That was a hell of a trade deadline. Talented young players changing teams, high-value draft picks changing hands, contending teams adding pieces, decent teams squadding up and trying to start something—today hit every note you're looking for in a trade deadline dogpile, and had the courtesy of doing it all at once and damn near killing the beat writers. Here's a rundown of all of the trades from today.
Goran and Zoran Dragic to Heat
Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks to the Suns
Shawne Williams to Pelicans
The only live body in this deal is Goran Dragic, who is 28, very good, and fits a gaping, pus-filled, Chalmers-filled hole in the Heat's roster. Dragic's going to opt out after this season, and the Heat have one more year of Deng and Wade heavy on the cap, but they're clear enough that if Goran wants to re-sign, it should be fine. In the meantime, this year's Heat look like a real team, sort of. Dragic, Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside are a nice little lineup; Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, and a bunch of 10-day contracts are a nightmare bench. The Heat are 22-30 right now and sitting in the 8th seed, and should at least put up a fight in the first round.
Enes Kanter, Steve Novak (Jazz) and Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin (Pistons) to Thunder
Reggie Jackson to Pistons
Kendrick Perkins, first-round pick (Thunder), second-round pick (Pistons)* to Jazz
Oh look, the Thunder have a new, even more anonymous Nick Collison. Somewhat less depressing than the Brook Lopez alternative, I guess. Dispassionate Thunder observers will be thankful to be rid of the horrifying Perk shifts at the end of close games, but they'll also have to deal with a whole lot more Dion Waiters now, too, so it's kind of a wash on that front.
Also: DID THE PISTONS JUST SNATCH REGGIE JACKSON (who is not great, but…) FOR D.J. AUGUSTIN AND STUPID KYLE SINGLER? R.I.P. Brandon Jennings and all, but that's pretty good.
Kendrick Perkins on the Utah Jazz. :(
Brandon Knight (Bucks) and Marcus Thornton (Celtics) to the Suns
Michael Carter-Williams (Sixers), Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis (Suns) to the Bucks
Lakers' top-five protected first-round pick to the Sixers
Isaiah Thomas to the Celtics
The poor Suns started the year signing Isaiah Thomas and holding a gun to the league's head with the threat of a three-PG lineup of Thomas, Goran Dragic, and Eric Bledsoe. Now they've got Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and John Salmons. That's not a downgrade, it's a felony—and for the privilege they had to give up the bum-ass Lakers' top-5 protected pick.
The Celtics, meanwhile, replace Rajon Rondo with a young point guard who just signed a long-term contract to play in Phoenix and now has to drag his ass to Boston and deal with some asshole in a lawn chair telling him where he can park. The Sixers get a pretty good (but not great) pick for a pretty good (but not great) point guard, and hand over the balance of the season to, uh, Tony Wroten? That'll be a thrill to watch, I'm sure.
MCW joins Giannis on the Bucks. Can you name four other Bucks, including the other two from the above list? Also, Jason Kidd can probably run a better high pick-and-roll than MCW right now.
Norris Cole to Pelicans
John Salmons to Suns
Sure, why not?
K.J. McDaniels to Rockets
Isaiah Canaan, second-round draft pick to Sixers
This is why so many people think Sam Hinkie's asset hoarding and commitment to The Process, which doesn't seem to have anything to do with actually winning basketball games, is bullshit. If there was one guy on the roster that Sixers fans loved to point to as evidence that Hinkie is in fact a mad genius, it was K.J. McDaniels. "He plays defense like Scottie Pippen!" they'd wail, "and Hinkie got him with the 32nd pick in the draft!"
Here's another thing Hinkie did: Fueled by his obsession with maintaining cap and roster flexibility, he tried to offer McDaniels a four-year rookie deal in which the last two years of the contract would be non-guaranteed. You can see the cold-eyed calculus here: McDaniels was the kind of fringe prospect that you don't want to be tied to for four seasons, but his upside made him an attractive guy to buy low on. You give him two guaranteed years, and if he develops into a good player, you get to keep him on the cheap for the last two years of his deal. If he fails to develop? You cut his ass. That's how you maximize the value of an asset.
But K.J. McDaniels is a human being, and sometimes human beings don't like being treated like assets. So he told Hinkie to go fuck himself, signed a one-year contract, and spent the first half of this season developing into a really good defensive shooting guard. He was probably going to ditch Philly this offseason, so Hinkie did all he could and flipped him for a second rounder and that guy who got his dick grabbed by Dwight Howard.
Pablo Prigioni to Rockets
Two second-round picks to Knicks
Good for Pablo, man. Prigioni was the last competent player on the Knicks roster, and one of the few who was neither contemptible nor a random delivery truck driver in shorts and sneakers. Prigioni is 37, and it was always kind of perverse that he waited so long to come to the NBA, and then got stuck on the goddamned Knicks. Houston will be a good fit, both because creative perimeter passing would make the mathball Rockets a little more watchable in the 10 or 15 minutes Prigioni plays, and also because they have players who can cover for his Bargs-level defensive fuckups.
Aaron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee to Blazers
Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver and lottery-protected 2016 first-round pick to Nuggets
Much-needed wing depth for the Blazers, who have watched Nic Batum—their best playmaker—play out the season like a guy with his nuts in a cold-pressed juicer. The Blazers are a good team, and now they have another good player and a slightly less miserable bench. Good for them.
As for the Nuggets: what the fuck ever, man. Afflalo was a signing that didn't pay off and he needed to go, but there's nothing here to really get excited about. Thomas Robinson can jump high and do cool dunks, but so can every other guy on the roster. The team-building strategy in Denver seems to be "Let's get as many versions of the same power forward as we can!" The Nuggets ended the day shedding some salary and grabbing a few trade exceptions that they'll probably never use. Cool.
Kevin Garnett to Timberwolves
Thaddeus Young to Nets
KG is going back to Minny! This is awesome! I'm coming home, I'm coming home, tell the world I'm coming home. If this isn't the best Coming Home montage yet, the entire state of Minnesota should be launched into space.
That said, this is weird as hell for Minnesota. The Wolves traded Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Heat's 2015 first rounder to the Sixers last August for Thad, and now they're dumping him for an angry mummy? Proof that being run by cynical dipshits is better than being run by moronic dipshits.
Tayshaun Prince to the Pistons
Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko to the Celtics
And now the saddest Coming Home montage. Tayshaun has actually out-aged the pterodactyl jokes; there is a greater time gap between the beginning of his career and this trade than there was between Quetzalcoatlus howling terror down during the Late Cretaceous period and the Pistons drafting him. Find a new joke, like "Long arms man," or "Man who has never seen a basketball hoop, apparently."
Ramon Sessions to Wizards
Andre Miller to Kings
Mostly notable because old-ass Andre Miller checking in for fast-ass John Wall was one of the better visual jokes from night to night on League Pass.
JaVale McGee, heavily protected first-round pick, and Chu Chu Maduabum to Sixers
Cenk Akyol to Nuggets
So, as far as we can tell, the Sixers are currently sporting five centers, zero point guards, and something like 87 draft picks. The Process charges on.
Photo via AP