City Sports Report

The General’s NBA Trade Deadline Breakdown

From the Valley Of The Sun to South Beach, Goran Dragic has changed teams just that quick. (Photo via www.ballerstatus.com)

The NBA’s trade deadline came and passed today. There was some great moves by some and there was some questionable moves by others. Let’s dive in all the trade deadline action that went down today.

The Suns were pretty busy today. Here was one of the trades they made:

  • MIAMI HEAT GET: Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic
  • PHOENIX SUNS GET: John Salmons, Justin Hamilton, Danny Granger, 2017 (top-7) and 2021 (unprotected) first-round picks
  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS GET: Norris Cole, Shawne Williams

The Suns had a disgruntled point guard on their hands in Goran Dragic. He made it crystal clear this week that he was not going to re-sign with them and he had three teams in which he had interest in playing for: the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. In the end, he was sent to a team he wanted to play for while the Suns got two first round draft picks they wanted along with some players that they can either cut loose now or at the end of the season. Not a bad trade for them seeing they had an overload at point guard (and they still do after the one of the other big trades of the day). Miami gets a player they coveted at the point guard spot and gives them a huge upgrade at point guard. But this deal could go from great to foolish if the Heat are not able to re-sign Dragic at the end of the season. And he is expected to be looking for a max contract. And for the Pelicans, they needed point guard help with Jrue Holiday always injured. The pickup of Cole gives them a spark there and it will also give Cole the fresh start he needed. As far as Shawne Williams, it will be interesting to see if he hangs on in New Orleans. Overall, all teams got things they needed. But ultimately Miami is the winner if they are able to re-sign Dragic at a reasonable price (Dragic is not a max player).

Dragic wasn’t the only point guard that moved out of Phoenix at the trade deadline. Isaiah Thomas will now be calling Boston home after today:

  • BOSTON CELTICS GET: Isaiah Thomas
  • PHOENIX SUNS GET: Marcus Thornton, 2016 first-round pick (via Cleveland)

This trade was definitely interesting to see happen. When Thomas signed with the Suns, it was expected he would add to the dynamic of smaller guards they had. But instead, his signing created unrest with Dragic. And even though Dragic was moved, Thomas was moved as well. Getting rid of Thomas means Bledsoe will be the only one left standing from the original three point guards Phoenix had. But the Suns didn’t get rid of him for nothing. Marcus Thornton is a guy that can flat fill it up when given the opportunity. Look for him to potentially give them firepower coming in off the bench along with the size to be able to guard opposing shooting guards. And to add to the trade, the Suns received another 1st round pick, this one being in 2016. Good deal for both teams ultimately even if Thornton doesn’t work out for Phoenix.

It was thought after getting rid of Thomas and Dragic that Phoenix was done with the “multiple point guards playing at one time” experiment, then they pulled this trade off:

  • PHOENIX SUNS GET: Brandon Knight, Kendall Marshall
  • MILWAUKEE BUCKS GET: Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis
  • PHILADELPHIA 76ERS GET: 2015 first-round pick via Lakers (top-5 protected)

The Suns got rid of two point guards and added two more just like that. Knight is in a contact year and it is not known whether or not he has any interest in re-signing with the Suns. Phoenix is taking a chance in obtaining his services, but even if he does not sign back with them, they still have their point guard in Eric Bledsoe. But in the meantime, look for two former Kentucky Wildcats to be starting beside each other in Bledsoe and Knight. As far as Marshall, he could find himself again buried at the end of Phoenix’s bench like he was earlier in his career. For the Bucks, they got rid of a guy entering the last year of his deal for two point guard that are still on their rookie deals. Not a bad move at all for the team and who would be better to tutor these two young guards than Jason Kidd, who was a great point guard in his own right. And quite honestly, it was unexplainable that he was able to get the reigning Rookie of the Year for such a little ransom. As far as Tyler Ennis, look for him to be either at the end of the bench or in the D-League getting more seasoning to get ready to play the pro game. As far as the Sixers, they received another draft pick, but their organization has to be maddening and confusing to Philadelphia fans. The reigning Rookie of the Year and supposedly one of your core players you trade and only get a Top 5 protected piece in return. I know there are some Sixers fans that believe in this move (for reasons I cannot explain), but there are some that are definitely not believing in Hinkienomics at this point.

