TRADE RECAP #1, by Austin Krell
Sixers get: Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott
Clippers get: Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (via Miami), 2021 second-round pick, 2023 second-round pick
Was it wise for Philly to give up this much for a guy on an expiring contract? On the flipside, did the Clippers get enough in return? Will the Clippers do anything with it, or will they be another perpetually-tanking team soon? What do we think of Tobias Harris’s fit with the Sixers?
I said this when the Sixers gave up Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless to get Jimmy Butler, and I’ll say it again now--you have to give up value to get value. While Landry Shamet is a promising young player, Mike Muscala was a major disappointment for the Sixers this year (only 34% from three-point range) and Wilson Chandler was always injured. Getting Tobias Harris gave the Sixers a FOURTH star-level player, getting Boban Marjanovic gave them a competent back-up center whose physical limitations force his minutes to fit perfectly with Joel Embiid’s, and getting Mike Scott gave them some depth. While the Sixers gave up a pair of first-round picks, those picks likely won’t be high enough to be considered valuable. If you ask me, the Clippers gave up WAY too much.
I think the Clippers agreed to this trade because they have their eyes on the prize--Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard (and/or someone else). They view this as a very short-term rebuild.
At 43% from three-point range with a usage rate of 23% and a 49% conversion rate on pull-up three-pointers, Tobias Harris is the PERFECT fit for the Sixers. He does not need to dominate the ball to score his 21 points per game, but he is capable of creating off-the-dribble. In the Eastern Conference, with the right team, Harris has the makings of a multiple-time-all-star. In my opinion, Elton Brand won the trade deadline.
TRADE RECAP #2, by Colin Krauss
Raptors get: Marc Gasol
Grizzlies get: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, 2024 second-round pick
Is Marc Gasol really an upgrade over Valanciunas for Toronto to throw in Delon Wright, too? How do we like CJ Miles’s fit with the Griz? Did the Grizzlies get a steal with Delon? What can Valanciunas contribute to the Grizzlies?
The Raptors and Grizzlies partook in one of the many big-time trades through the course of the trade deadline. For these two teams, it was a tale of two very different priorities. Here’s the breakdown.
On the surface, it does look like a nice victory for the Toronto Raptors. They get a multiple-time All-Star on an expiring deal. They get a veteran who has been through more than his fair share of bloodbaths in the playoffs. They also reduce the impact of some team weaknesses while getting rid of some redundancies. However, the Grizzlies did a nice job on this one. Here’s Memphis’ side of the transaction.
Obviously, the biggest storyline is that Gasol was one of two bloodlines going back to the Grit ‘N’ Grind era in Memphis. The other was Mike Conley, who remains on the Grizzlies for the remainder of the season. Gasol and the Grizzlies never did reach their summit. Injuries, lacking depth, and the Golden State Warriors cut a couple seasons short. The other years, they were outmatched by better teams.
Losing Gasol signals the continued breaking up of that beloved team that didn’t like threes and loved hustle and heart. The not-so-bittersweet angle of this trade is getting off of Gasol’s contract for this season and most likely next season as well. Gasol has a player option for 25.6$ million next season after making the rest of his 24.1$ million this year. Odds are, Gasol plays under his price tag to finish the year, which should predict that he’d pick up his option. However, that’s not a given. He may prefer long-term security and opt out for a new contract. He might also outplay this price, although I’d never put my money on it. If so, he can opt out for a lucrative 1 or 2 year deal.
Getting Valanciunas from Toronto is basically getting diet Gasol in terms of money. He makes $16.5 million this year and has a player option for $17.6 million next year. The Grizzlies are probably not a free agent destination this summer, so nabbing Jonas can be a good long-term addition. He can get paid next year with some extra space they don’t have guaranteed. Then, they can hypothetically desire his services and sign him for more seasons at less money (most likely). Valanciunas is a solid center, but he’s not on Gasol’s level when it comes to passing, shooting, or rim protection. He can hold down the fort in Memphis for the time being and either move on or re-sign in a couple of years.
