The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and on a day when hoops fans were hoping to see fireworks, it was surprisingly quiet in the Association.
Big-name players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George who were rumored to be on the move ended up staying put with their current clubs, while a litany of role players and draft picks ended up changing hands on a disappointing deadline day.
The Boston Celtics and their mountain of assets were holding all of the cards at the poker table, but general manager Danny Ainge decided to play it safe and keep the makeup of his roster the same. The biggest deals came early this year, namely DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors and Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets.
Earlier in the week I wrote about Cousins’ massive impact on the championship futures market, which you can read here.
Here’s a break down of the most talked about trades from Thursday:
Are we sure it’s always sunny in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia 76ers trade Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a heavily protected 2017 first-round pick.
Philadelphia finally resolved its glut of young big men at the deadline by sending defensive stopper Nerlens Noel to Dallas, but the move looks like an all-around win for the Mavs. Noel has all of the tools to be a solid player in the NBA but was never given a proper amount of playing time in the City of Brotherly Love, but he’ll have ample room to grow in Big D.
The 22-year-old is a natural complement to longtime face of the franchise Dirk Nowitzki and can swing between defensive positions to counteract difficult matchups. Paired with Harrison Barnes, Noel is on pace to be a cornerstone of Dallas’ future.
Despite getting traded, Bogut has stated he will not play for the Sixers and buyout talks have already begun between Philadelphia’s front office and the Aussie with the intention of the big man playing for a contender. The first-round pick is top-18 protected, so if the Mavs finish inside the first 18 picks this year it will turn into two second-round selections. Noel’s value has decreased over time but it’s hard to believe that this is all Philly could get for him.
Durant who? Thunder are loading up
Chicago Bulls trade Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.
The long list of questionable decisions by the Chicago Bulls continues. Chicago’s general manager combo of John Paxson and Gar Forman told reporters shortly after the trade that the thought process is to give more playing time to Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine, however I’m not sure about the haul coming back.
Payne joins a crowded backcourt in the Windy City that already includes Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant, while Lauvergne is on his third team in less than a year and is averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
This trade signifies that the Thunder believe they can make a playoff run in the post-Kevin Durant era, and the additions of Gibson and McDermott will bolster a roster that badly needed secondary scoring. Gibson is as steady as it gets at the power forward spot, but he’ll be an unrestricted free-agent this summer. If OKC can re-sign him, this trade will look even worse for the Bulls.
Welcome to Canada, eh!
Phoenix Suns trade P.J. Tucker to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks (2017 and 2018).
Raptors president Masai Ujiri has done it again. Just over a week after acquiring the sweet-shooting Ibaka, Ujiri made another savvy move by bringing in the defensive specialist Tucker. Tucker, who was drafted in the second-round by the Raps over a decade ago, is a three-and-D wing who’s averaging 7 points and 6 rebounds per game this season.
Bringing Tucker off the bench could have huge ramifications come playoff time, as the veteran will likely be tasked with guarding opposing offensive superstars (a.k.a. LeBron James). Tucker is a soon to be unrestricted free-agent, but the gamble is more than worth the risk for the Raps since they’re giving up an ineffective and perennially hurt Sullinger and what will very likely be two extremely late second-round picks.
Toronto was undeniably one of the biggest winners of the 2017 NBA trade deadline, as the club got Ibaka and Tucker for Terrence Ross, Sullinger, a first-round pick, two second-rounders while keeping this year’s first-round selection in a loaded draft. Watch out for the Dinos in the stretch run.