Ladies and gents, we may never see a NBA Trade Deadline quite like the one we witnessed today. Dozens of players changed jerseys with several draft picks being swapped between a handful of teams across the league.
Here’s a breakdown of the winners and losers from today’s fun-filled day.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Jan 22, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder talks with center Enes Kanter (0) during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Acquired: Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler, Steve Novak
Traded: Reggie Jackson, Kendrick Perkins, future first-round pick
I absolutely love what the Thunder did today. They got rid of a player who wanted out of town (Jackson) and a guy with one of the worst contracts in the league (Perkins) in exchange for a nice young player in Kanter and real solid backup point guard in Augustin.
Early this morning, it looked like OKC was close to getting Brook Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets. It’s a good thing they didn’t. Lopez can never seem to stay healthy and his contract is just not good considering the production he provides.
Kanter offers tremendous upside and the Thunder can match any offer a team presents to him this summer. Not only did the Thunder lock up a postseason birth, but there’s a real good chance they move up from the eighth seed now.
Feb 4, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Denver Nuggets guard forward Arron Afflalo (10) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers
Acquired: Arron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee
Traded: Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, first-round pick (lottery protected in 2016 or 2017, turns into a 2018 second-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick if not used by 2018)
The Blazers are a legit contender in the Western Conference and yet for whatever reason, no one seems to talk about them.
Portland made a splash on Thursday by acquiring Afflalo, who will be their sixth man of their bench, and Gee, who could become part of a rotation which has lacked depth in recent years. Yes, Afflalo’s numbers are down across the board compared to recent years, but he was in a bad situation in Denver where a lot of guys were having off years.
Sure there’s a chance that the former UCLA player isn’t the player that he was a few years back, but they got two possible rotation guys essentially for nothing. Call that a win for the Trail Blazers.
Jan 7, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight (11) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Bucks defeated the 76ers 97-87. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Acquired: Brandon Knight, 2016 first-round draft pick (Cleveland’s), Marcus Thornton, Danny Granger, John Salmons, two first-round picks from the Miami Heat (2017 and 2021).
Traded: First-round pick (Los Angeles Lakers’, top-five protected this year, top-three protected in 2016 and 2017, unprotected in 2018), Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis, Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Zoran Dragic.
I know it has been several hours since these trades took place and I think it’s now just hitting me that the Suns traded five players off their roster. Yes that’s right, five.
Anyways, I’m putting the Suns in the winner category despite that and I’m not doing it because I’m a purple and orange homer. I do think this team is improved not only for the playoff stretch, but for the long haul as well.
It goes without saying that Dragic needed to go. Considering how badly he wanted out-of-town, you couldn’t risk keeping him on the roster the rest of the season when he was just going to leave in the summer. I think Ryan McDonough did a real good job, getting two first round picks , which is something the Suns reportedly really wanted.
I wasn’t a big fan of moving IT, but I get why they did it. Moving him gives the organization time to see what some of these young and talented players can do for the final two months of the season.
The Suns now a boat load of draft picks to money to spend this offseason. They can easily match any offer for Knight, who I think is better than both Dragic and Thomas when you count both ends of the floor, and add another big piece to the fold as well.
It’s very exciting to be a Suns fan right now.
Jan 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) looses control of the ball in front of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young (33) and guard Lorenzo Brown (7) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers defeated the Timberwolves 103-94. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Received: First-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers (top-five protected in 2015, protected 1-3 in 2016 and 2017, unprotected in 2018), the lesser of Denver or Minnesota’s 2015 second-round pick, first-round pick from Oklahoma City (protected 1-18 in 2015, 1-15 in 2016 and 2017, becomes two second-round picks if not conveyed by 2018), JaVale McGee, second-round pick from Denver, Isaiah Canaan, second-round pick from Houston
Traded: Michael Carter-Williams, K.J. McDaniels
Okay, my head hurts just reading what the Sixers acquired today. I can only imagine how their fans in Philly feel.
I really don’t get what this organization is doing at this point. At some point, having too many draft picks is just redundant and the Sixers are certainly there. I’m not sure how many they have, but I’m fairly certain that they have multiple first round picks in every draft until the end of the century.
I’m not totally against them trading MCW. I think his numbers were a bit inflated considering he has no one around him, but I’m not entirely sure they got enough back for him. McDaniels has looked real good at stretches during this season, so I’m not real sure why they gave up on him so soon.
Their general manager has some sort of plan, but I’m not sure what it is. At least with their acquisition of McGee, they’ll be on Shaqtin’ A Fool a lot the rest of the season.
Feb 6, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Jason Smith (14) drives past Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett (2) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Received: Thaddeus Young
Traded: Kevin Garnett
I feel for fans in the New York area. After watching a bunch of All-Star players over the weekend, they have to go back to watching the Knicks and Nets play the rest of the season. Poor people.
Let me start out by saying that I think it is really cool that KG is going to end up in Minnesota and this is coming from a guy who has never liked him. He can go to Minny and a mentor of bunch of young talent that the T-Wolves have on their roster.
It made sense that the Nets would move him, but to trade him for Young, who could $9.7 million next season if he doesn’t opt out of his contract, makes no sense. This should be a team looking to dump salary, not add onto it over the coming years.
Without moving any of their big salaried guys, Brooklyn has more than $76 million on their books for next season. Yes, the cap is expected to go up, but the Nets won’t have a lot of money to spend and the likes of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson have had their best seasons long behind them.
The Nets could be bad for a long, long time. Real bad.