Extend, trade or cut – Eastern Conference All-Stars edition

by Micah Hart

It’s been a minute or two since we’ve done one of these, but with the announcement of the All-Star starters, everyone’s attention is now on which players will be named All-Star reserves.

Last night on the TNT pregame show, Kenny, Charles, and EJ gave their picks for the East, and they all agreed on five players: Atlanta’s Al Horford, and the Celtics’ foursome of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen.

There was no consensus for the last two spots, as they each picked a different pair from amongst Miami’s Chris Bosh, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, and New York’s Raymond Felton. Given the lack of agreement,  I thought now would be a good time to revisit everyone’s favorite game, Extend, Trade, or Cut.

Just to refresh you on the rules, picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you have to trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.

Let’s examine the evidence:

Chris Bosh: Is he on the same level as his more famous teammates? No, he’s not. But he’s still a guy that can get you 20 and 10 on a given night, and he’s one of the sweeter-shooting big men in the game. He has caught some flak lately for suggesting that players maybe shouldn’t try so hard all the time.

Joe Johnson: For this exercise, we are only considering his merits as a basketball player. Therefore, you should disregard the fact that he most likely has at present the worst contract in the NBA. JJ’s had a bit of a down year, but some of that was due to an elbow injury, and he seems to have regained his form in January.

Raymond Felton: Has helped reignite the age decade old NBA question, is it the point guard, or is it Mike D’Antoni‘s system? On the other hand, some might argue that Felton has always been a capable PG, but was too restrained in Charlotte under the heavy hand of Larry Brown. Either way, there is no doubt that Felton is having a career year in his first season in New York City.

That’s the choices. What’s your decisions?

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  1. Frank says:

    There is no way in *%^& any GM in the history of the game that would cut Bosh and extend Felton.

    • yall are so stupis says:

      man, trade bash 4 a better big man–he is 2 soft down lows- cut joe johnson– over rated in a bad system and bad pieces, wont get better as the east is getting better like the west,, hawks are going down,, 49 point loss 2 the hornets–enough said,,, and expend felton—he is young, got a young team that is in playoof hunt the got another star in amere; they got there three point shooter–ganinari, got there role player landry fields,, got a good coach and system they dont need melo they need a player that mess up the flow they need a player between amera and felton and they are elete in the easy–(but they still need some big men)) and then u b puttin rings on it

  2. Realist says:

    Definitely extend Bosh, trade Johnson, and cut Felton, though I think Felton deserves the All-Star spot more than Johnson, it’s just that Johnson is the better overall player. Bosh is the only true superstar among the group, and is a consistent 20 and 10 guy, who’s averages dipped only slightly and less than what was expected. Bosh is averaging almost 18.6 PPG and 8.2 RPG on one of the top 4 teams in the NBA. That’s pretty great all things considering.

  3. […] Extend, trade or cut – Eastern Conference All-Stars editionNBA.com (blog)There was no consensus for the last two spots, as they each picked a different pair from amongst Miami's Chris Bosh, Atlanta's Joe Johnson, and New York's … […]

  4. Justin says:

    It frustrates me to hear the criticism that Bosh receives about not being an “All-Star Caliber Player” (to quote Barkley). A few weeks ago John Schuhmann wrote an article explaining that the key to the Heat’s success is because there is better on-court harmony between Wade and James. He praises them for their improvements together. Truth is, Bosh has been the most consistent player in terms of point differential (offense AND defense) out of all three of them all season! Guess who has the best point differential per 100 possessions for the SEASON? Nope, not LeBron! Not Wade! Bosh! I am not advocating that he is better than Wade or James, just sharing my love for an “All-Star caliber player”.

    Charles Barkley explains that Bosh isn’t an All-Star because “he doesn’t even get 20 and 10” (he’s 19 and 8). Well Ray Allen averages 17 and 3; KG 15 and 9; Paul Pierce 19 and 5…I guess they shouldn’t be all stars either!

    Extend Bosh, trade Johnson, and cut Felton.

    • Coozman says:

      Yeah but think about the three celtics aforementioned, and the amount of talent that is on that team (and i dont mean just the other three guys) and they are proven champions, and everyone of them would be in the top 2 or 3 for their position in the east. They definitely deserve to be all stars. I could take or leave bosh, people talk about him as a post presence which i do not see i see a big guy who wants to play 3 guard but can’t shoot 3’s.

    • bigE23 says:

      u r so right

    • Dan says:

      Great comment Justin. I wish sometimes we will put aside the love of our respective teams and face facts. Because player A does not play for your team does not mean he is not good. Chris Bosh is a great asset to the Miami Heat and we all see the struggle without CB1. Consistency is the work. Great thinking.

  5. John says:

    Extend felton, trade bosh, cut johnson. Felton might not be the best player out of them, but i think he definetly means more to new york than bosh miami or johnson atlanta. Felton is one of the major reasons the Knicks are so good this year compared to last year. I agree that bosh is underrated and that he should make the all-star squad but Felton is just more important to his team. Johnson’s just not having a good year, and though he could potentially be the best player out of all 3, there’s no way he deserves an all-star spot over bosh or felton

    • Peter says:

      Bosh underrated???

