Thursday afternoon is usually the most hectic time of everyone’s week. People trying to get in any last-minute work that they don’t want to leave for Friday, a day usually left for leisure work. Now, I’ve never worked a professional hour in my life so I could be wrong, but I digress.
Thursday afternoon today was a little more than just “hectic” for NBA teams, coaches, players and most importantly, GM’s. For them it was either Christmas morning, D-Day, the apocalypse, or a mixture of all three. From 2 p.m. to the deadline (3 p.m. the NBA operates on Eastern time) it might have been the most chaotic, cardiac-filled hour in Deadline history. Go to the Twitter feeds of NBA insiders such as Marc Stein of ESPN or Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and all you see are “League sources confirmed: This player has been traded” complete bedlam all within 90 minutes.
You don’t need sources to confirm the fact that a ludicrous amount of calls and moves were made by NBA GM’s, so let’s sort out all that went on (Note: confirmations of trades are subject to change and some players traded will possibility be bought out and sign with different teams)
Power Moves Only
(The biggest moves at the deadline)
SF Danny Granger, PG Norris Cole, PF Shawne Williams (on the move to New Orleans) C Justin Hamilton, 2 First Round picks
PG Goran Dragic and brother PG Zoran Dragic
Recap: Miami and Pat Riley pulled the ultimate Oceans 11 move of the deadline, basically stealing the Dragic brothers (Goran Dragic said they were a package deal, taking care of family) from Phoenix and landed the best player on the market. Adding Goran Dragic completely changes Miami’s outlook moving forward, as for Phoenix, well they’re not done.
Oklahoma City receives:
C Enes Kanter (Jazz) PG D.J. Augustin and SG Kyle Singler (Detroit)
PG Reggie Jackson (OKC)
C Kendrick Perkins
Recap: This trade was big for both Detroit and Oklahoma City. Reggie Jackson saw his minutes dwindle down to next-to- nothing when Dion Waiters came from Cleveland. He will fit in well with Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons as their starting point guard with Brandon Jennings out with a torn Achilles. The Thunder in return got an upgrade at the center position with Kanter who has had a quiet but solid season and he wanted out of Utah. Also they bring in veteran D.J. Augustin who will play pivotal back-up PG minutes come playoff time. As for Kendrick Perkins, he will most likely be bought by the Jazz in which reports are coming in that the Bulls are the front-runner to sign him.
PG Isaiah Thomas
SG Marcus Thornton and a 2016 1st round pick via Cleveland
Recap: Hey, if you’re going to clean house, might as well get rid of every point guard on your roster (which Phoenix basically did) but trading Thomas AND Dragic makes little sense. The Suns had inked Thomas to a 4-year $27 million deal in the summer in the hopes of being able to play Dragic, Thomas and Bledsoe at the same time. At times it looked revolutionary and genius, but coming into the All-Star break the Suns saw it backfire, losing 5 of their last 6 and team chemistry diminished quickly. Still, with all the depth, it seems they pulled the trigger on the operation a little too soon. For Boston, they still have a stockpile of picks, giving up this one is well worth receiving a point guard who can fit the mold well with rookie Marcus Smart.
PG Brandon Knight (Milwaukee)
Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia) Tyler Ennis (Phoenix) Miles Plumlee (Phoenix)
Top-5 protected First Round pick from the Suns via the Los Angeles Lakers
Recap: Phoenix pulls off the trifecta and ships off their First round draft pick in Tyler Ennis from Syracuse and Philly decides they can find a better PG than MCW. Meanwhile, what the hell is Milwuakee doing? Is Jason Kidd going to suit up at guard for them? Knight is in the midst of a career year, avg. 17.8 PPG and 5.4 APG while leading the resurgence of the Bucks, where they sit in the 6th seed in the East. Now they have an inconsistent, yet talented player with last season’s Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams who is currently shooting 25.6% from three according to ESPN Stats & Info. But, I will say that MCW has plenty of Jason Kidd in his game, a guard who can score, pass and rebound, he was a triple-double machine a year ago for a rookie, maybe J-Kidd can teach him how to shoot too.
