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The Post-Trade-Deadline Mailbag

Bill Simmons digs into his mailbag to break down why the Celtics stood pat, the problems of the Boogie Cousins deal, what Paul George is really worth, and more.

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. The Celtics didn’t do anything. Should I stay home and lick my wounds? Should I walk around with a Ron Burgundy beard drinking warm milk out of a carton? Or should I do exactly what you knew I’d do — take a deep breath, then try to spin everything with a positive light while crying on the inside? Ahhhhh … you know me too well. Send future questions to themailbag@theringer.com. As always, these are actual emails from actual readers.

Q: You never wrote exactly what you would have given up for Paul George or Jimmy Butler. What’s the most you would have done?
— Big Mac, Cambridge

BS: Does it even matter? Are we sure Butler or George were ever actually on the table? If Boston called the Pacers about Paul George and were told (reportedly), We want your 2017 Brooklyn pick and we want three of Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, AND you have to figure out a way to take Monta Ellis’s contract back, that would have been one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. Not hyperbole. Go through 70 years of professional basketball and find any star who fetched anything close to that — Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Shaq, KG, Kidd, Barkley, you name it.

And it’s not like Kawhi Leonard was available here. I like Paul George, but he isn’t even one of the league’s six best forwards right now. He’s never made a first- or second-team All-NBA. He’s a 43 percent career shooter. He’s an excellent defender who averages a 22–6–3 and he doesn’t even crack the top 50 in PER this season. He’ll also be a free agent in 16 months … and yeah, everyone in the NBA thinks he’ll sign with his hometown Lakers. Not only has Butler played better than George, but you could argue that Butler is still getting better while George is the same player he was three years ago (before he broke his leg). Why would the Celtics blow up their team and trade 200 cents on the dollar for the seventh-best forward in the league?

And yet you can’t blame Chicago and Indiana for overvaluing both stars, either. Why trade them in February when they don’t know if the Lakers will land a top-three 2017 draft pick? The smartest move — and the only move — was to wait until the NBA rigs the lottery for the Lakers. I mean, wait until after the lottery.

Had I been running the Celtics, I’d have kept that Brooklyn pick UNLESS the trade would have given me a legitimate chance to win the 2017 title. For instance, let’s say Chicago wanted to blow it up and offered Butler and Robin Lopez for Crowder, expirings, the 2017 Brooklyn pick, and Boston’s 2018 pick. That trade would have left the Celtics with Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Butler, Lopez, Brown, Bradley, Smart, Terry Rozier and Kelly Olynyk. You could compete for the title with that group, right? But both Chicago and Indy wanted WAY more than that. So why bother? Why make a stupid trade? Just to make a splash? That’s the kind of shit that Jim Dolan does.

One more note: Others have made this point (including The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion), but risking the next 10 years to chase a title during the same season that includes …

A. An embarrassingly loaded Warriors team with a plus-12.8 point differential that’s on pace for around 70 wins and features two of the league’s best seven players (and four of the league’s best 25)

B. A defending champ that features the third-best player of all time, two other top-30 guys and the league’s biggest payroll

… is just a dreadfully dumb risk. Especially when you consider our next mailbag question.

Q: How good is that Brooklyn pick? You tweeted that it was the best first-round pick ever made available at the trade deadline? Were you just trying to pump up the pick because you’re a Celtics homer or was that for real? I can’t decide if my Bulls messed up with the Butler trade.
— LC, Dallas (via Illinois)

BS: You shouldn’t have traded Butler unless the Celtics offered you the Brooklyn pick, Jaylen Brown and a future first. (And they never would have done that.) To answer your other question, the ceilings of Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball (two no-doubt-about-it picks) made the availability of that Brooklyn pick somewhat historic. Thanks to Brooklyn and Billy King, Boston knows it has a 46.5 percent chance to add a transformative rookie. A coin flip, basically. What’s the track record of trading that coin flip before it’s flipped? Consider:

1. As covered last Friday, we’ve had only 12 no-doubt-about-it draft picks in the past 20 years: Duncan, Yao, LeBron, Carmelo, Dwight, Oden, Durant, Rose, Blake, Wall, Davis and Towns.

2. Since 1984, only five NBA drafts featured two no-doubt-about-it picks: Oden and Durant (2007), LeBron and Melo (2003), Shaq and Alonzo (1992), Daugherty and Bias (1986), and Hakeem and Jordan (1984).