CJ Miles was a only a piece to help accelerate the deal for both teams. He’s getting a little over 8 million this season and a little more next season. CJ has had a bad year. He’d been less present in Toronto’s rotation for months as he was unable to get his shot going. In the modern NBA, Miles is a nice depth piece when he’s shooting over 40% from three. When he isn’t, it’s tough for him to be a positive. Think JJ Redick except much less of the hustle, playmaking, or off-ball chaos. He’s not much of a passer or playmaker at all and is way too small to play small forward. Like Valanciunas, Miles will have minutes if the front office wants to get some wins. Less so, if they want to tank.
But the big grab for Memphis was youngster Delon Wright, a very solid player with some upside. As a 6’5” combo guard that can handle the ball, shoot effectively (36% from three prior to this season), and defend a bit on the perimeter, he’s got value. Memphis would be smart to see what he can do and let him have some minutes as a primary creator. For the Raptors, Wright had a slow year. Dealing with reduced minutes and a reduced role certainly affected his play on the court. He’s also 26 and on an expiring rookie-scale contract, so the potential is not exactly that of Donovan Mitchell.
Still, given the rather bitter circumstances surrounding Gasol’s exit from Memphis, getting two serviceable veterans and a good player that could hopefully be a staple of the team’s rotation in the future isn’t bad.
Oh yeah, they also snagged a 2024 second rounder, and before you smash your head against a wall wondering who gives a **** about a second rounder in 5 years, it could be a good asset. Given the fact the Raptors have been playoff-level competitive for several years, they are likely on the verge of a downturn if they don’t keep Kawhi Leonard. If the Raps are a bottom-10 NBA team in 2023, the Grizz could get a pick in the 30s. That’s good! But not really that great.
For the Raptors, this was a win-this-season-like-Kawhi-Leonard-might-leave-in-the-summer move. Gasol is perhaps the tenth best center in the NBA and he adds a ton to a position of need for Toronto. They have all kinds 3s and 4s like Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam (God), OG Anunoby, and Serge Ibaka. Gasol is a true 5. Ibaka is a small 5. He’s really a whole new wrinkle for the Raptors. He is a great shooter for his position. He is a savvy defender and rim protector. He is one of the best passing centers. He has experience and an eagerness to get back to winning NBA games, something Memphis has annually lacked recently.
Gasol is a huge upgrade. CJ Miles was not even average this year. Valanciunas offers little scary in a playoff context. Delon Wright was a somewhat redundant player with Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Fred VanVleet, and now veteran Jeremy Lin on the team. But Gasol is a monster at their weakest position that WILL give them one or two wins this playoffs.
Gasol can take this team to a new level by just filling some holes. Protect the rim when the Raps need a true center. Pass to Lowry, Siakam, and Leonard, which is something only Lowry and Siakam could do in the starting lineup. Hit a couple threes each game. In the games where Gasol goes just 3-6 from three, that will be a game in which the Raptors are next to impossible to beat. Valanciunas and Ibaka could not meet these very essential needs to the same standard as Gasol should.
To wrap up, Gasol heading to the Raps means they are one key roster hole closer to contention for the Finals this June. Their playoff ceiling has been risen. The Grizzlies managed to get out of Gasol’s contract, grab a couple vets, cultivate a young-ish player, and hang onto a nice second round pick. This was a very very fair deal to me, given the priorities of each squad.
TRADE RECAP #3, by Stephen Cameron
Magic get: Markelle Fultz
Sixers get: Jonathon Simmons, 2020 first-round pick (via Thunder), future second-round pick
Is Orlando the place for Markelle Fultz to get “fixed?” Did the Sixers get enough back? Usually you find Orlando being the sellers on guys like Fultz rather than buyers (see: Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris). What changed? Was this just a no-brainer?
Q: Is Orlando the place for Markelle Fultz to get “fixed?”
A: When the Orlando Magic traded for Markelle Fultz, they knew it would come at a risk. Could he or could he not become the player the NBA thought he could be coming out of college. With the 76rs in a win-now mindset and the Magic focusing more on development and growth, the environments and pressure will come very different for Markelle. The Magic should be able to provide a stress-free environment for Fultz to return to his former self and focus on his rehabilitation from injury.
Q: Usually you find Orlando being the sellers on guys like Fultz rather than buyers (see: Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris). What changed?
A: The answer to this question comes in a two-part answer. The first part we will look at the front office. The General Manager who made the Oladipo and Harris trade was fired, particularly because of how horrible the Oladipo trade turned out. The new front office has a different mindset on how to go about this rebuild and is focusing on doing it the correct way, not the fast way. The second part, this season is about making forward progress and changing the culture and perception of the Magic. They are focused on development in a winning environment. To give up on young assets now and focus on the draft would not accomplish those goals as they have playoff aspirations.
