Grades for the Winners and Losers of the NBA Trade Deadline
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Image by Fadeaway World
Ah, the NBA Trade Deadline. For years it has stolen the sports headlines for the blockbusters, head-scratchers, and salary dumpers. We witnessed a little bit of everything on this year's trade deadline, and even though it started out slow it once again did not disappoint. Here is a breakdown of the 2020 Trade deadline and here are my grades for the winners and losers.
Acquired: Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill
Traded: Justise Winslow, James Johnson, Dion Waiters
Pat Riley has struck again. The Heat just simply got better. The moves that were made in acquiring Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill gave them a legitimate shot as the team to come out of the Eastern Conference. Pairing these defensive wizards with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and company gives the Heat a legitimate chance to win the title. This does not come without risk, as 36-year old Andre Iguodala has not played in one minute of game time before making his debut the other night. It is important to not overlook the acquisition of the great 3-And-D player in Jae Crowder as well, but the most important part of this deal could be who the Heat finally got rid of. Dion Waiters and James Johnson were both distractions that have not been on the right page with Coach Eric Spoelstra this whole season, and are making a combined $27 Million this year. It hurts to give up a promising young talent in Justise Winslow, but the Heat made out quite well for wanting to win now.
Acquired: Andre Drummond
Traded: Brandon Knight, John Henson, 2023 second-round pick (lesser of Golden State’s or Cleveland’s)
If you look up what NOT to do after a the best player in the league leaves your team in free agency, the first image that will pop up is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have been the laughing stock of the NBA these past two seasons and will see one of their best players in Tristan Thompson hit the open market after this year. Instead of trading the valuable Thompson they go out and acquire another top center with an expiring contract (assuming he declines his 28.8 Million dollar player option this offseason). The NBA rebound leader Drummond has done nothing but produce since entering the NBA, and the old-style big man is still only 26 years of age. It is hard to fathom why a rebuilding team would also give up a draft pick in the future. The bottom-feeding Cavaliers also failed to ship off injury-plagued Kevin Love, even if there were not many enticing offers out there. Cavaliers fans will continue to be under the post-LeBron depressions for years to come.
Acquired: D’Angelo Russell, 2020 lottery-protected first-round pick (via Brooklyn), Malik Beasley, James Johnson, Juan Hernangómez, Evan Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt
Traded: Andrew Wiggins, 2021 first-round pick (top-three protected in 2021, unprotected in 2022) Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Napier, Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a terrible basketball team after getting off to a hot start to begin the season. They have had two 11 or more game losing streaks. In the same season. Their superstar Karl-Anthony Towns is putting up career numbers as a 24-year old with 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds a game while shooting 41.2% from the 3-point line. It is vital for a franchise like Minnesota to make and keep their stars happy. They achieved this and made their team better by trading for D'Angelo Russell. They also got a first-round pick for this next season for the aging Robert Covington and got rid of Andrew Wiggins' massive contract. This deal comes with a lot of risks, but it is worth it considering the upside of how happy this can make Russell and Towns to be playing together once again.
Acquired: Clint Capela, Dewayne Dedmon, Skal Labissière, Derrick Walton Jr., 2020 second-round pick (from Houston), 2021 second-round pick (from Miami), and cash considerations (from Portland)
Traded: 2020 first-round pick (via Brooklyn), 2024 second-round pick (via Golden State), Evan Turner, Jabari Parker, Alex Len, cash considerations (to Los Angeles Clippers), and Chandler Parsons (waived)
The Atlanta Hawks made one of the biggest moves of the trade deadline as they acquired big man Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets in a 4-team 12-player deal involving the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets. Clint Capela has done nothing but produced with the Rockets since signing a five-year 90- million-dollar extension with them in 2018. Pairing him up with superstar Trey Young, this Hawks team made out quite well in acquiring a major upgrade in Capela that will sure up some of their defensive woes. Capela is also very affordable in today's NBA. The Hawks also acquired big man Dwayne Dedmon from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Jabari Parker and Alex Len. Dedmond is known around the league as a great veteran leader, and will only help this young Hawks core grow with one another. It is always scary to trade a first-round pick especially if you are a non-contender, but the Hawks made the right moves to address their current and future needs.
