NBA 2015 Trade News: Winners and Losers
By Tamberlyn Richardson
NBA 2015 Trade News: Winners & Losers:
Biggest Winners from Trade Day:
1) Oklahoma City: It took just one trade between 3 teams and Sam Presti completely changed the dynamics of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the addition of four players he:
- Reshuffled his bench
- Addressed front court issues, specifically via a young Enes Kanter who can work in the paint and gives the Thunder diversity with Serge Ibaka, Mitch McGary, Nick Collison and Stephen Adams (when he returns).
- Added two sharp shooters (one young and one vet) who are known for their 3-point shooting
- And perhaps most importantly rid OKC of a discontented player exchanging him for potentially a back up point guard who is a better fit as a back-up given his style is different than Westbrook.
2) Miami Heat: They’ve been fighting to remain a playoff seeded team among six teams all within 2 games of each other for the 7th and 8th seeds. Adding Goran Dragic coupled with the emergence of Hassan Whiteside puts the Heat back in discussion as a top Eastern squad. Hopefully Chris Bosh will be fine and be able to join the team soon. Their bench is still pretty barren, but they definitely became more legit with this move.
3) Portland: Arguably the best starting five unit in the Association who have suffered from the lack of bench depth. The addition of Chris Kaman and Steve Blake helped this season, but adding Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee might be exactly what’s needed to push them further in the post season.
4) Top teams who recognize how important chemistry is. The top 4 teams (two from each conference) made no additions which was wise. As they say when it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it (hello Phoenix) and while I’m sure each of these squads could have used some tweaks in varying degrees it’s important to recognize chemistry is an intangible quality you can’t buy.
5) Some people felt Minnesota messed up by trading Thad Young after everything they gave up for him, but I was touched by the move to return the Big Ticket home to finish his career. Even if it works out to be just for 2 months the young guys will get valuable knowledge and work habits from him. Furthermore, if he does retire he’ll likely return as an assistant coach next season and the players will have developed a relationship and moreover respect for him.
Which team was the biggest winner of the trade deadline?
Biggest Losers from Trade Day:
1) Phoenix Suns: Many considered Phoenix the Cinderella team of last season. Their style was based on using two guards to initiate a fast running team who were offensive juggernauts. Their best player wins Most Improved Player of the 2013-14 and you have a youthful core, draft picks and everything going right as you barely miss the playoffs.
So, what does management do? Do they add a key vet or defensive specialist or build their front court? No, they tinker with the success by bringing in another guard who is a high shooting guard taking minutes away from your amazing back court and best player. This sends the message to Dragic that management is looking to hedge their bets in case he wants too much money to re-sign. Moreover Dragic’s usage and style of play is altered and instead of building on last year’s success you upset the chemistry and flow that organically existed before.
The fact the quiet spoken Dragic actually publicly called out the Suns organization for me speaks to their being issues internally in the locker room as well. Then you let it be known you’ll appease him by getting rid of the guy you brought in for leverage. In the end the team who succeeded last season was based on the leadership and meshing of Eric Bledsoe and Dragic has been replaced by a small guard. You’ve sent a bad message to your squad and the chemistry you had is virtually gone!
The reason I’m not listing Milwaukee is like the Suns of last season they are overachieving this year, but unlike the Suns they are making minor tweaks this season. It’s a risk, but given Kidd is a point guard and how much he improved Knight this is the one area they can manipulate in the roster. Further they brought in two point guards (Carter-Williams and Ennis) who are different body shapes, heights and styles which means they should compliment each other.
2) Denver Nuggets: Sure they dumped a load of salaries and got trade exceptions back for close to $18 million dollars. But they let it be known that their best two players (Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried) were disposable and being shopped. What loyalty does this team now have to bother re-signing or not exiting to another squad at first chance?
3) Charlotte Hornets: Sitting in the seventh seed knowing there are six teams all within two points of each and your starting point guard injured this wasn’t the time to make no moves. Obviously no one wanted to take a flyer on Lance Stephenson or he’d have been dealt, but not one move. Come on Charlotte.
4) Brooklyn: For weeks we’ve known Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brooke Lopez were on the block. So what happened? Did Brooklyn ask for too much or was it simply a factor of the ridiculous contracts they were given in the first place being deemed way out of whack. In the end they did get Thaddeus Young for KG which was a good pick-up however there’s no guarantee he’ll stay. Further they let it be known Jarrett Jack (whose arguably been their best player) was also being shopped. Now the Nets have 4 players on their roster who know they aren’t wanted on the team.
Which team was the biggest loser of the trade deadline?
Biggest Take Aways From the Day:
- Four of the top five Eastern teams made no trades
- Five of the top seven Western teams made no trades
- Only seeded teams in West who were active were Portland, Houston and Phoenix
- Average number of trades on deadline day is 24, today there were forty trades THIRTY SEVEN are NBA players!
- 14 point guards were traded
Lots of movement around the association today. Which player will have the biggest impact on their new team? pic.twitter.com/NlPV9PFXLx
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 19, 2015
Trades that almost happened:
In this @BR_NBA video, I discuss some trades that ALMOST happened before the trade deadline but didn't get completed: http://t.co/sFfE6LAMPM
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 20, 2015
Teams most active:
- Teams looking to move up to secure a playoff seed: Miami, Phoenix, Oklahoma City
- Teams looking to ensure a lengthy post season run: Portland
- Teams blowing up their roster looking for drafts or to reduce their overall salaries: Denver
- Teams looking to shed bad contracts: Brooklyn (not necessarily successfully)
- Teams looking to add depth/improve: Houston, Milwaukee
- Teams looking to add veteran leadership: Minnesota
Point Guards dominate trades:
You name it and point guards were a key position targeted in the moves today: Of the 40 players 37 are from the NBA and 14 were point guards
- Starting point guards: Brandon Knight
- Discontented point guards: Goran Dragic, Reggie Jackson
- Young point guards: Isaiah Canaan
- Veteran or well traveled point guards: D.J. Augustin, Ish Smith, Alexey Shved
- Back up point guards: Isaiah Thomas
- Rookie of the Year point guards: Michael Carter Williams
- Rookie Point Guards: Tyler Ennis
- Two oldest point guards in NBA: Andre Miller and Pablo Prigioni
- Injured point guards: Kendell Marshall
- Point guards with championship experience: Norris Cole
Six Western Teams Made No Trades on Deadline Day:
- Golden State
- San Antonio
Seven Eastern Teams Made No Trades on Deadline Day:
Which player will have the greatest impact on his new team?
New Players by Team:
Oklahoma City Thunder:
New Orleans Pelicans:
Next: Complete trade by team breakdown and analysis
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