This year’s trade deadline was awesome. How crazy were the flurry of deals at the end? I was so hype. Being on twitter during the last hour was insane as speculative deals started flying around. And then at the end when tons of trades started happening, you could tweet a random players name in all caps and people would be fooled into thinking he had been traded. Looking back though, most guys swapped were role players or bench filler. Whatever, Woj was dropping bombs left and right and Stein got in on the action and dropped a few bombs too. I will attempt to break them down here and tell you which teams got what and gave up what and got the most value. To calculate value I will be using win shares along with contract values. Lets get into it!
Gain 3 WS: Aaron Afflalo (1.9 WS), Alonzo Gee (1.1 WS)
Loss 0.7 WS: Will Barton (0.1), Victor Claver (0.1) Thomas Robinson (0.5) 2016 1st and 2nd rounder
Net +2.3 WS: Portland traded for some more depth on the wing and dumped a few pieces that weren’t doing anything. This nets them 2 wins, which should help in the stacked West. This move makes the Western Conference race much more interesting and Portland definitely closed a little bit of the gap between them and Golden State.
Gain 0.7 WS: Will Barton (0.1), Victor Claver (0.1) Thomas Robinson (0.5) 2016 1st and 2nd rounder, Rights to Cent Akyol, Cap Room
Loss 3.5 WS: Aaron Afflalo (1.9), Alonzo Gee (1.1), JaVale Mcgee (0.5) , 2015 1st rounder from OKC, Rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum
Net -2.8 WS: Honestly, these trades were good for the Nugs. Sure, they will be worse in the immediate but there was no way they were making the playoffs. They shed almost $20 million in cap for next season and still held on to their draft pick. Yes, they lost the OKC pick, but it is 1-18 protected anyway. This is a win for the Nuggets, which can now build around Faried and Lawson or blow the whole thing up.
Gain 1.7 WS: Andre Miller (1.7)
Loss -0.3 WS: Ramon Sessions (-0.3)
Net +2 WS: Getting any other team to take Ramon Sessions was a win for the Kings. George Karl gets to coach Miller again, and The Professor had some of his best seasons under Karl. Miller has a near-average PER and an above average WS/48, so maybe the bump in minutes he receives will lead to a similar bump in production. Then again, Miller is now 38, so maybe not.
Gain -0.3 WS: Ramon Sessions (-0.3)
Loss 1.7 WS: Andre Miller (1.7)
Net -2 WS: I don’t really understand this trade from the Wizards perspective. I think there was some trouble with him and the coach. Also Miller has had a pretty terrible attitude since his minutes were reduced during his last season in Denver. Ramon Sessions will not play meaningful minutes for this team, so this trade is a win if Ramon Sessions isn’t a terrible human being to play basketball with.
Gain 1.6 WS: Kevin Garnett (1.6)
Loss 1.6 WS: Thad Young (1.6)
Net 0 WS: The Timberwolves get to bring home the best player in franchise history. That’s the kind of feel good story everyone likes. Wait, the T-Wolves want KG to sign a two year extension? Why? He is 38, which is ancient for an NBA player. This trade is a fun, and I guess the T-wolves thought that it would make them more interesting. Actually, people might pay to see Garnett in a Minnesota jersey one last time. OK, this is a smart business decision and it doesn’t really change much for the team, so I now like this trade.
Gain 1.6 WS: Thad Young (1.6)
Loss 1.6 WS: Kevin Garnett (1.6)
Net 0 WS: The Nets gain Thad, who becomes their 5th or 6th best player. The Nets have gotten almost zero production from the SF position this year, so Thad slots in nicely while removing the log jam that used to be Plums, Lopez and KG. Now the Nets can start D-Will, Joe Johnson, Young, Plums and Lopez, then bring Jarrett Jack off the bench. This team might be able to sneak into the playoffs, and that sickens me. The Eastern Conference sucks.
Gain +5 WS: Reggie Jackson (3.1), Tayshaun Prince (1.6)
Loss -6 WS: Kyle Singler (1.6), DJ Augustin (2.5), Jonas Jerebko (1.9), Gigi Datome (0)
Net -1 WS: I like this series of moves by the Pistons. I think that DJ Augustin’s numbers have been inflated by his starting role, which he has held since Brandon Jennings went down. In per minute statistics like WS/48 Jackson is far superior. I think he will thrive in Detroit and I am salivating over him and Andre Drummond on the pick and roll. They are both elite finishers around the rim, so the pairing should go well. They also traded for Prince to bring in another shooter, which should help their spacing, given the Monroe/Drummond pairing command attention in the paint. They managed to dump Jerebko, who was just clogging up the front court and wasting a roster spot. Detroit has some work to do, but if Jackson plays up to his potential, they could steal the 8th seed.