Los Angeles Clippers
Acquired: Marcus Morris, Isaiah Thomas (who was later waived), cash considerations, 2022 second-round pick (top-55 protected via Atlanta)
Traded: Moe Harkless, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick swap option with New York, 2021 second-round pick (via Detroit), Jerome Robinson, Derrick Walton Jr.
The Clippers acquired one of the best players available at the trade deadline, and by doing so kept him away from the Los Angeles Lakers. Marcus Morris was having an incredible season for the Knicks and at worst will be a great 3-And-D player for them. This did not come without a price in giving up the draft picks, but it was a move that matches a player that will work very well with Paul George and Kawahi Leonard. Marcus Morris is a proven veteran that is a huge addition to the title-contending Clippers.
Golden State Warriors
Acquired: Andrew Wiggins, 2021 top-three-protected first-round pick (via Minnesota), 2020 second-round pick (via Dallas), 2020 second-round pick (via Utah), 2021 second-round pick (via Denver), 2022 second-round pick (via Toronto)
Traded: D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman, Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III, and Alec Burks
The big bad Golden State Warriors have fallen. Very hard. They are currently 12-42 and have the worst record in the NBA. Their leading scoring behind the departed D'Angelo Russell is Eric Paschall who is averaging an abysmal 13.3 points per game. The Warriors are looking in the future when their superstars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return from injury next season. When they acquired D'Angelo Russell this offseason it did not make much sense due to Russell thriving as the primary ball-handler, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr even stated that "the fit was questionable when we signed him." The Warriors acquired the talented all though flawed Andrew Wiggins. It will be interesting to see how he pairs with the splash brothers in the future, but the biggest part of the deal was the first-round pick they received from Minnesota. The Warriors made out well on this deal especially considering the upside of Andrew Wiggins.
Acquired: Robert Covington, Bruno Caboclo, 2024 second-round pick (via Golden State)
Traded: Clint Capela, 2020 first-round pick, Gerald Green
The Rockets have gone all-in on the idea of spacing the floor. Their starting center is now the once undersized power forward, 6'5 PJ Tucker. The Rockets have been an elite offensive team this season with Clint Capela off the floor, but it will be hard to contain some of the bigger centers and power forwards. It will be vital for the Rockets to keep PJ Tucker fresh down the stretch, but this will be difficult with the only true center on the roster being 37-year old Tyson Chandler. Robert Convington is an elite 3-And-D player, and the Rockets finally have their guy after letting Trevor Ariza slip in free agency a couple of years ago. The floor will be a lot more spacious without Clint Capela, and this has worked out well for them so far, but you have to wonder what it will be like in the playoffs matching up against powerful centers.
Acquired: Shabazz Napier, Jerome Robinson
Traded: Jordan McRae, Isaiah Thomas
After a busy trade deadline, it is not difficult to overlook the moves that the 19-33 Washington Wizards made. The Washington Wizards moved on from Isaiah Thomas, and although he has been a good story especially with his performance on the offensive end it was time to move on. Thomas is a defensive liability and was creating chemistry problems on the Wizards ballclub. Getting a young lottery pick in Jerome Robinson made the deal even sweeter for the Wizards. The Wizards also held onto arguably the best 3-point shooter in the NBA in Davis Bertans aka the Latvian Laser, in hopes of resigning him this offseason to pair him up with the healthy John Wall and Bradley Beal. The trade of Jordan McRae hurts in the short term especially when they acquired a downgrade in Shabazz Napier, but with the immediate callup of Garrison Matthews from the G-league, it is clear that the Wizards believe Mattews has a bigger upside over McRae. The Wizards have many holes, but acquiring players like Jerome Robinson is exactly what they should be doing right now.