The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, along with the need to speculate the meaning of cryptic player tweets – looking at you Isaiah Thomas. Each of the league’s 32 teams now has a finalized roster. Some squads have even upgraded, hoping to win the NBA championship, while others aren’t thinking about a postseason challenge just yet; it’s clear the next date penciled into their calendar is the NBA draft lottery.
How did the week unfold? What were the blockbuster trades? Did any team get fleeced? And most importantly, how did your favorite team do? We examined the final days leading up to the trade deadline to look at some of the moves that may define the 2016-17 NBA season.
Here’s how the final days leading up to the trade deadline played out across the NBA.
New Orleans Pelicans acquire center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Omri Casspi from the Sacramento Kings for shooting guard Tyreke Evans, point guard Langston Galloway, shooting guard Buddy Hield, a 2017 top-three protected first-round pick, and a 2017 second-round pick.
Talk about a blockbuster trade! New Orleans knew they needed a playmaker to play with their star, Anthony Davis, so they went and got one in Boogie Cousins. As the official Pelicans Twitter account claimed, this is the pairing of fire and ice. It definitely elevates the talent level of the Pelicans, even if they had to give up promising rookie Buddy Hield. Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated both awarded New Orleans an “A+” for executing this trade. As for the Kings, Bleacher Report awarded this trade an “F.” Ouch!
Houston has clearly scrapped the idea of playing defense by adding another strong shooter to their roster. Coach D’Antoni may be adopting the philosophy that the best defense is a ridiculously potent offense by adding Williams. On his first night, Williams scored 27 points, had two assists and rebounds, and made seven 3-pointers. Talk about an immediate impact. The Rockets received “B” and “B+” grades for this trade, while the Lakers received a “B-.” Sports writers have questioned if they could have received more from Williams, who was only scheduled to be paid a $7 million salary next season.
Washington Wizards acquired small forward Bojan Bogdanovic and power forward Chris McCullough from the Brooklyn Nets for power forward Andrew Nicholson, shooting guard Marcus Thornton, and a 2017 lottery-protected first-round pick.
The Washington Wizards needed to get out of Andrew Nicholson’s contact – he was due $20 million a year for the next three seasons – and they paid a heavy price for it: their lottery-protected first-round draft pick. Given the Nets first-round pick belonged to the Boston Celtics, most felt this was a wise move to get the Empire State team back into the draft mix. They were given a grade of “A-,” whereas the Wizards received “B-” grades for their move. Most felt the Wizards didn’t significantly upgrade to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Eastern Conference’s presumptive favorite.
Chicago Bulls acquired center Joffrey Lauvergne, shooting guard Anthony Morrow, and point guard Cameron Payne from the Oklahoma City Thunder for center Taj Gibson, power forward Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick.
McDermott adds firepower to the Thunder’s lineup. OKC ranked last in the league in a wide-open 3-point percentage, just over 32 percent, whereas the former Bull has been nailing over 40 percent of his uncontested shots from a distance. The Thunder received “A’s” for giving up handshake expert extraordinaire Cameron Payne to make this happen. Chicago earned criticism for downgrading their offense, even if they’ll be in a more enviable financial position at the end of the season.
Pass or Fail?
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