3. I combed through every draft since 1970 to see if anyone had ever traded a monster draft pick during the season. Nope. We’ve seen a slew of top-three picks traded or flipped at some point during draft week (Portland-Indy in 1978, Boston-GSW in 1980, Philly-Cleveland in 1986, Orlando-GSW in 1993, Atlanta-Vancouver in 2001, Portland-Chicago in 2006, Minny-Memphis in 2008, etc.), or a few weeks/months after the draft (Wiggins-Minnesota in 2014, Steve Francis–Houston in 1999, Antonio McDyess–Denver in 1995, Billy Owens–Golden State in 1991, Danny Ferry–Cleveland in 1989, Wilkins-Atlanta in 1982, Dave Meyers–Milwaukee in 1975, etc.). But nobody had leveraged a pick that good during the season.

4. Only six contenders since the ABA-NBA merger knew they were sitting on a top-three pick as they were simultaneously contending for a title: the ’03 Pistons (no. 2: Darko Milicic), ’86 Celtics (no. 2: Bias), ’82 Lakers (no. 1: Worthy), ’80 Celtics (no. 1: Joe Barry Carroll, flipped for Parish and McHale at no. 3), ’79 Lakers (turned out to be no. 1: Magic) and the ’78 Blazers (no. 3: Rick Robey, traded with Johnny Davis for Mychal Thompson at no. 1).

All right … so what’s a pick like that worth? Look at the best assets in the NBA right now.

We have seven superstars: LeBron, Davis, Durant, Kawhi, Curry, Harden and Westbrook. (None were available this week.)

We also have six untouchable 25-and-under studs: Jokic, Giannis, Kyrie, Towns, Porzingis and Embiid. (None were available this week.)

After that, you’re looking at this "not completely untradable, but you’d have to bowl us over with a ludicrous offer" threesome: George, Butler and John Wall.

After that, there are seven crucial stars on playoff teams who wouldn’t be available anyway: Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Marc Gasol and Isaiah Thomas (especially because of his cheap contract), then Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry (downgraded slightly because they’re free agents).

After that, a group of players who might be worth that pick in a one-on-one swap (or close), but it wouldn’t have made sense at the deadline for a variety of reasons: CJ McCollum, Rudy Gobert, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Mike Conley, Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan, then Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap (downgraded because they’re free agents), then Boogie Cousins (who just got dealt for 40 cents on the dollar).

After that: six more just-about-untouchable young guys who aren’t worth as much as that Brooklyn pick: Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons, Devin Booker, Myles Turner, Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ingram.

That’s 40 guys in all. Thirteen are off the table; 14 if you include Wall. The Celtics kicked the tires on the best two "not completely untradable" guys left, balked at the prohibitive price, then said to themselves, "If we overpay for George or Butler, that can’t even guarantee us a spot in the 2017 Finals. But if we land Fultz or Ball, we’re getting an untouchable asset on par with that Jokic-Giannis group."

They couldn’t have played it any other way — don’t they have a better chance to dominate the 2020s in the next few years? If they strike oil in the lottery, great. If they can circle back and make another run at Butler or George (or someone else) in a situation where they become available in June, great. If they keep the pick and sign Gordon Hayward, great. Short-term contention coupled with the Great And Promising Unknown always trumps a Panic Blockbuster Overpay … right? Only one thing bothered me about Boston’s week: Why not trump Dallas’s offer for Nerlens Noel? How was THAT not worth the risk? They have five times as many future picks and fringe assets as Dallas does. Where were they? Huge miss. (We’ll get to Nerlens later.)

Q: What rule will the NBA create that eventually will be known as the Vivek Ranadivé Rule (à la the Ted Stepien Rule)?
— Vince Martin, Silver Lake, Wisc.

BS: That’s just cold. By the way, I hate the Stepien Rule. If someone wants to trade first-rounders every year, so what? Why keep the Stepien Rule when a franchise like Brooklyn can basically give away its own first-rounders in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, anyway? Including five picks potentially in the top five! That wasn’t worse than the deal that led to the Stepien Rule? The NBA should create a Prokhorov Rule before it creates a Vivek Rule.

