Oh lordy. Where to start?
By signing Amar'e Stoudemire, the Mavericks are better. But as we finally move past a wild, frantic trade deadline, the Western Conference is also clearly improved. Let's recap what happened to some of the Mavericks' conference opponents.
Acquired: Pablo Prigioni, K.J. McDaniels
Departing: Isaiah Canaan, Alexey Schved
Reaction: The Rockets pulled off a sneaky good trade getting Pablo Prigioni, sending the Knicks Alexey Shved, the least productive player at their deepest position, in exchange for the underrated point guard. The Rockets were weak behind Patrick Beverly, and although at 37 years old Prigioni won't contribute a ton of minutes, he's better on offense and on defense right now than Isaiah Canaan.
K.J. McDaniels, the rookie acquired from Philadelphia, is incredibly raw, but having replaced Canaan with Prigioni, the Rockets are giving up almost nothing in terms of on-court talent to take a chance on an athletic if unrefined rookie.
This trade leaves the Rockets in good shape on the perimeter, and while it doesn't help the injury problems they're having in the front court, they're a more formidable team following these trades.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Acquired: Aaron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee
Departing: Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver
Reaction: The Blazers have an outstanding starting line-up but since last season have suffered from a lack of depth. Their trade deadline moves were an effort to address that problem.
Like most Portland bench players, the outgoing players had all played fewer than 400 minutes this year, so the impact of these moves will depend in part on whether swingmen Gee and Afflalo get many minutes and where they come from. With both Nicolas Batum and Dorrell Wright playing well at small forward, they may have a better chance at contributing real minutes at shooting guard now that Barton is gone.
These moves also opened up a roster spot on Portland. They're down a power forward after losing Robinson, so they could be looking to sign a free agent to bolster their front court soon. That final addition to the roster could determine whether today's moves mean the Mavericks should be more worried about the Blazers.
Acquired: Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton, Brandon Knight, John Salmons, Marcus Thornton
Departed: Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis
Reaction: This team, somehow, might have just got more fun. Look, Phoenix messed up signing Isaiah Thomas this offseason. A lot of people thought they messed up the second it was announced, but at least they cleared out the backup. Make no mistake, Brandon Knight is a very good guard and putting him next to Eric Bledsoe full time is going to be loads of fun.
Are they better or worse? It's hard to say. They're still fun, and with Plumlee departing, it likely means Brandan Wright sees a bigger role, so that's good for Maverick fans who still hold him close to the heart. I'll be very interested to see how this shapes up over the coming weeks because frankly, I don't know right now.
Acquired: Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak
Departed: Reggie Jackson, Kendrick Perkins
Reaction: The Thunder are better ... we think? Reggie Jackson, for all his talent, had been producing less and less for Oklahoma City of late, so dealing him isn't a huge issue. Enes Kanter has some offensive skills and is a complete statue on defense, but that's still an upgrade over Kendrick Perkins, who has no offensive skills and is still a complete statue on defense.
I think Singler is the most interesting acquisition of this bunch. He's quietly been an effective 3-point shooter for Detroit this season and could play well when working off of elite talent like Durant and Westbrook. In the very short term, this is good for Dallas, since Oklahoma City will be down a couple players when they face each other Thursday night.
In the longer term, it appears the Thunder are going to be a little bit tougher of a challenge. They are still a half game out of the playoffs, so they're a pretty unlikely first round matchup for Dallas, but they may be a tougher matchup next time Dallas travels up I-35 for a regular season game.
Shawne Williams: A former Maverick famous for being the recipient of Carlisle's "his ass will be grass" quote, Williams makes a little bit of sense as a 3-point shooting wing (he's at 39.5 percent right now). However, even though you'd think he has the tools to do it, he hasn't ever been a good defender in his career. He's a marginal upgrade over Charlie Villanueva at best.
JaVale McGee: It sounds like McGee will be bought out and a few people have reported that the Mavericks are among several teams with interest. It's not a huge surprise when you consider Dallas planned to bring both Stoudemire and Jermaine O'Neal on board. But after two seasons of injuries and poor play, this seems like a risk with very little reward.
Kendrick Perkins: Not happening.
Kevin Martin: IF Martin were to be bought out in Minnesota, you bet Dallas would jump all over that. However, they can only offer him a bench role and a veteran's minimum contract, and so the chances of him signing here are far from guaranteed. Anyway, it sounds pretty likely that he's staying put with the Wolves.
Danny Granger: Not sure if he will be waived, but if he is, I fail to see how he'd be any better than Shawne Williams, who may not be any better than Charlie Villanueva.
Thomas Robinson: After half of a promising rookie season in Sacramento, he went to Portland and hasn't done too much, mostly as a reserve. If he couldn't get minutes in Portland, I doubt he'd get any with Carlisle, but he's a capable rebounder and he's still young. It's also not confirmed that he will be bought out.