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2018 NBA Trade Deadline Recap

February 9, 2018

 

Whew, what a damn day! The NBA’s trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon and once all of the Woj bombs had detonated and all the dust had settled, half of the roster of the defending Eastern Conference champions had turned over. We also saw a pair of teams finally give up on young point guards that they picked in the lottery. I’ll quickly run through the five most important deals of the day and what they mean for each teams respective future.

Los Angeles Lakers receive:

  • Isaiah Thomas

  • Channing Frye

  • 2018 first-round pick via Cleveland

 

Cleveland Cavaliers receive:

  • Jordan Clarkson

  • Larry Nance, Jr.

The day started with a number of small deals and it looked like we were in for a quiet deadline and then ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a number of bombs on us in quick succession. The first trade kicked off a trend that saw the Cleveland Cavaliers get younger, longer and more athletic. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Jordan Clarkson but he should be a dynamic scorer off the bench. Larry Nance,Jr. was also acquired with the intent of strengthening the Cavaliers bench. I don’t think that any of the deals the Cavaliers made today make it more likely that LeBron James resigns with them this summer but the team should be better than they would’ve been with the team they had. 

 

As for the Lakers, this move was strictly a salary dump and they picked up a late 1st round pick for their troubles. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Channing Frye get bought out and with this trade, Isaiah Thomas should be able to rehab his value ahead of free agency this summer. It will be interesting to see what they do with their starting backcourt but Lonzo Ball is injured right now so they have a week or two to figure it out.

 

Another interesting thing to note is that the Cavaliers helped their primary rival for LeBron James’ services this summer open up the cap space to sign him. If he does wind up in Los Angeles this summer, Dan Gilbert and company definitely helped grease the skids with this move.

Cleveland Cavaliers receive:

  • Rodney Hood

  • George Hill

 

Sacramento Kings receive:

  • Joe Johnson

  • Iman Shumpert

  • 2020 second-round pick via Miami

 

Utah Jazz receive:

  • Jae Crowder

  • Derrick Rose

The second major Woj bomb of the day was a three teamer that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. The Cavaliers somehow walked away with the two best players in the deal - by far - and only gave up disappointing or washed up players to get it done. Rodney Hood is another young athlete with a long wingspan and unlike Clarkson and Nance he brings some much needed shooting with him. Hood also works well as a secondary ballhandler that is capable of running a pick and roll. George Hill has been disappointing this season but he’s a long, rugged defender that’s shooting 40%+ this season from three. He’s basically the prototypical point guard to play next to LeBron James.

 

Much like the Lakers, the Kings did this to dump long term salary. They quickly developed buyers remorse on the George Hill signing from this past summer and looked to free up more playing time for their rookie point guards De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III. They will likely buyout Joe Johnson’s contract and he’ll be a hot commodity for contenders like the Warriors and Celtics.

 

The Jazz had a decision to make on Rodney Hood this summer as he will be a restricted free agent. Jae Crowder has been disappointing this season but if he can regain his old form, he is a bargain on his current contract.

Miami Heat receive:

  • Dwyane Wade

 

Cleveland Cavaliers receive:

  • 2024 second-round pick via Miami

D. Wade saw the writing on the wall and apparently worked with the Cavaliers front office to return to the place that he spent the first decade-plus of his NBA career. With Dion Waiters’ and Tyler Johnson’s injuries, the Heat were actually in the market for help on the wing so this reunion actually makes basketball sense.

New York Knicks receive:

  • Emmanuel Mudiay

 

Dallas Mavericks receive:

  • Doug McDermott

  • 2018 second-round pick via Denver

 

Denver Nuggets receive:

  • Devin Harris

  • 2018 second-round pick via New York

Emmanuel Mudiay has been a disappointment for the Nuggets since they drafted him at #7 in 2015 but he’s still only 22. It’s a low-risk, high-reward move for the Knicks...although I don’t know how well he'll fit with Frank Ntilikina.

 

Devin Harris will give the Nuggets the competent point guard they’ve desperately needed for a long time and Doug McDermott is a skilled shooter that is heading into restricted free agency this summer.

Phoenix Suns receive:

  • Elfrid Payton

 

Orlando Magic receive:

  • 2018 second-round pick via Memphis

I know that Elfrid Payton can’t shoot and that his rookie contract expires after this season; I know that both the front office and the coaching staff that drafted him are long gone from the organization, but I’m still surprised that the cost to acquire him was so low. This is a great low-cost move for the Suns who really need a point guard after trading Eric Bledsoe, waiving Mike James and watching Isaiah Cannon mangle his leg. Perhaps nothing comes of this and Payton moves on this summer but it was definitely worth kicking the tires on a very young point guard given how often point guards develop later in their careers.

All in all it was one of the more memorable trade deadlines in recent history. Coupled with the Blake Griffin blockbuster and what figures to be a robust buyout market, we’re looking at an exciting year of player movement. I doubt any of the moves made today affect the championship race but the Eastern Conference should be more competitive and it sets a few teams up to do some interesting things this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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