Q: When are we gonna stop pretending like there ever will be a good haul back for a team trading a superstar (like Cousins)? Name one time a player as good as Cousins was traded for a good return? And so help me if you bring Boston’s Big Three trade into this I swear I will stop watching Any Given Wednesday!
— Adam, Chicago

BS: That’s a hollow threat! But to be clear — Cousins isn’t a superstar. He’s never even been on a 40-win team. In the past 35 years, only six superstars were traded in their primes: 1982 Moses Malone, 2011 Chris Paul, 1992 Charles Barkley, 2001 Jason Kidd, 2005 Tracy McGrady and 2012 Dwight Howard. If you want to include 2007 KG and 2004 Shaq even though they were a little past their peaks, that’s eight. Any one of them guaranteed you 45 wins if they were surrounded by a decent team; if you surrounded one of them with a good team, you could make the Finals.

Right now, Cousins guarantees you nothing other than fantasy stats, headlines and technicals. Nobody wanted to trade a significant asset and/or draft pick for him because nobody knew what they were getting. That means he’s not a superstar. (Yet.)

(And by the way? All eight times, the team trading the superstar lost the deal. Zero-for-eight! Only Orlando came close: It basically flipped Howard into Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, some contract bodies, a 2014 first-rounder [Elfrid Payton] and a conditional Lakers first-rounder that will turn into two second-rounders if L.A. keeps its top-three pick this season. In other words, great trade on paper … and yet, add everything up and they didn’t land one true keeper.)

Q: Am I wrong to think that Golden State would rather get gonorrhea than New Orleans in Round 1? Pelicans would have two of the four best guys — Boogie and Brow should combine for something like 60 points, 25 boards, 10 assists, five blocks, five steals. If New Orleans forced a Game 6 at home, crowd going crazy, they sneak out a win … all bets would be off in Game 7 and David Stern wouldn’t be around to rig an outcome. It’s admittedly long odds but not "Leicester to win the Premier League" long, right?
— Cameron, Austin

BS: There’s definitely a whiff of "Sampson and Hakeem overpowering the ’86 Lakers" potential. One problem: Curry, Klay and Durant are 300 times better than New Orleans’s perimeter guys. They might even be 400 times better. Did you see what Houston did to the Pelicans last night? Even if Boogie and AD combine for 70 points per playoff game, Steph and Klay can make that back in wide-open 3s. Besides, we all know the Ewing Theory Kings are grabbing that eighth spot. In the words of The Ringer’s Danny Chau, ALL HAIL THE WILLIE CAULEY-STEINNAISSANCE!!!!!!

Q: Where do you stand on calling Boogie and AD "Fire and Ice"?
[Name accidentally deleted.]

BS: My first instinct? I wasn’t ready to pour dirt on the original "Fire and Ice," Chris Corchiani and Rodney Monroe. Then I noticed that their signature YouTube video was nine years old and had only 16,000 views.

So it’s probably time. But wouldn’t it make more sense to call Cousins and Davis just "Brow and Boogie"? They need a second nickname to go with their nicknames? What are they, WWE wrestlers? I vote for Brow and Boogie.

Q: I thought this YouTube compilation of DeMarcus Cousins technicals set to The Jackson 5’s deep cut "Blame It on the Boogie" might make you feel better about him not being a Celtic.
— Signed, fledgling Pels fan Corey Hatch

BS: It actually did! (And I genuinely enjoyed the video too. It’s my favorite Jacksons–Boogie Cousins collaboration ever.) You know what else makes me feel better? Boston’s best player spent three years playing with Boogie. Let’s just say he carries some sway. They never made an offer. What does that tell you?

Think of it this way: If you had met a girl that you liked, then you found out that a buddy dated her for two years in college, would you ask him for a scouting report? You would, right? And if this buddy said to you, "I know she’s pretty, I know she’s a fun hang, but please trust me, SHE IS A NIGHTMARE AND YOU WILL REGRET GETTING INVOLVED WITH HER" unless you were the Bachelor and you needed to keep her around for a few episodes to keep the producers happy, you’d run from her, right? By contrast, if that same buddy said, "You know what? She’s a little loopy, and she’s definitely a handful, but she’s a great girl and I still care about her," that would go a long way, too. Right? Something tells me that Isaiah didn’t say the latter. Just a hunch.

One other note on Boogie (and again, I’m one of his bigger fans, even though I felt a strange/surprising/overpowering feeling of relief when the Celtics didn’t get him last weekend): In the end, with every good thing that Boston had going, it just seemed too risky. This wasn’t a no-brainer along the lines of adding the Rock to Fast 5. There were real dangers here, not the least of which was Brad Stevens saying "FUCK IT!" and going to Indiana or Duke this summer.

