Another year, another NBA trade deadline passed. The Cleveland Cavaliers made a move that was highly unpopular with the fans, but created an upgrade. Outside of that and the other bigger transactions from around the league, there simply weren’t enough “Woj-Bombs” dropped.
Today though, we’re not here to analyze the mediocre trades, or those that we really don’t know how they pan out until later into the season (I’m looking at you, Washington). We will be talking about trades that we can give a round of applause for and those that bombed, because looking at such teams is far more fun, so let’s start with those who ended up on the bitter end.
Oh boy, do I love talking about how Chicago did poorly, and while I can’t rub my hands together and laugh in a menacing way over the whole situation, the Bulls did come out worse for wear after this deadline. Joakim Noah is rumored to be leaving the Bulls after next season, they still didn’t do anything to address the logjam at the front court, and they actually traded Kirk Hinrich, a solid rotation player for a third string point guard from Atlanta, Justin Holiday.
Neither the visions of finding Taj Gibson a new home in exchange for a fringe All Star, nor the backup plan of blowing it all up and rebuilding around Butler came to fruition. Chicago’s GM stated that he was disappointed with the outcome of this year’s deadline, which is never a good statement to hear from the man whose entire job is to make sure that deadline goes over well. This leaves the Bulls with exactly what they had before, a mess that head coach Fred Hoiberg can’t seem to sort out.
When rumors surface of you wanting to just cut a player, a former All Star at that, if you couldn’t find a suitable trade despite signing him this year, well, that just isn’t ever a good thing. When at the same time you’re trying to deal a former Defensive Player of the Year and no one is taking him, now you’ve really found yourself in a rut.
What’s that, you’re trading away what little young talent you have left? That would be the Rockets for you. At first, it would have been better for them to keep Donatas Motiejūnas even after his injury, so that you could have additional pieces to build around in the looming teardown, and that’s exactly what happened when the Pistons voided the trade with Houston. I really had higher hopes for Houston this year, unfortunately I have been proven very, very wrong.
Picture every bad boy player in the league wearing a leather jacket and looking tough, and you’ll then have a team snapshot of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have successfully found a way to one up the Cavs and Kings for most toxic locker room in the NBA. They found a way to take Matt Barnes, Lance Stephenson, Chris Anderson, Tony Allen, and Zach Randolph, put them in the same room and just wait for whatever happens.
You know what, maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Each of these players have immense talent as individuals. Maybe they can channel all of that anger and pettiness into great basketball, or maybe I’m just super wrong on this one. The Grizzlies are definitely big losers at the deadline.
Poor Kid. He’s 23 and he’s pretty good. He was coveted by teams like Chicago, Cleveland, and Boston. Unfortunately for him, the Kings’ front office also realized that he’s 23 and pretty good. Maybe once his contract runs out someone better than Sacramento can offer him a contract. That would be really nice.
Click “Next” to see the winners after the trade deadline!
Portland Trail Blazers
As a rebuilding team, the most important thing that can be done at the trade deadline is acquiring additional picks. While Portland only acquired a late first round pick and a mid-second rounder, they managed to do it at the cost of… not getting fined.
Every year there is a team like Portland, who will take unnecessary salaries at a fee, and they’re the third team that makes those big three team trades happen. The Blazers are rebuilding right, and these small moves they made pre-deadline set them up to potentially rise again in the Western Conference in a big way.
Whoa, slow down there partner, the Nets not making any trades, isn’t that bad. All of the media around Brooklyn is telling me this is catastrophic for them. I obviously have to listen because they don’t have picks therefore they were unsuccessful. So I’m going to go out and disagree with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher on this one.
Enzo Flojo ·
I think Brooklyn was actually quite successful this deadline. They were able to hire one of the premier candidates to be a GM, from arguably the most stable franchise, even if it was at the last second. This guy will get Brooklyn back on track, but he can’t do it in one day. Making a trade for the sake of making one and unloading Thad Young or Brook Lopez for a first rounder and a young upside kid would be a bad decision. Lopez has a lot of value, value that other teams who won’t get to land a splash free agent next year will see (lookin’ at you Boston). Lopez alone can command more than one first rounder and a prospect, and Thad Young, if marketed right could become a useful asset or two.
Nets fans, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. That being said, at least you have an owner that will spend to the moon, and actually wants to win.
Oh gosh I feel really bad for these guys. Their second best player, and a top five player in one of the greatest, if not the greatest, draft of all time may have to retire. Chris Bosh leaving would be a tragedy to the sport, but would also really hurt Miami’s chances.
This being said, looking at the deadline alone, Miami did pretty well. They got under the cap while losing virtually none of merit. This alone was enough for their subreddit to start an upvote party, so you know Miami, take the little things, or just remind yourself that it’s 75 degrees, sunny, and you live on a beach.
If The Miami Heat and Brooklyn nets won erasers at the arcade with their tickets, Detroit got the Voltron the Defender Ring. Man do I envy Stan Van Gundy and his front office. They turned a pretty average rebuilding franchise into a “few years out from being true contenders” in under 9 months.
Tobias Harris is by far one of the best young players in the league and is severely underrated. Paired with Marcus Morris, the Pistons have a deadly small ball 3-4 combo. At the center of it all, Andre Drummond is the player with the most experience as a Piston (four years) and he’s only 22. My hat’s off to the guys in Detroit. Way to set yourself up to become a contender right after LeBron James’ peak. I name thee, the biggest NBA trade deadline winners of 2016.