By: Adam Pasternak
This past Thursday was the annual NBA Trade Deadline (not Wednesday, Nick Young), and plenty of moves were made. Today I’ll be discussing the ones that stood out the most.
Clippers Trade Lance Stephenson and 1st Round Pick to Grizzlies for Jeff Green:
Out of all the deals made this past Thursday, this deal between the Clippers and the Grizzlies stuck out most to me. The fact that Memphis agreed to this trade tells us that the Grizzlies have given up their hopes of going far (or even making) this years postseason, and have potentially started a rebuild. They also traded away Courtney Lee and suddenly find themselves as heavy favourites NOT to make the playoffs. If Lance works out for them – great – but we all know the odds of that happening. If they are entering a rebuild, one has to think that Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph’s time in Memphis is nearing an end. As well, Mike Conley will be a free agent this coming offseason, and it will be interesting to see if they bring him back or not. The Grizzlies will have a lot of work to do this summer, and I honestly don’t know what direction they will go in. As for the Clippers, they acquired the wing player they need to hopefully make a deep playoff run. Jeff Green is familiar with the system, having played for Doc Rivers in Boston a few years ago, and should fit in great. He brings hustle and elite defence to a team that really needs stability after all the drama that has gone on this season. Green’s arrival gives the Clippers great depth at the wing position with Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson slotting in right behind him off the bench. It will be interesting to see what the Clippers can do when Blake Griffin returns. Ultimately, I think Green will help but I still don’t see the Clippers going past the second round this year.
Magic Trade Tobias Harris to Pistons for Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings:
This deal was the first of many last week, and it came as a huge surprise to me. Detroit stole away the J. Cole look alike, Tobias Harris, from the Magic for two struggling players. Ilyasova hasn’t done much the last few years and Brandon Jennings has been injured for what seems like his whole time in Detroit. I truly don’t understand why the Magic pulled the trigger on this deal. Yes reuniting Jennings with his first coach in the NBA, Scott Skiles, might be a good idea, but they already have a young and promising point guard in Elfrid Payton. Will Jennings start, or will Payton? They also are now trusting rookie Mario Hezonja and three-point shooter Evan Fournier to fill the void at small forward. It will be interesting to see how those two guys react with more playing time. For a team that was hoping to push for a playoff spot this year, they really made some bad decisions last week.
Suns Trade Markieff Morris to Wizards for Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and a Protected First Round Pick:
The Suns trading Markieff Morris was something the whole league has seen coming since this past summer, but trading him to the Wizards was a surprise to almost everyone. There were many rumours swirling around, and it was originally thought that the Raptors were the front runners for his services. The Wizards came out of nowhere, and got themselves a much needed stretch four. The Wizards are a much different team then they were last season. Losing Paul Pierce caused them to have a lack of leadership and experience, and it has shown all season long. Aside from John Wall (and Bradley Beal when healthy), they really don’t have anyone else who can consistently put the ball in the hoop. With Morris, they get someone who can stretch the floor and put some numbers on the board. Ego aside, he is a great pickup and should help them win some games down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how they use him, and I am especially excited to see Morris and Wall run the pick and pop. As long as Morris doesn’t clash with any of his teammates like he did in the Desert, it should workout great for both parties.
Aside from these three deals, there really wasn’t any blockbuster trades. No star players were moved, and most of the trades that happened were ones that people in the NBA world had seen coming for a little while. The most interesting part of the whole deadline, in my opinion, were the deals that didn’t happen. Dwight is still a Houston Rocket, Jahlil Okafor is still a Sixer, and Ryan Anderson is still a Pelican. In my opinion, the Draft and the coming offseason will be the most exciting and I think a lot of deals will happen then. Overall, deals were made and a lot of playoff contenders added strong depth pieces that should help them all make a playoff push come April.
What did you think of this year’s NBA Trade Deadline? Did your team make the right moves? Comment below!
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