As usual, today’s NBA Trade Deadline was such a flurry of activity that I’m left panting and gasping for breath after a long day of NBA action. It’s safe to say the balance of power in the NBA has officially shifted with names like Ilyasova, Scott, Ennis, and Hibbert all on the move. We won’t fully be able to appreciate the impact of some of these moves until we watch the
playoffs lottery results show, so it seems foolish to make snap judgments on trades before seeing the teams take the court. But, we’re going to do it anyway.
BEST MOVE: Boston Celtics trade nothing and acquire My Sanity
Obviously the splashiest move was the DeMarcus Cousins heist, but that was on Sunday. That’s pretty much last season at this point, so the best move, in my (biased) opinion, was the Celtics keeping the Nets picks. I certainly wasn’t anti-trade unilaterally. In fact, seeing and hearing this rumor pretty much sent all my blood rushing to my lower body (to use hockey anatomy terms):
Celtics & Nuggets have had discussions on Danilo Gallinari (ESPN)
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) February 23, 2017
Oh, what might have been. While I highly doubt acquiring my favorite NBA player ever would have required parting with one of the Nets picks, I’d rather them do nothing than part with that theoretical gold. GM Danny Ainge finally took a cold shower, watched some Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball highlights, and decided that adding a likely All Star (and more-than-likely superstar) to one of the best teams in the East was a better plan than mortgaging the farm on a rental who only wants to play for the Lakers (Paul George) or a player that is essentially a higher level version of players they already have (Jimmy Butler). Thank you, Danny, for using your brain.
BEST ACTUAL MOVE: Thunder add Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott in exchange for all the leftover Kevin Durant gear they had
This is exactly the kind of boring, pragmatic trade that can turn a team from an also-ran into a legitimate contender. The Thunder add badly needed shooting, scoring, and front court depth. Now, am I predicting the Thunder to beat the Warriors? No. But they went from a one-man-show on the periphery of the West playoffs to a team that could possibly make the Western Conference Finals (It’s really a shame that Durant, the first player to ever leave a team via this new fangled “free agency” thing, just so happened to have been on the same team as the pettiest, most vindictive asshole to hit the NBA since Michael Jordan). All they had to give up was Cam Payne, Anthony Morrow, and Joffrey Lauvergne? Were the Kings involved in this somehow?
WORST TRADE: Sixers give up Nerlens Noel for Season 5 of Shark Tank on DVD
Someone get Sam Hinkie on the phone! What were the Sixers doing here? Before the season they had the Celtics considering parting with the Nets picks for Noel, and they wind up getting Andrew Bogut (immediately bought out), Justin Anderson (solid player), and the Mavs top 18(!!) protected first round pick this year, which becomes two second round picks if they don’t get it. Have the Sixers looked at the standings? Mavs have one more win than they do! This was really all they could get for him? And they finished the trade deadline with Jahlil Okafor on the roster, which would have propelled any team to the “worst move” award. After somehow coming out on top of a trade they weren’t involved in (they can swap picks with the Kings this year), they threw all those good vibes away with this. The Colangelos ruin everything.
ULTIMATE WINNER: Raptors
Getting Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker probably make them the second best team in the East on paper. Doesn’t make them any less boring, though.
ULTIMATE LOSERS: Kings and Knicks (still have Melo and D-Rose on their roster)
What else is new?
But yeah, this year’s trade deadline sucked.