But Hinkie was not done making moves after this head-scratcher. He made another move to get another pick essentially as well:

  • PHILADELPHIA 76ERS GET: JaVale McGee, 2015 first-round pick (top-18 protected)
  • DENVER NUGGETS GET: Rights to Cenk Akyol

The biggest thing is this move was another first round draft pick. It seems like Hinkienomics has finally moved into collecting first round picks instead of the second-round picks he collected for a little while. It’s nice that Philly has two first-rounders in this year’s draft, but when are all these picks going to start working out for Philly and what is the end game there? No one seems to be in on Hinkienomics other than Philly brass and there may be some of them even scratching their heads. We shall see what happens in this one, but he is collecting picks for some reason or another. Just we have no idea why. Eventually someone is going to have to play the games and obtaining picks by being bad and making trades will eventually get old. As far as McGee, he is one of the most athletic big men in the NBA, but it just seems like something is missing and I cannot pinpoint what it is. It will be interesting to see if Philly gets to see what he can or cannot do if he is given the opportunity in Philly. There is always the opportunity that he could be bought out as well.

Another big trade today included two players that did not like their current situations. Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City guard Reggie Jackson were not happy where they were and wanted a better situation in terms of minutes and opportunities. Well, they both got their wishes today:

  • DETROIT PISTONS GET: Reggie Jackson
  • OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER GET: Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak
  • UTAH JAZZ GET: Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, future OKC first-round pick, future DET second-round pick

For Detroit, they are taking a small chance here. They are acquiring a player that is scheduled to hit the free agent market this offseason. It is said that Reggie Jackson turned down a four-year, $48 million deal from the Thunder this offseason, craving a better deal than that. Well, with the Pistons, he gets to prove that he is worth even more than that. He is rolling the dice on his career and if he does well, he will have all the riches he wants. He goes from being a bench player losing minutes to the starting point guard on a team in the East that still has a shot to make the playoffs. Let’s see what he does for Detroit going forward. It will be interesting to see how all works out. For the Jazz, this was purely about getting another 1st round pick. None of these players added will amount to anything on their roster and more than likely, Perkins will be bought out. The real winners in this deal are the Oklahoma City Thunder. They finally got a low-post threat. Of course Enes is looking for a new deal, but Kanter will be a great fit for the Thunder and will hopefully help Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant not have to work so hard. From the Pistons, the Thunder get another good shooter and a very good backup point guard in DJ Augustin. Singler may not get the playing time that he wants, but if given an opportunity, he will make it happen. As far as Augustin, he will fit the role of backup point guard better than Reggie Jackson did. Jackson wanted to get paid and did not want to be a bench player. Augustin just wants to win and is happy being the backup. He will fit in seamlessly with the Thunder. And finally, the Thunder got one of the best shooters people forgot about in Steve Novak. Novak may be a liability defensively, but on the offensive end he can make things a lot easier for Westbrook and Durant because defenders cannot leave him when he is standing at the three-point line. Overall, the Thunder are better equipped to make a run for the playoffs and possibly cause some problems now, provided Scott Brooks can coach this squad with its new parts.

The Portland Trailblazers were looking for a little bit more help on the perimeter and they reached out to the Denver Nuggets to make it happen:

  • PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS GET: Arron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee
  • DENVER NUGGETS GET: Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver, 2016 first-round pick (lottery protected)

This one looks like a win for the Trailblazers although it will be interesting to see how they fit in Afflalo with what they have. From what it looks like, Afflalo will be coming in off the bench as the backup to Wesley Matthews. And in doing so, the Portland Trailblazers added some depth they needed. Being one of the teams in the NBA with the shortest benches, they needed another able-bodied player that could add to their dynamic. And Afflalo can shoot and play defense, which are two things that will definitely go well with Portland. As far as Gee, he may not even get off the bench or play a game in Portland. He was what they call a “numbers maker” in this trade. As far as Denver, they now have gotten rid of two of JaVale McGee and Afflalo but it seems like they were not at all happy. It was believed that they were shopping point guard Ty Lawson and were not able to get rid of him and settled for getting rid of the players they did. In come Thomas Robinson, Will Barton and Victor Claver to the scene. Robinson has been moving from team to team his entire career. If he keeps moving to teams at this rate, he will end up catching another former Kansas Jayhawk, Drew Gooden, in terms of teams he will have played for. As far as Barton, he is a high-energy guy that can add to a team. Sure, he can be out of control sometimes, but he can also turn the tide with his energy. Imagine Kenneth Faried as a guard and you have Barton. As far as Claver, there is no expectation in regards to him at this time and there is no reason to believe he will even contribute in Denver. It seems Denver has started the rebuild mode and with the 2016 1st round pick, that may help them down the road. But of course, the coach of the team, Brian Shaw, will probably not see any of the rebuild after this summer.

