers. Fisher was 37 years old and they needed more quickness on defense. Lakers management appear confident this greatly improves their ability to win now and in the future, but it’s tough to get too excited about acquiring a 10-points per game guy, while losing the guy that makes the 3-pointer that’s won you countless playoff games.
The Nets were another team banking on the fact they believed Dwight Howard would be coming their way. Unfortunately, with Howard’s decision to stay in Orlando it could prove difficult for New Jersey to hold onto Deron Williams next year. He's hungry to win.
The Clippers just keep getting lucky this year. Their latest acquisition is sharp shooter Nick Young who is known for being a great shooter and incredibly immature. He averages 16.6 points per game on 37% shooting and would be a much hotter commodity if he could control his antics on and off the court. LA is banking that CP3 can groom the young guard and keep him in check. Plus, ever since Chauncey Billups went out with a season ending injury LA’s been in dire need of more front-court support.
Looks like the LA teams are preparing for some serious runs, while squads like New Jersey, Portland, Denver, and Minnesota are languishing. With the NBA trade deadline past, it is now more apparent than ever which organizations are preparing for serious late season runs and which teams are already planning toward a future season.