Monday, February 24, 2014

NBA Trade Deadline Recap

The Pacers added Evan Turner, but will he be enough to put them into the Finals?
By Bennett Corcoran

After J.J. Redick was the prize last February, it appears this unfortunate trend continues; another year under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, another unbearably slow NBA trade deadline. Luckily, the last minute Evan Turner-Danny Granger swap has serious playoff implications, so it wasn’t a total flop. Let’s take a look at each trade and see which teams are stockpiling for a playoff run.

Warriors get Steve Blake from Lakers for Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks

Golden State has looked like a title contender for brief moments this season, but now sit at seventh in a crowded Western Conference. One of the team’s biggest weaknesses is bench production, and Blake is a serviceable backup point guard who can hit the three. The Dubs acquired Jordan Crawford earlier this year, but he isn’t a true point guard and would likely play better off the ball. I like Bazemore’s potential as a long, athletic wing defender, and Brooks was a productive scorer for the Nets a couple years ago. If anything, the Lakers get a couple more guys to audition as they determine whom they want to keep around long term. The move makes logical sense from both sides.

Marcus Thornton to Nets, Reggie Evans and Jason Terry to Kings

Brooklyn refuses to back down from its excessive spending, obtaining an expensive backup guard in Thornton. His potential as a heat-check guy off the bench might be appealing, but his atrocious defense and refusal to pass at times can make him a liability as well. I like this move for the Kings, who continue to rid the team of players acquired before the new ownership took over. Thornton was interfering with the development of Ben McLemore. Terry is out for the year, and therefore will not prevent McLemore from getting more playing time. The Kings could likely explore a buyout with the Jet over the summer and free up his cap space as well, saving money overall while focusing on player development.

Heat Trade Roger Mason Jr. to Kings

This is essentially a non-move. The Kings immediately waived Mason Jr., as Miami was looking to free up a roster spot. Look for the Heat to explore signing a player recently bought out.

Cavs get Spencer Hawes from Sixers for Earl Clark, Henry Sims

For a while, it really looked like this was the biggest move of the day. Still convinced they can make the playoffs, Cleveland added to their frontcourt by acquiring Hawes, a big man with range who serves as insurance for Anderson Varejao’s injury woes. The Cavs have now sacrificed five picks this season to bring in Hawes and Luol Deng, and still face the very real possibility of missing the playoffs. On top of that, both Deng and Hawes could walk this summer for nothing. For the Sixers, they continue to add second rounders at will, and have already waived Clark. They weren’t getting a first rounder for Hawes because of his defensive ineffectiveness, so two second rounders was a good value.

Three Team Trade Sends Andre Miller to Wizards, Jan Vesely to Nuggets

Despite his issues with former head coach Brian Shaw, Miller can still provide value as a backup point guard in the nation’s capital. If The Professor has been working out diligently and is still in game shape, look for him to provide a veteran leader off the bench for the Wizards as they prepare for a playoff stretch. The Nuggets get Jan Vesely in return, a top draft pick who never panned out in Washington. I’d say the winner of the deal though was (yawn) the Sixers, for leaping into the deal and agreeing to take Eric Maynor for two second round picks.

Bobcats Acquire Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour from Bucks for Ramon Sessions, Jeff Adrien

This deal actually works pretty well for both sides. The Bobcats are one of the worst three point shooting teams in the league, and adding Neal could help them secure a playoff spot. They’ll miss Sessions, but Ridnour should prove to be a decent backup. The Bucks get the best player in the deal in Sessions, who will bolster their backcourt that could use some ball-handlers.

Austin Daye to Spurs, Nando De Colo to Raptors

This move surprised me, as I was always a fan of De Colo’s game. With Tony Parker sidelined indefinitely, you’d think the Spurs would want to hold onto all the guards they can. But the Spurs are also probably the most banged up team in the NBA right now, and they need help everywhere. Austin Daye has never lived up to his lofty NBA expectations, but if there’s anywhere he can, it’s San Antonio.

Nuggets get Aaron Brooks from Rockets for Jordan Hamilton

With Ty Lawson hurt, Nate Robinson out for the year, and Andre Miller trade bait, the Nuggets desperately needed to get a point guard at the deadline. Aaron Brooks is a decent option, serving as a good source of instant offense despite his size. However, I really like the move for Houston, who gets an athletic wing with plenty of potential for a third string point guard.

Danny Granger to Sixers, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to Pacers

I’m not sure I like the move for either team, to be honest, but prefer the move from Indiana’s perspective. Plenty of people are crowning the Pacers for nabbing Turner, and while the deal does come at minimal risk, I’m not sure he’s the best fit. He has never shown the ability to buy into a defense quite like the Pacers do, and really needs the ball in his hands to operate. The Pacers like having Lance Stephenson run the second unit, but it will be interesting to see if a Stephenson-Turner backcourt is feasible. Even if it’s not the best fit, I do think the move represents an upgrade over an aging Granger, who is reportedly seeking a buyout. The Sixers didn’t get the first rounder they were demanding, and only come away with a second round pick if Granger leaves. Even if he was inevitably leaving at the end of the season, I’m not sure giving away Evan Turner was the best move either.

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