Who Won the NBA Trade Deadline?


Photo courtesy of http://oregonsportsnews.com.

Dwayne Wade is now back home in Miami, George Hill was traded to Cleveland, and Isaiah Thomas is with the Lakers.

On February 8 at 3:00 p.m. EST, NBA teams could officially no longer make any trades for the rest of the season. What does that mean? That means that The Neersyde is here to decide the winners and losers of each trade.

The first major trade that occurred during this crazy deadline was that the Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin was sent to the Detroit Pistons with young power forward Brice Johnson and power forward Willie Reed. The Clippers acquired scoring forward Tobias Harris, defensive-minded shooting guard Avery Bradley, and two picks from the Pistons.

Photo courtesy of www.michigansportszone.com
Blake Griffin now finds himself in Detroit, where he hopes to lead the Pistons to the playoffs.

In the short time the Pistons have had Griffin, they have been making a legitimate run towards the playoffs. Since the Clippers have acquired Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley, they have not completely fallen apart: they are currently hovering around the #9 seed right now, hoping to snatch that last playoff spot. The trade looks like it is helping both sides, as the Pistons get a chance to contend with the addition of Blake Griffin. The experiment of pairing him with all-star Andre Drummond has definitely worked out for Detroit. This duo started 5-0 when playing together. The Clippers now get a chance to rebuild, while still staying relevant and not becoming the laughing-stock of the league. They still have scoring star Lou Williams, All-Star DeAndre Jordan, and many others, as well as the players acquired via the trade.

Another major trade was that Cleveland Cavaliers star Isaiah Thomas was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers, alongside with veteran stretch power forward Channing Frye, Cleveland also sent the Lakers their 2018 first round pick, which will probably be a late first round pick because the Cavs have one of the best records in the NBA. The Cavs still have the Brooklyn Nets’ pick in this season’s draft, which is projected to be a top 10 pick. The Lakers sent the Cavs promising young players Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. During this trade deadline, the Cavs traded 6 of their players, which is about half of their roster. This is just one of the three Cavs trades during this crazy deadline. Thomas, who is 29-years-old and an MVP candidate last season, is clearly the best player in this trade. It is a little confusing why the Lakers traded for him, though.

The Lakers already have Lonzo Ball, whom the Lakers want to be their point guard of the future. The former UCLA player was the second pick in this most recent NBA Draft. Frye, who is 34 years old, will be a good veteran to help out this young Lakers team. The Lakers have proven that they can find a steal in the draft: last season, they took Kyle Kuzma out of the University of Utah with the 27th pick. He has been lighting up the league, averaging 16 points per game. With these trades, the Cavs revamped their entire roster, making it their goal to become a younger team, as before the deadline, the Cavs were the oldest team in the entire NBA. With them acquiring two 25-year-olds in Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr., they got a little younger. .

Photo courtesy of www.usatoday.com
Isaiah Thomas now finds himself on his third team in three years after stints in Boston last year and Cleveland this year.

In addition, the Cavs were also involved in a three-way trade  That involved the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, and Sacramento Kings. The Cavaliers acquired scoring shooting guard Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz and point guard George Hill from the Sacramento Kings. In that process, the Cavs gave up 3&D forward Jae Crowder, former MVP Derrick Rose, and defensive-minded shooting guard Iman Shumpert. A 3&D player is someone who is known for being a good 3-point shooter and good defender. The Utah Jazz got Crowder and Rose from the Cavs, while giving up Rodney Hood and veteran small forward Joe Johnson. Lastly, the Kings obtained Johnson and Shumpert, while giving up George Hill. The Jazz have already waived Rose, upon his wish to be on a playoff contender. The thing is, though, as of February 21, 2018, the Jazz are undefeated in their last 11 games. The Kings also waived Johnson who has since signed with the Houston Rockets.

Now, who won this big trade? The Cavs were definitely the winners,as they gave up Crowder, who has not lived up to expectations this season, an injury-prone Rose, and Iman Shumpert, who has not done much for the Cavs this season.

Crowder’s numbers dropped drastically this season. With the Boston Celtics last year, he  averaged about 14 points per game, 6 rebounds per game, and 2 assists per game. He was also very efficient last season, shooting about 46% from the field and 40% from 3. This season, though, has been a different story. Crowder is averaging about 9 points per game, 3 rebounds per game, and 1 assist per game.  His field goal percentage has dropped, too as he’s shooting 42% from the floor and 33% from beyond the arc. Crowder now being on the Utah Jazz may help him out, as he has a chance to bounce back.

Rodney Hood will help out NBA superstar and MVP candidate LeBron James. Hood’s ability to shoot the basketball will create driving space for LeBron. Hood is shooting a little over 39% from three-point land this season. Similarly, George Hill is shooting 46% from three. In Hood and Hill’s first game with the team, the Cavs beat the Celtics 121-99.

The Jazz were probably losers of this trade, giving up the players that they did. Hood has been having the best season of his career. On the other hand, Johnson is having arguably the worst of his career, but that makes sense: Johnson will be turning 37 in four months. They acquired Jae Crowder, who has had a down year, but that does not mean he cannot bounce back. Utah is hoping Crowder can get back to the way he was playing last season with the Celtics. Derrick Rose was waived, and  he has not officially signed anywhere, but it is rumored he may sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves who are coached by Rose’s former coach, Tom Thibodeau. In addition, Rose’s former teammates, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, are on the team. The Wizards may also sign Rose now that  John Wall became injured and is out for five to seven weeks.

As for the Kings, Joe Johnson was traded for, then cut, so accounting for him is not needed. Iman Shumpert has only played in 14 games this season for the Cavaliers, so there is no telling how good Shumpert really is this season. He has also played the least amount of minutes of his entire career this season too, with 19.7 minutes per game. The Kings gave up George Hill, who was not happy with his role. First thing’s first, the Kings have a lot of guards, especially young ones. Some of them include rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox, sharpshooting shooting guard Buddy Hield, promising young guard and former Kansas star Frank Mason, along with many others.

Secondly, George Hill wants to win. He has played for the San Antonio Spurs, who are known for being a 2000s dynasty, the Indiana Pacers, who were a top team in the East a few years ago, and the Utah Jazz, a team that was the #5 seed last season. He is used to winning, and he did not like losing in Sacramento, where he wasn’t even playing as much as he would have liked. I think it’s fair to say that the Kings lost this trade. I say that the majority of people would think that George Hill is better than Iman Shumpert.

Finally, this is not a blockbuster trade like the rest of these, but it should be mentioned because this is Florida, and many people here are Miami Heat fans. The Heat acquired former Miami Heat player, three-time champion, former MVP candidate, and current veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many Heat fans were happy about this trade because all the Heat gave up was a second-round pick. The Cavs are currently trying to win now. The thing that does not make sense, though, is that the Cavs gave up a valuable player and Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Wade. The Sixth Man of the Year is awarded to the best player off of the bench (that does not start).  The Cavs did not get anything for right now in exchange, which does not make too much sense. The Heat were without a doubt winners of this trade.

It’s safe to say that this NBA trade deadline was a crazy one, but the Cavs got stronger and will look to once again represent the East in this year’s NBA Finals.