Although yesterday’s trade deadline was quiet, there were a couple of deals that worked out great for a few teams. Read below to see the grades of all the teams involved in a transaction on Thursday.
See the list of all yesterday’s transactions here.
Channing Frye for Anderson Varejao & a 1st-rd pick: CLE B+, POR C+, ORL C
In Frye, the Cavaliers get a great outside shooting big man, for less than what they were paying for Varejao. Since 2009-10, Frye has hit 778 threes at a 39% clip, making him one of six players to have accumulated those numbers. Cleveland is going to get a lot of use out of Frye because their backup big men aren’t great on offense, and Anderson Varejao has been dealing with injuries for the last few years. With that said about Varejao, he was promptly placed on waivers by Portland.
The acquisition of a draft pick definitely helped, as the Blazers are attempting to rebuild while contending for a playoff spot in a weakened Western Conference. The Magic arguably got the worst end of the deal, as they dealt away a solid role player and received only a second round pick from Portland.
Randy Foye for D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak, two 2nd-rd picks: DEN A-, OKC C-
The Nuggets clearly got the better side of the deal based on player performance. They acquired a solid backup point guard, one of the deadliest shooters in the league, and two draft picks for Randy Foye, a shooting guard having the worst season of his career. Both Novak and Augustin were getting little playing time under Billy Donovan, but Randy Foye probably isn’t going to get much time, either. Not only is he playing poorly this year, the Thunder already have Waiters & Roberson at the two, and Westbrook & Payne at the point.
The only place it makes sense is financially, as both Augustin and Novak were expiring contracts. OKC’s deal also saved them $8.3 million in luxury tax.
Kirk Hinrich for Justin Holiday, 2nd-rd pick; Shelvin Mack for 2nd-rd pick: ATL C, CHI C+, UTAH C
In what was a very mellow trade overall, the Hawks acquired Kirk Hinrich; The Bulls received Justin Holiday and a draft pick, and Utah received Shelvin Mack. Nothing spectacular went on here, much to the dismay of the Bulls’ faithful who were looking for a blockbuster deal. All three players moved are role players, and don’t bring anything special to their respective teams; Justin Holiday did win a ring with GS last season, though. Chicago gets a plus next to them because they did manage to clear some luxury tax space, leaving them just over $1.6 million above the tax.
Joel Anthony, 1st-rd pick for Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Thornton: DET A, HOU D
After acquiring Joel Anthony, the Rockets immediately sent him to Philly (along with a second round pick) for the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum, a forward from Nigeria. Detroit had an absolutely fantastic week of trading and this was part of it. D-Mo, before dealing with back issues, showed a lot of promise for Houston because of his ability to stretch the floor, pass, and rebound. Before his back problems, surgery, and issues with recovery, Motiejunas averaged 12 points & 5.9 rebounds per game in 2014-15; much of the reason why they were so high on him.
Thornton, when healthy, can put up points in bunches. He too has dealt with injuries throughout his career and although most have been minor, he’s never put together a full season. If given enough playing time, Thornton can really make a difference. Per 36 minutes for his career, he averages 18.6 points per game on 36% shooting from outside.
Jarnell Stokes for a 2nd-rd pick: MIA C+, NOLA C
Pat Riley was able to execute two very minor trades on the deadline; this one helped drop the Heat below the luxury tax. He sent second-year player Jarnell Stokes to the Pelicans for a second-round pick. The Pelicans, whose season has been a wash, could very well utilize Stokes in their lineup. The Tennessee product has played 26 games in the NBA after a very solid three-year stint with the Volunteers.
Brian Roberts for a 2nd-rd pick: MIA C+, POR B-
Another deal to help get Miami under the luxury tax and this one saved them roughly $6 million. Sending Roberts to Portland gives the Blazers a superb backup to Damian Lillard. Roberts has bounced around during his short NBA career, but he managed to start 42 games for the Pelicans in 2013-14, his best season as a pro. Sporadic playing time has led to minimal production for Roberts, but he has proven himself capable of running a team from the bench, or as a starter.
Markieff Morris for DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries, 1st-rd pick: PHX A-, WSH C+
Phoenix did a great thing in moving Morris, especially since there was a draft pick involved. The Suns have had a disastrous season thus far and boast one of the league’s worst records. While Kris Humphries is a decent player, and DeJuan Blair is expected to be waived, the Suns get a high grade because they removed the cancer from the locker room. Morris has made his dissatisfaction with the organization blatantly obvious, and now with Morris gone, the Suns can start fresh.
Phoenix has had great success with late lottery picks in recent years — Devin Booker at 13, T.J. Warren at 14. This year, with the Morris trade, they have a chance to have four of the top 35 picks in the draft. For the Wizards, they’ve been consistently inconsistent, mostly due to injuries. Acquiring Morris is a ploy to attempt to lure Kevin Durant back home during free agency.
Jeff Green for Lance Stephenson, 1st-rd pick: LAC A+, MEM C
LAC got Lance Stephenson as a cure for their lack of depth. The result was the polar opposite, as Stephenson has been anything but productive for the Clips. A last minute trade was struck between the two teams and the Clippers found a cure for two possible problems: lack of length on the wing; lack of depth. With BG out, Green can substitute at PF, or can back up the small forward position. He’s also played under Doc Rivers before, and gives the second unit an excellent scoring option if he gets minutes with them.
Lance, on the other hand, is going to be fascinating to watch in Memphis. He has the potential to start on that team, but he also might end up as a role player unless his plays looks more it did with the Pacers.
*Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference*
*Photo Credit: Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports*