NBA teams used to think having three stars was the key to winning championships. Look at the last three winners, the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs all had a "Big Three."

Now, the rich are getting greedy. Aren't we in a recession?

The Spurs amped things up first, adding Richard Jefferson to their trio. They tried to make it a quintet, but the Celtics made a quartet when Rasheed Wallace chose Boston over San Antonio and others.

Not to be outdone, the Mavericks swung a complex deal Thursday to add Shawn Marion, giving the 2006 finalists a star-studded lineup.

And if the Lakers can find a way to keep Lamar Odom, all of the above may have trouble dealing with the defending champions, who now boast tough forward Ron Artest.

Express-News staff writer Douglas Pils examines the deal-making trendsetters:


Jefferson brings career averages of 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists to join Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Jefferson will take scoring pressure off all three, and he's younger than Wallace, Marion and Artest. Combined with rookie forward DeJuan Blair, the Spurs have gotten a lot younger.


Wallace holds career averages of 15 points and 6.9 rebounds and makes a 3-pointer a game, giving Boston a twin-tower effect with Kevin Garnett. And if Garnett's injury woes continue, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have more experience to lean on with Wallace there.


Marion's averages of 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, two assists and nearly two steals combined with All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki will make Dallas tough on the inside. Josh Howard won't have to score as much, and Marion is reunited with Jason Kidd, who spent two years with him in Phoenix.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 14, 2009


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