Every trade in one place! Let’s go:
Portland Trail Blazers acquire guard Arron Afflalo from the Denver Nuggets, who also receive forward Alonzo Gee in the deal while sending forwards Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver along with a lottery-protected 2016 first-round pick, as well as a second-round draft pick to Portland. Pick will be lottery-protected in 2017 as well and becomes two future second-rounders in 2018.
The Blazers have been in hot pursuit of Afflalo for some time, and the shooting guard’s possible destinations were aplenty before today, including Chicago and OKC as well. Early on Thursday there were rumors that the Nuggets’ asking price was too high for most teams, but they were apparently able to find a deal for their liking from the Blazers, who get a solid shooter/defender to shore up their wing positions. Nic Batum hasn’t broken out of his year-long slump, and acquiring Afflalo will help make up for what Portland has lost there. This was the move the Blazers needed to make, and they didn’t give up much in it, sacrificing several non-rotation players and lottery-protected first-rounders. Not bad.
As far as the Nuggets are concerned, they’re counting on receiving these first-rounders. With Robinson approaching the end of his rookie deal, this half-season in Denver looks like a audition for him, but since the Nuggets still seem to be trying to turn things around quickly, Barton and Claver’s chances to see the floor are hard to predict.
Denver Nuggets trade center JaVale McGee and a protected first-round pick (via Oklahoma City Thunder) to the Philadelphia 76ers for rights to Cenk Akyol.
The second Nuggets trade of the day came early as well, and that was it from Denver for the rest of the day, meaning Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson will at least finish out the season with the team. This team, simply put, shows just how desperate the Nuggets were to flip JaVale McGee’s contract, as the team held out for a second first-round pick to be included in the Timofey Mozgov deal, only to turn around and package it with McGee as a way to jettison his terrible contract. Not ever really interested in a true rebuild, Denver will be ecstatic to enjoy the cap space and trade exception created from the McGee deal.
Washington Wizards acquire point guard Ramon Sessions from the Sacramento Kings for point guard Andre Miller.
Apparently the bad blood between George Karl and Andre Miller has been resolved, as the new coach of the Kings apparently requested that management go out and make a move for the old guard. Miller has finally started slip this season, but his impact should come more in the form of tutelage, since he knows Karl’s offense and can guide younger players.
The Wizards have been seeking a quicker backup for John Wall, and in Sessions, they’ve found one. Sessions is a terrible shooter, but he does get to the free-throw line well, and he’s a capable passer creating for others. Being 10 years younger than Miller, Sessions should be able to give Washington more minutes in general, something the team needs as Bradley Beal works back from another injury. It’s unclear how this trade will affect the Wizards’ pursuit of point guard Bobby Brown in his return from the Chinese Basketball Association, so there’s a possibility Sessions might have some competition for the backup guard spot.
Brooklyn Nets trade forward/center Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Thaddeus Young.
Garnett has apparently agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to return to his former team and former coach in Minnesota. Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders has expressed an interest in having Garnett to mentor younger players as Minnesota goes through another rebuild, something Garnett was the face of almost 20 years ago. It’s a solid bet for the T-Wolves, who are at least a couple years away from meaningful competition and had no room for Thad Young in their future plans.
Fortunately for Young, he’s on a team now who actually wants him, and he’ll move to the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, where Brooklyn hopes he can become a strong scoring option for them, and hopefully keep him on a modest contract going forward. Compared to the rest of the contracts on this roster, Young’s price and age look like a relative bargain for this team. Plus, it’s always ideal to actually get something for an aging player who is very close to retirement.
Phoenix Suns trade guard Goran Dragic and guard/forward Zoran Dragic to the Miami Heat for guard Norris Cole, forwards Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, and Justin Hamilton, and two future first-round picks. New Orleans Pelicans also involved, sending guard/forward John Salmons to Phoenix and receiving Williams from Miami.
This, along with a three-team trade that we will get to in a second, is the type of deadline deal everyone was waiting for: a trade in which a big-time name is traded with big-time implications for both sides. For the Heat, it demonstrates once again the extreme size of Pat Riley’s cajones, as Riles pulled this one totally out of his ass and reached far into the future (literally, 2019/2021) to commit first-round picks to a mega-offer for one of the league’s most exciting point guards. When he has played as the lead guard, Tom Haberstroh points out that Dragic has been a beast during the last few seasons, averaging 21 points and 7 assists. He also finishes well at the rack and has learned how to share the ball in Phoenix’s system, something the Miami will ask him to do much less, but will still be a requirement playing with Dwyane Wade.
Since Miami was one of the team’s on Dragic’s stereotypical list of team to be traded to, expect him to re-up there, especially once he’s able to enjoy being part of a Dragic-Wade-Deng-Bosh-Whiteside starting-five in the wide-open Eastern Conference. The Heat are back; hopefully they’ll play Cleveland in the first round.
For the Suns, this trade was the first of several deals they made before Thursday’s deadline, as owner Robert Sarver reportedly fumed over Dragic’s sudden trade demands and the team was left to pick up the pieces of its future while presently in the middle of a playoff chase. The two first-round picks are nice, but they fall very far into the future, and otherwise, this team didn’t get many assets in the deal. While the team would understandably be upset about losing Dragic, GM Ryan McDonough did say during a recent radio interview that the team balance was a bit off, however, so the perhaps cutting ties with Dragic is a convenient excuse to tweak their course and move on to building around Eric Bledsoe.