Gain 1.2 WS: JaVale McGee(0.5), Lakers 1st round pick, OKC 1st round pick, Isaiah Cannan(0.7), Houston 2nd round pick
Loss 0 WS: Michael Carter-Williams (-0.6), KJ McDaniels (0.6)
Net +1.2 WS: Philly grabbed 2 first rounders and second rounder for taking McGee’s contract, MCW, and McDeez. These are very smart moves. The Sixers had been looking to deal MCW for a while now, and figured they couldn’t re-sign McDanny. They had cap room to spare when the Nuggets came calling. These picks probably won’t happen this year, but next year the OKC pick is only top 15 protected, so they will probably get it then. Next year the Lakers pick is top 3 protected, so they might get it. And in 2018 the Lakers pick becomes unprotected. Unprotected picks are so rare these days; I get goosebumps just thinking about them. Isaiah Cannan is the kind of player the Sixers are looking for: low cost, no guaranteed money, team option, and restricted free agency. He can also drain threes and create his own shot. McGee is just there to be weird and maybe, if he manages to play most of a season, return to his 4 to 5 WS form.
Gain 6.3 WS: Kyle Singler (1.6), Enes Kanter (2.2), DJ Augustin (2.5), Steve Novak (0.3)
Loss 3.4 WS: Reggie Jackson (3.1), Kendrick Perkins (0.5), Grant Jerrett(-0.2)
Net +2.9 WS: Oklahoma City did the typical OKC thing and avoided the possibility of spending any money to make the team better. This is nowhere near as bad as the Harden trade, but it feels very similar. They got DJ Augs to run back up point for Russ, Singler to bomb threes because God knows Reggie could not, and Kanter to replace Perkins. Kanter is only 23 and getting better each year. Utah only traded him because they like Gobert and Favors so much. He is better than Perkins (Editor’s Note: So am I) and 7 years younger which has OKC fans drooling. The Thunder finally managed to move him, and now it looks like Utah will buy out his contract. Don’t worry though, a playoff team will scoop him up for his defensive skills. No, we haven’t seen the last of Kendrick Perkins getting meaningful playoff minutes.
Gain 0.3 WS: Kendrick Perkins (0.5), Grant Jerrett (-0.2), Thunder 2017 first rounder, Detroit 2017 second rounder, Rights to Tibor Pleiss
Loss 2.5 WS: Enes Kanter (2.2), Steve Novak (0.3)
Net -2.2 WS: This was a good trade for Utah. Kanter didn’t want to play there anymore and they had given his minutes to Rudy Gobert anyway. They are buying out Perkins, so they only got things for the future. That and they dumped Steve Novak’s terrible contract. A couple draft picks and a 25 year old European, who could come over next year for a bench player who didn’t want to be there seems like a pretty good haul, all things considered.
Gain 5.8 WS : Isaiah Thomas (3.9), Jonas Jerebko (1.9), Luigi Datome (0)
Loss 2.9 WS: Tayshaun Prince (1.6), Marcus Thornton (1.3), Cleveland 2016 first rounder
Net +2.9 WS: This is a great trade for Boston and probably my favorite of the day. Boston’s best players have been their front court rotation of Zeller, Bass, Olynyk, and Sullinger. Their guard play with Smart and Bradley has been average at best, although Smart’s high steal and assist rates indicate he will continue to get better as his role increases. Avery Bradley and Thornton have been extremely average gaurds, but now Boston deals Thornton for a player that makes less per year than Avery Bradley and produces almost three times the value. Thomas has a great cotranct for the next three years and is only 25 years old. Now Boston can build around him, Smart, Olynyk, Sullinger and Zeller. The reason I don’t understand this trade is that I thought the Celtics were tanking and wanted to build through the draft. I can’t hate the trade though, its solid all the way through. Boston still has a bunch of picks over the next couple years, the 2016 Cavs pick probably won’t be any good and they have some big time cap room in 2016. If they draft well, re sign Zeller or Sullinger to a modest deal and use their cap space effectively this team could be a playoff team by 2017.
Gain 1.8 WS: Pablo Prigioni (1.3), KJ McDaniels (0.5)
Loss 1.6 WS: Isaiah Canaan (0.7), Alexy Shved (0.9), 3 second round picks
Net +0.2 WS: Daryl Morey gained an inch here which is a classic Daryl Morey move. Trades like these are how Dork Elvis built an asset pool big enough to land Harden. Houston has a chance to take home the title this year, but Morey recognized you need depth to succeed in the postseason. Houston didn’t have anyone who could back up Beverley and run point effectively for them. This allows them to play Jason Terry at two-guard while the second team is out there instead of having him shoulder the responsibility of being the primary ball handler. McDEEZ is Morey betting on the future and taking a very talented player with a high ceiling from a terrible situation to a good one. KJ will have a chance to contribute on a championship caliber team, and if he impresses, might play himself into some money next year. Second round picks are great for teams trying to build like the Knicks and the Sixers, but for good teams like the Rockets, second rounders rarely make the roster. Sure they are giving away some depth long term, but their D-League team is already one of the best, so they have no shortage of second round or worse dudes to call up.