(Trades that didn’t quite change a team’s season around, but definitely noteworthy)
PF/C Kevin Garnett
PF Thadeus Young
Recap: Welcome home, KG. The big man returns to the team where he played the majority of his prime, averaging 20.5 PPG. and 11.3 RPG and won the MVP in 2004. He’s back, but this time to mentor one of the youngest and inexperienced teams in the league, yet filled with plenty of talented. Garnett’s leadership will be crucial to the maturation of young stars like Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and maybe most of all, 2013 1st-overall pick PF Anthony Bennett. This trade signals the beginning of rebuild in Brooklyn as now both Pierce and Garnett are on different teams and Lopez and Williams will most likely not be around come next season.
SG Aaron Afflalo and SG/SF Alonzo Gee
PF Thomas Robinson, Victor Claver, Will Barton and a 2016 1st and 2nd round pick.
Recap: A very important move for Portland, adding another shooter and defensive stopper in Afflalo adds more depth to a Portland roster in need of it. Last season they proved no match for the far deeper and experienced Spurs in the Western Conference Semi’s, Afflalo fits perfectly in Portland.
The rights to Turkish international Cenk Akyol
C JaVale McGee and Oklahoma City’s protected 1st-round pick
Recap: After those two trades, Denver is not being shy about dumping salary as they will clear $18 million off the books by getting rid of McGee and Afflalo. Meanwhile:
At this point, I’m astonished at how many picks Philly has now. So is Andre Igoudala:
2015 NBA Draft order: Philly, Philly, Philly, Philly, Lakers, Boston, Knicks, Philly, Philly, Philly. (I’m only half kidding)
PG Andre Miller
PG Ramon Sessions
Recap: A solid trade for both teams involved. New HC George Karl brings in the old man he once coached in Denver to help control a locker room in complete disarray right now and Washington gets a point guard who can actually move and isn’t 50- years old and can spoil minutes for Wall down the stretch without a let down on the defensive end.
PG/SG K.J. McDaniels
Isaiah Canaan, 2nd round pick
Recap: a 2nd round pick who has played well for the 76ers so far this season, McDaniels can provide quick offense off the bench for Houston. Instead of making another joke about Philly owning the next 3 drafts, read this ESPN The Magazine article by Pablo S. Torre, maybe it’ll make more sense:
New York Knicks receive:
PG Alexey Shved and two 2nd round picks
PG Pablo Prigoni
Recap: Yeah, I got nothing.
SG/SF John Salmons
New Orleans receives:
PF Shawne Williams from Phoenix-Miami trade and will be bought out by the Pelicans.
Recap: It isn’t a trade deadline without John Salmons going somewhere. He without question is the king.
Winners and losers of Deadline Mayhem
Miami Heat, welcome back to the NBA. The LeBron hangover is officially over with the acquisition of Dragic and the potential starting lineup of Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Whiteside might actually convince D-Wade to play again this season. This will most likely put the Heat in the playoffs and if all five are healthy, you’re looking at a dangerous and experienced threat to the top five seeds who did not make a move.
Also winners, Oklahoma City, Boston, Portland and Philadelphia ( in GM Sam Hinkie’s mind they won, and that is all that matters)
The biggest losers of the day reside in Milwaukee and Phoenix isn’t far behind. Milwaukee shipped off Knight for little reason who was having a career year for the Bucks and in return they get Michael Carter-Williams, who, yes, adds length and defense, but the team badly needs someone who can not turnover the ball and be able to shoot, MCW’s major weaknesses. As for Phoenix, if it weren’t for a Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe back-court, the day would have been suicidal. Giving up on the three point guard rotation so quickly is head scratching and anytime you lose two players with the caliber of Thomas and Dragic, it’s a tough pill to swallow.
Also losers: Denver, Indiana (Pacers badly wanted Reggie Jackson, but Detroit won the sweepstakes)
Best way to describe the chaos of the deadline dash?