Latest posts by Yusuf Nakhooda (see all)
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It was a wild day at the NBA trade deadline that saw some crazy deals that went down. Here are the winners and losers now that the dust has settled from the whirlwind of trades we saw yesterday afternoon.
Los Angeles Lakers
The main objective of the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline was to get rid of long term money and get ready for the 2018 and 2019 free agency spending spree. In the trade that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers they managed to achieve that goal, and in the process get a 2018 first-round pick from the Cavaliers.
Giving up Larry Nance Jr. was a little hard to part with, who is a great athlete and a excellent defender who still had one year left on his rookie contract. This could be thought of as two seperate trades. The Lakers got a first-rounder for Nance and a pair of expiring contracts – plus a chance to see if Isaiah Thomas still has value – for Clarkson, who is owed $26 million for two seasons after this one. That’s pure highway robbery.
For all the rumors circulating about the Lakers focusing for the 2019 free agent period, they are in a good position for next year as they only have $37 million in committed salary for next year. That is pretty shrewd thinking by Magic Johnson and the Lakers brass.
Although the Lakers definitely won the first trade of the day, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a flurry of trades which totally dismantled their roster which is a state of flux. In all they replaced Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Dwayne Wade, Imam Schumpert, and Derrick Rose with the likes of Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and George Hill.
They didn’t sacrifice much, as they also got a much younger roster, while improving their defense and perimeter shooting.
With so much turnover on their roster, the main question remains how will they all gel together. They might get out of the Eastern Conference come playoff time, but will it be enough to challenge the mighty Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship?
This trade should signal to LeBron James that they are willing to be aggressive, and to save cost to keep him around for next season.
New York Knicks
That’s right the Knicks finally came out a winner. It would have been great if they could have traded Courtney Lee or Kyle O’Quinn, but that might still happen in the summer. They took a big chance on Emmanuel Mudiay, who is a talented point guard but just needed a change of scenery which should do him a world of good. This is the type of low cost trade the Knicks had to do in light of Kristaps Porzingis horrific injury.
After cutting their guard and wing depth to acquire Blake Griffin, the Pistons did a great job in acquiring some veteran help in the form of point guard Jameer Nelson, and swingman James Ennis. It wasn’t a mind blowing trade, considering the Pistons were relying on their big men who had lead them to five straight wins but any depth will help them in the long run.
A few months back the talk in Utah was that Rodney Hood would be the teams new scorer. Funny how things can change in a heart beat. On Thursday they traded Hood along with veteran Joe Johnson and only received Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose in return.
What were the Jazz thinking here? In Crowder, Utah gets a declining player who has seen his production on both ends decrease since the Boston Celtics included him in last summer’s Kyrie Irving trade, and Rose has become a non-factor.
The Grizzlies benched Tyreke Evans last week, as they took trade calls on him. However, nothing materialized yesterday. This could be that teams didn’t want to trade a first rounder for the 28 year old guard.
Memphis might be wise to keep him in the summer, and sign him to a extension. The Grizzlies did manage however to unload James Ennis’ expiring contract for a future second round pick for Brice Johnson.