Thursday marked the final chance for team’s to trade players across the league and what a day it turned out to be, with major personnel swaps across the board and the magnitude of these trades are sure shake up the entire league.
There was a total of 37 players traded yesterday, it’s a staggering number to comprehend and trying to keep up with it was near impossible. So brace yourselves as we break down what you need to know about the biggest trades of deadline day.
Goran Dragic to Heat:
We start off with the biggest trade of the deadline, which was without doubt Goran and Zoran Dragic’s move to the Miami Heat from Phoenix. Phoenix received Danny Granger and two first -round draft picks from the Heat and John Salmons (who was immediately waived) from the New Orleans Pelicans, while Norris Cole, Shawn Williams and Justin Hamiliton made their way to the Pelicans. The Heat have just got an All-NBA player and last years most improved player while keeping their big names. Miami were without doubt the big winners of the day and now we just have to pray they get Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
Kevin Garnett returns to Minnesota:
KG is back in Minnesota! As crazy and as improbable as it seems, it’s true! Garnett decided to waive the ‘no trade’ clause in is his contract and return to the team that drafted him in 1996, while Thaddeus Young moved to the Brooklyn Nets. Why would Garnett want to spend the last two months of the season and probably his career playing with one of the worst teams in the league? And why would the Timber Wolves want a guy who can barely get up and down the floor? Well a number of factors are at play here. KG comes back to a hero’s welcome and gets to close out his career on a high (maybe) with some front office opportunities thrown in, while the Wolves get something to make the fans excited and get them to games along with a mentor for guys such as Wiggins, Rubio and Zach La Vine, a win-win for everyone.
Enes Kanter to Oklahoma and Reggie Jackson to Detroit:
OKC made some solid trades on Thursday and traded for the depth they needed. They sent backup point guard Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons in a three team trade. Detroit sent DJ Augustin, Kyle Singler and second-round draft pick to the Thunder, while sending another second round draft pick to the Jazz. The Thunder also acquired Turkish big man Enes Kanter and veteran three-point shooter Steve Novak from the Jazz, while Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerret and the rights to Tibor Pleiss along with a first-round draft pick went the other way. The Thunder also grabbed point guard and Durant’s former college teammate DJ Augustin. There are huge additions to the OKC bench and when you look at them as a team they look more complete now than they did last year (on paper at least)and if Westbrook and Durant can work their magic I wouldn’t count out OKC making the playoffs and making a deep run too.
Rookie of the year heads to the Bucks, while Brandon Knight goes to Phoenix:
It was a weird and bad day for the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers as they traded arguably their best player and reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams for more draft picks in a three team trade that saw Brandon Knight go to Phoenix to replace Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas who have gone to the Heat and Celtics respectively. Out of all the trades yesterday this was most baffling. The Sixers lose a guy who has come into the league and shown a lot of potential for nothing of real substance, sure these picks could produce some quality players but why trade a guy on a rookie contract? Could they not have given him a year and seen how he Noel and Embiid fitted together? Yes his three-point shooting is down but its only half way through the season! It also strange that the Bucks have traded Brandon Knight, a guy who was a legitimate contender for an All-Star on a team that is in a playoff position; it’s a bold move that could work out in the future but cost them in short term. Phoenix are the guys who get the best deal here though, they get Knight and Bledsoe in the back court and now they know who their starting guards are and even though they lost Dragic, Knights arrival is a boost. As for the Sixers well I think their center Joel ‘King of Twitter’ Embiid sums it up perfectly.
Someone tell me what’s going on please help
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 19, 2015
But don’t lose faith Philly fans! Javale Mcgee has now joined your ranks!