Timberwolves acquire G D'Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman from Warriors for Andrew Wiggins, 2021 protected 1st-round pick, 2022 2nd-round pick
Golden State's signing of D'Angelo Russell never made much sense to me, so this trade is very logical. It also helps Golden State in the long run, so this is an outstanding deal.
The Warriors are currently one of the worst teams in the NBA because of their injuries. However, they'll get Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back at full strength next season, and they'll surround those two stars with Andrew Wiggins and an early pick this year, plus another early selection in 2021. They'll have a multi-year run of once again competing for the championship. Wiggins has the same defensive lapses Russell does, but he at least doesn't play the same position Curry does.
As for the Timberwolves, I'm not really sure what they're doing. Russell is defensively incompetent like Wiggins, so it was hardly worth giving up a first-round selection for him. Like Andre Drummond, Russell is overrated because he posts pretty stats, but he gets roasted defensively on a nightly basis, just like Wiggins.
Cavaliers acquire C Andre Drummond from Pistons for John Henson, Brandon Knight, 2nd-round pick
The consensus seems to be that the Cavaliers stole Andre Drummond from the Pistons. Based on the statistics, this is true. Drummond is a 20-20-20 player. He tends to get 20 points, 20 rebounds and 20 wins in a season because he plays zero defense. Drummond is a DFS darling, but he's overrated because of his miserable defensive presence.
The Cavaliers didn't trade anything for Drummond, but their cap space will be shot to hell as a result of this deal. That's exactly why I think Detroit should win this trade. The Pistons will get some much-needed cap relief, and they have a viable replacement in Christian Wood, who will also post great numbers now that he'll have more minutes and usage.
Nuggets acquire G Jordan McRae from Bullets for G Shabazz Napier
I like this trade for both teams. The Nuggets are competing to be the team to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, and Jordan McRae will provide a nice boost. Anyone who has used McRae on DraftKings this year knows what he's capable of if given the opportunity. McRae will be a fine, much-needed scorer for Denver off the bench.
The Bullets, meanwhile, needed point guard help in the wake of the Isaiah Thomas trade. Shabazz Napier is a quality option to go along with Ish Smith.
Clippers acquire Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas
Knicks acquire Moe Harkless, 2020 1st-round pick
Bullets acquire Jerome Robinson
The Clippers are one of the top teams in the NBA, and they just improved their roster by finding a massive upgrade for Moe Harkless with Marcus Morris. That's the key to this trade, as it could affect the balance of the Western Conference.
The Knicks downgraded Morris to Harkless, but they're getting a first-round pick in return. Granted, this is just a selection in the 20s, but the Knicks need resources for the future. Plus, Harkless will help New York tank.
As for the Bullets, they were just included in this deal to make it happen. They're not a significant portion of this trade, so I won't even give them a grade.
Grade for Clippers - A+
Grade for Knicks - B+
Grade for Bullets - Inc
76ers acquire Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III from Warriors for three 2nd-round picks
This is exactly what the 76ers needed. They have a great starting five, but sorely lacked scorers off the bench, particularly those who can shoot threes well. Philadelphia acquired two of them from the Warriors for just three second-round picks, which will probably end up being used on players who will never play for an NBA team.
The 76ers obviously win this trade, as Burks and Robinson could put them over the top in the Eastern Conference. Burks, in particular, is a talented player who thrived this year when D'Angelo Russell has been out of the lineup. He could be a nice replacement for Josh Richardson until Richardson returns from injury.
Hawks acquire Dewayne Dedmon and two second-round picks from Kings for Jabari Parker, Alex Len
I don't understand why the Hawks made this trade. They're pretty stocked in the front court, so I don't get why they would obtain Dedmon. They're getting two second-round picks in return, but those are mostly meaningless. The big part of this trade is Jabari Parker going to Sacramento, so the Kings have to be considered the winners. Parker, averaging 15 points and six rebounds this year, has been out with a shoulder injury since Jan. 3, but he should be back soon to help the Kings.
Rockets acquire Robert Covington, Jordan Bell
Hawks acquire Clint Capela, Nene
Timberwolves acquire Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt, first-round pick
Nuggets acquire Shabazz Napier, Gerald Green, Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh, first-round pick
Wow, what a trade! I'm a bit surprised to see Malik Beasley be a part of this, given that moving him out of my lineup for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last night cost me $49,000...
Speaking of Beasley, he's part of the quartet heading to Minnesota. The Timberwolves may appear to look like losers in this deal because they dealt some decent players (Robert Covington, Shabazz Napier), but they cleared some cap space and are getting a first-round pick in return. They're not the winners, but they made out just fine.
The Rockets should be considered the losers. They'll have a huge downgrade at center in the wake of Clint Capela being dealt. Covington will be a solid contributor in the front court, but he's a downgrade from Capela, albeit at a different position.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Nuggets were one of the two winners of this trade. They upgraded their bench, which they absolutely needed to do, and they obtained a first-round choice for their troubles.
I also liked what the Hawks did. They acquired Capela, who will provide an enormous upgrade for them at center. This was a major weakness for them. Now, they'll have a solid trio with Capela joining Trae Young and John Collins.
Grade for Rockets - C
Grade for Hawks - A
Grade for Timberwolves - B
Grade for Nuggets - A
Trailblazers acquire Trevor Ariza, Wendell Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan from Kings for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, two second-round picks
The Blazers effectively traded away two second-round picks in order to save $11 million and improve their defense. I'd say it's worth it. Kent Bazemore is hot garbage, while Anthony Tolliver is just a pedestrian backup big man, so outside of the pair of second-round choices, Portland didn't give up anything in this deal. Saving $11 million is huge, while Trevor Ariza will provide a huge boost to the defense. Portland is one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, so Ariza will help matters. Now, all the Blazers need to do is dump Carmelo Anthony, who plays no defense and provides low efficiency on the offensive end.
Rockets acquire Russell Westbrook from Thunder for Chris Paul, 2024 and 2026 first-round picks, 2021 and 2025 pick swaps
Wow, this is a huge gamble for the Rockets. They're going all in with Russell Westbrook, opting to trade him for two first-round choices and two pick swaps.
I nearly typed, "If Houston can win a championship, it'll be worth it," but then I remembered that I wrote "They're going all in with Russell Westbrook" in the previous paragraph. Westbrook not only has a terrible contract - he's due an average of $42.5 million per year over the next four seasons - but he's a poor teammate and will likely continue to fail in the playoffs. The one positive is that Wesbtrook and James Harden once played together in Oklahoma City, so the two should have some sort of chemistry. That said, I'm not overly optimistic that this will pan out for Houston. I'd still put them behind the Clippers and Warriors (if Klay Thompson returns for the playoffs), so if the Rockets don't win, they'll have mortgaged their future for nothing.
I think the Thunder won this deal. Westbrook demanded a trade, so Oklahoma City had to start over. Securing two first-round choices - likely when Houston won't be very good - and two pick swaps could really set up the Thunder to be great in seven seasons or so. It'll be a long rebuilding project, and the Thunder will be horrible in the near future - especially given Chris Paul's horrible contract - but it'll be worth it in the long run, assuming Oklahoma City doesn't screw up its draft choices.
Warriors acquire Omari Spellman from Hawks for Damian Jones, 2020 second-round pick
This trade probably will end up to be completely irrelevant, but if anything, it seems as though the Warriors won this swap. Damian Jones seems like a lost cause at this point; he's had three seasons to prove himself in the NBA, and yet he's done nothing despite the fact that he had a golden opportunity last year with DeMarcus Cousins out for most of the year. Jones, now 24, figures to be a third-string center in the league, assuming he's even rostered this season.
Spellman, conversely, has been in the league for just one year. He didn't get a chance to play at the end of this past season because of an injury. He's a couple of years younger than Jones, so he has higher potential. It's odd that the Hawks would give up on him after just one injury-plagued season. There's a chance he could be a decent bench player for Golden State. It's also possible that he'll do nothing for his new team, but at least he has some upside.
Nuggets acquire F Jerami Grant from Thunder for 2020 first-round pick
I apologize for being boring with these grades, but I like this trade for both teams. It makes sense for the Nuggets, who needed a defensive forward to help them battle the Clippers. Jerami Grant isn't just a solid defensive player; he also averaged 13 points per game last year. He's a nice addition to Denver's front court, and he's also young (25). The Nuggets' pick in the 2020 NFL Draft will be in the 20s, barring massive injuries, so Grant is worth that sort of selection.