Quick story: I went to an NBA game this season. (I won’t say which one.) Someone important from a non-Boston franchise also attended that game. (I won’t say who.) We spent some time talking. At one point, I mentioned hoping that Boston could pull off a Boogie trade if the price was right. And this person, who seems pretty stable, started laughing and said, "God, I hope you guys trade for him — we’d never have to worry about you again. He’d ruin everything. He’s a cancer. HE WOULD KILL YOUR TEAM."

And the thing is, I’ve heard this about Boogie before. Why can’t Boogie shake the reputation that he treated his teammates and coaches terribly? Where were the teammates and ex-teammates defending him this week? Why isn’t his behavior on the court getting better? Has there been too much damage? It’s a shame because, from a pure talent standpoint, he might be the next Moses Malone for all we know. Check this out:

Moses’s last three Houston years (1980–82): 28.2 PPG, 14.6 RPG, 9.9 FTA, 51.4% FG, 25.3 PER, 40.3 MPG

Boogie last year/this year: 27.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 10.1 FTA, 45.2% FG, 25.1 PER, 34.5 MPG

Two extra caveats: First, Moses won three MVPs and a Finals MVP and happens to be one of the 13 best players of all time (in case you forgot). And second, Boogie turned himself into a 3-point shooter (4.9 3-pointers a game, 35 percent this season), which knocked his shooting percentages down but gave him a stretch-the-floor ability that Moses never had. But Moses was never a chemistry problem; if anything, Moses never SPOKE. And that’s the biggest difference.

On talent alone, Boogie has to be considered the best offensive center since Shaq. It remains amazing that (a) New Orleans stole him for 40 cents on the dollar, (b) Sacramento quick-traded him three days before the deadline because its front office didn’t want its owner to change his mind (what other possible reason did they have???), and (c) there’s a decent chance that it’s addition-by-subtraction and Boogie will never come back to haunt them. I’m in the "He was trapped on bad teams with bad coaches and bad front offices and needed a fresh start" camp … but I’m also relieved that my favorite team stayed away. And if that doesn’t sum up the Boogie Cousins Experience, then I don’t know what does.

Q: I can’t decide if the Raptors did enough at the deadline to hang with Cleveland, or if we’re all in denial here. Do you think we are better?
— TOC, The North

BS: You turned Terrence Ross and some non-lottery picks into Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and the nine near-fights he’s going to start with LeBron and J.R. Smith in Round 2. Yeah, you’re better. Deeper, better defensively, more flexible. I liked those moves.

My favorite trade? Houston turning Corey Brewer and a meaningless first into Lou Williams and his multiple girlfriends. Now they can surround Harden with shooters, rest him with two different creators (Williams and Eric Gordon) and chase their 2017 playoff destiny: bomb the Warriors with 3s for two weeks and try to game the math in their favor. It’s the best chance any Western team has. How do you beat a great offensive team? By shooting 50–60 3-pointers per game and trying to make 25–30 of them. In a seven-game series, could they win two because Harden is the best guy on the court and two because they drained a staggering number of 3s? Why not?

Q: Hey, dick, please don’t mention the Spurs in your Friday mailbag, we only have the second-best record and the guy who should win the MVP but won’t because everyone thinks he’s boring. And everyone wants to know why Spurs fans think we don’t get respect? Leave us out of your columns, we like it better that way anyway.
— Miguel, SA

BS: You got it.

Q: Would you rather see Andrew Bogut end up in Cleveland or Golden State?
— Christian, Akron

BS: Cleveland! From the producers of John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2it’s Bogut! The Warriors won a title with him, then they dumped him for Kevin Durant, left him for dead and assumed they’d never see him again. Only Andrew Bogut had other ideas! Couldn’t you see Bogut signing with Cleveland, then committing three flagrant fouls in the Finals, sending Steph Curry to the locker room on a vicious pick and goading Draymond Green into at least one ejection?

Q: With DMC going to New Orleans, have Vivek and Vlade passed Dolan and Jackson as the worst owner/GM duo in the NBA? Which fan base is more screwed, Kings’ or Knicks’?
— Lukasz, Gdansk, Poland

BS: Starting with the 2000–01 season, Dolan spent close to $2 billion in payroll so he could miss the playoffs 12 times (counting this season) and win one playoff series total. Vlade and Vivek are worse just because they made a couple of goofy draft picks and two indefensible trades? Come on. That’s like asking if Giannis is better than LeBron.

