Commentary

All fizzle, no sizzle in trade deadline

Originally Published: February 16, 2010
By Scoop Jackson | Page 2

Did you hear?

The Lakers are trying to move Kobe Bryant!

Or the one about the Nuggets putting Carmelo Anthony on the blocks to save cap space for next season?

Oh, there are so many more names and innuendos you will hear this week.

So many "sources" leaking inside information to selected writers, reporters and bloggers.

Insiders will become experts. Columnists will become prognosticators. And the more ridiculous the trade seems, the more you will be told that there is a "strong possibility" (confirmed by someone inside an organization who wants to remain anonymous) a trade will go through.

And you'd better get used to hearing these two words a lot: expiring contracts.

Welcome to the NBA trade deadline, the biggest pile of crap in sports.

Every year, stories about who's going where and who's not staying put swirl like hurricanes around the league.

More than 80 percent of what you will read in the next two days will not turn out to be true.

It's a collection of reporters getting any information they can from a team executive about what the team might do and rushing to be the first to get said information out to the public knowing nine times out of 10 the organization has no idea what it wants to do or what move it wants to make.

But still, you sit through it. We report it. You hang on to every rumor as if it's a new Commandment.

And with the LeBron sweepstakes, disguising itself as the 2010 free-agent summer, coming up, this year we will have so much more room to throw absurd trade deadline scenarios out there for you to believe.

So it's not whom you believe as much as it is why.

Even the most feasible and sensible trades will not happen.

But you will still follow everyone with an NBA-related Twitter page just to be upon the latest despite knowing how truly disposable the information is.

That's how you live and how we make a living. And if you don't believe me, do this: Keep a tally on how many of these buzz-worthy trades come true by Thursday morning:

• Ray Allen to any team that wants to pick up the remainder of his $18.8 million contract. Players being mentioned in this swap: Kevin Martin, Andre Iguodala, Kirk Hinrich and Monta Ellis.

• Tracy McGrady and his $22.5 million contract to the Knicks. No one has confirmed for whom, but everyone seems to agree that every person in the Knicks organization -- including a parking lot attendant close to the situation -- says the talks for this trade are back on.

• Amare Stoudemire to the Cavs for Big Z (fresh off his Nike puppet debut in the barbershop spot) and J.J. Hickson -- as an insurance policy to keep LeBron in Cleveland once the season is over.

• Chris Bosh to the Cavs (just in case that Amare thing doesn't go through).

• Carlos Boozer to Detroit for Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton. Or Hamilton and Prince to Utah for Boozer. However you want to look at it.

• Then there are just players' names that get thrown out there it seems like just for the hell of it: Antawn Jamison, Michael Beasley, Troy Murphy, Tyrus Thomas, Jermaine O'Neal. And, oh yeah, Kevin Martin, Andre Iguodala, Kirk Hinrich and Monta Ellis.

So I'll ask this question just to make this annual trade deadline fiasco pertain to how we report and how you will follow:

Who's the bigger fool, the fool himself or the fool who continues to follows the fool?

Scoop Jackson is a columnist for ESPN.com.


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ESPN.com columnist