As for the Thunder, they're clearly in re-building mode in the wake of the Paul George trade, so they need as many resources as possible. They can use this 2020 first-round pick to perhaps trade up next year to acquire a potential franchise player.
Mavericks acquire G Delon Wright from Grizzlies for two second-round picks
The Mavericks planned to sign Delon Wright to a 3-year, $29 million offer sheet, but had to surrender two second-round picks to obtain him because he was a restricted free agent. They completed the deal Sunday afternoon, allowing them to secure a new starting point guard.
Wright had a solid year for the Grizzlies last season, averaging 12 points and 5.5 rebounds. He played shooting guard with Mike Conley on the roster, but he'll take over point guard duties in Dallas. The Mavericks have nothing at the position, so he'll fill a big hole on the roster. Paying a starting point guard less than $10 million per year could be considered a bargain, so I'll grade this favorably for the Mavericks. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were set to lose Wright anyway, so it's nice that they at least obtained something for him.
Clippers acquire Paul George from Thunder for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, four unprotected first-round picks
When I graded the previous Paul George trade way down at the bottom of this page, I couldn't decide whether to give the Thunder an "A" or a "D" because it wasn't clear how long George would stick around. George reportedly wanted to go to the Lakers before getting shipped off to the Thunder, but he played extremely well for Oklahoma City. Now, George is gone, and his desire to go to Los Angeles wasn't the only factor in the move, as it's been reported that he didn't want to play with the apparently insufferable Russell Westbrook.
Thus, the Thunder had no choice. George demanded the trade, so they had to move him. I won't grade Oklahoma City poorly as a consequence. The Thunder are getting back a 20 point-per-game scorer in Danilo Gallinari; a promising, young guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander; and four first-round draft picks. There are problems with each asset, however. Gallinari turns 31 in August, so he could begin to decline soon. Gilgeous-Alexander had an inconsistent rookie campaign in 2018-19, so it's unclear if he'll be a good player in the NBA. And the four first-round choices sound nice until you realize that most, if not all of those picks will be in the 20s because the Clippers are now one of the best teams in the NBA.
The Clippers obviously won this trade by a mile. George is one of the top players in the NBA, and Los Angeles had to acquire him in order to sign Kawhi Leonard (will post a grade on that shortly in the NBA Free Agent Signing Grades page.) The Clippers now must be considered one of the top title contenders this upcoming season in the wake of this trade, and the crazy part is that, as mentioned, everything they gave up is flawed in some way. This is a franchise-altering deal that can't be graded below an A+.
Suns acquire Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter from Grizzlies for Josh Jackson, De'Anthony Melton, 2020 2nd-round pick, 2021 conditional second-round pick
I would like to know what brand of glue Phoenix's general manager was sniffing before he called up the Grizzlies and offered this trade. It makes so little sense that my nose began bleeding when my brain tried to dissect this deal.
I don't understand why the Suns are trading one of their top, young, promising players for a guy they're going to buy out in Kyle Korver, and a sub-par bench player in Jevon Carter. Josh Jackson was the fourth-overall pick a couple of years ago. I understand that he's had some off-the-court issues, but Jackson has tons of potential and should've been traded for more. His value is higher than just Korver and Carter, and yet Phoenix surrendered other assets in this trade!
The Grizzlies have won this trade by a mile. They haven't given anything up for Jackson, who has immense upside. If Jackson fails, it's not like the Grizzlies lost anything; in fact, they gained a backup point guard and two draft picks, and they also got rid of a horrible contract!
Blazers acquire Hassan Whiteside from Heat for Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless
I talked about FOMO in the NBA Free Agent Signing Grades page. This is a case of buy low, sell high, as the Blazers are doing the latter with Meyers Leonard. The center had a great performance in the Western Conference Finals, going 30-12 in a Game 4 defeat. Portland was able to turn him and the oft-injured Moe Harkless into Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside had a frustrating minutes limit last year, but his presence gives the Blazers some much-needed insurance for Jusuf Nurkic and his horrible leg injury. Whiteside is owed $27 million this season, but it's the final year of his contract, so the Blazers won't be stuck with a bad deal for too long. It makes sense for them to go "all in" like this, given that they have a good chance to win the championship in 2019-20.
As for the Heat, it seems as though it might use Harkless as a piece in a three-team trade to acquire Jimmy Butler, so if that's the case, then it's difficult to hate on this trade. Shipping Whiteside off is fine anyway, as Miami can use Bam Adebayo as a viable replacement, with Leonard providing solid depth.
Grizzlies acquire Andre Iguodala and first-round pick from Warriors for nothing
The Warriors had to shed salary to obtain D'Angelo Russell, so they dealt Andre Iguodala and his expiring contract to Memphis. The Grizzlies will also be getting a first-round pick in at least five years, while Golden State will obtain nothing in return, save for cap relief.
This is an outstanding trade for the Grizzlies. Iguodala has just one more year remaining on his deal, so Memphis will have added cap space next offseason. Also, the first-round selection could be substantial. Memphis will receive it in 2024, though it's 1-4 protected. If the Warriors obtain a top-four pick then, Memphis will get its first-round choice in 2025 or 2026, depending on other protections. It may seem odd to think that the Warriors will be drafting that early, but by 2024, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will be 36 and 34, respectively. It's possible that Golden State could be a bad team by then, so this is a nice, long-term speculation for Memphis that also has some short-term benefits.
As for the Warriors, I almost gave them an "F" because they traded a quality defensive player and a pick for nothing. I understand why they made this move, but I hate trades like this.
Pacers acquire Malcolm Brogdon from Bucks for first-round pick, two second-round picks
It didn't seem like the Bucks would be able to keep Malcolm Brogdon, so they're lucky that they were able to ship him off in a sign-and-trade deal. They're not getting much in return - unless Indiana's roster becomes decimated with injuries, increasing the value of the opening-round selection - but at least they've obtained something for a player they were bound to lose.
That said, the Pacers won this deal. With Ricky Rubio off to Phoenix, and Darren Collison announcing his retirement, Indiana was desperate for a point guard. It obtained a good one in Brogdon for a great price. The Pacers figure to be very competitive in the near future, so I don't think they'll regret losing their first-round pick.
Hawks acquire Evan Turner from Blazers for Kent Bazemore
I can imagine the general managers of both of these teams sitting in their offices over the weekend and thinking, "Man, I really hate Evan Turner/Kent Bazemore. They're not good players, and they're super expensive. I wonder if there's someone out there who will trade for him..." It turns out that their wishes have come true, as the Hawks are trading their overpaid bum to the Blazers, and the Blazers are trading their overpaid bum to the Hawks.
Both Bazemore and Turner are set to make close to $20 million in 2019-20 for some reason, yet both are just bench warmers. I think Bazemore is a little bit better than Turner, and I can see him providing some half-decent depth during Portland's impending playoff run. Conversely, Turner is not going to do anything for Atlanta. Thus, I'm going to give the Blazers the better grade. However, none of this is very relevant, as both players won't be with their new teams come next summer.
Pacers acquire T.J. Warren and No. 32 from Suns for cash
Again, I don't understand what the Suns are doing. Why would they trade a talented player in T.J. Warren and a pick just for cash? I understand that Warren is expensive, but when he's healthy, he can average close to 20 points per game.
I'd like to see the NBA abolish trades like this. Dumb and poor teams like the Suns often give better franchises talented athletes for nothing. The Pacers get an easy A+, while the Suns earn the NBA equivalent of what used to be a Millen.
Timberwolves acquire No. 6 from Suns for No. 11, Dario Saric
I don't understand what the Suns are doing. While the Pelicans could get the guy at No. 8 they coveted at No. 4, there's no way the Suns are getting a similar player at No. 11 as they could have at No. 6. Phoenix had to obtain a key player to move down like this. Dario Saric is not a key player.
Saric is a fine bench role player, but he doesn't warrant a shift of five choices in the top 11 of the NBA Draft. The Suns are going to get a far worse talent in the NBA Draft for almost nothing.
The Timberwolves easily won this deal. They should be able to land their point guard of the future, just for giving up a player who didn't fit in very well anyway.
Hawks acquire No. 4, 57, Solomon Hill, future 2nd-round pick from Pelicans for Nos. 8, 17, 35, protected 2020 first-round pick (Cavs)
The Hawks reportedly wanted DeAndre Hunter and were willing to trade up for him. That's exactly what they just did, moving up four spots, surrendering the 17th-overall choice and a 2020 opening-round pick from Cleveland that's protected.
