New Balls: The NBA Ups Its Game

The sudden surge in trades moves the league in the right direction.

(Continued from Page 1)

So will the big trades work in Phoenix and Dallas? In the Suns case, it comes down to whether they can keep Shaq on the court. He missed 23 games with injury in 2005-06, and 42 last season. Phoenix won't be the fast little team that can anymore, but they will still be formidable. The Dallas deal is harder to figure. Devin Harris, the centerpiece in the package of players traded to New Jersey for Kidd, is by most standards a better, younger, and cheaper player right now. Dallas is one of the few teams with an NFL-like staff doing player evaluation and projections (it's a Texas thing, San Antonio and Houston are the other two "geek" franchises), so perhaps they have something up their sleeve here. I can't see it.

If I were in the Dallas or Phoenix front office I wouldn't have made either of these trades, but as a fan, I'm glad the deals got done. The plot is going to be very thick for the remaining two months of the season in the Western Conference.

Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.