Q: Did the Sixers get enough back and Was this just a no-brainer?
A: This trade was, in fact, a no-brainer. The Magic gave up a player in Jonathan Simmons, who has struggled to keep a second unit role all season. Moving on from him allowed more playing time for the younger players such as Wes Iwundu and Melvin Frazer Jr. We also gave up to late round picks. The OKC first was top 20 protected and the second round pick was not our own. They were able to pull the trade off without including Terrence Ross who I believe they are looking to retain this summer. This trade is a win-win for the Magic and hopefully, Fultz can recover and give the team the point guard of the future. In regards to the Sixers, I believe they would have gotten similar offers from other teams. The biggest asset for them, in my opinion, is the cap space due to Simmons partially guaranteed contract for next season.
TRADE RECAP #4, by Alex Golden
Bulls get: Otto Porter, Jr.
Wizards get: Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, 2023 second-round pick
So what’s the deal? Why did either side agree to this? Do either the Bulls or the Wizards know what they’re doing? Does anyone gain anything or is this two organizations flailing around?
The Washington Wizards were looking to relieve some of their cap space and the Bulls were looking to acquire a small forward, who they knew they couldn’t acquire via free agency. The Bulls and Wizards are poorly run franchises, that continue to make head-scratching decisions. However, this deal to me, made sense. I like Bobby Portis, a lot. He will be a nice power forward for the Wizards. Jabari Parker was a salary throw in, which helps the Wizards salary for the next season.
The John Wall contract is going to hinder the Wizards from making any big moves, and with Brad Beal looking to hit free agency in a few years, this Wizards team is sort of in a rebuild. The Bulls are still a few pieces away as well. But, if they can draft a player like Ja Morant to go with Lavine, Porter, Lauri and Carter Jr., they have a nice core for the future. The Wizards core on the other hand, is: Wall, Beal, Ariza, Porter and Bryant. While you have a talented backcourt, this isn’t a playoff worthy team. I think Washington will sign Porter long-term, but they ultimately need to find a trading partner for Beal, to help aleviate losing him for nothing and putting them even further behind the 8-ball.
TRADE RECAP #5, by Evan Watkins
Kings get: Harrison Barnes
Mavericks get: Justin Jackson, Zach Randolph
You can’t tank with Luka on this roster. Is it the right move for Dallas to trade a proven vet like Barnes for a second-year guy like Jackson? Will Barnes even end up re-signing with the Kings or opting into his player option? Is it awkward that the deal got done while he was playing a game for the Mavs?
It doesn’t make sense to me for the Mavs to tank. They owe Atlanta their first this year unless it falls within the top 5. What it does do for the Mavericks is clear up their cap space to chase after a max slot. Who that could be, I have no idea, but perhaps Khris Middleton will be a target. At this point, I think the Mavs are retooling their roster on the fly here so as to not muddle any of Luka Doncic’s prime. However, I’m not sure how they’ll fare in free agency. But I have to commend the Mavs here for not opting to keep their misconstructed offense together longer than they needed.
As for the Kings, I like them taking a chance on Barnes here. He’s still only 26 and can be a capable wing scorer. I think he’ll opt into his player option and try a full season with the Kings and chase free agency next year. It makes more sense for him to wait a year because next year’s free agent class is going to be significantly weaker than this year, unless of course Kyrie and KD are signing 1+1 deals (I doubt it). The Kings have an uphill battle to get to the playoffs, but as an organization they’ve been fairly savvy at restructuring their roster. I think it would be fun to see Barnes stick around and help the Kings end their 15+-year playoff drought. Sacramento fans deserve it.
TRADE RECAP #6, by Colin Krauss
Grizzlies get: Avery Bradley
Clippers get: Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green
The Clippers were the 1 seed in the West a mere 20 games ago. Do you agree with the Clippers blowing it up like this and opting to tank? Is this a good approach to take instead of getting an edge on the Lakers? What’s the endgame here? What are the Grizzlies telling us with this trade? How does this impact a guy like JaMychal, who’s in a contract season?