Q: If you die and go to heaven and can ask God any three NBA-related questions you want, what would they be? Mine: Was MJ secretly suspended for gambling? Did the ’85 NBA draft have a frozen envelope? And which stars took PEDs?
— Anthony Falco

BS: Those are the three best ones. I’d also ask him why Larry Bird’s shot in Game 4 of the 1987 Finals didn’t go in. It’s been 30 years and I still can’t figure it out. I’d want to know why he hates the Knicks so much. That reminds me …

Q: My wife recently forced me to watch the dreadful How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days because I spent the entire weekend dragging her through All-Star festivities. In the film, the NBA Finals are contested between the Knicks and Sacramento Kings. All Vlade and James Dolan jokes aside, can you come up with a more improbable championship series than one between those beacons of incompetence?
— Gabe Greener

BS: I thought Gabe was kidding until I Googled it …

Good God, it’s a four-minute fake scene of the 2003 NBA Finals featuring the Kings and Knicks!!!!!! That critically lambasted rom-com was released on February 7, 2003, back when the Kings were still a Finals contender; three months later, C-Webb injured his knee in Round 2 and the Kings lost Game 7 to Dallas; they lost in Round 2 the following season and haven’t made the playoffs since. And the 2002–03 Knicks missed the playoffs but never tanked (missing out on LeBron, Melo, Bosh, and Wade), then hired Isiah Thomas in December to "fix" everything … and all hell broke loose.

Meanwhile, McConaughey’s A-list movie career went into a nine-year tailspin, and Kate Hudson squandered what was left of her Almost Famous momentum and became the backup rom-com star that producers settled on when they couldn’t get Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore or Sandra Bullock. Is that enough evidence for a comprehensive How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Curse? I say yes! They need to make a science fiction sequel in which McConaughey and Hudson attend a Knicks-Kings game that gets hit by a meteor.

Q: Could someone come to my house and pull the knife out of my back?
— Mitch Kupchak, L.A.

BS: Just kidding, I wrote that one. Even if Kupchak blew it last summer with the Mozgov-Deng signings, and even if Kupchak and Jimmy Buss briefly turned the Lakers into a free-agent nondestination — no Kevin Durant meeting last summer????? — that was a pretty ignominious ending for someone who spent 36 straight years working for the Lakers. The Lakers let him dangle in the wind these past few weeks as he watched Magic Johnson do the Bristol Car Wash and discuss his new Lakers gig like he was already in charge, then Kupchak wasted All-Star Weekend trying to swing a Boogie Cousins deal … and got unceremoniously dumped within 36 hours. Why not fire him three weeks ago?

Q: Living on the East Coast, I have never really seen Jeanie Buss up close. I knew she dated Phil [Jackson], but that was as far as it went. So I decided to Google her. About the 20th image appeared to be a Playboy picture from the ’90s. I had no idea. A little more digging turned up actual pages from the May 1995 edition — and right there in black and white it says, "She’s also on the board of the Lakers — whose part-owner Magic Johnson recently asked her, ‘When are you and I going to start running things around here?’" Are you kidding me? They’ve been plotting this for more than 20 years and Jeanie dropped the idea in the middle of a Playboy spread? What makes it even creepier is knowing the thing that got this whole thing rolling is that Magic reached out to check on Jeanie after Magic heard she and Phil broke up. Per ESPN, "Jeanie Buss said this new role for Johnson really began coming together in earnest in January, when he reached out to her after she and longtime fiancé Phil Jackson split." I’m speechless. This seems like it could go any number of ways.
— Ben, Rockville, MD

BS: I kept waiting for that one to end, "Sincerely, Mitch Kupchak."

Q: This year’s Annual Atrocious GM Summit had to be one of the most interesting events in La Quinta Inn history. Do you think Vlade was tired of always being one bad trade away from immortality and decided to just go for it? Was he tired of this young guy Hennigan showing him up and decided he needed to shut him down? Does someone else try and top him before the deadline? This could be the golden age for Atrocious General Managing.
— Joe, Richmond, Va.

BS: Here’s this year’s conference …

Panel no. 1 (9:00 a.m.): "The Transition From Atrocious GM to Gregarious Talking Head" with Isiah Thomas, Billy King, Kevin McHale and Stu Jackson.

Panel no. 2 (10:30 a.m.): "Empowering the Wrong People" with James Dolan, Ted Leonsis, Vivek Ranadive and Mikhail Prokhorov.