Gain 0.9 WS: Alexy Shved (0.9), 2 second round picks
Loss 1.3 WS: Pablo Prigioni (1.3)
Net -0.4 WS: The Knicks get a couple of picks to help them rebuild. Not much else to see here, as the Knicks are just a bummer in general. Lets move on.
Gain 1.4 WS: Micheal Carter-Williams (-0.6), Tyler Ennis (-0.1), Miles Plumlee (2.1)
Loss 4.5 WS: Brandon Knight (4.5)
Net -3.1 WS: Yikes, this is bad. I guess the Bucks figured they couldn’t re-sign Knight? He’s a restricted free agent, so they had the right to match the best offer any other team would make. Maybe they figured they would over pay? I don’t know–this move just seems dumb. Why trade a top 15 point guard who ranks in the top 50 in WS, VORP and above-average in WS/48 and PER? Micheal Carter-Williams isn’t great and probably won’t ever be great. Ennis could be good, but he has like 70 minutes of NBA playing time. Miles Plumlee might be the best part of this trade, as he will help the Bucks injured front court.
Gain 4 WS: Goran Dragic (4), Zoran Dragic(0)
Loss 3.2 WS: Danny Granger (0.4), Norris Cole (0.5), Shawne Williams (1.9), Justin Hamilton (0.4), two first round picks
Net +0.8 WS: The Heat stole Goran Dragic. They gave the Suns a pile of trash and picks for one of the best point guards in the game. Goran slots into their line up nicely and this Miami team was looking dangerous until they lost Bosh. The Heat definitely want to re-sign Goran, and since Dragic listed them as a team he would like to go to, they have a shot at it. It will be interesting to see if Dwayne Wade, Luol Deng, and Dragic use their player options for next year. The Heat could try to get them to take the options so they have the maximum cap room possible available for 2016. Pat Riley wants to have some space for next summer to see if he can get Durant or another big name like Lebron, Al Horford, Monta Ellis, Brook Lopez, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love or Dwight Howard.
Gain 2.8 WS: Norris Cole (0.5), Shawne Williams (1.9), Justin Hamilton (0.4)
Loss 0.1 WS: John Salmons (0.1)
Net +2.7 WS: The Pelicans get some depth here to help make up for the fact that the team is seemingly cursed to have anywhere from 1-7 of its players seriously injured at a time. Heat fans for some unknown reason were pretty upset about losing Cole even though he and Chalmers comprised the most garbage point guard rotation in the league. Now Cole will fill in for the injured Jrue Holiday.
Gain 6.3 WS: John Salmons (0.1), Danny Granger (0.4), Brandon Knight (4.5), Marcus Thornton (1.3), three first round picks
Loss 9.9 WS: Goran Dragic (4), Zoran Dragic(0), Isaiah Thomas (3.9), Tyler Ennis (-0.1), Miles Plumlee (2.1), Lakers 1st rounder
Net -3.6 WS: The Suns gave up a lot. But Dragic was pissed off and did not want to re-sign so they were backed into a corner and were never going to get more than fifty cents on the dollar. I guess the Suns didn’t really like what they were getting out of Thomas, either. But they managed to keep most of their young core in tact and add Brandon Knight who is younger than Thomas and Dragic and may already be better. Knight allows the Suns to still run their double point guard offense and Knight’s ability to penetrate and get to the rim complements Eric Bledsoe nicely. Salmons is really old and is not having a great year, but he has barely played at all. Danny Granger might be bought out for the second season in a row, which is depressing. Phoenix did get some good picks out of this. They got Cleveland’s 2016 pick, Miami’s 2017 pick, and Miami’s 2021 pick. The 2017 pick from Miami is top 7 protected in ’17 and 18′ and unprotected in ’19. The 2021 is completely unprotected. A completely unprotected pick? That’s like a freaking unicorn, it is so rare. They gave up the Lakers pick, but that pick wasn’t going to transfer this year anyway because of its protections, and it might not even transfer next year either. The Suns made the best of a very sucky situation and got a young player that can contribute immediately and a few extra picks to help their future as well.
Well, there you have it. All 17 teams that made a deal on deadline day. It was one of the most fun in recent memory and we can only hope that next year’s is just as crazy. The NBA is almost to soccer levels of fluidity, where players change teams and leagues all the time and there are almost constant rumors of who is going where and when and for how many Euros. The rest of the season should be highly entertaining as players adjust to new homes and new roles, and as teams change and find new identities. Several teams made moves to help them gain any advantage at all on their competition this season, and other teams just tried to secure their future. Honestly, there might only be two or three trades that will be worth even mentioning a few years from now, but for now let’s just enjoy the craziness and chaos that is the NBA.