NBA Trade Reactions: We’re Still Unsure What Happened Here

Every year around deadline day in the NBA, the hype train rolls, people make audacious predictions, and then ultimately nothing really happens. Last year, that was more than true. The best player to move on deadline day 2014 was the not terrible version of Spencer Hawes. Now we have the terrible version of Spencer Hawes:



Till about 2:58 pm Eastern time on this deadline day, it seemed like another year of the same. Arron Afflalo was the main piece that had moved, but with only three or four trades done on the day, it seemed like another bust. I actually started to close up shop and accept that there would be almost nothing of value to talk about aside from the Afflalo trade. Then it became the most active trade deadline in 25 years, and for the first time in quite some time, deadline day did not disappoint, with almost 40 players switching teams.


Denver Nuggets Receive: SF Will Barton, PF Victor Claver, PF Thomas Robinson, 2016 first round pick (top-14 protected)

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: SG Arron Afflalo, SG/SF Alonzo Gee

Why it makes sense for the Nuggets

So the Nuggets have hopefully finally phoned it in for the season and this is just a straight salary dump. I was already skeptical with the Nuggets choosing to sign Afflalo in the summer to begin with. He had a great season last year in Orlando solely because SOMEONE had to score, but signing a 29-year old shooting guard to a five-year contract averaging about 7.5 million a year (Which I realize is a pretty good number actually. I take some of the hate back.) was a bad move for such a dangerously mediocre team. It’s time for the Nuggets to try to rebuild, so this salary relief is a good start.

Why it makes sense for the Blazers

The Blazers have had one of the best starting lineups in the league for a couple of seasons now, but having Steve Blake and Chris Kaman (and corresponding hair situation) be your best bench players simply won’t get it done when the lights turn brighter. Afflalo is a nice player. He’s able to guard three positions, he can shoot, and is probably a safe bet for 12-3-3 off the bench from here on out. Good work.


Sacramento Kings Receive: PG Andre Miller

Washington Wizards Receive: PG Ramon Sessions

Why it makes sense for the Kings

Andre Miller is old. He brings leadership and hopefully a locker room presence. Boogie’s a dunce.

Why it makes sense for the Wizards

Andre Miller is old. Ramon Sessions is less old.


Brooklyn Nets Receive: SF/PF Thaddeus Young

Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: PF/C Kevin Garnett

Why it makes sense for the Nets

Thaddeus Young is secretly pretty damn good. The majority of the roster is old as dirt and gets paid entirely too much, so adding a guy who plays like he’s less than 45 is sure to be a welcome sight.

Why it makes sense for the Timberwolves

He’s back! Apparently the Wolves want to extend him for the next two years. I think that’s a little ambitious; the man sits out randomly just for rest. I think it’s safe to say he should hang ’em up for good.




Denver Nuggets Receive: Rights to G/F Cenk Akyol

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: C Javale McGee, 2015 First Round Pick  (from Thunder, top-18 protected), rights to F Chukwudiebere Maduabum (needs to be in the NBA so we can make a mess of that name)

Why it makes sense for the Nuggets

Why it makes sense for the 76ers

“…2015 First Round Pick (from Thunder, top-18 protected)”. The best way to be bad is to give away everyone that’s good on your team and obtain as many bad players as possible. This is a small cog in building them for the future. Check back with this team in a few years.


Miami Heat Receive: PG Goran Dragic, SG Zoran Dragic, My approval for keeping them together

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: PG Norris Cole PG, C Justin Hamilton,  SF Shawne Williams

Phoenix Suns Receive: SF Danny Granger, Two First Round Picks (2017, 2019, from Heat), SG/SF John Salmons (from Pelicans)

Why it makes sense for the Heat

Goran Dragic was the best player to change teams on deadline day, and the combination of Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Shabazz Napier just wasn’t getting it done for the Heat, who are desperately clawing for one of the last two playoff spots in the East. Goran gives them a top-notch ball handler to take pressure off of Dwyane Wade for the day he actually returns to the court. In the interim, Dragic and Bosh will make an effort to run a dirty pick and pop offense. Zoran gives them a cute story that management can tell people about keeping the brothers together.



