espn.com is reporting that a deal is in the works that would send Vince Carter to Orlando for Alston, Lee and Battie. Just proof that Skip is of no value.
This trade (if completed) is interesting, though, because it gives Orlando, Cleveland and Boston all even chances to win both the Eastern Conference Finals and the title next June** before FAB (free agent bonanza). The Eastern Conference is starting to look like the Western Conference: a handful of good teams and 3 contenders.
RJ going to the Spurs definitely brings them back to contender status; they needed a more solid [and reliable] wing than ginobili and they got it; now the burden of scoring doesn't fall solely on Parker's shoulders when Ginobili and Duncan inevitably fall in and out of the lineup via injuries.
LA is staying the same, and will most definitely be a contender. Houston, regardless of whether McGrady gets traded or plays, will be a contender. The only piece missing is a reliable wing who can score or dish in the 4th quarter, and Morey wouldn't trade away that kind of asset on his contract year unless we got similar value in return (i.e. a sign-and-trade packaging wafer and someone else with mcgrady for ben gordon, a trade i am in extreme favor of).
Some people may think there are 4 contenders in the West because of Denver, but i feel like this year was their window and they blew it. While that team isn't going to change much, if at all, over the summer, their front court is not talented enough to offset a bad night from their wings. The talent level is not balanced, and as a result, not reliable enough to trudge through 4 playoff series' en route to a championship. On top of that, they had a cakewalk into the WCF. Personally, I would love to see Houston playing Cleveland or Orlando in the Finals next year, just so that Yao can get his ring and get a foot in the door of the Hall of Fame. Maybe McGrady will redeem himself, too, through that ring. You never know. . .