Orlando gets: Rafer Alston
Houston gets: Kyle Lowry, Brian Cook
Memphis gets: Orlando's 1st round pick
Obviously there were more people added to this deal (Mike Wilks, Adonal Foyle), but since most of America is amazed those people still exist, we won't count them.
Orlando's Grade: A-
With Chris Paul giving a nonstop enema to the Orlando Magic guards the other night, it was obvious the team needed to make a deal before the deadline if they didn't want to see the season flushed down the toilet. In less than 24 hours, they orchestrated a deal for a starting point guard in Alston who fits their style perfectly and gave up almost nothing in return. Brian Cook would have been traded for a ham sammitch, and that "first rounder" is currently the 27th pick in what is looking like a crummy draft. Toss in the fact that Rafer has an expiring deal after next year and can remind the general public about that face-less AND1 logo and you've got a steal.
Houston's Grade: A-
It is obvious with McGrady shutting down the season that this team was going nowhere fast. Having a 32 year old Alston getting paid a lot didn't make much sense, and the team had to take a long, hard look at where it was headed. Enter Kyle Lowry, a player the franchise has always coveted and they can use to compete with Aaron Brooks to be the starting PG of the future. While Orlando will get the headlines on this deal because they are a more likely contender for the finals, this could be a deal that benefits Houston more in the end if Lowry keeps his per-minute averages up. Brian Cook adds some bench depth and some much-needed asshole-iness to what is a soft team. It's almost inceivable that a trade can benefit more than one NBA team these days, so write this day down in your journals, kids.
Memphis' Grade: D
Oh yeah, I forgot Memphis was involved in the deal, so there is your perpetual pooped-on victim right there. Memphis got a borderline 2nd round pick and gave up Kyle Lowry, a guy that was viewed as one of the few specks of hope on a volcano of despair in Grizz-country. To make matters worse, they still have no star power on their team to actually, you know, get people to come to their games (a minor detail). It's crazy that we live in a world where the Hornets can't get people to go to their games, Seattle is losing their franchise, and the Grizzlies exist through it all. It boggles the mind. Somewhere Big Country Bryant Reeves just shot a buck and ate it raw on the spot.
Here's some Skip 2 My Lou highlights to enjoy as we ease into the weekend: