The NBA Trade Deadline is one of the more exciting days in the NBA year; its a day where moves are made that change the complexion of a team, and sometimes even the entire NBA. This Trade Deadline was not one of those league changing years. That being said, I still believe some of the teams involved in this weeks Trades are big winners. Who out of these teams do you think won the deadline?
Washington Wizards & Phoenix Suns: In a change that we all saw coming, Forward Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns was moved to Washington for big men Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair, and a first round pick in this years draft. An under the radar move, most people knew that Morris was on the move at this years deadline; a volatile relationship with his former head coach Jeff Hornacek, and a deteriorating relationship with his teammates (including a fight with young guard Archie Goodwin), this move was simply necessary. In return for Morris, averaging 11 points and five rebounds a game, the youthful Suns are getting two veteran big men in Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair and a first round pick in the upcoming ’16 draft. Neither of these players are game changers, but the first round pick should help the Suns continue their full on rebuild. I’m giving the Wizards the win in this trade, but not by much. I see a revitalized Morris playing solid basketball for the Wizards in their hunt for a playoff spot.
Detroit Pistons & Orlando Magic: This move was probably the biggest, and in my opinion the best, of the entire Trade Deadline. But for which team is the question? Both of these teams are scraping to get into the playoffs, as neither of them has seen post-season basketball since 2012. It is exactly these types of conditions that lead to great trades. In this trade made on Tuesday, Detroit sent their quick guard Brandon Jennings and sharp shooting PF Ersan Ilyasova to the Magic for up and coming swing man Tobias Harris. Now at first glance one might say that this is an easy win for Motor City, and I understand that. Tobias Harris is a player who fits the young style of the Pistons, and is easy to see working well next to Drummond at the four, or even next to Jackson and Caldwell-Pope at the Small Forward spot. Harris’s stats are solid as well, as he is averaging nearly 14 points and a strong seven rebounds. Although I also think the Magic did well in this deal. Brandon Jennings is a point guard with a chip on his shoulder after being sent to a third team within the last four years. At only 26 years old, Jennings can turn around his career under former coach Scott Skiles, and I think he will. Ilyasova is also a great shooter for a big man, and will provide Orlando with a much needed boost in that sense. As for the Winner of this trade, I give it to the Pistons because of the fact that I genuinely believe Harris will help elevate the “Bad Boys” into the Playoffs for the first time since ’09.
Memphis Grizzlies & L.A. Clippers: In a trade between two similar teams, neither of them make it very far in the Western Conference post-season, a big move was made. The trade involved a deal where Memphis received a future protected first round pick, and the wild yet skilled guard/forward Lance Stephenson. While the Clips get Jeff Green from the Grizz. Lance Stephenson was in a situation in Los Angeles where he simply didn’t fit into the rotation, starting only 10 games and averaging a meager 4 points per game, it was best for both the Clippers and Stephenson to part ways. Although I’m a bit weary of Memphis being Stephenson’s location, based off of the teams current roster filled with various interesting characters. As for the Clippers, I think that their move of acquiring the multi-talented Jeff Green was a solid one. They can play Green at the three or the four with the absence of Blake Griffin, and he is a player who can create offense for himself without relying on Chris Paul. Green is averaging 12 points, four boards, and nearly two assists per game, and is a versatile offensive player. It also helps that Doc Rivers coached Green in Boston not long ago. Still, I think the Grizzlies are the winners of this deal as they are getting a much younger player in Stephenson, 25, versus the nearly 30 year old Jeff Green. And Memphis is also getting a protected 2019 first round pick, which will be useful when they need to rebuild in a few seasons.
Honorable Mentions: The Hornets made a good move in acquiring Three and D shooting guard Courtney Lee. I think he will be a good fit in Charlotte, and may even help the Hornets slide into the playoff conversation. The Jazz also made a nice move with their acquisition of point guard Shelvin Mack from the Hawks. Mack is a solid veteran who will be able to get more minutes on a Utah team fighting for a playoff berth.
Dishonorable Mention: The Houston Rockets shopped their troubled guard Ty Lawson to various teams throughout the week, none bit. To be fair there were many nibbles, but in the end, Lawson is staying in Houston with his 12 million dollar contract in the midst of his worst statistical season in his career.
All Images via Google
All Statistics via ESPN.com