What a week in the NBA! With some of the league’s premier players getting traded, it is time to take a quick look back at the key trades that went down over the course of this week and determine our winners and losers of each trade.
Drummond to Cleveland: The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons got back Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a second-round pick. Cleveland got a much needed player to protect the paint rebound the basketball. They now have a strong veteran trio of Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Andre Drummond in the frontcourt. Hopefully, Drummond’s rim-protecting and rebounding abilities will aid the league’s second worst defense in terms of defensive rating. Who did the Pistons receive back from their former first-round draft pick and all-star snub you may ask? Brandon Knight, who started his career as a Piston. He has been averaging a whopping 5 points per game this season and John Henson, who is also averaging 5 points per game. One is certainly left to wonder how out of all the offers the Pistons had probably received being that Drummond has been in trade talks all season, that this is the one they chose. Now what will be key here for Cleveland is if they can keep Drummond, who has an expiring contract after next season. Nonetheless, Winner: Cleveland
D-Loading to Minnesota: The Timberwolves were patiently waiting for Andrew Wiggins to have a breakout year and earn his Number 1 overall pick draft slot. This year he has done just that averaging over 22 points per game. So, normally it would not make sense to trade him the year he performs up to par. However in this instance, it certainly does. The Timberwolves by shipping out Wiggins receive all-star point guard D’Angelo Russell. The frightening backcourt of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and D’Angelo Russell that was built to take on the new look Lakers, will forever be a thing of our imagination, and it is truly a shame. It will be interesting to see how Wiggins wiggles his way into the Golden State lineup and if he can carry his improvement into a new city. However, Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, former number 1 and 2 picks of the 2016 NBA Draft, will be a dynamic duo for a team that is in dire need of excitement and wins. Winner: Minnesota
Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas to the Clippers: In a three-team trade with the Clippers, Knicks, and Wizards, the Clippers came out with Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas. Marcus Morris is having a career year in New York, averaging 19.6 points per game which is by far his best scoring season of his career. Thanks to the Lakers unwilling to part ways with Kyle Kuzma, the Clippers won this sweepstakes by being willing to trade their 2020 1st round pick and Moe Harkless. The Wizards gave up Isaiah Thomas, who was playing well this season in the absence of John Wall, for Jerome Robinson. While Robinson has a ton of potential, the Clippers seem to have went all out on the “win now” mentality with this three-team trade, and one has to commend them for it. Winner: Clippers
Heat acquire Iggy and Crowder, trade Waiters: The Miami Heat made a huge trade with the Grizzlies and the Timberwolves. Miami finally got to get rid of their disgruntled, veteran shooting guard Dion Waiters. Memphis finally got to let go of their disgruntled, veteran wing in Andre Iguodala. All winners here! Miami now has some true veteran experience and flexibility at the wing position by acquiring Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill. Memphis adds some much needed depth with Gorgui Dieng, Justise Winslow, and Dion Waiters. Minnesota receives James Johnson for trading Dieng. Winner: Tie between Memphis and Miami
Blockbuster Trade lands Capela in Atlanta and Covington in Houston: In one of the most expensive and most complicated trades of all time between the Rockets, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Hawks, which led to Clint Capela is now being on the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks acquired him and Nene in exchange for a 2020 1st round pick they received from Brooklyn and Evan Turner.
The Rockets had the second most amount of action in this trade by sending out Capela, Nene, Gerald Green, and their first round pick. They received Robert Covington and Jordan Bell and a 2nd round pick in 2024.
The Timberwolves had the most action in this trade by receiving Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Brooklyn’s 2020 first round pick. They gave up Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Noah vonleh, Keita Bates-Diop, and Shabazz Napier.
The Nuggets received Gerald Green, Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, and Houston’s 1st round pick this season in exchange for Juan Hernangomez, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt.
I know, I know. That is a ton of movement in one trade and it really hard to pick a winner with all those players being moved all over. The Nuggets seemed to have gotten the most bang for their buck by receiving the most amount of players that can come in contribute immediately, and only traded really one contributor of their team. The Rockets look like they have went all in on playing small ball and thus far it has worked out well for them. When Capela plays they are 22-17 and when he does not, they are 10-1. Clint Capela is a valuable player with a bright future, but not seemingly the right fit for the Rockets, and will be much better on the hawks alongside John Collins and catching alley-oops from Trae Young. Winner: Rockets
The team I was intrigued the most by was the Hawks. I think they did an amazing job of addressing team needs, by not losing out on their sights of rebuilding. After their 4-team trade for Capela and Nene, they immediately released Nene as well as Chandler Parsons. They then traded for Kings Center Dewayne Dedmon and relinquished Alex Len and Jabari Parker. On the surface, this may not make much sense, but Dedmon did have his best seasons in Atlanta and although Parker was averaging 15 points per game, he was also shooting only 27% from three and has been a defensive liability this season. They also added even more size and length by acquiring Skal Labissiere from Portland for cash considerations. This is a team that understands they have a superstar at point guard who tends to beat rather often defensively, as the Hawks are currently 28th out of 30 in defensive rating. Therefore, they decided to protect the paint and be able to crash the glass. They accomplished that with these trades.
Overall winner of the trade deadline for me, is the Clippers. They added two veterans that have shown consistency and a strong ability to score. This team just continues to increase depth and retain their core. In a league that continues to younger, they respond by adding maturity and experience and with a hall-of-fame caliber coach and last year’s NBA finals MVP, the sky is the limit.
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