The trade deadline has passed, and now, it’s time for us to decide who won and who didn’t over the last week. We’ll be considering any somewhat recent trades for our analysis today. We will also not be considering teams or players who should’ve made a trade or been traded; this article will focus solely on players and teams involved in the trades.
WINNER: Dallas Mavericks
Dallas undoubtedly made the biggest move of the trade deadline, acquiring Kristaps Porzingis for Dennis Smith Jr, Wesley Matthews and Deandre Jordan. When we break it down, the Mavericks are receiving one of the best young players in this league (when healthy of course). If you recall, Porzingis was off to a blazing start to the season prior to his injury, averaging career highs in nearly every category. At one point early in the season, he was averaging above 40 points per game, as well as 2.4 blocks per game. A brutal ACL tear halted Porzingis epic run. The Knicks obviously were concerned about this injury, hence them trading him for DSJ and Deandre Jordan (I didn’t include Matthews since he was waived quickly by the Knicks). The biggest issues the Knicks had with Kristaps was his displeasure for the direction of the franchise, and of course the potential that he may never be the same after his injury. But lets look at the effects if an ACL tear for a minute. Essentially, it limits your athleticism, which was not a part of Porzingis’ game that he relied on heavily. I think the Mavericks will find that Porzingis is just as effective on the Mavericks as he was on the Knicks. The other aspect is that the Mavericks really had no reason to keep Deandre Jordan, who carries an expensive deal and doesn’t necessarily fit the needs that the Mavericks carry right now. Dennis Smith Jr. also voiced his unhappiness with the Mavericks, and it seemed as though he would be traded eventually. Finally, Wesley Matthews carried an expensive contract that the Mavs weren’t even really utilizing, (see 1 player every team sould consider trading article). This seems like a match made in heaven for the Mavericks, who get an incredible young star, to pair with their other incredible young star, in return for some players that needed to be moved eventually. They also moved Harrison Barnes in a deal that many questioned the timing of. Barnes was actually pulled off the floor during a game and told he was to be traded. Although this trade may not have been a marginal win, it wasn’t really a loss either, they acquired Zach Randolph (who they waived) and Justin Jackson, a young player who if used correctly could develop into something the Mavericks could be happy with. They also shed a ton of cap in this deal, opening up the potential for a new max contract with all of their cap dumps.
LOSER: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks only made 1 move during the deadline frenzy. Not a huge deal, although they were looking to make a move involving Taurean Prince and a first, who knows what they could’ve gotten. Instead, the Hawks traded away fan favorite Tyler Dorsey for… Shelvin Mack. Statistically, Shelvin Mack and Tyler Dorsey put up pretty much the exact same stats per 36. The only difference between the two? Shelvin Mack is 6 years older than Dorsey. Tyler Dorsey has 6 years to get to where Shelvin Mack is right now. Honestly this move makes 0 sense for the Hawks. They already have veteran leadership in Vince Carter, they are a rebuilding young team, Dorsey is simply a younger more potential filled version of Shelvin Mack, there’s no cap benefit. It’s pointless. Memphis pretty much gets Tyler Dorsey for free. I can’t say enough bad things about this trade, nothing against Shelvin Mack at all, but Tyler Dorsey was someone Hawks fans loved for his eye catching hard work, talent and potential. I’ve spoken to a few Hawks fan (before the trade happened) who said they want to see Tyler Dorsey getting a serious minutes increase. I predict this will happen, but he won’t be wearing a Hawks jersey when he gets it.
On a side note I’m happy for Dorsey since he gets to reunite with former Oregon player Dillon Brooks following their impressive final 4 run in March Madness. I enjoyed watching that team play and am curious to see if a spark can be created between the two for Memphis when Brooks returns from his untimely injury.
WINNER: Sacramento Kings
The Kings needed someone who was going to help them push for a playoff spot. The only problem, the Kings don’t really have any pieces that are extremely valuable, and thus they can’t really get any superstars. But what better way to make a winning move, by acquiring a player who genuinely contributed to a team that won 73 out of 82 games. Harrison Barnes, although carrying an expensive contract, carries a very inexpensive trade price. The Kings went after the right one. Sacramento holds the 9th spot in the West, competing with teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Jazz and Mavericks among others, and they need something to make that push past the Clippers (who recently released Michael Beasley, Milos Teodosic and Marcin Gortat). Harrison Barnes will be able to give the Kings the boost that they need in this quest for the playoffs. He came relatively inexpensive, as the Kings freed themselves of Zach Randolph and his expensive contract (Randolph hasn’t played a game in almost a full year), as well they trade Justin Jackson, who didn’t really seem to be in the Kings long term plans following his somewhat disappointing rookie campaign. Sacramento fans are ecstatic as far as I know, because they may have acquired their best shot at the playoffs. The Kings were active this season, as they also traded Skal Labissiere, for Caleb Swanigan. This isn’t a major deal at all, the two are averaging near identical stats in near identical minutes. The only difference is that the Kings got a player who is a year younger than Skal, so yay Kings I guess. The final move the Kings made was moving Iman Shumpert for Alec Burks. While there is absolutely no question Iman Shumpert was having possibly his best career year, there’s also no question Alec Burks was having a better one. Burks is only a year younger than Shumpert, but he has shown to be really effective for the Cavaliers up to his trade. Burks will surely help the depth in the Kings roster, which should not be overlooked. This wasn’t necessarily a big upgrade for the Kings, and their contracts are very similar, but the Kings do technically get a slight upgrade from Shumpert in Burks.