Lunch (12:00 p.m.): Special speaker — Magic Johnson on advanced metrics.

Panel no. 3 (1:00 p.m.): "The Art of Turning Your Fan Base Against You" with Phil Jackson, Bryan Colangelo, Jimmy Buss and Gar Forman.

Panel no. 4 (2:30 p.m.): "Learning to Live With the Fact That You Gave an MVP Candidate Away" with Sam Presti and Ryan McDonough.

Panel no. 5 (3:30 p.m.): "How to Turn a Dollar Into 40 Cents" with Vlade Divac and Rob Hennigan.

Q: Name one thing Bryan Colangelo does better than Sam Hinkie.
— Brian, Philadelphia

BS: Make bad trades? I thought Nerlens Noel was well on his way to becoming an elite rim protector/screen-and-roller/super-active paint guy — which, by the way, there aren’t many of. Why would you give him away in a "three nickels for a quarter" trade? He’s a restricted free agent who has to get paid this summer? So what? You think Dallas cares? Old Man Dirk, Rejuvenated Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry, Rick Carlisle … that’s something, right? Dallas needs to make one more Finals run before Mark Cuban becomes our president in 2020. Noel helps. Horrible trade for Philly. I genuinely hated it.

Q: In your All-Star break mailbag you made a fake trade for the Sixers where they send the Colangelos to Game of Thrones in exchange for the Lannisters. Fun little fact: Bryan Colangelo’s middle name? It’s fucking JOFFREY. [Editor’s note: It’s not.] So does that make Hinkie Ned Stark? Or is he Robb? Screw Jerry "Tywin" Colangelo, and this ownership group, btw.
— Dan S, Mount Holly, N.J.

BS: I’d like to think this exchange happened right before the Nerlens Noel trade.

Bryan: How could we get Philly fans to hate us even more?

Jerry: What do you mean? We’ve done such a great job already!

Bryan: I know … but what if we traded Nerlens for 50 cents on the dollar and kept Jahlil Okafor, someone who can’t play with Joel Embiid and someone Sixers fans genuinely hate watching?

Jerry: You read my mind!

Bryan: When do you think everyone will realize Adam Silver planted us here to destroy the Process so no NBA team will ever try to do what Hinkie did?

Jerry: Not for years … just keep doing your thing.

Q: What was your favorite Twitter moment of trade deadline day? Mine was every time Woj broke a story and then one of the other reporters in my timeline broke the same story 45 seconds later. Woj is like Lance Armstrong when Lance Armstrong was cheating. He’s 45 seconds ahead of everyone.
— Anthony, Palo Alto

BS: If I were Woj, I would report one fake trade before every deadline to see if someone would steal it. Something like "The Wizards trade Ian Mahinmi for Roy Hibbert." Just to see who bites. And if anyone does, he could tweet at them #wojbombed! But to answer your question, my favorite moment was finding out that Mike Scott had been traded for cash. My second favorite moment was Sam Amick tweeting, "Follow on the Brandon Knight front: I’m told the present-day asking price from the Suns is an expiring contract and a high second rounder." They forgot to include, "Put in Offer Code ‘BRANDON’ to get an additional 25 percent off!" I really love the trade deadline.

Q: After watching the epic Trump-Trudeau handshake video the other day, I started wondering what it would take to trade Trump for Trudeau. I put it out on Facebook and my Canadian friend Eric took it upon himself to respond on behalf of Canada. I proposed Trudeau (the hot young talent) in exchange for Trump (the bad long-term contract) and the sweeteners being LeBron going to Toronto to play for the Raptors and Mike Trout going to the Blue Jays. The Raptors would instantly become East favorites. Imagine the Raptors putting out a lineup of Lowry, DeRozan, LeBron, Patterson, and Ibaka. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. So I threw in Bernie Sanders (a Google search revealed that he apparently is our most-liked politician) and a Kardashian of their choice. Now we were close, but Eric needed a little more to get him there, just one more piece. He suggested we take Nickelback back. I said deal. So to recap, Trump, LeBron, Trout, Bernie, and a Kardashian for Trudeau and Nickelback. What do you say? Do you make that deal? Does Canada make that deal? To make it more realistic should I have included giving Alaska to Canada? It’s right next to them anyway, and they do seem to like frozen, sparsely inhabited land masses. What say you?
— Frank John, Philly

BS: Yup, these are my readers.