20 Feb The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline Saw an Exodus of Players
Last Thursday’s trade deadline had one of the wildest finishes in NBA history.
What made it crazy was the fact that there were only three done trades with less than an hour left on the clock. And then it occurred: that blistering final 20 minutes where tweets ran like crazy on the internet. And when all was said and done, a total of 37 players and more than a dozen future draft picks went to new destinations after a total of 11 deals involving half of the NBA’s teams were finalized:
woj breaking down the trade deadline to a bunch of fans: pic.twitter.com/KOqjkdKLsn
— alex (@steven_lebron) February 19, 2015
It was wild, it was crazy, it was mind boggling and it left us shell-shocked. But it wasn’t just us:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 19, 2015
— NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) February 19, 2015
It’s the second day after Exodus and our favorite basketball league is back to its normal course of business. And so life begins again for the 37 players who probably woke up with a new team:
— Reggie Jackson (@rjOKCson_15) February 19, 2015
While NBA’s version of Mr. October (named as such only because he’s the namesake of the baseball great) seems to be happy about his new opportunity, let’s find out how the rest of the trade deadline participants did in their last minute shopping:
Enter the Dragon
NOW it's #heatnation time and I'm excited to bring the Dragon's fire to Miami!!
— Goran Dragic (@Goran_Dragic) February 19, 2015
Miami acquires: Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic (from Suns)
Phoenix acquires: Danny Granger and 2 first round picks (from Heat), John Salmons (from New Orleans)
New Orleans acquires: Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, Shawne Williams (from Heat)
The biggest story of the trade deadline was Goran Dragic going to Miami which of course makes the Heat a much better playoff team. It was a risk to take in a player who might not sign next season, but with brother Zoran as part of the package deal, Pat Riley‘s move looks brilliant. Don’t be surprised if the Heat will breath fire next season and beyond. The Suns? Getting the veterans for the playoff run is fine but getting two first rounders is a good investment rather than letting Goran walk away. The Pelicans? They just parted with Salmons and got Williams who’s almost like him plus they get Norris Cole and Justin Hamilton. Good enough for just being conduits to this deal.
Getting a New Motor
So we already talked about Reggie Jackson, here’s why he was traded:
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 19, 2015
Even in previous seasons, Jackson played very well when he started. The problem is, he’s playing behind a freak named Russell Westbrook. And with the moves OKC has made this season, he’ll have to contend with Dion Waiters for the minutes. Not to mention that MVP Kevin Durant takes a lot of shots too. In Detroit, Jackson will own the backcourt until Brandon Jennings returns next season. Here’s the summary of the Reggie Jackson deal:
Detroit acquires: Reggie Jackson (from Thunder)
Oklahoma City acquires: Enes Kanter (from Jazz), Steve Novak (from Jazz), D.J. Augustin (from Pistons), Kyle Singler (from Pistons)
Utah acquires: Kendrick Perkins (from Thunder), Grant Jerrett (from Thunder), rights to Tibor Pleiss, draft picks
Okay so the Pistons get the offense they feel they need to push them to the playoffs but the Jazz look short-changed here. However, with Kanter headed to free agency in the summer, getting a couple of picks would suffice than nothing at all. What about the Thunder? Well they just vaulted right back to title contention with this trade, really. The Thunder vaulted into 8th place on Thursday and with the expected trouble in Phoenix followind Dragic’s departure, the Thunder look like they have the better view. Getting Kanter, Augustin, Novak and Singler in one deal was genius.
No Brotherly Love in Philly
I can't lie I'm shocked. I love this city thank you for everything. I can honestly say I gave it my all. I wish Philly nothing but the best
— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) February 19, 2015
Don’t worry MCW, we were shocked too. MCW was probably the only good thing happening in Philly, forget his struggles this season. The 2014 Rookie of The Year looked like a solid player to become one of the team’s cornerstones. But then, the Sixers are not from this world.
Phoenix acquires: Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall (from Bucks)
Milwaukee acquires: Michael Carter Williams (from Sixers), Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis(from Suns)
Philadelphia acquires: draft picks
It could turn out as a blessing for MCW as the Bucks are headed to the playoffs. They also got two quality players in Plumlee and Ennis. The Suns got two PGs after trading two of their own so that looks good enough. But the Sixers?
— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) February 19, 2015
Case closed here.
Celtics Serious about Playoffs?
For Isaiah Thomas, Boston will send Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick via Cleveland to Phoenix, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2015
The Celtics are on Rebuilding Mode Year 2 under Brad Stevens, but getting Isaiah Thomas now is making a move for the post season. The Celtics’ remaining schedule is kind enough and they are currently ranked #8 in playoff odds (with a 39.7% chance) by espn.go. Stabilizing the backcourt with Thomas is a good move:
Boston acquires: Isaiah Thomas (from Suns), Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome (from Pistons)
Detroit acquires: Tayshaun Prince (from Celtics)
Suns acquire: Marcus Thornton and 2016 first round pick
The Pistons didn’t just get prince for novelty’s sake, he was having a renaissance of sorts in Boston. Again, their playoff run could be the reason for taking him back in. They didn’t part with much to get him either. Same reason for the Suns, they get veteran presence in Thornton plus a piece of the future with the draft pick.
Big Ticket Joins New Ticket
— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) February 20, 2015
The Wolves have shown that they can play very well when they are healthy. With Rick Rubio back, the team is 3-2 with losses only to the Hawks and Warriors. Getting back the one player who defined this organization not only gives them experience and statistics, it also boosts the morale of both the players and the people of Minnesota. KG was the big ticket in Minnesota before going to Boston to win an NBA title. With his career complete, there is nothing better than to give back to the place who made him one of the best the game has seen.
Minnesota acquires: Kevin Garnett
Brooklyn acquires: Thaddeus Young
Billy King loves Thad Young so he finally gets his man on board. As for the Nets? They put their three stars on the block as early as December. But without any takers and equitable value in return, they are staying put for now. What happens here is that the Nets have the better crew to finish the season and possibly salvage a playoff spot.
These were the key deals last Thursday. In the other trades, the Wizards and Kings swapped PGs in Andre Miller and Ramon Sessions, while the Blazers got Arron Afflalo from the Nuggets for Will Barton, Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson. The Rockets got Pablo Prigioni (from NY)Alexey Shved and K.J. McDaniels (from Sixers) for Isaiah Canaan. And yes, the Sixers got Javale McGee and New Orleans acquired Ish Smith.
How these trades work out, we’ll soon find out. But the NBA looks different now:
The NBA gonna look totally different.Crazy
— rudy gobert (@rudygobert15) February 19, 2015
The trade deadline was the last chance to upgrade in order to compete with the big boys. Speaking of the big boys, while the other teams were busy with their last minute shopping:
Meanwhile we watchin' our Twitter timeline like… pic.twitter.com/HaUsL3av1M
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 19, 2015
The top teams were probably busy eating popcorn while the rest of the league scrambled. The Hawks, Warriors, Grizzlies, Raptors, Cavaliers, Bulls, Mavs didn’t join the fun. They’re ready for the postseason and so are we.