Another trade deadline came and went in the NBA today, and, predictably, there was a flurry of moves. Most of which involve the Cavaliers, but we can get to that. After all, it’s not every day someone like Noah Vonleh gets traded for the rights to Milovan Rakovic. That kind of deal among the league’s power players can shake up the pecking order in the NBA for years to come. My various sources have confirmed that there were, in fact, other trades made, so might as well break down the big and small.
Cavs Trade For An Entirely New Roster
These Cavs moves made me sad. Not because they suddenly righted the ship or can now beat the Warriors or Rockets (they don’t), but because this might finally end the season-long drama. Just kidding. Kevin Love is still on the roster, after all. LeBron can’t help himself, and yelling at George Hill will be a lot easier than yelling at Isaiah Thomas (short rant on Isaiah: I hope he vows to never speak to LeBron again after this. I don’t know if you heard, but he was actually on the Celtics last year and was traded. He wasn’t happy, can you believe it? He made a big stink about literally everything this season and has been statistically the worst player in the NBA. I don’t know why he thought he was more influential than LeBron or why he’s telling the Lakers he won’t be coming off the bench, as if he’s been so much better than Alex Caruso or whoever the hell the Lakers have starting at point guard with Lonzo out, but I hope that hypocrite tells the media every step of the way how bad the Cavs did him, even though his own shitty play and shitty attitude is the reason the wanted him out of town in the first place. Whatever. Good luck with your Brink’s truck this offseason!). What do all of these moves do? Well, they inject some much needed athleticism for one. George Hill is essentially the anti-Isaiah: plays good D, hits open 3s, and is completely milquetoast. I assume they view Jordan Clarkson as an upgrade over Dwyane Wade, which, at this point in their careers, he is, but if LeBron was frustrated with Isaiah how will he not get frustrated at taller Isaiah? Dumping D-Rose and Jae Crowder are additions by subtraction, and Larry Nance and Rodney Hood will probably kill the Celtics in the playoffs. Despite the in-fighting and absolutely terrible play, I never fully committed to believing the Celtics would beat the Cavs, simply because I just assumed LeBron would figure out a way to get to the Finals again. Now I know the Cavs will beat the Celtics, because even getting marginally better than the shitshow they were last night was going to be enough as long as you have LeBron. So not only will they make the Finals now, they might even win a game! Can’t wait for the Wade “I’m Coming Home” video.
Pistons Trade Willie Reed to Chicago for Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson is eternal.
Magic Trade Elfrid Payton to Suns for 2nd Rounder
Elfrid Payton STINKS and has stupid hair. Boom, roasted.
Knicks Acquire Emmanuel Mudiay in 3-Team Trade
Remember when Mudiay was a top prospect? Feels like 100 years ago. Guy’s terrible, but the Knicks are gonna Knick. I assume D-Rose will get bought out and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Knicks tried to get him back (please, Wolves, don’t do it! I feel like J.R. telling Jeff Hardy not to jump off a 20-foot ladder onto a table. Think of your roster’s livelihood!). They just live for picking up bad players who are past their prime. Mudiay didn’t even have a prime, that’s how bad he’s been. Doug McDermott sent to Dallas where he can presumably learn how to be a good white NBA player from Dirk. Devin Harris is somehow still in the league and getting traded.
Pistons Trade Brice Johnson to Grizzlies for James Ennis
Heat Trade Okaro White to Hawks for Luke Babbitt
Damn. This is the one that had the internet buzzing big time when it happened. Luke Babbit, multi-time All Star and future Hall of Famer, traded straight up for Okaro White. Crazy. Yet to be seen how the Heat will adjust to such a ball-dominant player, but trust Erik Spoelstra to figure it out. Don’t be surprised if this pushes the Heat into a top three seed in the East.
That’s pretty much it. Aside from the Cavs completely blowing it up, not a ton of trades, and certainly none involving the elite players. No Tyreke Evans trade, no DeAndre Jordan trade, Lou Williams re-signed. Warriors, Rockets, and Celtics stand pat. LeBron didn’t waive his no-trade clause. The Lakers cleared out cap space to sign
LeBron Paul George next year. Gonna be an exciting end of the season, and you can be sure the Cleveland drama is far from over.