Q1: This trade is a not a blockbuster by any means. However, each club gets a bit of what they needed. For the Clippers, they gave up a key rotation player for some depth additions, which will aid them in their exit out of the playoff picture. The Clippers are a smart organization. Tanking this year makes sense. They are hopeful to get one or two max-level players, specifically Kawhi Leonard has been all over the rumor mill with LA Clippers as his desired relocation. They will get a quality pick, and build up a new team from the bottom up. While the playoffs would be a fun showing for this Clippers team, they're not a contender. Being better than the Lakers is a surprise, but taking this quick breather to reset the organization again is an intelligent and patient move.
Q2: The most important thing for the Clippers is gaining two expiring deals. Both Temple and Green are making around 8 mil and aren't signed for next year. They have more room for stars, and if they like Green and/or Temple they can make an offer to fill out the rest of their roster.
For Memphis, they gain a defensive minded guard to play with or behind Conley. Bradley hadn't had a great season, but he should fit into the Grizzlies’ style. They also secure a signed player for another year to add some stability to a franchise in flux. The Grizzlies must not be prioritizing a tank very heavily. The Clippers would have been motivated to make that cap space open this summer, so at least a second rounder should have been a part of this one for Memphis’ haul.
Q3: For both Temple and Green, this is a perfect audition to make the future Clippers’ team. LA should be close to competing within a few years if things go their way. Green and Temple could be perfect vets if they would like to move to smaller but more successful roles moving forward. Each one should also be relatively cheap to keep for a long term deal (maybe 6-10mil per year for 3-4 years each for solid vet play?). If not, they are unrestricted can dictate their careers as they please.
This seems so far to be a nice win for the Clippers. Memphis I think could have done a bit better at grabbing assets rather than getting a role player past his prime.
TRADE RECAP #7, by John DeLeon
Rockets get: Iman Shumpert, Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin
Cavaliers get: Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, 2019 first-round pick (via Rockets, lottery protected)
Kings get: Alec Burks
Is Shumpert still good enough for the Rockets to try and work him in for the home stretch? Do you guys like the way the Cavs are trying to reconstruct their franchise after LeBron wrecked it? What do the Kings see in Alec Burks? And, given the Rockets’ other transactions today, is there really a benefit to getting under the tax line?
The Houston Rockets got more of what they are looking for, someone who can defend, doesn’t demand the ball be in his hands and can knock down 3-pt shots at a decent clip (36.6% before being traded) in Iman Shumpert. Coach D’Antoni is somewhat familiar with Shumpert, having coached him in New York while Shump was a member of the Knicks. The Rockets haven’t solidified their 15-man roster yet, waiting to convert a 2-way player contract to see what’s left on the buy-out market.
The Cleveland Cavaliers got Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and a 2019 1st round pick that is lottery protected. The Cavs also picked up Nik Stauskas after initially being shipped to the Indiana Pacers in a three-way deal by the Rockets (along with Wade Baldwin), which the Pacers waived both players.
The Sacramento Kings received Alec Burks in the three-way deal. The Kings made another move to me, that got them a veteran in Harrison Barnes from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Justin Jackson and veteran big man Zach Randolph. The Kings are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in over 12 years.
TRADE RECAP #8, by Matt Emery
Bucks get: Nikola Mirotic
Pelicans get: Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson, four future second-round picks
So the Pelicans are self-destructing. On purpose. After not cowtowing to the Lakers’ attempts to acquire Anthony Davis, they’re decimating their roster. Do we see AD at all for the rest of the year? How does Mirotic fit into the Bucks’ rotation, both for now and come playoff time?
My first though on this trade was that the Pelicans are moving on and that the Bucks are just stacking up getting ready for a deep playoff run.
Mirotic is the perfect player for the Bucks, as he will help to spread the floor, creating more driving lanes for both Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe. Mirotic is a free agent at the end of the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigns with the Bucks. The team has an interesting cap situation, with the ability to create cap space for another max contract. George Hill’s contract is fully non-guaranteed at $18M, so he can be waived in the off-season with no cap hit to the Bucks. The team was also on Anthony Davis’s short list of preferred trade destinations, so George Hill’s contract may be interesting as salary filler there too, assuming the Pelicans want cap relief, young players, and picks.