Why it makes sense for the Pelicans

I honestly really didn’t realize that John Salmons was still in the league, so they’re losing almost nothing. They get Norris Cole. He’s okay sometimes, nothing really to see here. They just made the money work.

Why it makes sense for the Suns

There has been something off about the Suns all season. The three point guard system just never clicked, and it just became an embarrassment of riches which the management finally wrapped their head around and addressed at the deadline. For some reason, the idea of having a 6’3″ guy (Dragic) play minutes at small forward while your 5’9″ (Thomas) and 6’1″ (Bledsoe) point guards played the guard position seemed like it made sense at the time. The decision to get cheeky and not try a sign-and-trade with Bledsoe to a team like Milwaukee (Giannis?) or Minnesota (if, say, Kevin Love wasn’t guaranteed to go to Cleveland), or just NOT sign Isaiah backfired and now at least they’re cashing in on other team’s needs. The two first rounders are nice for a team that’s still growing, and Danny Granger and John Salmons bring some veteran savvy (or cap relief post-buyout) to the table.


Houston Rockets Receive: SG/SF K.J. McDaniels

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: PG Isaiah Canaan, 2015 Second Round Pick

Why it makes sense for the Rockets

K.J. McDaniels is a nice rookie with upside as long as he’s not allowed to shoot. He’s a plus defender and a quality piece to add to a contending team. The Rockets didn’t have a rotation spot for Isaiah Canaan really, mainly because Canaan is the prototypical college player, do it all himself, shoot from 30 feet, school all the slow kids that don’t know how basketball works in college, who will never be a key piece on a good team (see Fredette, Jimmer)

Why it makes sense for the 76ers

The second of  three major moves by the Sixers, and one I’m not sure of at all. Why are we giving up a rookie second round pick (McDaniels) for a past second round pick (Canaan) and ANOTHER second round pick. I wonder if GM Sam Hinkie knows that you can’t just field a lineup of draft picks, they ACTUALLY have to have human players on the floor.


Houston Rockets Receive: PG Pablo Prigioni

New York Knicks Receive: PG Alexey Shved, Two Second Round Picks

Why it makes sense for the Rockets

Eh. Point guard for slightly better but very old point guard. This won’t be relevant beyond this year. I wouldn’t read too much into it, unless one of those picks turn into the next Manu Ginobli or something. Then please read into it a lot.

Why it makes sense for the Knicks

We’re hunting for Manu. Also Shved did this once.


Boston Celtics Receive: PG Isaiah Thomas

Phoenix Suns Receive: SG Marcus Thornton, 2016 First Round Pick (from Cavaliers)

Why it makes sense for the Celtics

Honestly, it really doesn’t make sense to me. The Celtics are trying to be bad, and Marcus Smart should be getting 30 minutes a night at least at the point guard position. By bringing in Isaiah, they’ve probably stunted Smart’s growth by making him either start at the two (unlikely) or go back to a bench role (stupid). Isaiah definitely has to start, and he’s actually good already. They also gave up a future first round pick, which seems counter-productive to their rebuild.

Why it makes sense for the Suns

Good bye point guard crisis. Hello heat check jump shooter and yet another first round pick.


Boston Celtics Receive: SF Luigi Datome, PF Jonas Jerebko

Detroit Pistons Receive: SF Tayshaun Prince (from Celtics)

Why it makes sense for the Celtics

A minor trade, really. Tayshaun Prince is old and not getting a ton of minutes, Jerebko and Datome are just okay players. I can’t really remember the last time either of them did something that was really NBA-relevant.

Why it makes sense for the Pistons

Nothing too exciting in this one. Jerebko has been in Detroit for what seems like forever now, a change of scenery was due. Tayshaun theoretically gets to retire in Detroit, which is nice to see (Or a buyout is coming.).