This deal makes sense for both sides. The Hawks had six picks in this draft, so they had to trade up. It's unlikely that Hunter was going to last until No. 8, so they did a good job of making a move. Surrendering No. 17 is not a big deal because mid-first-rounders often bust. The 2020 choice from Cleveland could end up being important, though it's protected.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans obtained some much-needed assets as they attempt to rebuild. There was no clear-cut option at No. 4, so they may end up getting the guy they want at No. 8 anyway. Getting more picks is a great move for them, considering the circumstances.
Pistons acquire Tony Snell and No. 30 overall from Bucks for Jon Leuer
To quote Fantasy Labs, the Pistons traded for Tony Snell and the 30th pick, and the Bucks obtained the right not to pay Tony Snell. The new Piston is making an absurd amount of money; he's owed $11.3 million this upcoming season and then $12.1 million the year after that. He's so bad that the Bucks surrendered the 30th-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft just so they don't have to pay him anymore.
If this were the NFL, the Pistons would be the clear winners of this deal, as the 30th pick in the NFL Draft is extremely valuable. In the NBA, not so much. The Pistons likely won't get anything out of this. In fact, I'd say they're the losers in this trade. It's not a horrible move, but I imagine they'll regret taking on Snell's awful contract for two more seasons. The Bucks, meanwhile, have to pay Jon Leuer $9 million for just one year, meaning they'll free up a bunch of cap room next summer.
Jazz acquire Mike Conley from Grizzlies for Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, No. 23 overall pick, 2020 first-round pick (protected)
It can't be a surprise that the Jazz traded for a veteran point guard. Ricky Rubio is expected to leave via free agency, and it could be argued that Mike Conley is an overall upgrade. The questions concerning Conley are his age (32 by the start of the season) and his salary ($32.5 million), but he has just two more years left on his deal, so it's not like Utah will be in cap purgatory for very long if he ends up disappointing for them. The Jazz are ready to win now in a wide-open NBA next year, and Conley should help them do that.
It's also not shocking at all that the Grizzlies dealt Conley. They're in position to select Ja Morant as a long-term replacement at No. 2 overall tomorrow, so the Conley deal will allow Morant to start right away. Obtaining two first-round picks is a nice haul as well, though the 2020 selection is protected. Grayson Allen is a solid bonus, too; he's a 23-year-old with potential, as we saw when he scored 23 against Sacramento and 40 at the Clippers in April. Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder, meanwhile, are just a throw-ins; Crowder has an expiring contract next summer, while Korver is expected to retire.
I love this trade for both teams. Utah's chances of winning in 2019-20 have increased, and they didn't really give up anything. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were able to shed salary and obtain three young players (Allen, two first-round picks) for someone they were going to replace anyway.
Lakers acquire Anthony Davis from Pelicans for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, three first-round picks
It was initially reported that the Pelicans were attempting to acquire Kyle Kuzma on top of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball for Anthony Davis. They didn't end up obtaining Kuzma, making this deal more reasonable for both teams.
Despite not acquiring Kuzma, the Pelicans still got a fine haul for Davis. Ingram was stellar toward the end of this past season, nearly averaging 28 points per game in his final six contests. Ball has plenty of potential, though he needs to work on his shot. Josh Hart seems like a throw-in, as he has health concerns stemming from patellar tendon surgery. The three first-round picks are key as well, as New Orleans will have the fourth-overall choice next week.
I often favor the team obtaining the best player in NBA trades, but this one is a bit different. The Lakers made a huge mistake by not trading LeBron James, as James is way past his prime and is now one of the worst defensive players in the league. James, Davis and Kuzma won't compete for a championship, especially if Davis continues to deal with injuries. Davis is soft and injury-prone, so he's not someone I would have been eager to acquire. That said, the Lakers shouldn't be graded poorly because they didn't give up Kuzma in this trade.
Nets acquire Taurean Prince from Hawks for Allen Crabbe, two first-round picks
The most significant feature of this trade for the Nets likely won't be Taurean Prince, but rather whom they'll be able to acquire in free agency as a result of this deal. Prince is very cheap at his $3.5 million salary, especially compared to Allen Crabbe and his absurd $18.5 million figure. Swapping Crabbe for Prince will allow the Nets to pursue one of the big names in free agency. If they land someone like Kyrie Irving, who reportedly wants to go to Brooklyn for some reason, the two first-round choices the Nets surrendered in this deal won't mean anything. Of course, if the Nets whiff in free agency, they'll look incredibly dumb.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are taking on a big salary in order to acquire more assets. They're a young team, and they'll continue to build around Trae Young and John Collins with these extra picks.
This seems like a good trade for both teams. The upside is higher for the Nets if they can get Irving, but the floor is lower as well.
Lakers acquire Mike Muscala from Clippers for Ivica Zubac, Michael Beasley
I don't understand this trade whatsoever. Ivica Zubac is a 21-year-old center who has played very well when given the chance this year, averaging 19.6 points per 36 minutes. He should be the Lakers' starting center right now. He also has some high upside, given his age and skill. Why the Lakers shipped him off for Mike Muscala makes absolutely no sense to me.
Zubac is more valuable than Muscala, who is just a fine bench player. The Lakers could have included Zubac in a trade for someone very talented. Instead, they're acquiring a 27-year-old depth player who is worth very little. Muscala will provide some nice bench minutes, but he's a clear downgrade.
I have no idea what Magic Johnson is doing. Between attempting to trade his entire team for Anthony Davis, to giving away a valuable asset for nothing, Johnson seems to be doing a good job of ruining the Lakers.
Magic acquire Markelle Fultz from 76ers for Jonathon Simmons, 1st-round pick (OKC's), 2nd-round pick (CLE's)
The previous 76ers regime really screwed up by selecting Markelle Fultz first overall. Fultz is broken; he has a chronic shoulder problem, and he has lost all of his confidence. He still has plenty of potential and upside, but there's also a very good chance that he won't be a positive contributor in the NBA whatsoever. He could go down as the greatest NBA Draft bust of all time.
That said, I like the Magic taking a chance on Fultz. Perhaps he'll eventually have the proper medical procedure to overcome his troubles, and maybe he'll gain some confidence. It's worth a shot, and all the Magic is surrendering is a bench player and a first-round pick that will be in the mid-20s. I'd say this is definitely worth the gamble.
As for the 76ers, it seems like they should've been able to get more for Fultz, but I don't think this is a bad trade. They know more than anyone how horrible the Fultz situation is, so acquiring an important bench piece and a late first-round pick at least allowed them to salvage something for their major bust.
Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, Delon Wright, 2024 2nd-round pick
The Raptors perhaps saw their chances of winning the Eastern Conference slipping away in the wake of the moves the 76ers and Bucks pulled off in recent days, so they made a big trade of their own, acquiring Marc Gasol for some bench players.
Make no mistake about it - Gasol was brought in to deal with Joel Embiid, as the Raptors likely see Philadelphia as its greatest competitor in the East, and rightfully so. Gasol has been enjoying a solid year thus far, averaging 15.7 ppg and 8.6 rpg, and also playing his usual stellar defense. Toronto will need that defense to counter Embiid, who just scored 37 points against the Raptors in a recent meeting. The Raptors surrendered some solid bench players for Gasol, but he'll be worth it.
Jonas Valanciunas and C.J. Miles won't do much in Memphis besides eat cap space next season. Delon Wright is a cheap, young player with some upside, but that's about it. It seems as though the Grizzlies are making a run for the 2020 free agent market in the wake of this trade and the Avery Bradley deal, so we'll see if they're able to obtain some good players a year-and-a-half from now.
Grizzlies acquire Avery Bradley from Clippers for Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green
I don't understand why the Grizzlies pulled the trigger on this trade. They've acquired one of the least-efficient players in the NBA for two players with expiring contracts. Memphis is a poorly run organization, and this is yet another example of its ineptitude.
The Clippers, conversely, seem like they're going places. They unloaded a terrible player in Bradley and acquired some much-needed cap space for this offseason. This will allow them to potentially make a big move this summer. I literally see no downside for the Clippers here, hence the huge disparity in the grades.
76ers acquire James Ennis to Rockets for right to exchange draft picks in 2021
It's cute that the Rockets think they have a chance of owning a better record than the 76ers during the 2020-21 season. Maybe that'll occur if Lavos emerges from the ground 22 years after he's supposed to and swallows the 76ers' team bus whole, but otherwise, it's not happening.
The 76ers obtained James Ennis for nothing, so they won this trade easily. They needed some help off the bench after recent deals depleted their depth, and Ennis can provide that. Ennis is a solid defensive player who will improve the second unit, so this is a nice move for a Philadelphia squad that appears to now be the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic to Pelicans for Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith, four second-round picks
This trade seems to make sense for both teams. The Bucks have a legitimate chance to win the Eastern Conference, but needed some better bench play. The Pelicans, meanwhile, are going to be in rebuilding mode once they trade Anthony Davis, so they have to acquire young assets and trade expiring contracts like Mirotic's. Both teams fulfilled their needs with this deal.
Mirotic will be a fantastic player off Milwaukee's bench. He averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in New Orleans. He shoots three-pointers well, and he'll have plenty of opportunities to knock down long-range shots with Giannis Antetokounmpo drawing so much attention from opposing defenses. This seems like a great fit.
As for the Pelicans, they're getting the eighth-overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft in Stanley Johnson. The 22-year-old will slot into the small forward position, which is a major weakness for New Orleans. There's no guarantee Johnson will suddenly improve, but he has at least some potential, so the Pelicans did well to get him and the four second-round picks for a player they weren't going to re-sign this offseason.
Kings acquire Harrison Barnes to Mavericks for Justin Jackson, Zach Randolph
Harrison Barnes is literally playing as I'm typing this, which is what makes this trade so bizarre. This deal is lopsided, but that's normal, given that the incompetent Vlade Divac is involved.
Divac, the Kings' general manager, is great at doing stupid things. Acquiring Barnes, a vastly overpaid player, for a young guy with upside like Justin Jackson is illogical. Barnes is obviously better than Jackson at the moment, but he's also set to earn $25 million next year. Jackson, meanwhile, is cheap, while Zach Randolph is an expiring contract. The Mavericks did extremely well to free up cap space to use to build around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, while the Kings appear to be spinning their tires, as usual.
Bullets acquire Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, 2023 2nd-round pick to Bulls for Otto Porter
Otto Porter has been the best player among these three this season. Winners of NBA trades are often the ones who acquire the best player, but that isn't the case in this instance.
Porter is averaging 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds this year. Those are fine numbers, but not for the amount of money Chicago will have to pay Porter going forward. Porter is owed at least $27 million in each of the two seasons after this one, which is absurd.
It seems like the Bullets - please don't call them the Wizards - should've been able to unload Porter for nothing. Yet, they're getting Jabari Parker, who has enormous potential. Parker, formerly the second-overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft, was a healthy scratch in many games this season. The Bulls were frustrated with him because of his lack of defense and penchant for turnovers. However, Parker could come closer to meeting his potential with better coaching. Bobby Portis, meanwhile, is a young center with some upside as well. Portis and Parker are both free agents after this season, so the Bullets will have more money available.
The Bullets definitely won this deal. They got rid of a bad contract and obtained two expiring deals on players with potential, plus a second-round pick. I have no idea what Chicago is doing right now.
76ers acquire Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott to Clippers for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 unprotected first-round pick from Heat
The 76ers needed one more piece to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in a top-heavy Eastern Conference. That turned out to be Tobias Harris, whom Philadelphia acquired in a blockbuster deal Wednesday morning.
This is a great trade for Philadelphia. Harris, formerly the Clippers' best player, is averaging 21 points and eight rebounds per game this year. The 26-year-old will move into the power forward slot and provide a huge upgrade over Wilson Chandler, who was sent packing to Los Angeles. Harris gives Philadelphia a stellar "core four," joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler. Adding in J.J. Redick, the 76ers now have the best starting lineup in the NBA, save for Golden State, whom the 76ers defeated last week. Philadelphia now has to be considered the odds-on favorite to win the Eastern Conference.
As for the Clippers, this is part of their rebuilding process. Landry Shamet is an intriguing young talent. The 2020 first-round pick will be useless - it'll likely be in the late 20s - but the unprotected first-rounder from Miami has the potential to be a very early selection two-and-a-half years from now. Still, the winner of NBA trades is almost always the team that obtained the best player, and that very clearly is Harris.
Mavericks acquire Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke from Knicks for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, future first-round pick
NBA trades can be evaluated by looking at which team received the best player in the deal. In this case, that would be Kristaps Porzingis, a 23-year-old big man who averaged 22.7 points per game last year. Porzingis has yet play this season because of a knee injury, but he's expected to be 100 percent by the start of next year.
Dallas fans have plenty to be excited about. Porzingis and Luka Doncic are going to form a hell of a tandem, while Tim Hardaway Jr. will be a nice third scorer. What's great is that the Mavericks didn't really surrender much for these two. Porzingis will take DeAndre Jordan's spot in the lineup, while Dennis Smith Jr. didn't mesh well with Doncic, so it made sense to trade him.
As for the Knicks, this is another example of their incompetence. They just traded their best asset for two decent, but unspectacular players. Smith is young, so he has potential, so that's nice. And I suppose it's good that the Knicks removed some big salaries, so this will work out if they're able to land a big-time free agent, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to play in a cold-weather city and for franchise that hasn't been relevant in decades.
Grizzlies acquire Justin Holiday from Bulls for Marshon Brooks, Wayne Selden, two second-round picks
This trade makes a ton of sense for both teams. The Grizzlies are 2.5 games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, so they needed a boost. Their offense is sluggish, so Justin Holiday could help. Holiday is averaging 11.6 points per game, which is skewed because he hasn't scored as much lately in the wake of the new Bulls coach changing the offense. Holiday can provide a needed scoring punch to the Grizzlies' wings.
The Bulls, meanwhile, are embracing full tank mode. The two players they acquired are insignificant, as they just want the two second-round picks, as well as the added chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection. Chicago won't be good until it obtains a superstar like Zion Williams, so that's the goal. This will give them a better chance at Williams, and all they had to do was trade a disgruntled player. Seems like a sweet deal to me.
Suns acquire Kelly Oubre, Austin Rivers from Bullets for Trevor Ariza
The Suns nearly backed out of this trade again because they thought they were getting Doc Rivers rather than Austin Rivers. Luckily, they finally accepted the deal.
Joking about Phoenix aside, the Suns won this trade. They're getting two young players for a 33-year-old who was a disappointment for them. Austin Rivers isn't very good, but Oubre is a skilled defender who happens to be just 23. He'll provide great depth for a team that sorely needed it.
Meanwhile, the Bullets - please don't call them the Wizards - are at least getting an expiring contract and a veteran backup, but I would've thought Oubre would've been worth more than Ariza.
Bucks acquire: George Hill, Jason Smith. Bucks lose: John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, future 1st-round pick, future 2nd-round pick. Cavaliers acquire: John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, future 1st-round pick. Cavaliers lose: George Hill, Sam Dekker. Bullets acquire: Sam Dekker, future 2nd-round pick. Bullets lose: Jason Smith.
I can't say any of the three teams made out poorly in this deal. The big piece to move is George Hill, who averaged about 11 points per game for Cleveland. He'll provide valuable depth in the backcourt for the Bucks, as they try to win the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee was also able to shed some salary, which will prove to be beneficial this upcoming offseason. Losing the first-round pick could hurt, but the Bucks are unlikely to relinquish it for several seasons because of other outstanding trades.
The Cavaliers made out even better than Milwaukee. They're in complete tank mode. They have so many bad salaries that are going to kill them for several seasons, so the first-round pick they acquired from Milwaukee, which will likely be obtained in 2021 or 2022, will come just at the right time as the Cavaliers are able to break free from their financial purgatory. Also, it's worth noting that the age restriction could be lifted the year the Bucks get their first-round pick from Milwaukee, so that's potentially a substantial bonus. The Cavaliers obtained this for Hill, who wasn't needed in the wake of the Collin Sexton pick and Alec Burks trade.
As for the Bullets - please don't call them anything else - this was purely a financial move for them. This doesn't really help them in any way otherwise, but it doesn't hurt them either.
Grade for Bucks - A-
Grade for Cavaliers - A
Grade for Bullets - B
Jazz acquire Kyle Korver from Cavaliers for Alec Burks, two 2nd-round picks
This trade seems to make sense for both sides. Kyle Korver will fill a role for the Jazz as a threat from the three-point line, and the price doesn't seem high. Alec Burks didn't mesh well with the Jazz, and two second-round picks aren't a big deal.
For the Cavaliers, Burks could perhaps revive his career in Cleveland. If not, the Cavaliers will free up money after this season. There was no point in Cleveland holding on to Korver, though I think they could have gotten more for him.