From the Pelicans perspective, this trade was clearly about moving on. It’s not a good situation down there, especially with the news that unfolded today about the firing of Dell Demps. If I were the Pelicans, I would have executed on that Lakers proposed offer build around Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Stanley Johnson had a strong rookie season, and showed up in a few playoffs games against the Cavs in 2016. However, he has never shot above 40% and is a bad three point shooter. That’s not your prototypical wing in today’s NBA.
TRADE RECAP #9, by Mike Facci
Suns get: Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington
Heat get: Ryan Anderson
Is Tyler Johnson the right answers for the Suns and their point guard woes? Why is Miami agreeing to take on Anderson and his big contract? What’s Miami’s goal? Why did Phoenix agree to take on Anderson from Houston in the first place?
The Miami Heat send guards Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson to the Phoenix Suns for stretch forward Ryan Anderson. The seldom-used 3-point shooting big man fell out of favor in Phoenix after coming over from Houston earlier this season, when it was believed that the Suns could make a run at the playoffs. A 4-24 start to the season spelled out that the playoffs were not realistic this season (not sure who convinced them that it ever was) and with just one year remaining on his contract, Anderson became expendable as the Suns continue to look to fill the void at point guard that Steve Nash left when he joined the Lakers back in 2012.
The 3-point specialist, Wayne Ellington would quickly be waived and while I do not feel that Tyler Johnson is the long-term solution for the Suns at point guard or even shooting guard for that matter, with just 1 year and $19.2 million remaining on his contract, I do not hate the gamble by the Suns. While it is impressive what Tyler Johnson has been able to accomplish having gone undrafted in 2014, he failed to live up to the lofty 4-year, $50 million deal that he signed back in 2016. Perhaps a change of scenery for Johnson could benefit him as he has shown that he can play both on and off the ball and is a career 36.7% three-point shooter. For Miami, the deal made perfect sense from a roster and luxury tax standpoint. With Goran Dragic’s anticipated return looming and Justice Winslow playing more and more of a ball-handling role this year, Johnson became expendable. While the Heat could afford minutes for Anderson at the 4 spot, the move was primarily done to drop Miami’s luxury bill from $9.7 million to $1.7 million, while also creating a $6 million trade exception for the Heat. Anderson’s $15.6 million salary next year is fully expected to be stretched over the next three years registering as a $5.2 million hit to allow Miami to avoid the luxury tax altogether.
TRADE RECAP #10, by Harris Rubenstein
Mavericks get: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke
Knicks get: Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, two future first-round picks
Are the Knicks actually trying to clear up cap space for max players, or are they just letting another former lottery pick go? How will DSJ fit with Frank Ntilikita? Why are the Mavericks tearing down this roster? Are they trying to tank or restructure their roster around Doncic? Will Porzingis stay with Dallas? What do Hardaway and Lee bring to the Mavs?
Harris Rubenstein: While the flavor of the decade has been to dump on the Knicks front office, they actually did very well this trade. Let’s start with just Porzingis. Trading Kristaps and getting equal value back for him was never a real possibility. With restricted free agency on the horizon compounded with a return from a torn ACL as a big man, a Kevin Garnett or Carmelo Anthony-esque return was never in the cards. However, getting back a controllable young star in Dennis Smith Jr along with multiple expiring contracts and 2 1st round draft picks is a damn good haul. Porzingis never expressed any interest in being a Knick long-term and had multiple public confrontations with the Knicks front office. Not to mention, the Knicks are actively trying to lose games. This trade will instantly lead to more losses this season and anything that gets them closer to Zion Williamson should be considered a win. Once you add in all the different parts of our context equation, the Knicks came out on a positive end of this trade.
The Dallas Mavericks, however, won this trade. The rule of trade law in the NBA states that whichever team receives the best player wins the trade. The Mavericks snagged one of the best young big men in the NBA, while only giving up a couple of affordable assets. The Mavericks plan was to find a star to pair with Luka Doncic and build around the two of them. It is extremely rare for a player of Porzingis’ caliber and age to hit the trade market and even rarer for that same player to be this good of a fit next to Doncic. I would expect the Mavericks and Porzingis to come to an agreement on a long-term contract and keep the Unicorn in Dallas for years to come. In a league run by stars, having a 19-year-old Luka Doncic and a 23-year-old Kristaps Porzingis together for the foreseeable future makes the Mavericks a yearly playoff contender and a possible Finals dark horse if they make a few more good moves.