The Detroit Pistons did very well.
The New Orleans Pelicans couldn’t unload Ryan Anderson and now will lose him for nothing. The Houston Rockets couldn’t unload Dwight Howard or Ty Lawson, and they could lose both this summer for nothing.
The Clippers improved, but could they have done even better?
The NBA Trade deadline left a lot of questions, and Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com break down all the moves, talk about what they liked and didn’t, and try to imagine what the Memphis locker room suddenly looks like with Lance Stephenson, Matt Barnes, Chris Andersen, P.J. Hairston, and Tony Allen is going to be like.
As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes, download it directly here, or you can check out our new PBT Podcast homepage, which has the most recent episodes available. If you have the Stitcher app, you can listen there as well.
Swaggy P., never stop being yourself.
I expect everyone reading this post knows that the NBA trade deadline was 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. A lot of NBA players were watching their phones, fearing/hoping for word they were traded.
Not Nick Young.
No need to worry, Nick Young was not traded from the Lakers (trades require a demand for a player, there’s not a lot of demand for Young’s services).
I’m going to miss Swaggy P. when he’s gone from the league someday.
Doc Rivers believes his Clippers are close to threatening Golden State atop the West (or San Antonio, or Oklahoma City, who also are better than Los Angeles). He was not going to trade Blake Griffin at the deadline; he wanted to bring in some help on the wing and make one more good run at it.
That’s what he tried to do with this trade — bringing in the talented but erratic Jeff Green from Memphis. Green played for Rivers in Boston, and you know how Doc loves people who have played for him before. The cost was Lance Stephenson, who was largely out of Rivers’ rotation anyway, and a 2019 first-round pick (one heavily protected, but still a first round pick). Dan Woike of the Orange County Register and Zach Lowe of ESPN broke the story.
Green is athletic, is averaging 12.2 points a game and shooting just 30 percent from three, and is this season (as he has been most of his career) a replacement level or slightly below average player. He’s pretty good at everything but great at nothing. He has the athletic gifts to make you think he should be much better than that, but he only plays like that guy one out of every five nights.
That is an upgrade over what the Clippers got out of Lance Stephenson — 4.7 points a game, turning the ball over on 21.1 percent of possessions used, and a PER below 10. Stephenson (like Josh Smith, the other big summer move for Doc Rivers) had fallen out of favor and the rotation. The Clippers wanted him gone.
Why did Memphis do it? They didn’t think they could re-sign Green this summer (he’s a free agent) and they got a first-round pick in 2019 to do it (that pick is at least lottery protected, maybe more).
The Clippers and Grizzlies could meet in the first round of the playoffs, this trade makes that more interesting.
As for interesting, that could be the Grizzlies the rest of the season.
The Washington Wizards — 23-28 and three games out of the final playoff spot in the East, a hugely disappointing season — needed to roll the dice at the trade deadline. They needed to try to land someone who could be a good fit next to John Wall.
They did — the Suns’ Markieff Morris.
But they gave up a lot to get him. Adrain Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the story.
That pick is only top nine protected.
This is a real gamble for the Wizards, but one they were pressured to take because of their terrible season. Morris is athletic and can play the small ball four, but his play this season made other teams hesitant. His scoring is down — 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds a game — and he’s shooting less than 40 percent. Plus he has argued with Suns coaches and players, and thrown a towel at Jeff Hornacek, all this after last summer being fined for saying he wanted a trade. Then there are the pending criminal charges against him that could lead to more time away from the team. This is a gamble by the Wizards, but Morris is talented and if he fits in they’re improved.
Phoenix had wanted to move Morris since training camp, but his attitude and them lackluster play made other teams hesitant. By being patient the Suns got a real haul — they likely get the Wizards’ pick this June, Kris Humphries is a serviceable big man on a good contract ($4.6 million next season), and they get DeJuan Blair. The Suns were rewarded for being patient with Morris.
The Cleveland Cavaliers wanted more shooting, wanted more depth along the front line.
They have reportedly gotten a little more of both in the form of Channing Frye — but it came at the price of long-time Cavalier Anderson Varejao, who is headed to Portland in a three-team trade. Sam Amick of the USA Today broke the news and had some of the details.
Here’s how it shakes out.
The Cavaliers get Frye, who was only averaging 5.2 points per game in Orlando but is shooting 39.7 percent from three and could give Cleveland more floor spacing shooting and options for Tyronn Lue with smaller lineups. Frye is a solid veteran who is an okay defender (when focused), but he doesn’t spend time in the paint. The Cavaliers targeted him. But it’s an emotional loss to have to send out Varejao and Frye two seasons and $15.3 million on his contract after this one.
Portland will get Varejao, but multiple reports have him being waived instantly. Varejao gets a $1.7 million trade kicker, but the Blazers will stretch Varejao’s money owed ($7.4 million next season) over five seasons so not to take the big cap hit. Portland gets and 2018 first round pick from the Cavaliers for taking on that contract.
Under NBA rules, Varejao cannot re-sign with Cleveland this season.
The Magic will waive Jared Cunningham and with all this save money — they get a second round pick and could have more than $40 million in cap space this summer.