Cities Journal

Here’s Why This Season’s NBA Trades Were Underwhelming


Yesterday, the NBA trade deadline expired and it was a bit disappointing. Teams made very few major moves, all because the Warriors and the Spurs are simply too good this year. That being said, there were quite a few minor, but still very interesting moves that we want to talk to you about today.

Probably the biggest move this year has been Tobias Harris going to the Detroit Pistons while Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings went to the Orlando Magic. Most experts agree that the Pistons won this trade and we’d have to agree. Harris is a fantastic player (not without faults) and unless Jennings finds another level to his play, the Magic have made a huge mistake. Not that having Ilyasova’s consistent shooting at No.4 is not a good thing.

The Magic have also sent Channing Frye to the Cleveland Cavaliers who sent Jared Cunningham to Florida and Anderson Varejao to the Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers also received a first-round pick via Cleveland while the Magic received a second-round pick via Portland. The Cavs needed someone to stretch the floor and they got it in Frye. The Magic once again didn’t get much, as Cunningham still has to prove he can contribute to a team. The Blazers simply took on Varejao’s salary to upgrade their pick. Nice.

The Memphis Grizzlies sent Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets who sent P.J. Hairston back and Brian Roberts to the Miami Heat, who in turn sent Chris Andersen to the Grizzlies. The Grizz also received a few second-round picks. The Grizzlies are hoping Hairston breaks out while also adding much-needed picks for the future. The Hornets get a very good wing in Lee while the Heat get rid of Andersen’s sizeable contract in the hope of avoiding luxury taxt.

The Grizzlies also sent Jeff Green to the Los Angeles Clippers for Lance Stephenson and a future first-round pick. This is a move we don’t quite understand, as Lance is at best a hit-or-miss type of player and Jeff can pick up some serious minutes at the 3. Perhaps the Grizz just want the picks?

The Pistons made another move, sending a first-round pick and Joel Anthony to Houston Rockets for Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton. The Rockets then sent Anthony and a second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for rights to Chuk Maduabum. The Pistons get two potentially great fits, the Rockets get a great pick and the 76ers take on some salary for another one in the line of innumerable picks. A great deal for everyone.

1The Miami Heat sent Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans for a conditional second-round pick. Seemingly they lost, but Pat Riley actually managed to unload another $2 million off the books, inching closer to getting under the luxury tax line. On the other hand, the Pelicans might actually have Stokes work out for them. Who knows? The Atlanta Hawks sent Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz for a second-round pick. The Jazz lost very little since they have like a gazillion second-round picks left and the Hawks lost nothing since Shelvin played very, very little for them this season. Mack will probably find some use this year, but next year when Dante Exum returns from the injury, the PG situation is going to get too crowded in Utah.

The Oklahoma City Thunder got Randy Foye from the Denver Nuggets and they sent D.J. Augustin and Steve Novak to Colorado, together with a couple of second-round picks. It was about getting two guys off the books for the Thunder since Foye is having an atrocious year this season. On the other hand, the Nuggets get a sharpshooter and a backup PG, while also getting what is more important for them at the moment – picks.

The Phoenix Suns finally got rid of Markieff Morris who has been asking for a trade for quite some time now. They found trading partners in the Washington Wizards who, at least if you ask us, gave a bit too much for a man who didn’t want to stay in Arizona. Namely, they sent DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and a protected first-round pick for Markieff.

Finally, the Chicago Bulls sent Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks for Justin Holiday and a second-round pick. For Atlanta, this is very close to doing nothing while the Bulls got a pick, which is always nice.

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