I would go further than Walt did on our D-Line and give us one star. Benson Mayowa & Ryan Russell are our starting DEs for at least 4 games and they have 1 1/2 sacks between them & Irving who may have to rotate in. Gregory looks like he's possibly done for the year and Lawrence had issues at Boise so it's not like this is new territory for him even though this is his first suspension. We should've picked Ramsey and looked heavily at DL but we are going with Mayowa & Russell. Our pass rush will absolutely suck unless Russell shows big improvement and Mayowa becomes more than he has been so far.
Houston Rockets Get: 18th pick in 2012 NBA Draft Minnesota Timberwolves Get: G/F Chase Budinger, rights to Lior Eliyahu
Why this makes sense for Houston:
Daryl Morey loves collecting assets and that's what this deal is all about. Houston now has the 14th, 16th, and 18th picks but obviously won't be keeping all three. The rumors have them trying to make a run at packaging those picks to move up in the draft, and then make an offer for Dwight Howard that could include picks, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola. It's a bold, balsy strategy especially since Howard doesn't have Houston on his wish list and would likely be a 1-year rental. Josh Smith and Tyreke Evans have also been rumored as potential targets for the Rockets.
Why this makes sense for Minnesota:
It was unlikely that any of the top shooting guards in the draft were going to fall to 18, so Minnesota turns that pick into a proven commodity in Budinger who can provide some scoring punch off the bench. They must not have been in love with anyone who would likely be on the board at 18 and realize their gaping hole on the wing for a scorer. More importantly, as my good friend Peter Christian pointed out, the Timberwolves can now put a whiteout starting five on the floor. That's exciting.
Charlotte Bobcats Get: SG Ben Gordon, 2013 lottery-protected first-round pick Detroit Pistons Get: SF-Corey Maggette
Why this makes sense for Charlotte:
The Bobcats sorely need a shooter/scorer on the wing, and that's Gordon's biggest asset. Sure, he's due $25.6 million over the next two seasons, but Charlotte needs help right away and sure as heck isn't going to be luring any big-name free agents in the near future so cap space isn't a major priority right now. They also pick up a future draft pick that should assist their re-building project. All that cost them was Corey Maggette? I'm OK with that.
Why this makes sense for Detroit:
With Maggette entering the final year of his deal, this move saves the Pistons almost $15 million in future cap space. Yes, they had to throw in a future first-round pick, but it gives them some needed cap flexibility for the future. Besides, Gordon was nothing more than a bench player in Detroit due to the emergence of rookie point guard Brandon Knight last season which allowed Rodney Stuckey to move over to the two-guard position.