      Bosh is OVERRATED. In fact, he is WAY overrated and has been since the start of the season.

      By definition, an underrated player is someone who is a far better player the they are given better for – someone who has skills and or production which either goes unnoticed.

      Chris Bosh plays as the only USEFUL active big man on the Miami heat roster. Make no mistake, every other guy above 6″8 who is active right now is a bench warmer for almost any other team…but they get a good amount of minutes in miami because the Heat are quite simply lacking any type of productive big men.

      Chris Bosh averagine 18 and 8 on the Heat? Big deal!! Joakim Noah would average 18 and 14 if he played for the heat amost purely off free throw attemps and offensive putbacks, Likewise, either Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan would have not rouble averaging 20 and 10 if they played 30+ MPG on this Miami team.

      You need to consider that Bosh is not really a natural PF – he’s more like a SF in a PF’s body. He’s not too effictive as a low post scorer, he’s a terrible low post defender, he’s only grabs high numbers of rebounds because he has no other rebounders to share them with (he was averaging about 6 RPG when Haslem was active) and he has absolutely zero efffot/hustle to him.

      Yes he’s the type of player who contributes to games, yes he does produce and a pretty high level, but he is not the type of player that actually WINS you games. Bosh is essentially a highly talented role player who built a strong reputation by producing big numbes on a mediocre Raptors team where he really had no choice BUT to produce big numbers.

      Out of those three guys, Bosh is the LAST one I would actually want playing on my team – the type of guy who complains about other teams playing hard, and the type of guy who plays ‘stand around’ defense. The type of guy you can’t trust to be playing on defense at the end of a close game, because you now the opposite team will go straight at him..and he will fold.

      That said, I wouldn’t cut Bosh because he is too valuable. Because he is overrated (with his undeserved ‘all star’ reputation) he would earn big interest from other teams who kill for a young athletic big man who can score,..he has the highest ‘trade bait’ out of those three guys. You could easilly pick up a Marcus Camby AND a Glen Davis (plus probably a couple of draft picks) a player with Bosh’s reputation.

      Of the remaining two players, Joe Johnson is the most all-round and the most ‘clutch’ of the three. That said, he’s not young anymore, it may only take a couple of years or one significant injury for his career to start spiralling downhill quickly. Also as solid a player as he is, I don’t see him as the ‘leader’ type – he’s never shown a real ability to lead the Hawks deep into the playoffs and as an older more experienced player with his skills, you’d kind of expect that type of leadership. So, I personally would cut Joe Johnson – not an easy choice, but the reasons are there. Plus his contract is monumental.

      Raymond Felton is on the rise in a big way, and right now you can still pick him up for a reasonably good bargain (contact wise) compared to the other two guys. He’s more of a very good role player then an all out star, but he has shown he can do all you would want a good young PG to do – play solid defense, run the offense well, make good decisions with the ball, and feed the hot hand. He is still young and has nothing but upsside, so to me he is the perfect complement for any superstar on another team…and some potential to become a big star himself in the future.

      Quality PG’s are a hot commodity in the NBA, and to get one with Felton’s skills is hard to do without a monumental contact coming with it. Felton is a relatie bargain with a huge upside…and money saved on his contact (compared to Bosh or Joe) would be enough to add another one or two key players … and that could be th edifference between a decent team and a champtionship contender.

      . .

      • fred says:

        I totally agree…he’s soft and kind of passion-less when he plays…no sense of urgency and no awareness on the defensive end…rarely do u ever see he challenges for a block when a guard drives hard at him…he sort of just side steps it to avoid fouls…and only blocks when it is a blind sided weak side help…theres 0 hussle in him…thats the worst part…even though Pau Gasol is soft…at least he tries..and he has a way better low post game than bosh…and I am a Laker hater…I have to say Gasol at this point is a lot better than bosh even when he is playing soft…

  6. rusty says:

    we don’t care about Bosh..we want kevin Love to be an All Star… Bosh is just is ok but he doesn’t deserve to be an All Star.

  7. MIAMI HEAT 3:16 says:

    i love chris bosh the best power forward in the NBA!!! AWESOME BABY!!!

  8. kar says:

    All three of these guys suck. The easdt has weak pfs. If any of them were in the west. They wont even be discussed.

    • Frank says:

      i don’t know about that one, the east has Garnett,Bosh,Boozer, Josh Smith, and Amare, West has Dirk,Duncan,Gasol,Love,Griffin, looks even to me, and the west doesn’t have a center so that frees up an additional spot,

    • IDK says:

      yeah the east pfs got nothin on the west. griffin pau love duncan odom

    • Jesse says:

      Felton is a PG by the way. And in the West he would still be a top 5 PG.

  9. vlad says:

    in reality i would extend felton because the other two would ask for way too much money for their overrated selves. i would cut johnson only because i would probobly get better value for bosh.

  10. DiEhArD D-Rose says:

    i don’t care about Bosh the Softest Forward of the NBA… hahahahaha