NBA: Who made the best trade?

By Jason Peterson and Chris Kamrani

Thursday brought one of the most active trading seasons in NBA history.

This wasn’t just a few 12th-man-for-cash swaps or a draft pick going elsewhere for “future considerations,” either. Screw future considerations.

Most fans want to see their teams rolling the dice for the big names — the names that win championships.

With this year’s stacked Western Conference, each team this side of the Mississippi is looking for the extra edge that’ll bring home the parade.

As of today, no fewer than 43 players — many of them All-Stars — are donning new gear for 19 teams. In a polite and spirited debate, my esteemed colleague, Christopher Kamrani, and I will attempt to agree on which team helped itself the most. After you, C-Diddy.

Chris Kamrani: It’s much obliged, Mr. Peterson. Although many of those 43 players switched uniforms, when it comes to the notion of impact, it’s quite obvious the Gerald “No Socks” Green trade heading to Houston is going to launch the Rockets into stardom.

With all the bad jokes aside, there are about five teams that stock-piled in preparation for their post-season run. Alright J-Man, lay it on us.

Jason Peterson: You mean Gerald “Cupcake” Green? That guy is good for nothing except blowing hot air. Green will be too busy hiding behind T-Mac’s shadow to make a difference.

Try looking to northern Texas if you want to see the real fireworks. Dallas landed themselves a real coup in Jason Kidd, and I’ll be darned if the Mavs aren’t the favorites to win it all right now.

Chris Kamrani: Be darned? Be damned — wait, you’re a BYU fan, right?

I’ll be damned if I hear another ramble on how the Mavericks got their “guy.” Granted, the human triple-double can dish the rock at an alarming rate, but it’s actually all about what the Mavs gave up.

In giving up a young point guard in Devin Harris, the Mavs lose the best point-defender in the league. In his first game with the Mavs, J-Kidd looked like Wile E. Coyote trying to chase the Road Runner (Chris Paul) around.

Harris was averaging 14 and six and had a high ceiling. Now, Harris takes his ceiling to New Jersey where the other big piece of this deal, Desagana Diop, is residing.

The Mavs mighty have found their divine play-maker, but they lost a guy who could keep up with the likes of Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Deron Williams, etc., not to mention a decent, reliable back-up big man. Now Cuban and Co. must rely on Juwan Howard and Erik Dampier. Wow. Was it really worth it for a 34-year-old point guard? Be damned, Mavericks.

Jason Peterson: That’s it. The gloves are off, Kamrani! Apparently you and your foul mouth are too heathen to see the truth. Who would you rather have leading you to the finals: a human triple-double or the actor who played Jar Jar Binks?

Kidd’s first game was only days after the trade. He’s in a new system with new teammates. He gets a mulligan. You must have also forgotten Kidd’s second game. The line: 15 dimes, five rebounds and four steals. The man is rejuvenated, and he’s hungry for the ring that’s eluded him for 13 seasons.

Chris Kamrani: Kidd’s stat line was impressive, but did we forget it was against the Memphis Grizzlies?

Speaking of the Grizzlies, there’s no way you can label the Kidd deal more impressive and full of impact than the real coup Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchack pulled for the Spaniard Pau Gasol — MJ23’s buddy, Kwame Brown and Jarvaris Crittenton?

Adding a versatile, All-Star-caliber big man to a team that already featured up-and-comer Andrew Bynum and that “Kobe” guy was the most important deal, and it came at the cheapest price.

Gasol, whose game is a perfect fit for Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, has contributed to the Lakers’ 7-1 record since the trade. You can never have a shortage of big men, especially in the Western Conference.

Oh, and p.s., Peterson, Jar Jar Binks was computer-generated imagery. Just FYI…

Jason Peterson: Grow up, Kamrani! Whatever, we’re not here to talk about this CGI crap.

Gasol and his whiny, flopping game fit right in with the Fakers. Kobe might be happy that he got his man, but when it comes down to the playoffs, Gasol will disappear because the Spaniard is always on vacation in May. Besides, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing Kobe unable to lead a team to a championship — even when he’s got help — and David Stern will see to it. Look for the Lakers to choke out of the first round to Phoenix and, in a sweet twist of fate, their new addition, Shaquille O’Neal. How ’bout that karma, Kamrani?

Chris Kamrani: You’re right. We aren’t talking about CGI, but we are talking about Gasol’s emergence. Whether he partakes in the art of the flop, Gasol is one of the most versatile big men in the game today.

The scariest thing about this trade is that the Lakers can beat good teams without No. 24 dropping 40 or 50 a night. Although many will label the Lakers as the team to beat, the issue facing them is chemistry. How will the boy-wonder Bynum respond with fewer touches when he returns from his injury? But it is Hollywood, and as we’ve seen before, Phil can weave his high-caliber tapestry as well as anyone.

The Suns got Diesel. The Spurs snagged Kurt Thomas, and the Jazz picked up Ashton Kutcher, but when it comes down to who got the better deal — the Mavs or the Lakers — Gasol will prove to be an irreplaceable addition, while the Mavs hope and pray to whatever deity Cuban approves of that Kidd doesn’t go down. Because, if so, it’s going to be the Jose Juan Barea show. Yikes.

[email protected]@chronicle.utah.edu