Author: Dawson Haywood
The trade deadline for the NBA is almost as fun as free agency in the offseason because there will typically be two or three moves that really shock the NBA fandom. I often find myself paying more attention to free agency and trades more than I do regular season games. There's just something about Adrian Wojnarowski announcing a big trade that excites me more than a Lebron James game winning shot. Being a Charlotte Hornets fan is tough during free agency and around the trade deadline because when the team is playing less than exceptional basketball, the front office (other than this past year) never feels the need to make big moves.
With all this being said, lets get into this year's in season transactions
James Harden to the Nets
The NBA hit the ground running this year with an exciting trade. The Nets received James Harden and a 2024 second round pick. The Rockets received Caris LaVert, Rodions Kurus, Dante Exum, and eight first round picks spreading from 2021 to 2027. Finally, in this three way trade, the Cavaliers received Jarret Allen, Taurean Prince, and the rights to Alksander Vezenkov.
Looking at this trade at first glance, yes, teaming James harden up with Kyrie and Durant in Brooklyn is exciting. I don't think we will find many Nets fans complaining about this one. But, good lord do the Houston Rockets have a crap ton of draft capital as a result of this trade.
In order for the Nets to claim that this was a successful trade they need to make the finals and I would even go as far to say they need to win the finals. For now, I would say the Rockets won this trade. This is subject to change depending on what they do with all this draft capital. Finally, the Cavaliers also found success in this trade adding Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to their roster. Both very talented in their positions and Allen being as young as he is and as successful as he is leads me to believe that he could be a top big man in this league in the near future.
Winners and Losers
Houston: Win (1-0)
Brooklyn: Pending. Needs a trip to the Finals (0-0-1)
Cleveland: Win (1-0)
Kevin Porter Jr. to Houston
Kevin Porter is young and boy does he have potential. In his second year in the league he is averaging 14.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assist per game. Porter was traded to Houston by Cleveland for only a second round pick. He was picked up thirtieth in the first round of the 2019 draft. Hindsight being 20/20, this was a steal based on his current performance.
Houston: Win (2-0)
Cleveland: Losers (1-1)
Derrick Rose to the Knicks
Rose is a seasoned vet that most NBA fans would love to see be successful in the last half of his career. The Pistons are evidently in rebuild mode letting go of Rose and then later Blake Griffin. Dennis Smith Jr. has been coming off the bench for the Knicks the last three seasons and has been relatively inefficient for the team. The Knicks sent the Pistons a second round pick on top of Smith Jr. to obtain Rose. Rose is consistent and for the most part you know what you are going to get out of him until he decides to blow up one night.
New York: Winners (1-0)
Detroit: Losers (0-1)
Diallo to Detroit
Since being traded to Detroit, Diallo has yet to play minutes for the team. His contract is running out at the end of this season and somehow he has to prove that he belongs in the league with those minutes. On the other side of this trade we have Svi Mykhaliliuk and a 2027 second round pick going to Oklahoma City. Over the course of both of their careers Diallo tops Mykhaliliuk in both points and rebounds per game. Before becoming inactive Diallo was averaging 11.9 points per game for Oklahoma City but getting significant minutes before the end of the season seems to be a likely outcome. Since it is unlikely Diallo gets resigned and this trade has no real future value for the Pistons, I am going to give this trade to Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City: Winners (1-0)
Detroit: Losers (0-2)
Meyers Leonard to Oklahoma City
Well... Meyers Leonard because of his own insensitivity has been waived by Oklahoma City after being traded to the team on March 17th. Lucky for the Thunder they still have a 2027 second round pick as a result of this trade. Oklahoma City never played Ariza and Miami is getting very little out of him in the few games that he has played. My own bias wants to say Oklahoma City won this trade because Ariza is likely out the door of Miami and into free agency after this season unless Miami resigns him. I'm going to let my bias get to the best of me and say Oklahoma City won this trade because they might be able to get more out of a second round pick six years from now than what they got out of Ariza.
Oklahoma City: Winners (2-0)
Miami: Losers (0-1)
Torrey Craig to Pheonix
Torrey Craig was essentially given to the Suns by the Bucks. All Milwaukee received was cash considerations. Since being in Phoenix Craig has statistically played better. Craig was not much of a liability for the Bucks but also was not much of an asset either. Since Craig is slightly better in Phoenix than he was in Milwaukee... I'm going to give this trade to the Suns.
