NBA Trade Deadline Recap and Outlook
As promised, we’re here to deliver a recap of every trade that happened at the NBA trade deadline, as well as an outlook for what the trade means for the rest of this year and moving forward. The trade deadline was extremely hyped, as three of the top 10-15 players in the league were on the block, but Paul George and Jimmy Butler stayed put while Boogie Cousins was the only superstar talent to switch teams. We did a piece on the Ibaka trade to the Raptors when that happened, as well as the breaking news of the Boogie trade, so we’ll pick up where we left off and start right after the Boogie trade.
Lakers and Rockets
Lakers get: Corey Brewer and 2017 1st round pick- The Lakers get a B+ for this trade. It is a tank move to help improve their chances at keeping their pick this summer, and gives them good value for a reserve player by getting a 1st round pick in return. They also get a proven rotation player in Brewer who will bring some intensity on the defensive side, something LA desperately lacks. The only gripe is that they don’t save any salary cap space this summer, as Brewer is still under contract next year.
Rockets get: Lou Williams- The Rockets get a B for this trade. Lou will add some serious punch to a bench that already features potential 6th man of the year in Eric Gordon, but he is a dismal defensive player going to a team that mostly lacks defense. It was a good move to load up for the postseason, but there may have better fits out there than Lou.
Wizards and Nets
Wizards get: Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough- The Wizards get a C+ fpr this trade. The Wiz desperately needed to add to their bench unit because they rely as heavily on their starters as any team in the league, but the real need was a backup point guard rather than on the wing. Also, a 1st round pick is a bit of a steep price. The big positive is getting out from under Nicholson’s contract, which has 3 years remaining
Nets get: Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thorton, and 2017 1st round pick- The Nets get a B+ for this trade. The Nets are in as desperate of a situation as any team in the league, being the worst team by 10 wins, and owing their pick this year and next to Boston. Getting a 1st round pick will help start their rebuild, and taking on Nicholson’s contract won’t hurt them as they needed to add money to get to the salary floor.
Hawks and 76ers
Hawks get: Ersan Ilyasova and future 2nd round pick- The Hawks get a B for this trade. They address a need for a backup big landing Ilyasova, though Ilyasova is likely overqualified for the small role he will be playing as a reserve to Paul Millsap. Nonetheless, he adds firepower to their bench as a scoring stretch 4, and they didn’t have to give up a 1st to get him.
76ers get: Tiago Splitter and draft considerations- The 76ers get a B+ for this trade. Ilyasova was a likely trade candidate as a veteran who didn’t quite fit with a rebuilding team, and he clears a little bit of a logjam that the 76ers had a power forward moving forward. They get a 2nd round pick and swap rights with another 2nd rounder for a guy that didn’t fit into the future. Good move all around
76ers and Mavericks
76ers get Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and top 18 protected 1st round pick. The 76ers get a C for this trade. This is a questionable move for a high-level talent in Noel. Noel was a better fit next to Embiid than Okafor is, and the Mavericks pick is almost certain to fall in the top 18 meaning the 1st round pick will become two 2nd round picks. Unless they were able to get anything for Bogut in a trade, two 2nd rounders and Justin Anderson is not good value for Noel. Bogut couldn’t be dealt, so he will be bought out and likely be heading to Cleveland or Golden State.
Mavericks get: Nerlens Noel- The Mavs get a B for this trade. Noel is a free agent this summer and will be looking for a substantial pay day, so the Mavs will have to shell out if they want to retain him past just this year. If he turns out to just be a rental, it isn’t a great deal as the Mavs aren’t going anywhere this season, but if they are able to re-sign him this summer it helps them get younger and more talented in the midst of their current rebuild.
Thunder and Bulls
Thunder get: Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and 2018 2nd round pick- The Thunder get an A for this trade. This may be the best return any team got outside of the Boogie trade. McDermott gives Westbrook a shooter to work with, and Gibson brings toughness and defense alongside Adams. Both will play a significant role in the playoffs for OKC, while none of the players they gave up would have had a substantial role.
Bulls get: Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Cameron Payne- The Bulls get a C for this trade. In order for this trade to be of any value for the Bulls, Cameron Payne will need to become the point guard the Bulls think he can become. Payne was misfit in OKC as a backup to a superstar who he didn’t play well alongside. He will have an opportunity to blossom in Chicago, but unless he turns into a good solid starter, this was not a good move for a team that can’t decide if they want to rebuild or not.
Nuggets and Bucks
Nuggets get: Roy Hibbert- The Nuggets get a B+ for this trade. This move was strictly financial as Denver was short of the salary floor. They deal a heavily protected future 2nd round pick which essentially means they give nothing up and they save money. They save about $3.6 million in the move.
Bucks get: protected future 2nd round pick- The Bucks get a B+ for this trade. The Bucks get to shed Hibbert’s salary for the rest of the season and clear out some of their logjam at center. They now have an open roster spot to explore adding depth at another position.
Rockets and Nets
Rockets get: Cap Space- The Rockets get an A for this trade. They shed McDaniel’s $3.3 million in salary and a roster spot allowing them to look to the buyout market to add another player heading into the playoffs. The $3.3 million they opened up allows them to make better offers than other teams who are capped out.
Nets get: K.J McDaniels- The Nets get a B for this trade. The Nets aren’t hurt by adding McDaniel’s salary as they were still well under the cap, and they get to explore giving some minutes to a young player with an intriguing skill set to see if they want to possibly extend him moving forward.
Lakers and Rockets
Lakers get: Tyler Ennis- The Lakers get a C+ for this trade. This trade is pretty uneventful. Huertas was not a rotation player and Ennis has never been a productive point guard yet in the NBA. Ennis is 11 years younger though so it makes sense for the Lakers to give any possible minutes to the younger player to evaluate if he can fit moving forward.
Rockets get: Marcelo Huertas- The Rockets get a C+ for this trade. Huertas will be immediately waived which means the Rockets clear a roster spot and about $250k in cap space. The $250k is unlikely to make a difference as they had already cleared $3.3 million in the McDaniels trade, but every little bit helps.
Hawks and Suns
Hawks get: protected future 2nd round pick- The Hawks get a B for this trade. They clear a roster spot and have the opportunity to explore the buyout market, while creating a $3.3 million trade exception that could come in handy in the future.
Suns get Mike Scott- The Suns get a B+ in this trade: The Suns make out well financially for doing this trade as it brings them up to the salary floor, while Atlanta also sent cash in the deal. Scott will likely be waived so he won’t eat up a roster spot.
Raptors and Suns
Raptors get: PJ Tucker- The Raptors get a B+ for this trade. They finish loading up by adding another quality veteran who is a tough physical defender. He will play a big role in the event the Raptors meet up with the Cavs in the playoffs again, as Tucker will see a lot of time defending LeBron James. They didn’t have to sacrifice another 1st round pick, which was the Suns initial asking price, and give up Sullinger who is fat and out of shape and would not be a contributor in the playoff run.
Suns get: Jared Sullinger, 2017 and 2018 second round picks- The Suns get a B for this trade. They had to get what they can for Tucker as they continue to try to rebuild, and two 2nd round picks provided decent value. It is on them now to create value out of the picks received.
That’s a wrap on all the trades that went down. The biggest effect on the playoffs is going to be the Raptors adding Tucker and the Rockets adding Sweet Lou. Most of the other deals were smaller in initial impact, but have more of an eye towards the future. It would have been some trade deadline had George or Butler got dealt, but we’ll settle for one superstar changing teams and a bunch of smaller deals.
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