There are very few things that make me happy in this world, and one of them is the NBA’s trade deadline. Even though it hasn’t been that crazy as of late, it’s always exciting to see guys get moved around the league. But this year, a single trade helped kick off what was the most insane deadline we’ve had in quite a while. Let’s begin:
Los Angeles Lakers receive: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, 2018 first-round pick (from Cleveland, protected)
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.
The Cavs have flipped basically their entire roster today, and what better way to start off a complete blow-up than trading IT? It’s seemed to work for Danny Ainge so far.
Anyways, if it weren’t for the surrounding deals that CLE made today, I would hate this trade for them. However, this trade is actually a much-needed depth move. With George Hill in Cleveland now (I’ll get to that one), he will most likely be their starting point guard. Jordan Clarkson has been great off the bench for LA this year, which will make him a solid backup. Larry Nance Jr. has also made a ton of strides in his second season and I think his style of play will fit perfectly alongside LeBron. I can’t wait to see all the lobs he’s going to catch.
If you’re a Lakers fan, you really couldn’t have asked for a much better trade. The Cavs pretty much just helped pave the way for LA to potentially steal LeBron away in free agency this Summer. By trading Clarkson, the Lakers have opened up room for 2 max contract spots. LeBron has been rumored to go to LA next season, and this deal certainly helps that case. They have room to not only sign him but another max player like Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins. I still think LeBron ends up in Houston, but this helps LA’s cause big time.
But the major piece in this trade is obviously Isaiah Thomas. This move will give him a big chance to control the ball now that he doesn’t have to share it with LeBron. He can also help maximize his value for when he heads into free agency this Summer.
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: George Hill, Rodney Hood
Sacramento Kings receive: Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert, 2020 second-round pick (from Miami)
Utah Jazz receive: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose
This trade justifies the Isaiah Thomas trade in a big way. When motivated, George Hill is a great starting point guard, and I think he fits perfectly with Cleveland. Unlike IT, he doesn’t need the ball in his hands 24/7 to be productive. That’ll be huge for Cleveland, who needs to maximize LeBron’s usage as much as possible. Cleveland also made out big time by getting Rodney Hood, who is primarily a scorer. They’ve struggled to get any consistent scoring outside of LeBron this year, which I think Hood can give them. And Utah was never going to pay him, so they did well by moving on.
Jae Crowder and D-Rose are also very interesting pickups for the Jazz. We haven’t seen Crowder play up to his potential this season, but I think a move to Utah will do wonders for him. Complimentary pieces like Crowder seem to get lost whenever they play alongside LeBron, especially if that team is struggling. And if D-Rose can stay healthy, he can still be solid. We have to remember that he’s coming off an 18 PPG season last year, so the talent is there. Quin Snyder is a fantastic coach and I think he’ll maximize both Crowder and Rose’s potential.
I can’t believe the Kings didn’t get any significant picks for George Hill, but the tank continues by getting him out of there. They got a lot worse after this trade, which right now might be the best thing for them.
Miami Heat receive: Dwyane Wade
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: 2020 second-round pick (from Miami, sent to Sacramento)
This trade didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m not too sure why you had to move on from D-Wade by making these moves if you’re Cleveland, but I don’t really have a reason to hate it. It’s just a weird move.
I guess the good thing for Wade is that he wasn’t sent somewhere awful like Sacramento. Now he gets to go home to Miami, who continues to make a push for a higher seed in the East. Having him back in the mix will certainly give them a better chance of doing that.
Chicago Bulls receive: Willie Reed, 2022 second-round pick (from Detroit)
Detroit Pistons receive: Jameer Nelson, 2022 second-round pick (from Chicago)
It might not seem like it, but this is a pretty good trade for the Detroit Pistons. By getting Jameer Nelson, they now have a solid backup point guard for when Reggie Jackson returns. His veteran leadership is going to be huge for a team loaded with younger players.
And for Chicago, I feel like they could’ve gotten more here. Willie Reed is solid, but it seems like Nelson could have demanded a bigger haul. The market for backup PG’s is pretty slim this year, and Nelson was one of the better options available. A team like the Bulls needs to load up as much as possible with draft picks. So in the end, I guess moving on from Nelson no matter what is a win. I just feel like they could’ve done better.
Detroit Pistons receive: James Ennis
Memphis Grizzlies receive: Brice Johnson
Detroit really isn’t messing around. If you look at it big picture, the Pistons have brought in Blake Griffin, Jameer Nelson, and James Ennis for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Boban, while also swapping 2022 second-round picks with Chicago. I think they’ve made out big time at this deadline.
But looking at Ennis specifically, he’s going to be another solid piece for them. Brice Johnson is virtually useless in my opinion, so getting anything for him is a plus. The bodies in their frontcourt are thin outside of Griffin & Drummond, but they have a lot of solid wing players. Ennis will be a good addition to that list.
New York Knicks receive: Emmanuel Mudiay, 2018 second-round pick (from Portland)
Denver Nuggets receive: Devin Harris, 2018 second-round pick (from Knicks)
Dallas Mavericks receive: Doug McDermott
There aren’t a lot of big names in this trade, but I’m not surprised by this move. With the emergence of Jamaal Murray and Gary Harris in Denver, Mudiay was bound to get moved eventually. He hasn’t lived up to his potential at this point in his career, which ultimately prompted this deal. The return, Devin Harris, will give them veteran leadership that they lost after Jameer Nelson left the team last year. Overall, solid move for Denver.
For the Knicks, maybe they can help rejuvenate Mudiay by pairing him with Frank Ntilkina, who has struggled at times this season. Pairing him up with a scorer like Mudiay may be the best thing for New York right now. Trades tend to spark a fire under guys so maybe we see that happen with Mudiay.
I’m not going to pretend that the Mavericks getting Doug McDermott is anything close to relevant. The only reason they’re involved in this trade is that the Knicks needed somebody to unload him on, so I’m not going to really evaluate this pickup.
Chicago Bulls receive: Noah Vonleh, cash considerations
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Milocan Rakovic
All I have to say here is… who the hell is Milocan Rakovic?
Phoenix Suns receive: Elfrid Payton
Orlando Magic receive: 2018 second-round pick (from Memphis)
This trade is kind of an interesting one. Orlando gambled big time by taking Payton in the first round back in 2014. It hasn’t paid off for them up to this point, and they must have felt it was finally time to move on. What I think this does for Orlando is open up the possibility of them taking Trae Young in this upcoming draft, seeing how their PG position is no longer backed up by a guy who wasn’t going to end up becoming much of anything.
As for Phoenix, I’m not too sure if this trade makes them any better. Payton is decent I guess, but he isn’t going to change the state of your roster by any means. He’s just a solid role player and nothing more. But since they aren’t pushing to necessarily get better for this season, I guess making this trade doesn’t hurt.
There was another trade, but I’m not sure who the hell Sheldon Mac is so I won’t even bother including analysis of it.
So what can we take away from today’s trade deadline? Well for starters, the Cavs seem to be in panic mode. They’ve been pretty trash this year by their standards, so we all thought some sort of move had to be necessary. But a complete roster haul was expected by absolutely no one. DeAndre Jordan & Tyreke Evans, two guys who everyone thought were going to get moved, didn’t wind up going anywhere. And the Celtics didn’t make a single god damn trade AGAIN. Overall, this trade deadline was bananas, to say the least.
Also, Woj is 100% BACK. Shams broke the Isaiah trade, but Woj was first on pretty much everything else after that. I warned all of you that it would be #WojSZN if Shams didn’t step it up, and now it seems like that’s already happened. It’s a damn shame that it has to end like this for Shams.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)