Phoenix: Winner (1-0)
Milwaukee: Losers (0-1)
March 19th trade between the Bucks and the Rockets
So, the Bucks gave DJ Augustine, DJ Wilson, a top-10 protected 2021 first round pick, and a 2022 second round pick to the Rockets for PJ Tucker, Rodions Kurucs, a 2021 second round pick, and a 2022 first round pick. First off, the DJ's have been more efficient on the court than Pj and Rodions. It's unlikely that the Bucks get a top 9 pick with their success so Houston likely gets their first round pick. All players do not hold much value and DJ Augustine is still locked in for two more years with Houston. For this reason... Bucks win
Milwaukee: Winners (1-1)
Houston: Losers (2-1)
Mfiondu Kbengele to Sacremento
Newphew of Dikembe Mutombo, Mfiondu Kbengele, was sent to the Kings by the Clippers with a conditional future second round pick, and cash considerations and in return the Clippers received a future second round pick. Kbengele is on his last year of his contract and does not have to minutes or the stats to make him a pick up in this upcoming free agency. Over the course of two years he averaged 2 points and 4.5 minutes per game. As a big man he is not very efficient with only a .359 field goal percentage. A conditional pick is a pick that is based on the performance of the traded player. So, it is possible that besides cash considerations the Kings get nothing moving forward from this trade. The Clippers traded him away just to see if they could get anything out of him, and they did... a guaranteed second round pick
LA Clippers: Winners (1-0)
Sacramento: Loser (0-1)
Bulls trade their core
Orlando sends away arguably their best player Nikola Vucevic, steady role player Al-Farouq Aminu for Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. This one is tough for me to assess because on the one hand the Bulls get a Nikola Vucevic that has averaged a double-double over the course of his career and has been playing his best basketball in his pro-career. On the other hand the Magic get a young player who will be a solid starter in the league as his career progresses and has a ton of potential moving forward. Each team has these players for two more full seasons. Between Aminu and Porter, Porter is currently playing better ball and can contribute more as a starter for the Magic. Because of this trade, Orlando gives up one of their best starters and a role player for two solid starters and two first round picks. Because of this... Orlando Wins.
Orlando: Winner (1-0)
Chicago: Loser (0-1)
Norman Powell to the Blazers
The Toronto Raptors traded Norman Powell for Gary Trent and Rodney Hood. Powell is better than both Trent and Hood and by a mile averaging in more points, rebounds, assist, and has a higher field goal percentage. Powell could be the link that the Blazers need to take that next step to compete, and I mean really compete, with the Wild Western Conference. I predict that Trent and Hood will not be as impactful in Toronto as Powell will be in Portland.
Portland: Winner (1-0)
Toronto: Loser (0-1)
Three Way Trade between the Knicks, Thunder, and 76ers
Oklahoma City is going to see so many new faces it is ridiculous because of how many picks they have between now and 2027. They now have a total of thirty-four draft picks between the next seven drafts. That is insane. In this trade the 76ers receive a potential role player (given their current roster) and a young player who may not last much longer in this league, George Hill and Ignas Brazdeikis. The Knicks Receive a young and and old player that have young careers that, like the 76ers new players, may not have much time in the league, Terrance Furguson and Vincent Poirier. Finally we have the Oklahoma City Thunder racking up a 2025 and 2026 second round pick along with two role players, Austin Rivers and Tony Bradly. Rivers came from New York and Bradley came from Philadelphia and for what? Nobody special. I don't want to say the 76ers lost this trade but the for sure did not get the better end of this deal and New York I have no idea what they expect to do with Furguson and Poirier. Keep the bench warm? Unlike the last three way trade I'm going to give Oklahoma City the win because they can use these players and draft picks, the 76ers a loss because they gave up two picks and a role player for a slightly better role player, and the Knicks receive players they don't have to resign next year.
Oklahoma City: Winner (2-0)
Philadelphia: Loser (0-2)
New York: Loser (1-1)
Heat and Kings Make Moves
The Miami Heat obtained Nemanja Bjelica, a solid role player, from the Kings and had to give up Moe Harkless, who has only played eleven games this season, and Chris Silva, a young player who's primary job was to ride the bench. Harkless and Silva are likely to continue playing with very limited minutes, if any at all, while Bjelica can come off the bench and help navigate this Miami team through the Eastern Conference.
Miami: Winner (1-1)
Sacramento: Loser (0-2)
Warriors and Spurs First Deal of the Season
San Antonio will receive Marquese Chriss, another role player in this article, and cash considerations and in return the Warriors will get draft rights to Cady Lalanne meaning that the Warriors will have exclusive rights to negotiate and sign Cady Lalanne. Chriss is currently hurt and will see no immediate impact on San Antonio and next year he will be an unrestricted free agent. And who is Cady Lalanne? Lalanne is a Haitian basketball player who has bounced from league to league, including the G League, and is currently playing in Korea. What you need to know is that San Antonio received cash considerations
San Antonio: Winner (1-0)
Golden State: Loser (0-1)
The Hornets did something
Okay. My Hornets finally did a thing. Not much of a thing, but a thing. They received Brad Wanamaker, who is in his third year in the NBA at 31 years old, a 2022 second round pick and cash considerations and in return the Warriors received a 2025 second round pick. I'm considering this a win for the Hornets because they need a backup point now that LaMelo is out and they received a second round draft pick, which is all they gave up, and cash considerations.