76ers acquire Jimmy Butler, Justin Patton from Timberwolves for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, 2022 2nd-round pick
NBA trades are generally easy to evaluate. Because the NBA is such a superstar-driven league, the team that receives the superstar in a trade is often the victor. That's the case in this swap.
In today's NBA, teams need three superstars to be legitimate NBA title contenders. The 76ers now have their trio with Jimmy Butler joining Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. They relinquished some depth, but they certainly took a step closer to winning the title now that they have their own "big three." I'd give the Sixers an A+, but there's an outside chance they could lose Butler after this season. I don't think that'll happen, but the possibility is enough for me to drop this to an A-.
The Timberwolves, meanwhile, had to trade Butler because he wanted out. They lost out on leverage, so they were never going to get true value for him. However, they had a chance to obtain four first-round picks for Butler. This is a worse deal, though Dario Saric and Robert Covington are solid players. Saric is a big man who can hit threes, though he's struggled this year. Covington is a "three-and-D" guy. They'll both be nice complementary players for Karl-Anthony Twns and Andrew Wiggins, who will move to shooting guard. However, the Timberwolves are now worse than they were before the trade.
Hawks acquire: Carmelo Anthony, Justin Anderson. Hawks lose: Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala. Thunder acquire: Dennis Schroder, Timothe Luwawu. Thunder lose: Carmelo Anthony. 76ers acquire: Mike Muscala. 76ers lose: Justin Anderson, Timothe Luwawu.
I'm not sure if the injury-prone Justin Anderson is going to crack Atlanta's roster, but the Hawks won this trade regardless. Not only were they able to dump Dennis Schroder's miserable contract, but they were also able to obtain Carmelo Anthony so they can buy him out. All of this free money will allow them to rebuild. It could just mean that they'll overpay more crappy players, but they'll at least have a chance to become relevant again.
Philadelphia is the runner-up. The team discarded the injury-prone Anderson and the barely used Timothe Luwawu and upgraded them with Mike Muscala, a 27-year-old big man who can knock down threes. He'll be a solid backup.
As for the Thunder, I'm giving them the lowest grade, though I can't call them losers because they've gotten rid of the anemic Anthony. Unfortunately, they took on Schroder's putrid contract, which could be problematic down the road. Schroder will be a great backup behind Russell Westbrook, but he's owed $15.5 million in each of the next three seasons, which is just absurd.
Grade for Hawks - A-
Grade for Thunder - C+
Grade for 76ers - B+
Raptors acquire Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green from Spurs for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, top-20 protected pick
Much like NFL teams should be wary of trading with the smartest organizations like the Patriots and Eagles, NBA franchises should avoid dealing with the Spurs. San Antonio waited patiently for a great deal for Kawhi Leonard, and it managed to make the Raptors look like utter fools.
Leonard is the best player in this trade, which often determines the winner of an NBA deal. However, Leonard is coming off an injury and has expressed no desire to play in Toronto; it's known that Leonard wants to go to the horrible city of Los Angeles next year; the only question is whether he joins the Lakers or Clippers. So, unless he falls in love with a Canadian mistress and is enticed to stay in Toronto, he'll be gone after one season. With that in mind, it's certainly not worth surrendering a 23-point-per-game scorer in DeMar DeRozan and a promising, young backup center in Jakob Poeltl.
The draft choice is not relevant because it's top-20 protected, but still. Given that the Spurs had no leverage because Leonard's 2019 offseason plans were known, the fact that they were able to acquire a player as good as DeRozan is staggering. They duped the Raptors, who will have only one chance to surpass the Celtics and 76ers so they can get slaughtered by the Warriors in the finals.
76ers acquire Wilson Chandler from Nuggets for 2021 second-round pick, swap of 2022 second-round picks
The 76ers just obtained a solid 10-5 player off the bench for nothing. Well, by "nothing," they have to pay Chandler $12.8 million this year, but they have the funds to do this. The Nuggets, meanwhile, wanted to clear $12.8 million off the books, so that would explain why they barely got anything in return for the 31-year-old.
This deal makes sense for Denver, but Philadelphia is the obvious winner. The team lost some bench players in free agency, so obtaining Chandler will help offset the two departures.
Bullets acquire Austin Rivers from Clippers for Marcin Gortat
Things are going to be mighty awkward in the Rivers household come Thanksgiving and Christmas. Doc Rivers doesn't have full authority on the transactions, but the fact that the Clippers dealt his son is a bit surprising.
Actually, this trade would be shocking if it weren't for that fact. Austin Rivers is 10 years younger than Gortat, and he also happens to be a better player. The Bullets needed a third guard, and Rivers will slot in perfectly. He'll be a great solution if John Wall were to get hurt again.
The one hangup is that the Bullets no longer have a legitimate center, but that's OK, given that Gortat was set to turn 35 this season. With that in mind, it's curious why the Clippers would trade for Gortat. There are no salary implications - they'll both be free agents after this year - and if they want him to replace the soon-to-be-gone DeAndre Jordan, that seems like a bad strategy, given Gortat's age.
Nets acquire Dwight Howard from Hornets for Timofey Mozgov, two future 2nd-round picks
It's sad that Dwight Howard's value has diminished this much. He's now being traded for scrub center Timofey Mozgov and two future second-round picks. Howard will now join his sixth team, meaning he'll have played for 20 percent of the league once the 2018-19 season tips off.
Howard may not be the player he once was, though he averaged 16 and 12 last year. That said, this trade isn't about the Nets getting better with someone who turns 33 next season, given that they are in a long rebuilding process. This is Brooklyn attempting to clear cap space. Howard has an expiring contract after 2018-19, so the Nets will have lots of free money to spend once he's off the books. They're also getting rid of Mozgov's atrocious contract; Mozgov still has two more years left on his deal.
The Nets definitely won this trade by a wide margin, as I don't know what the hell Charlotte is thinking. It made more sense to keep Howard for one more year in order to get his contract off the books. Now, they have to endure Mozgov's bad deal for two more seasons. Two future second-round picks isn't worth this headache, so it's absolutely puzzling as to why the Hornets pulled the trigger on this awful trade.
Cavs acquire: Rodney Hood, George Hill. Cavs lose: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, 2nd-round pick (from Heat). Jazz acquire: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose. Jazz lose: Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson. Kings acquire: Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert, 2nd-round pick (Heat's). Kings lose: George Hill.
Wow, what a deal! The Cavaliers, Jazz and Kings participated in this blockbuster three-team trade that should have at least one franchise's fans up in arms.
Cleveland acquired some pieces that can maybe help them win a game against the Warriors in the NBA Finals. Rodney Hood is a solid scorer - 16.8 points per game - who should make his way into Cleveland's starting lineup. He's also just 25, and he's cheap, so if LeBron James leaves soon, Hood will at least be a nice building block for the future. George Hill, meanwhile, is a fine solution at point guard in the wake of the Isaiah Thomas trade, but his contract is pretty brutal. He's owed $37 million over the two seasons after this one, so there's definitely some downside to acquiring him. Still, this isn't a bad deal for the Cavaliers, who can win the title if the Warriors suffer a major injury and if they manage to gel together quickly.
Meanwhile, it's difficult to understand the benefit of this for the Jazz. They acquired another overly expensive player in Jae Crowder, who will be making $8 million per season over the next two years. Crowder really struggled with the Cavaliers, but perhaps he'll play better in his new home. Derrick Rose sucks now, so he's a non-factor. Thus, it's puzzling as to why the Jazz would surrender a young, talented scorer in Hood.
As for the Kings, they did pretty well. They dumped George Hill's horrible contract and acquired two players they won't have to pay after this year if Iman Shumpert's $11 million salary for 2018-19 is bought out.
Grade for Cavaliers - B+
Grade for Jazz - D
Grade for Kings - B+
Lakers acquire Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Cavs' 1st-round pick from Cavaliers for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance
It took less than a year, but the Cavaliers have managed to turn Kyrie Irving into Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance. OK, fine, maybe Brooklyn's first-round pick as well, but it's still remarkable that Cleveland made such vast downgrades to its current roster.
That said, this is not a horrible trade for the Cavaliers. Larry Nance is both younger and better than Channing Frye, and getting rid of Isaiah Thomas was a must, as Thomas didn't mesh well with his new Cleveland teammates. Jordan Clarkson, meanwhile, will provide some scoring punch off the bench.
