Margins With a View
I sincerely apologize to all of you who have come here looking for reaction to the Cavs trade. Ferry took a crappy situation and made incremental improvements. Wally is not Larry Hughes, though I would encourage you all to remember—this man once stole a pass from teammate Kevin Garnett. And up in Seattle, he's made an art form out of freezing out Durant. Wallace's brokedown-ness is roughly equivalent to Gooden's poor judgment, but he exudes wisdom and can play center. Delonte West will break your heart—his game is nice, except it only intermittently works. He's also pretty much the streetwear Damon Jones, all the same hamminess without the Pixar aspirations.
However, I am an idealist, not a realist. I want to believe that, even if the going small is now passe, its legacy of speed can enter into an unholy Frankensteinian union with the cult of the big man. I see the West as the conference of ideas, while the East tweaks the edges and espouses pragmatism. And for these reasons, for me the signature trade of this evening is Gerald Green's return to Houston.
Right before the dunk contest, Kelly Dwyer called Gerald Green "an All-Star talent who is probably a year removed from being an NBDL benchwarmer, or hooking up with an overseas contract that doesn't have a chance of being fulfilled." As Green staggered through the wastelands of pre-boom Boston, or shivered on the bench in Minny, this seemed like the most cruel, sad, and apt description within reach.
Green's entire career had been one long downward slide, with the occasional big night or highlight hammer only furthering the joke. But right now, I see a twenty-two year-old who—stop me if you've heard this before—has all the potential in the world and no shortage of time on his side. Sounds like J.R. Smith all over again, and yet Green's not even looking for renewal. Smith had that rookie season of note; Green, on the other hand, is still hoping for his career to start.
Green's coming back to Houston, his hometown. As the Recluse awesomely observed, he'll be under the watch of Tracy McGrady, the player he was supposed to emulate. It's an ultra-hospitable situation, one that fills you with hope and seals off the wound left by the Battier/Gay trade (I know, I know). On the one hand, this could be Green's last shot. Then again, he's the age of a college senior, and has a team willing to take a chance on him. The question isn't whether or not he'll do right by others, but whether he'll finally be afforded the opportunity to develop into a professional basketball player. Because lord knows, wandering through mismanaged, scantly-coached lottery logjams is not the way to see if a talent like Green will sink or swim.
That said, I only have the patience to deal with one J.R. Smith. If it weren't for the picture-perfect DAWN, FINALLY feel of this, and if nothing good happens in the next year or so, I'll give up without guilt. However, for now, I am in the business of hope.