Earlier the Philadelphia 76ers traded their starting point guard, leaving a hole for them to file. Well they filled it, sort of:

  • HOUSTON ROCKETS GET: K.J. McDaniels
  • PHILADELPHIA 76ERS GET: Isaiah Canaan, second-round pick

It seemed like Philly was high on McDaniels and who could blame them? He was very active and could have become a very good finisher on the fast break along with a solid defender in their rebuilding effort. But the 76ers thought otherwise and shipped him out to Houston for a point guard they needed to run their offense. Honestly, I understand the need for Canaan. He is an athletic point guard that can score and can run an offense at times (when he is valuing the basketball), but why trade a piece you need for him? It baffled me, but I am sure McDaniels is happy to land in a place where he can make the playoffs and compete for a title possibly. The 76ers also gathered another pick, although only a 2nd rounder. As far as Houston, it always pays to add a wing defender. And with McDaniels, he has the potential to be a very good defender and player for them. It may be hard for him to crack the rotation for the Rockets, but if he does, he will add a dynamic to the team that they need. Great deal for Houston. They did not have to give up much at all.

The Washington Wizards were not expected to really be active at the trade deadline, so this one caught a few by surprise:

  • SACRAMENTO KINGS GET: Andre Miller
  • WASHINGTON WIZARDS GET: Ramon Sessions

The Wizards somehow felt that the veteran backup point guard was not a fit for them anymore. So with the team seeking a change, they went and acquired Ramon Sessions from Sacramento. In regards to the Wizards, they now add a guy that can definitely hit the jump shot. If you have to choose between he and Miller to hit a jump shot, Sessions would win that contest. But what you lose with Miller is the savvy to handle pass the basketball. As far as the Kings, Miller is a vet that can help George Karl implement what he wants to do there and is unselfish as well. He should be able to come in and command respect immediately there and his court vision will make some players look even better. But one thing he cannot do is shoot with range. And the Kings need some of that with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins on the block commanding attention. Not sure he will add more than leadership there in Sacramento. This trade is essentially a wash. Both add and subtract evenly from the teams they went to

The Knicks were involved in another trade. But it definitely was not a big one that caught your eye:

  • NEW YORK KNICKS GET: Alexey Shved, two second-round picks
  • HOUSTON ROCKETS GET: Pablo Prigioni

The New York Knicks essentially got rid of a part they did not need anymore when it came to Prigioni. There has to be some wonder whether he will add anything to the Rockets going forward. He is not a great defender and he is a reluctant shooter. Maybe his passing skills will help them down there. Only time will tell. As far as the Knicks, Shved’s career has sputtered a little this season and may continue to sputter the rest of this one. The hope for him is that he is able to showcase what he can do for the Knicks in hopes of impressing another team or the Knicks. The other big thing the Knicks acquired: more picks. Sure, the picks were 2nd round picks, but the Knicks need all the picks they can get at this point. Not really a winner in this one honestly.

And now for the Homecoming portion of the trade deadline. Two vets are going home to presumably end their careers. Let’s get into the first Homecoming:

  • DETROIT PISTONS GET: Tayshaun Prince
  • BOSTON CELTICS GET: Jonas Jerekbo, Luigi Datone

The one-time NBA champion in Detroit is coming back home. But this time, it seems to be the last legs of his career. Tayshaun will add another veteran in the locker room to help the younger players out. But if they are looking for help on the court, they may not get what they need. This one seems to be a sentimental trade for the Pistons. And for Boston, they get the services of two foreign players that did not pan in Detroit. Datone was not the guy they thought he was and the Pistons were looking to potentially get him out of there. And as far as Jerekbo, his time was up in Detroit. Both tried, but they were not a fit there. In Boston, it should be interesting to see if either can stick on the roster and if either can show some of the skills that got some scouts excited about them.

And finally, the best Homecoming of the day:

  • MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES GET: Kevin Garnett
  • BROOKLYN NETS GET: Thaddeus Young

This trade was one that sends KG back to finish his career where it all began. He was playing less minutes in Brooklyn and they were not winning. He knew it was all coming to an end and waived his no-trade clause to go out the way he wanted to. Even though KG can irk you with some of the antics, he still is one of the best to play the game. He has earned it to go out on his own terms. As far as the player Brooklyn got back, Thaddeus Young will be a great addition off their bench. Moving KG almost assuredly moves Mason Plumlee into the starting lineup on a permanent basis. And he earned that. Young’s versatility will cause some fits for defenses and will eventually help the Nets.

Some trades were good and others were bad. The 76ers and Nuggets surprised some people as did the Phoenix Suns. For some of these teams, they were steadying for the playoffs. It should be interesting to see how these deals work out. What was your favorite deal on trade deadline day? What was your worst deal done?

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. ASR

    February 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I really like what Milwaukee, the Heat and OKC’s pickups. The 2nd half will be interesting!

  2. Rob Thomas Brown

    February 20, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I like what Milwaukee did, nice squad they’re building there. Miami getting Goran Dragic is nice but a gamble and he is NOT a Max contract player. Someone needs to remind Goran Dragic that he IS Goran Dragic, smh. Hope the Cavs can get Kendrick Perkins

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