With NBA trade deadline day having just passed us by, it seems appropriate to cover some of the most important deals the NBA has seen all year. Here are the seven biggest trades that went down before deadline day.
Phoenix Suns Receive: PF/C Jared Sullinger (to be waived), 2017 second-round pick, 2018 second-round pick
Toronto Raptors Receive: PJ Tucker
Suns Grade: B
PJ Tucker was all but assured to be leaving the Suns at the end of this current season, so, all in all, Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough got a decent return for the departing small forward. The Suns are stockpiling assets during their rebuild so two second round picks is a respectable get.
Raptors Grade: A+
Watch out LeBron. The Raptors managed to bring in one of the best wing defenders in the league and they got him for a great price. Tucker can help the Raptors now. That’s something he couldn’t do for the rebuilding Suns. With his fantastic defensive capabilities, Tucker should fit right into Toronto’s rotation.
Chicago Bulls Receive: C Joffrey Lauvergne, SG Anthony Morrow, PG Cameron Payne
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: PF/C Taj Gibson, SF/PF Doug McDermott, 2018 second-round pick
Bulls Grade: C+
It definitely seems like the Bulls got the raw end of this particular deal. They gave up two very important pieces in Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott for a seemingly small return. While Cameron Payne could prove to be a productive player in the future and Lauvergne and Morrow are decent roll players, it appears that Chicago didn’t get quite enough back from OKC.
Thunder Grade: A
Oklahoma City’s GM Sam Presti knocked this one out of the park. The Thunder gave up a few lower caliber bench players for a pair of upper level ones. Doug McDermott is a great fit for the Thunder in an undersized “stretch four” role and Taj Gibson brings some much needed toughness. Will this move be enough for OKC to climb up the Western Conference standings? We will have to wait and see.
Dallas Mavericks Receive: C Nerlens Noel
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: C Andrew Bogut (to be waived), SF Justin Anderson, 2017 top-18 protected first-round pick
Mavericks Grade: A
It looks like the Mavericks gave up a lot for Nerlens Noel, but don’t be deceived. Let me simplify this trade for you: all Dallas really gave up in this deal was Justin Anderson and an aging Andrew Bogut. The “top-18 protected first-round pick” means that the 76ers only receive the pick if the selection falls outside of the top 18 slots. Given the Maverick’s abysmal record, that’s almost impossible. Noel brings some much needed youth and talent to this very much rebuilding Dallas squad.
76ers Grade: A
Dumping one talented young player for another? That doesn’t sound very productive, does it? Well in this case, where Philadelphia is loaded at center, this move is perfect for them. Anderson is a very promising young wing player who could well be a part of this team for years to come.
Atlanta Hawks Receive: PF Ersan Ilyasova
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: C Tiago Splitter, 2017 second-round pick (from Miami, via Atlanta), rights to swap 2017 second-round pick with Atlanta
Hawks Grade: A-
For the Hawks, this trade is all about going for it. Ersan Illyasova is a talented shooting big man who can stretch the floor. He will fit right into Atlanta’s rotation and hopefully provide some immediate impact off the bench.
76ers Grade: A-
The main point to this trade for the ‘Sixers was to dump Illyasova. He was taking up a position in their rotation that would be better used by a younger, more promising player; goodness knows Philly has plenty of those. That extra second round pick? Just a bonus.
Houston Rockets Receive: PG/SG Lou Williams
Los Angeles Lakers: SG/SF Corey Brewer, 2017 first-round pick
Rockets Grade: B
While Houston did get a very solid bench scorer, they gave up a bit much for him; Corey Brewer is still a decent role player and any first round pick is a good first round pick. That said, Lou Williams will help his new team immensely. It’s even possible that he could lift a tiny bit of the scoring load off of James Harden.
Lakers Grade: A
A big salary dump for Los Angeles, the Lakers did well enough to acquire a serviceable role player in addition to a first rounder. Not a bad start for Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
Orlando Magic Receive: SG/SF Terrence Ross, 2017 first round pick from Los Angeles Clippers or Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors Receive: PF/C Serge Ibaka
Magic Grade: B+
It’s now safe to say that the “Serge Ibaka Experiment” is officially over. The Magic signed him over the summer, but their front court was just too crowded to accommodate all of their big men. In addition to ditching Ibaka, the Magic managed to pick up an effective wing player in Terrence Ross and a first round pick. Not too shabby.
Raptor Grade: A
The Raptors had a fantastic trade deadline. They brought in two terrific defensive players who will, no doubt, drastically improve the teams’s overall level of play. Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker? It’s been a good week for the Raptors.
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: SF/PF Omri Casspi, C DeMarcus Cousins
Sacramento Kings Receive: SG/SF Tyreke Evans, PG Langston Galloway, SG Buddy Hield, 2017 first-round pick, 2017 second-round pick
Pelicans Grade: A+
DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis? Yes please. New Orleans now has the best front court in the NBA. We don’t know how well these two former Kentucky stars will play together, but we do know that they are both complete superstars. Pelican’s fans should be ecstatic with their new addition.
Kings Grade: C-
The Kings gave up an awful lot for awfully little. Yes, Buddy Hield and that first round pick are both fantastic assets, but they don’t even come close to the value of DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento GM Vlade Divac has now led the King’s franchise into full rebuild mode.