The Lakers, meanwhile, won this trade. It's unclear if they'll re-sign Thomas, but it seems as though he'll be a great fit in the offense that they run. The first-round pick - Cleveland's; not Brooklyn's - is a solid asset as well. The key cog in this deal is that it allowed the Lakers to unload Clarkson's horrible contract. Cleveland will be stuck with paying Clarkson an average of $13 million during the two seasons after this one. Los Angeles' ability to free up that money will give it a better chance to attract key free agents in the next couple of offseasons.
Suns acquire Elfrid Payton from Magic for 2nd-round pick
It's interesting that both the 10th and 11th picks in the 2014 NBA Draft were traded within an hour of each other. Elfrid Payton was the 10th choice (Doug McDermott, the 11th), but he disappointed in Orlando. The fans grew to hate him, and the team wanted to unload him, which is why Orlando is getting just a second-round choice in return.
Despite Payton struggling, he's still just 24 and has lots of potential. I don't think I would've given up on him for merely a second-round selection. It's possible he could be a late bloomer, and perhaps a chance of scenery is exactly what he needs. Thus, I like this deal for the Suns, as they're getting a look at a talented, young player for barely anything.
Knicks acquire: Emmanuel Mudiay. Knicks lose: Doug McDermott. Mavericks acquire: Doug McDermott, 2nd-round pick (Denver's). Mavericks lose: Devin Harris. Nuggets acquire: Devin Harris. Nuggets lose: Emmanuel Mudiay, 2nd-round pick.
Another three-team trade! While it's surprising to see a pair of three-team deals in one day, the biggest shock is that the Knicks are receiving the best grade of the trio.
New York has obtained the best and youngest player in this swap. Emmanuel Mudiay, who turns just 22 in March, has loads of potential. He could start over Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina in the near future. He didn't see much time in Denver, as he was blocked by Jamal Murray. That won't be the case in New York.
Dallas had the second-best haul. Doug McDermott is a solid bench player as a three-point specialist. Also, the second-round pick the Mavericks acquired from Denver is not insignificant. All of this is for Devin Harris, an old player past his prime.
And speaking of Harris, it's difficult to understand why the Nuggets would pull the trigger on this deal. They downgraded from Mudiay to Harris, a 34-year-old, and they even had to throw in a second-round selection. Why would they do this?
Grade for Knicks - A-
Grade for Mavericks - B+
Grade for Nuggets - D
Heat acquire Dwyane Wade from Cavaliers for 2nd-round pick
General manager LeBron James sent his former Heat teammate back to Miami in a trade that shouldn't have been too much of a surprise. Wade had been pining to return to Miami, and the Cavaliers weren't going to be able to give Wade as many minutes in the wake of all their trades, so this deal makes sense.
Overall, this swap is pretty inconsequential. Having Wade around for a bit more will be a nice treat for Miami fans, but the 36-year-old's tank is on empty. Meanwhile, the second-round pick the Cavaliers obtained will be sent to Sacramento to complete the three-team deal (grades below).
Pistons acquire James Ennis from Grizzlies for Brice Johnson, 2nd-round pick
This trade makes sense for both teams, but probably a bit more for Detroit. James Ennis has an expiring contract, so that made him attractive at the trade deadline. The Pistons will make use of the money in the offseason, but in the meantime, he'll be a decent backup small forward behind Reggie Bullock.
Meanwhile, the tanking Grizzlies are obtaining a young player and a draft pick to help them rebuild. Brice Johnson was the 25th-overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He hasn't played much, but has soome potential. Still, it still says something that he couldn't break into the rotation for the Clippers or Pistons thus far.
Pistons acquire Jameer Nelson from Bulls for Willie Reed, swap of 2022 2nd-round picks
The Bulls won't even keep Willie Reed, who has been suspended for domestic violence. Thus, the Bulls are just giving away Jameer Nelson for an exchange of second-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Nelson wasn't playing much for Chicago, so this is the Bulls' latest attempt to tank, which is fine. Nelson will at least have a role in Detroit, as he'll be reunited with Stan Van Gundy. With Reggie Jackson injured, Nelson will be a decent backup point guard behind Ish Smith.
Hornets acquire Willy Hernangomez from Knicks for Johnny O'Bryant, two 2nd-round picks
This has been said countless times over the years, dating back to the Isiah Thomas days, but what the hell are the Knicks doing? Seriously, this is just a dumb trade on their part, and it makes absolutely no sense.
The timing of this deal couldn't be weirder. The Knicks just lost Kristaps Porzingis for the season with a torn ACL. You'd think they'd give the 23-year-old Willy Hernangomez more minutes to showcase his ability so that they could either groom him to be a bigger part of the rotation, or to increase his trade value. Instead, the Knicks just shipped the talented, young big man off for nothing. In return, they're getting Johnny O'Bryant, whom they are going to waive, and two second-round selections.
The Hornets are the clear winners of this deal, as they're getting a solid backup big man and a potential starter in a few years.
Pistons acquire Blake Griffin from Clippers for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, protected draft picks
The winner of an NBA trade usually goes to the team that gets the best player. Blake Griffin obviously holds that distinction. Griffin, a perennial All-Star, has averaged at least 21 and eight in each of the past three seasons.
That said, this is not a simple grade. Griffin is very injury-prone, and his $200 million contract was an albatross for the Clippers. Now, the Pistons have to deal with Griffin's durability issues and high price.
The Clippers, meanwhile, get to rebuild. Bradley will help do that, as his $13 million contract will come off the books this upcoming offseason. Tobias Harris is paid a lot, but he's averaged 18 and five this season. Boban Marjanovic is a big man with upside. The picks are nice, but they're protected. Still, the Clippers will be able to rebuild well, while the Pistons are likely going to be frustrated with Griffin.
Nets acquire Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas, 2019 2nd-round pick from 76ers for Trevor Booker
Jahlil Okafor has been a huge bust thus far after being the third-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 17.5 points per game as a rookie, but lethargy set in, and Okafor played in only two games this year. However, he's still just 21 and possesses lots of talent. He didn't want to be in Philadelphia, so perhaps he'll be more motivated to play for the Nets.
I like this trade for both teams. The Nets are buying low on Okafor, and with some luck, they'll have a quality center for a long time. The 76ers, meanwhile, added some strong bench depth with Trevor Booker, who is averaging 10 and six this year. I'd say Philadelphia wins this deal, but it's close.
Bucks acquire Eric Bledsoe from Suns for Greg Monroe, 1st-round pick, 2nd-round pick
The Suns didn't really have much of a choice with Eric Bledsoe after he tweeted out that he didn't want to be in Phoenix anymore. I hope enjoys cold weather, as he has been shipped to Milwaukee in exchange for Greg Monroe, a first-round pick and a second-round selection.
It sounds like the Suns are getting a lot, but it's not really much. Monroe is unlikely to stay in Phoenix for long, as he was just a salary dump. In fact, the Suns could just buy out his contract if a trade doesn't happen. The first-rounder is the key piece of this deal, but with the Bucks certain to be in the playoffs, this selection will be in the late teens or the 20s.
The Bucks easily won this trade. They're getting the best player by a wide margin, a guard who can score 20 points per game. He, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Parker (when he gets back from injury) will form a tremendous quartet that will give them a chance to compete for the Eastern Conference championship once LeBron James goes to Los Angeles.
Hawks acquire Richard Jefferson, Kay Felder, two 2nd-round picks, cash from Cavaliers for Dimitrios Agravanis and Sergii Gladyr
Many seem to be confused about this trade. Why would the Cavaliers give up two veterans and two second-round picks for a pair of international players who may not ever play in the NBA?
Well, this actually makes sense because the Cavaliers had to do something about their roster. They had too many players under contract, so they were forced to give up Richard Jefferson and Kay Felder in what happens to be a salary dump. In order to do so, they surrendered two second-round picks. It was either this, or pay Jefferson and Felder even after cutting them.
The Hawks obviously won this deal. They're not going to keep Jefferson or Felder, but they at least get a pair of second-round choices.
Thunder acquire Carmelo Anthony from Knicks for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, 2nd-round pick (Bulls')
The Knicks will be berated for this trade, as they haven't obtained anything close to the value of Carmelo Anthony. However, that is the case in most swaps involving star players, and it's not like they had much of a choice; Anthony's no-trade clause meant that they weren't going to break even on this deal.
Still, it's not like I can grade the Knicks positively for this. It's their fault Anthony had a no-trade clause in the first place. New York is getting a couple of young players (both 25), and Enes Kanter, the best talent they're receiving, averaged 14 and six last year. He's a solid body to have in the front court, and he should continue to improve his game. Meanwhile, Doug McDermott could actually start despite being a very inefficient player; that's how little talent the Knicks have at small forward.