LOSER: New Orleans Pelicans
We all know that the Pelicans weren’t able to get AD traded before the deadline. Instead, they traded Nikola Mirotic for Stanley Johnsom, Jason Terry and some second round picks. For a team that wants to try and convince AD to stay, they sure don’t seem to be doing what it takes. Mirotic started off the year extremely well, and has even carried over this elite play throughout the season. He was a great helping star to the AD Jrue duo. But now, the Pelicans have gotten Jason Terry, one of the oldest players in the league. Stanley Johnson and some junior high kids. To me this move doesn’t really make sense. I guess maybe the Pelicans wanted to open up some cap or something. I feel like Mirotic could have and should have been traded for a much higher price. Pelicans fans (yes I see you) are probably underwhelmed by this trade, because none of the assets that the Pelicans are getting seem to be as valuable as the asset they give in Mirotic. Also the Pelicans traded Stanley Johnson for Markieff Morris, who they quickly bought out. Pretty useless move if you ask me. I guess the Pels GM has a plan? Whatever it is I’d sure like to hear it. I think overall the Pelicans trade deadline was underwhelming, especially for a team that was looking at bringing in the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and a plethora of picks that would solidify a safe and prosperous rebuild, that could finally please the disgruntled sports fans of New Orleans.
WINNER: Markelle Fultz
A great day for Markelle Fultz, and maybe a great one for the Magic as well. Philadelphia made it clear they had all but given up on former number 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz. His shoulder injury was not progressing well, and Fultz days in Philly were looking like they were about to come to an end. Luckily, the Orlando Magic did what everyone thought they would. Trade for a point guard. The Magic didn’t even have to give much for Fultz, since the Sixers weren’t really expect to get much. Markelle Fultz went from a team that didn’t believe in him, and also just sent a player that plays his position to the All Star Game, to a team that wants him to be the future of their team. Fultz is now in an environment similar to when he was drafted first overall just last year. When the Sixers picked him, they pampered him, hyped him up and made him feel like the greatest thing to walk the earth. His shoulder injury wasn’t a concern at all to them, because people get shoulder injuries all the time right? Slowly over time this hype fell down and Fultz started becoming what some Sixers fans considered a burden. He wasn’t a cheap rookie (being the first overall pick) and he certainly wasn’t earning his money. The Magic have been trying to get a point guard to lead their team since trading away Elfrid Payton for a literal bag of chips. I am convinced that this Fultz-Magic relationship will be extremely positive for both sides, but especially for Fultz, who really needs a mental confidence boost at this dark point in his career.
LOSER: Los Angeles Lakers + Lebron James
Now I’m not saying Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac are worth a lot, but Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac are WAY more valuable than Mike Muscala. Beasley for Muscala might’ve been a better trade for the Lakers. Instead, the Lakers trade away Beasley, who yes has had some locker room issues, and Zubac who has actually been a pretty promising player through the early days of his career, for Mike Muscala and his twitter fingers dad. I actually like that the Lakers traded Beasley away. although I believe Beasley is a strong player, there’s no question that you can’t keep a guy like that on the Lakers especially with his Luke Walton arguments. So fine, you can trade Beasley to the Clippers, but why in the world add Zubac. With a minor minutes increase (which we could see with Zubac on the Clippers and Marcin Gortat being waived) Zubac might actually thrive and be a much better player than Mike Muscala and Michael Beasley combined. Now from Lebron’s perspective, he essentially gets nothing for something. Lebron came to the Lakers to lead a young team, that doesn’t mean just Lonzo, Ingram, Hart and Kuzma… the other guys too like Isaac Bonga, Mo Wagner, Svi and Zubac. But it seems like the Lakers used that as a draw in for Lebron. They’ve now traded Zubac, and were fully prepared to offer the entire Lakers young core minus Josh Hart for Anthony Davis. Lebron might as well have gone to New Orleans. Regardless it really makes you wonder what the Lakers are planning to do in the future regarding their young players, especially now that Lonzo Ball could be on the move as soon as trading reopens in the summer.
Dennis Smith Jr. – left a team he didn’t want to play for, to a team that made him the focal point of their team.
Toronto Raptors – Acquired Marc Gasol at a surprisingly cheap price.
Milwaukee Bucks – turned Thon Maker and some seconds into Nikola Mirotic.
Philadelphia 76ers – Acquired Tobias Harris decently cheap, potentially traded away the biggest bust since Anthony Bennett and got a first out of it as well as a second and Jonathan Simmons.
Houston Rockets – Got Iman Shumpert but may have given a bit too much, since everything else they got in the Shumpert deal got traded to the Pacers for “future considerations”.
Chicago Bulls – Gave up wayyyyyy to much for Otto Porter Jr, an expensive go big or go home kind of deal.
Landry Shamet – Went from trusting the process to having to play on the second best professional basketball team in Los Angeles.
Miami Heat – Pretty much swapped two equal players in Ryan Anderson and Tyler Johnson, but somehow coughed up Wayne Ellington in the process.
What do you guys think about this trade deadline?
Who won, who didn’t? Comment below I’d love to hear you thoughts.
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