Whenever a player is traded, no matter how loved, there’s an instinct to try and justify how his loss won’t be as big as your first reaction indicates. Sure, there are trades that are just so bad you simply can’t talk yourself into them (hi there, Trevor Daley). But for the most part, you’ll always run for some shelter of information that makes you feel like your team won a given a trade. Even though a perfect trade is one where both teams benefit, but we don’t live in that world and this is a capitalist society, dammit.
So a little of that went on here when Artemi Panarin was dealt to Columbus for Brandon Saad. Yes, Saad is actually younger and yes Saad has something of a more all-around game. We commented on Panarin’s shoosty-tendencies at the end of last year. How his feet didn’t move quite the way they did his rookie year and instead he was becoming more and more Ray Allen waiting for his corner three. That works when LeBron or Patrick Kane can kick it out there for you. But is that really the case?