The Thunder won this trade, as it is getting the best player. Anthony teaming with Russell Westbrook should mean that the Thunder will reach the second round of the playoffs (even after Paul George leaves for the Lakers next summer), and perhaps even the Western Conference Finals with some luck. However, I think it's more likely that the two players will clash. Both are ball hogs, so I could see them having some major chemistry issues. Still, it's a trade the Thunder had to make in an attempt to stay relevant.
Celtics acquire Kyrie Irving from Cavs for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Nets 2018 1st-round pick
Kyrie Irving said he was leaving Cleveland, as it was speculated that was because he didn't want to play with LeBron James anymore. James plans on departing from Cleveland after this season, but Irving won't have to deal with him for the 2017-18 campaign because he's headed for Boston.
Irving is one of the best players in the NBA, so the Celtics will improve for both the short and long term. Irving is only 25, and he's a clear upgrade over Isaiah Thomas even though Thomas himself is a very good player as well. It'll be interesting to see how Irving does now that he can be the No. 1 option on a team as a veteran, but this seems like a great move for the Celtics, regardless.
That said, I think the Cavaliers won this deal. They downgraded from Irving to Thomas, but they at least get to keep the latter around in the post-James era. Irving wanted to leave, and teams generally don't get great value for players who openly want out. Cleveland did. Thomas is a strong option at point guard, and the Cavaliers get a high first-round pick they'll be able to rebuild with when James leaves.
Raptors acquire C.J. Miles from Pacers for Cory Joseph
There's usually a clear winner in most trades in the NBA, as the victor is almost always the team that receives the best player. However, this deal seems pretty even to me.
The Raptors are getting C.J. Miles, who will be a terrific 3-point shooter off the bench. The Pacers, meanwhile, acquired Cory Joseph, who will be a quality backup point guard behind Darren Collison. Miles is superior right now, but he's four years older. Joseph is only 26 in August, so he still has some upside.
Nets acquire DeMarre Carroll, future 1st-round pick, 2nd-round pick from Raptors for Justin Hamilton
Salaries aside, this would be an odd trade because DeMarre Carroll and Justin Hamilton are the same caliber of player. They're both bench-type talents, and while Carroll's numbers are a bit better, Hamilton is four years younger. Plus, he's a 7-footer, which counts for something. Thus, the Nets receiving two draft choices for the swap of these two players wouldn't make sense in a vacuum.
The money is the key to this deal, however, as the Raptors thought it would be a good idea to give Carroll $15 million per year (they were off by about $11 million). That's the average salary he's due over the next two seasons, so Toronto is dumping this salary onto the Nets, who are in prime position to accept a deal like this.
With that in mind, it's a quality trade for both teams. The Raptors, in a desperate attempt to stay relevant, get to keep making trips to the first or second round of the playoffs by getting rid of Carroll's contract. The Nets, however, are the winners of this trade. They received the best asset of this deal, which is a selection that should be in the late teens or early 20s. If they're lucky, it could even be a lottery pick, though it's currently unclear if there are any protections on the pick.
Mavericks acquire Josh McRoberts, 2023 2nd-rounder, cash from Heat for A.J. Hammons
This is kind of a meaningless trade, as the only reason it was made is because Miami had to dump Josh McRoberts and his $6 million salary to accomodate for the signings of Kelly Olynyk and Dion Waiters. The Mavericks were willing to eat the $6 million, and they obtained a second-round pick in five years and cash to do so.
It's difficult to figure out who won this deal, but I'm leaning toward the Heat because it was able to get rid of a bad contract to save money. Miami also acquired A.J. Hammons, who probably won't amount to anything, but he's a 24-year-old, 7-foot center. He averaged just 2.2 points last year, but at least he has size. The Mavericks, meanwhile, are getting a second-round pick out of the deal, though they'll have to wait until 2023 to use it. On a side note, I'll be 40 when the 2023 NBA Draft rolls around, which is pretty scary.
Pistons acquire Avery Bradley, 2019 2nd-rounder from Celtics for Marcus Morris
This is a crazy trade, albeit a necessary one. What I mean by that is the Pistons are acquiring the better player in the deal, AND they're getting a second-round draft choice to boot. You don't see that every day.
The reason for this deal is that the Celtics had to clear cap space to sign Gordon Hayward. Avery Bradley turned out to be the sacrificial lamb, which has to upset Boston fans because he's a very talented player. He's a terrific defender, and he averaged 16-and-6 last year. He's only 26, and he has a bright future ahead of him.
Morris, meanwhile, can score fairly well - he averaged 14 points this past season - but he's a poor rebounder for his 6-9 size. He's a clear downgrade from Bradley as far as talent is concerned, but as mentioned, the Celtics had to do something about their financial situation. That's the only reason I'm not giving them an "F" for this.
Clippers acquire: Danilo Gallinari Hawks acquire: Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, 1st-round pick (from Clippers via Rockets), cash Nuggets acquire: 2019 2nd-rounder
On the signings page, I graded the Danilo Gallinari contract. I wasn't too thrilled about it, but this trade makes more sense. Gallinari is very injury-prone, but he's worth a late first-round draft pick, as the NBA Draft tends to be a crapshoot once you get into the 20s and beyond. And the selection will certainly be in the 20s because it's Houston's choice. I like this move by the Clippers, but I still think they overpaid Gallinari.
The Hawks are getting an awful contract (Jamal Crawford's), a stripper named Diamond Stone, and the first-round pick that was mentioned. Crawford will not be a part of the team's plans going forward because he's 37, and he's owed $14.2 million this upcoming season. The haul is not bad, considering all they gave up is a 2019 second-round selection. In reality, they're probably moving up between four to eight selections across two drafts. Stone, meanwhile, is a 20-year-old, 6-foot-11 center with some potential.
As for the Nuggets, they're getting a second-round choice to move on from Gallinari. They've replaced him with Paul Millsap - I was debating whether to include him as part of the trade or not - and I imagine that they've grown tired of Gallinari's constant injuries. It's nice that they're getting at least something for Gallinari, but they should be obtaining more. Again, though, signing Millsap over from the Hawks is probably effectively part of this trade, so I won't grade Denver too poorly.
Grade for Clippers - B+
Grade for Hawks - A-
Grade for Nuggets - C
Thunder acquire Paul George from Pacers for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis
This is a difficult grade to make for the Thunder because it's unknown if Paul George will stick around following this season. George has made it known that he wants to play for the awful Lakers for some reason, and he'll have every opportunity to do so following this season. In the meantime, George and Russell Westbrook will form a dynamic one-two punch, as Oklahoma City will be a strong contender in the Western Conference (but will ultimately fall to Golden State.)
George is a terrific scorer, but struggled late in games against the Cavaliers in the playoffs. He won't be the No. 1 guy in Oklahoma City, however, as Westbrook will hold that distinction. Thus, George likely won't be accused of choking in the postseason unless he really messes up.
If the Thunder can retain George following this season, it's an outstanding trade, worthy of an "A" grade. If not, this is closer for a "D." As for Indiana, this trade has to be extremely disappointing for the fans. The Pacers should've been able to obtain more, and probably could have if they dealt George earlier. Victor Oladipo is a nice player, but he's not close to being an All-Star like George was for them. Domantas Sabonis, meanwhile, hasn't accomplished much as a pro, but has potential as being the 11th-overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Grade for Thunder - A or D (depends on George status after 2017-18)
Grade for Pacers - C-
Jazz acquire Ricky Rubio from Timberwolves for 2018 1st-round pick
Before Timberwolves fans get too excited, the 2018 first-round pick is from the Thunder, and it's top-14 protected. You'd think Minnesota could get something better than an opening-round selection in the bottom half of the first round for an average starting point guard, but there's way more to this. It appears as though the Timberwolves are clearing up cap space - as well as a spot in the starting lineup - for Kyle Lowry, who is rumored to be headed to Minnesota. There's no question that Lowry would be an enormous upgrade over Rubio, so if this is the end game, the Timberwolves are making a quality move.
As for the Jazz, their supporters will enjoy the Rubio-to-Rudy Gobert lobs, and they're not giving up much to get the former Minnesota point guard. However, they'll also be frustrated with Rubio's great flaw, which is his poor shooting. Rubio is a major liability in that regard, but he's not a bad starter.