Detroit Pistons Receive: PG Reggie Jackson (from Thunder)

Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: PG D.J. Augustin, SF Kyle Singler (from Pistons), C Enes Kanter, SF Steve Novak (from Jazz)

Utah Jazz Receive: PF Grant Jerrett, C Kendrick Perkins, Future First Round Pick (from Thunder), Draft Rights to C Tibor Pleiss, 2017 Second Round Pick (from Pistons)

Why it makes sense for the Pistons

Reggie Jackson was the obvious prize in this deal, and the Pistons were looking for a real replacement to Brandon Jennings, so they could try to make a push and secure the eighth playoff spot in the East and get obliterated by the Hawks. Reggie was actually by far the most important Thunder player when Westbrook and Durant were both out (Not Ibaka like it should have been.). D.J. Augustin is a nice little player, and a quintessential backup point guard. But the key word here is backup. Kyle Singler is another “nice” player but he’s nothing special.

Why it makes sense for the Thunder

Excuse me? The Thunder got a quality backup point guard, two shooters, and a starting center that has a slight clue of what to do with his arms? And they only gave up Reggie Jackson, who wanted out anyway AND this:

This is a dream!

Why it makes sense for the Jazz

RUDY GOBERT! You’re telling me he can be mentored by the one and only Kendrick Perkins (He’s actually getting bought out. So is everyone else apparently.)? More importantly, draft picks. On another positive,  they clear up their big man log jam with Kanter, Favors, and Gobert all deserving minutes and send Kanter to a good situation with an elite coach (just kidding) with what should be a firm grasp on the starting job (not kidding). Steven Adams has no clue what to do with his arms at all.


Milwaukee Bucks Receive: PG Michael Carter-Williams (from 76ers), PG Tyler Ennis, C Miles Plumlee (from Suns), Raised Eyebrows Everywhere

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: 2015 First-Round Pick (from Lakers, top-3 protected)


Phoenix Suns Receive: PG Brandon Knight, PG Kendall Marshall (from Bucks), Applause

Why it makes sense for the Bucks

This was one of the more perplexing deals of the day.  I was thinking about it, looking at contracts and such. Knight and MCW are both 23, Knight will be a free agent next year, while MCW has a team option year next year. I suppose that’s a reason, but I had figured that the Bucks would make it a point to re-sign Knight because he’s good. I can almost guarantee he would’ve been an All-Star next season. MCW might be an All-Star caliber point guard someday, but for a team that will be making the playoffs, they’re basically accepting that they’ll lose in the first round (Which is true and fair, but that’s something you try not to tell your team.). On the other hand, MCW is the closest thing we’ve had to Jason Kidd since Jason Kidd, and so this on that account makes a lot of sense.

Why it makes sense for the 76ers

I have no idea. I really have no idea what just happened here (Neither does Carter-Williams.). He was the rookie of the year last year. How do you just give up on a first-round pick like that just to get more picks. They might be good by 2040 if they keep trading away their first rounders.

Why it makes sense for the Suns

I don’t care what anyone says, Brandon Knight is an All-Star in my heart. Bledsoe+Brandon Knight+draft picks obtained on deadline day > Isaiah+Goran+Bledsoe. It’s simple math really.


New Orleans Pelicans Receive: PG Ish Smith, Draft Rights to Latavious Williams, Cash Considerations, Draft Considerations

Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: Draft Considerations

No one cares.


While another deadline day is wrapped up, there will obviously still be player movement as clearly half the guys that changed teams will be bought out for salary cap purposes and will sign with contending teams to try to fast-track for hardware. We’re already expecting to see Tayshaun Prince get bought out and sign with the Clippers, Perkins to the Cavs is almost guaranteed, Ray Allen is still out there. While good teams scramble to find washed-up pieces to save them, and bad teams try to falsify as many injuries to their good players as possible so they can aggressively tank towards irrelevance (a la Philadelphia with Michael Carter-Williams last season), the NBA will switch into full gear in the closing stretch to hopefully an exciting postseason. Zach Lavine and Michael Jordan signing off.


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