As far as Williams to New Orleans, the Pellies seem intent on buying him out to clear a roster spot.
Phoenix Suns trade point guard Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics and point guard Tyler Ennis to the Milwaukee Bucks, receiving guard Marcus Thornton and the Cavaliers’ first-round pick from Boston and guard Brandon Knight from Milwaukee. Sixers send Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee.
The Suns attempted to rid Isaiah Thomas on the 76ers early on, and when that didn’t change Dragic’s mind, they switched it up and the Celtics came through, deciding to take on the tiny point guard as a part of their effort to snag one of the final spots in the East. Getting Brandon Knight, who’s basically the ultimate combo guard, will be a nice fit next to Eric Bledsoe, and Marcus Thornton will fit into their wing rotation that now includes Granger and Justin Hamilton as well.
This trade was a surprising one for the Bucks, but it makes some sense. They aren’t at a stage where they’re ready to pay Knight max-money, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a bigger priority anyway. With a former point guard as their coach, the team seems willing to take their chance with their shooting at other positions and hand the reigns over to a couple young projects to run the show.
Michael Carter-Williams, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, will take over for Knight as the Bucks continue to defend their 6th-place spot in the Eastern Conference, and his trade from the 76ers is probably the most stunning part of this to NBA fans. MCW started out last year on fire as the face of Philadephia’s bottomed-out rebuilding effort, but after his sensational first few games, his production plateaued, and his broken jump shot looked very broken.
He has been even worse this season, regressing in virtually every single category, shooting worse and getting to the line less than ever, all while turning the ball over more. There were rumors even last year that 76ers were beginning to sour on him and that he could be had for the right price. From that angle, it’s easy to see where Milwaukee might have seen this as a buy-low opportunity almost a year later. As mentioned, the team clearly believed that Knight wasn’t worthy of the max money he was planning to command this offseason, so the team decided to take a chance and get something for him, turning Knight into a couple other point guards with promise. Kidd himself was once a point guard without a jump shot, so perhaps he was the one who saw something in Carter-Williams and decide to take a chance on him.
In any case, this makes Milwaukee’s youth movement even more interesting, and along with their Larry Sanders buyout, gives them plenty of cap room going forward to pursue free agents and resign Khris Middleton.
Oklahoma City Thunder trade guard Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons and center Kendrick Perkins, a protected future first-round pick, forward Grant Jerrett, and the rights to Tibor Pleiss to the Utah Jazz, receiving point guard DJ Augustin and forward Kyle Singler from Detroit and center Enes Kanter from Utah. Detroit also sent a second-round pick to Utah.
The Thunder and GM Sam Presti tore it up this deadline, sending out a disruptive player who had no interest in resigning with the team as well as a big-money player with little future there for another, younger big man and two quality bench pieces to shore up their depth. While Kanter doesn’t play the kind of defense Perkins does, the Thunder will be counting on Steven Adams’ return to be a boost on that end in the coming weeks.
Getting rid of a Jackson is huge for that team, because as good as he could be, his relationship with teammates had reportedly deteriorated in bad way since the beginning of the season according to Royce Young, and at this point, Augustin and Singler will be better fits as role players on that team. Getting Kanter, though, is the real prize for the Thunder, who hope to re-sign the big man going forward. Kanter is a great low-post scorer, but with Adams already at the five, it will be interesting to see how this team handles all its big-man minutes going forward. Still, huge acquisition for this year.
Golden State was probably unhappy to see what a haul the Thunder were able to bring it at the deadline as OKC continues to zero in on the eighth playoff spot.
For Utah, this deal is a bit disappointing, but Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski has intimated the team never was able to seriously engage Kanter in contract talks, so they were probably happy to come away with a first-round pick and a couple developmental players. They plan to buy out Perkins’ contract.
For the Pistons, it’s a bit harder to see how this deal plays, considering Jackson isn’t a great three-point shooter, they gave up significant depth during a playoff chase, and the team already had a lead-dog point guard in Brandon Jennings. However, Jennings is recovering from an Achilles tear, which can be permanently debilitating, so this could be a sign that Detroit isn’t confident in his ability to recover. However, Jackson doesn’t seem likely to resign there, so even that part is a risk for the Pistons. In any case, this team seems determined to get back to the playoffs this year, then make a splash in the offseason.
Houston Rockets acquire point guard Pablo Prigioni from the New York Knicks for point guard Alexey Shved and two future second-round picks.
When the Rockets signed Shved, it was thought to be a precursor to another move, and finally, that move has been made, pairing him with a couple picks to snag Prigioni from the Knicks. He’ll provide the Rockets with some insurance at point guard, giving them shooting and some cleverness. Not a trade that will likely move the needle for either team, although who knows what the Knicks will do with those picks. (Probably nothing useful.)
Houston Rockets acquire forward KJ McDaniels from the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Isaiah Canaan and a future second-round pick.
In the Rockets’ second move of the day, they picked up rookie McDaniels in another deal where the 76ers were basically looking to fill a temporary need (fill-in for Michael Carter-Williams at point guard) and pick up another draft choice. Houston, however, is trying to win, so they were happy to take back a promising athlete, who has fallen off after an exciting start to his rookie year. McDaniels might not play big-time playoff minutes, but for now, he’ll at least relieve James Harden and Trevor Ariza of some of their heavy mileage, and he could develop into a nice wing scorer for this team in the future.