This trade makes sense for both teams, so I'll grade it evenly. However, if the Timberwolves can't land Lowry or someone of his caliber, they'll be the clear losers.
Rockets acquire Chris Paul from Clippers for Patrick Beverly, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, 2018 1st-round pick
Chris Paul informed the Clippers that he would be signing with the Rockets following this season, so they wisely shipped him off right away rather than lose him for nothing. It would be nice if the NBA had something like the NFL for compensatory picks, perhaps granting teams selections following the lottery after losing star players. It doesn't matter in this situation, however, as the Clippers acquired four commodities for their great point guard.
I may mostly write about football, but I'm familiar with the NBA as well, and whenever trades like this occur in the NBA, the team that obtains the best player almost always wins the deal. The NBA is a star-driven league, and the Rockets are going to be so much better with Paul on their roster, as he'll allow James Harden to focus more on scoring. The one concern is that Paul is 32, but he should still be able to play on a very high level for at least three more years, which will allow Houston to be a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. The Rockets won 55 games last year without Paul, so they could now be the primary challenger for the Warriors.
As for the Clippers' haul, the two primary players they've obtained are 30 and 29, which isn't ideal for a team that'll have to rebuild. Patrick Beverly is an outstanding defender who offers nothing as an offensive player, while Lou Williams is a great talent to have coming off the bench. The two key pieces in this deal have to be Sam Dekker and the first-round selection. Dekker was the 18th-overall choice in the 2015 NBA Draft, but hasn't done anything yet. He has potential, however, so he must become part of the Clippers' rebuilding process. The pick will likely be in the late 20s, but if the Clippers scout well, they can turn that into a viable resource for the future.
The Rockets are the clear winners of this trade, as Los Angeles didn't have much of a choice to make a move. You almost have to feel bad for the Clippers, but that team has done so much whining and complaining over the years that I'm pretty indifferent about their demise.
Blazers acquire Zach Collins (No. 10 pick) from Kings for Justin Jackson (No. 15 pick), Harry Giles (No. 20 pick)
The Blazers owned the 15th- and 20th-overall picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, and they used both to move up to the 10th spot. They acquired one of the top talents available in Zach Collins, who gives Portland some much-needed talent inside.
The Kings, meanwhile, made a couple of solid picks. Justin Jackson was selected to replace impending free agent Rudy Gay, while Harry Giles would've easily been a top-10 pick had he not suffered injuries. Giles has undergone at least three knee procedures, so he's a huge risk. However, the reward is enormous, and the athletic forward is well worth the risk at No. 20.
I don't think there's a clear winner in this trade, as I think it was very logical for both sides.
76ers acquire Anzejs Pasecniks from Magic for protected 2020 1st-rounder, 2020 2nd-rounder
Sam Hinkie built the 76ers into this potential juggernaut by acquiring as many draft selections as possible. Thus, I can't really get behind Philadelphia trading future first-round choices, even if they happen to be protected. The legendary Hinkie wouldn't have stood for this, so this is something the 76ers should've avoided.
That said, Pasecniks has loads of potential, as he's a 7-foot-2 big man with a nice shooting touch. He won't play in the NBA next year, but he could be a contributor down the road. I don't hate this move for Philadelphia, but like I said, giving up picks isn't the Hinkie way.
Nuggets acquire Trey Lyles, No. 24 pick from Jazz for No. 13 pick
I'm not going to grade every trade in the 2017 NBA Draft, as most were selections sold for cash considerations. This one strikes me as significant because a real player was dealt.
While Trey Lyles is a real player, he hasn't accomplished much since being the 12th-overall choice in the 2015 NBA Draft. He has averaged 6.1 and 6.2 points per game in two seasons, and he seems like just an average backup at best. He's still young and has potential though, so I won't grade this too poorly for Denver. However, I don't think Lyles is worth the difference between Tyler Lydon (24th pick) and Donovan Mitchell (13th pick).
Timberwolves acquire Jimmy Butler, No. 16 pick from Bulls for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, No. 7 pick
NBA trades like this usually work out the same way. When a superstar is dealt, the team that obtains him ends up winning the trade. And I don't see why this would be any different.
Butler is a legitimate superstar, and he gives Minnesota a tremendous one-two punch with Karl-Anthony Towns behind Andrew Wiggins. The Timberwolves could be in the playoffs next year because of this deal. It's a great deal for them, and moving down from No. 7 to 16 doesn't seem like a huge deal in this particular class.
As for the Bulls, they're getting damaged goods in Zach LaVine, as he is coming off a torn ACL. Dunn has potential, at least, but he hasn't shown much yet. Chicago has potential with this deal, but the Timberwolves made out much better.
Bullets acquire Tim Frazier from Pelicans for 52nd-overall pick
This is a nice bargain for the Bullets. Tim Frazier played well in Jrue Holiday's absence last season, averaging 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game. He's a quality backup, and he's almost certainly better than anything Washington could have obtained with the 52nd-overall pick. Players taken at that juncture are either pedestrian talents or foreigners who will never come stateside. Frazier will actually be a nice depth piece for the Bullets as they attempt to dethrone the Cavaliers.
The Bullets are the clear winners of this trade. It's fair to question why the Pelicans dealt Frazier, who is reasonably priced at his $2 million salary. The only explanation I can come up with is that New Orleans plans on selecting a point guard in the 2017 NBA Draft (check out our 2017 NBA Mock Draft here), but that still doesn't excuse not getting proper value for Frazier.
Hornets acquire Dwight Howard, 31st-overall pick from Hawks for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli, 41st-overall pick
Remember when Dwight Howard was considered one of the top players in the NBA? His value has plummeted tremendously in recent years, and it has now reached a laughably low level.
The 31st- and 41st-overall picks are effectively the same, so this is Atlanta trading Howard for Miles Plumlee and Marco Belenelli. The latter is a below-average guard who scored 10.5 points per game this past season. Plumlee, meanwhile, is just a pedestrian reserve center who is owed close to $40 million over the past three years. This is what Howard was dealt for.
Howard has regressed sharply in recent years. He averaged 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in 2016-17. He's owed about $57 million over the next two seasons. He's only 31, but he has a lot of wear on his tires and will likely never perform on a high level again. Still, the Hornets are getting the better end of this deal, as it appears as though the Hawks are now in full tank mode.
Nets acquire D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov from Lakers for Brook Lopez, 27th-overall pick
I saw some reactions on Twitter proclaiming this to be a horrible trade for the Lakers. I wouldn't agree with that at all. In fact, I believe they won this deal quite easily.
D'Angelo Russell was a big problem in the Lakers' locker room. Ever since his cell phone incident, he made enemies on the team, and his play on the court didn't do him any favors, as he constantly took bad shots. Getting rid of him for value was the right move. The value may not be apparent here, but Brook Lopez has an expiring contract after the 2017-18 season. Given that, as well as Timofey Mozgov and his atrocious contract being off the books, the Lakers will have the cap space to pursue Paul George, who has stated his desire to go to the team, and perhaps even LeBron James, who wants to play in Los Angeles. James may choose the Clippers, but the Lakers will at least be in the running with the amount of money they'll have available.
As for the Nets, this really depends on whether Russell matures as both a player and a person. It's possible he could grow up, but I wouldn't bet on it happening. It was also a poor move to acquire Mozgov's albatross of a contract.
76ers acquire No. 1 overall pick in 2017 NBA Draft from Celtics for No. 3, and either Lakers' 2018 pick or Kings' 2019 pick
The 76ers will be selecting Washington guard Markelle Fultz with their top choice, as Fultz was in Philadelphia for a workout and a physical Saturday evening. All went well, apparently, as the 76ers and Celtics agreed to terms on a deal.
The Celtics are the clear winners of this trade. Fultz never made much sense for them anyway because of Isaiah Thomas, so it was in their best interest to trade down. They can select Josh Jackson or Lonzo Ball at No. 3 and be just fine. Plus, they're getting a very high pick in either the Lakers or Kings' choice, depending on protections. This is huge for a Boston team that is going to be challenging the Cavaliers to be the team that will ultimately lose to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
As for the 76ers, it's nice that they're making a bold move like this, as Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Oden, I mean, Embiid will potentially form a terrific trio if the latter can stay healthy. However, I'm not a big fan of giving up extra assets, and Philadelphia is surrendering a huge one. It was of my opinion that there are three elite-level players in this draft, so the 76ers were in a good spot at No. 3. I don't think they needed to trade, but if Fultz pans out as an All-Star, Philadelphia won't be complaining that it surrendered a high selection.