The much-anticipated NBA trade deadline has passed us by, and boy was it an exciting one. Impact players moved all over the place, making for an extremely exciting battle for playoff positioning as the season comes to a close. Here is some of my takes on the big deals that went down.
Cavs trade Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and 2018 1st Round pick (Cavaliers pick NOT Nets pick) to Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr:
The Cavaliers decided to pull the plug on the Isaiah Thomas experiment seven months after acquiring him for Kyrie Irving and the Lakers were able to shed salary to make room for two max contracts in free agency this off-season. The deal here was a win-win for both teams. Isaiah Thomas’s game did not fit in with the Cavaliers game-plan. He needs the ball to make an impact, doesn’t make the players around him any better, and was rated at the bottom of defensive player efficiency among guards. Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance will provide the Cavs with two younger impact players that will help bring a faster tempo to this methodical Cavs team. The Lakers shed the salaries (Clarkson’s salary was set to be the max after this season) and helped create the roster spots needed for a possible impact signing in free agency. Thomas’s deal only runs until the end of this year at a measly $6 million. Plus, they were able to pry a very important first round pick from the Cavs.
A- for Cavaliers
A+ for Lakers
Cavs trade Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder to Utah Jazz, Iman Shumpert to Sacramento Kings; Jazz trade Rodney Hood to Cavaliers, Joe Johnson and 2020 2nd round pick to Kings; Kings trade George Hill to Cavaliers.
This deal was all about the Cavaliers. George Hill brings a veteran presence to a team who now needs it with all the trades that went on and can hit the open shot that will be open for when LeBron decides to drive the ball. He’s shooting 45.3% from the three-point line, which is first in the entire NBA. He, along with Jordan Clarkson, who was also acquired by the Cavs, will immediately make this team better. Rodney Hood is the interesting piece here in my opinion. Hood is the prototypical 3 and D player. He adds versatility, youth, and shooting to the SF rotation behind LeBron. But my issue is that it restricts the ceiling of the team. If Thomas finds his game, he’s a legitimate contender for the MVP as seen by his numbers last year. Crowder matches up very well against the weapons of Golden State. Utah’s haul really only consists of Crowder because Rose is more than likely to get waived/bought out. But I think that Crowder was a good gain here. Crowder brings the same type of game but under a much cheaper price tag which will help the Jazz possibly bring somebody in through free agency. Sacramento took on a lot of salary in Johnson and Shumpert, Johnson got waived and Shumpert could excel with the change of scenery. But they did acquire a pick, which should prove to be somewhat useful even though it’s a 2nd rounder
B+ for Cavaliers
B for Jazz
B for Kings
Detroit Pistons trade Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, 2018 1st round pick (protected), 2019 2nd round pick to Clippers for Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson, Willie Reed.
One of the bigger deals that happened a few days before the deadline was Blake Griffin moving from Clippers. It was a surprising move because the Clippers did not make any other moves indicating whether or not they still wanted to contend. They did not trade pieces like Lou Williams or DeAndre Jordan. Blake Griffin has been the face of the Clippers ever since he was drafted and the trade just seemed like there was more going on between the organization and Griffin. Anyways, the Clippers were able to grab some pieces to help them semi-contend. Harris and Bradley are slightly above average pieces, but it seems that the Clippers are stuck between contending and not contending and this trade did more to blur that line. But they did get an extra first rounder as long as the Pistons make the playoffs (which they probably will do). On Detroit’s end, they add some star power in Griffin and in my opinion build a base for something that could be special. Griffin’s style of play will fit nicely with Drummond. Drummond can provide a cushion for Griffin that DeAndre Jordan filled in Los Angeles, although not at the same level defensively. Plus, Drummond is a much better passer than Jordan and provides more offense than Jordan ever could. If the Pistons acquire a high end point guard and an average small forward, then this team could be dangerous.
A- for Pistons
C+ for Clippers
Chicago Bulls trade Nikola Mirotic and 2018 2nd round pick to New Orleans Pelicans for Omer Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, 2018 1st round pick, and the rights to a swap in the 2nd round.
A deal that was aimed for something else wasn’t a bad haul for either of these teams. Although it is not the flashiest of moves by the Pelicans in the wake of the Boogie Cousins injury, but a solid move nonetheless. Mirotic is not a bad player at all and his 16.4 PPG will most definitely be useful behind the dominant force that is Anthony Davis. Although the Pelicans made this deal with the intent of snagging Greg Monroe after his buyout from the Suns, which they failed at doing (Monroe signed with the Celtics), they still come out of this deal ahead. For the Bulls, they get a couple of players they will buyout in Nelson and Allen, an albatross of a salary in Asik, and two picks (one in the first round). The Bulls did good though because they were able to find a direction after the disagreements between Bulls players/management and Mirotic.
B+ for Pelicans
B- for Bulls
Other Notable Moves:
Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez to Hornets for Johnny O’Bryant and two 2nd round picks
Magic trade Elfrid Payton to Suns for 2018 2nd round pick
Cavs trade Dwayne Wade to Miami Heat for a 2nd round pick