Charlotte: Winner (1-0)
Golden State: Loser (0-2)
Celtics, Bulls, and Wizards move the Young Bucks
In our third three way trade the Bulls receive Daniel Theis, who has started thirty seven games for Boston this season, Javonte Green, who is efficient while he is in the game, and Troy Brown Jr., who is the youngest of the three and had a solid year two. The Celtics will get Luke Kornet, who has only played thirteen games this season, and Moe Wagner, who thinks its a good idea to shoot two three pointers every time he hits the floor and misses them 70 percent of the time. The Wizards will get Daniel Gafford, who is very fun to play with and develop in 2k but has not had the same development in the league, but he is efficient making nearly 70 percent of his shots, and Chandler Hutchinson, who is lucky to get a bucket when he hits the floor. Chicago did not give much up in this deal but received players that come off the bench and at least don't hurt the team. Win for Chicago. The Celtics are getting two players that either 1. Don't play or 2. Suck when they do. Loss for Boston. Finally the wizards are getting a smart and efficient player but are getting a player that apparently is scared to score. Luckily they did not give up to much in this deal so win for the Wizards.
Chicago: Winner (1-1)
Washington: Winner (1-0)
Boston: Loser (0-1)
Geezers move from Atlanta and LA
Rondo is going back to LA, but this time across the hall to the Clippers. Rondo is on the tail end of his career and I feel like I have been watching him for years. The Clippers gave up Lou Williams who has also been in the league for what seems like forever, a year longer than Rondo. Statistically, Williams is equal to Rondo in both rebounds and assist but scores more points per minute (.55 to .26 ppm). So, Atlanta is getting the better player and two future second round draft picks.
Atlanta: Winner (1-0)
LA Clippers: Loser (1-1)
The Miami Heat are Contenders
Okay, because of this move I'm putting Miami back on my contenders list. Victor Oladipo, the man can't catch a break. From Indiana to Houston and now to Miami in just a year. But, peep this lineup. PG: Kendrick Nunn. SG: Victor Oladipo. SF: Jimmy Buckets. PF: Andre Igoudala (A starter. As he should be). C: Bam Adebayo. That is a scary lineup. The Rockets will get Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley who will serve as either starters or rotation players. Essentially, Houston just made Miami a contender. Amongst this deal is also a 2022 draft pick swap.
Miami: Winner (2-1)
The Last Move
Finally, the last trade of the deadline. I have had to refresh the NBA Trade Tracker Page about five times since writing this article, which is my fault since I decided to start writing this around noon on March 25th. The Magic just traded away the face of their franchise, Aaron Gordon, for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, and a future first round pick. Gary Harris has been a solid player in the league the last six season and is one of the most consistent starters that has been traded. He is by no means going to be the guy that leads a team to the finals but still a solid player. RJ Hampton is just a rookie so who knows if he might blow up in these next few years. With a player of Gordon's caliber being added to this Denver team they are going to be real contenders in the West. This seems like a relatively fair trade to me but the clear winner is Denver because what they are adding could lead them to a Finals trip. I'm not going to give Orlando a loss because I feel like they got something equal in return
Orlando: Tie (1-0-1)
Denver: Winner (1-0)
After doing my research on every trade this year it is evident that there are some teams that are rebuilding, contending, planning for the future, or getting rid of dead weight. My overall winner of this year's trade season will be Brooklyn if they make the finals. If they do not make the finals my winner is either Miami, Denver, or Oklahoma City. Miami... Good lord... contenders. Finals. I bet they make it out of the East again. Denver also. With the addition of Aaron Gordon these Nuggets could give anybody out of the West a run for their money. Both are going to be a difficult teams to beat. Oklahoma City continues to build draft capitol and who knows what they are going to do with it. Lucky for me, OKC has the most potential these next few years and are going to be a very exciting team to watch. Seeing Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic leave Orlando has got to suck for the city of Orlando. That was a fun duo to watch. Charlotte did something! That's very rare and I think they made a good move, which is even more rare. I just hope LaMelo gets better so we might actually make playoffs.
Oklahoma City: 2-0
San Antonio: 1-0
New York: 1-1
LA Clippers: 1-1
Golden State: 0-2
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