Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an interesting trade in both the MLB and the NBA. These trades stand out for all the wrong reasons.
I'll go in chronological order and start with the Justin Upton trade. In other words, my angry rant insulting the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is one of the worst moves I've seen in a while, trading away a potential superstar who is under contract for 3 more seasons for a bunch of nothing. Justin Upton is only 25 years old and his prime has yet to begin. He was amazing in 2011, and while he failed to live up to the standards he previously set for himself, still had an above average 2012 campaign. He's already shown his talents; he's a five-tool player who has not put it all together yet.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers does not want Upton anywhere near his team. Even if Upton is a locker room cancer, the scum of the earth, the worst person in the world; he's still worth being on a major league roster. I'm pretty sure Upton isn't even as bad as that. The DBacks organization has depleted his value over the last year by vigorously trying to trade him. Teams must be thinking whether or not Upton is (as Keith Olbermann would say) "the world person in the world." I guarantee that is exactly why they got almost nothing back for him.
Let's not forget that Chris Johnson is at least a serviceable third baseman that the Snakes threw away.
In terms of the return for Arizona. Martin Prado is a very good player and extremely versatile, making him one of my favorite players in the league. He is not and never will be nearly as good as Justin Upton, and at the time of the trade, had a contract expiring at the end of this year. Had they not agreed to an extension, this trade would be even worse. They also received Randall Delgado, who isn't that good. Then there's the load of minor leaguers who won't really affect anything.
I'm not saying that this makes the Diamondbacks a terrible team, but it certainly makes them worse off than they were two weeks ago today.
On the Braves side, let's just say this; as a Mets fan, I cried inside.
Now on to the Rudy Gay trade. The only team that helped themselves here is the Detroit Pistons. They got an expiring contract in Jose Calderon, and unloaded a heavy deal with Tayshaun Prince's departure. As for Austin Daye, he has the size and the talent but has never shown the desire. It looks like he's officially a bust.
The Grizzlies needed the cap room, I get it. But for a team that had just made a salary dump trade with the Cavs, it seems odd to ruin their hopes of a championship. I honestly believed that the Grizzlies were a title contender this year because they have great bigs and Gay provided wing scoring. I don't think Gay is a superstar, or even a star, he is in fact wildly overpaid, but he brought something to the team. As long as the team isn't centered on him, Gay is a good player to have. They could have waited until the offseason for this deal.
The Raptors just messed up their future. It's been said over and over by many reliable basketball people (including Bill Simmons) that no team wants to be in the area of a low playoff seed that exits in the first round every year or a team that just misses the postseason. If a team has no chance of winning the title, they really want to be terrible and get a good draft pick. The Raptors have just set themselves up for years of just missing the playoffs or getting the 7th or 8th seed with no chance of advancing. That also means that they get the 13-17 pick in the draft, an awful position to be in.
With Gay, they will still struggle to reach the playoffs. Here's a newsflash, Gay is not that good. In fact, he's very Joe Johnson-esque. Gay is an awful 3 point shooter, a career 34% from out there. Overall, he's shooting 41% this season which is the worst of his career. His contract is absurd as well. This trade puts Toronto near the luxury tax, so they have barely any room to improve the current mediocre at best roster.
GM's need to get smarter.