The NBA trade deadline was mostly lame duck, uneventful for nearly half the league who sat out amidst a season conflated with under whelming play for many teams and a cap which will not rise by much of any come summer. The trades that did happen were to bolster playoff runs and to get teams like the Nets, 76ers, and Nuggets closer to or over the salary cap floor as to avoid penalties. There was no spate of blockbuster moves, no stars moving across conferences to change the balance of the league.

The biggest move of mid-season happened days before the deadline when the Sacramento Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans:

New Orleans Pelicans get:

DeMarcus Cousins PF

Omri Casspi SF

Sacramento Kings get:

Buddy Hield SG

Tyreke Evans G

Langston Galloway SG

2017 1st round pick

Future 2nd round pick

The Kings had to decide between paying DeMarcus Cousins the largest contract in the history of the NBA at just over $200 million, which would have taken up a majority of their team salary for years to come, or to unload him and rebuild with maximum flexibility. Vlade Divac was adamant that he was not going to trade Cousins, their sole star, but in the end decided on the ladder and traded him to the Pelicans in what is considered one of the worst trades in the history of the NBA, not because the Kings traded Cousins, but because they got little back in return. Divac openly admitted there were better offers that he turned down to accept the deal with the Pelicans.

The Kings have high hopes for Buddy Hield, the main target of the trade for owner Vivek Ranadive who has coveted him since last year’s draft. Ranadive feels Hield is all-star material and will seek to build the team around him. Tyreke Evans is an expiring contract, who returns to Sacramento for the second time, since being traded in 2013. He has a chance to prove himself with the Kings once more, but will probably be shown the door this summer as a free agent. The Kings also get Langston Galloway a 3rd  undervalued undrafted shooting guard who will look to prove himself, a first round pick in this year’s draft to begin their rebuild, as well as a future second round pick.

New Orleans meanwhile gets a second star to place next to power forward Anthony Davis who has yet to find success with the Pelicans. The duo makes them the league’s most dominant front court. Along with guard Jrue Holiday they will look to make a push for the playoffs, and to be a contender for years to come, that is if they can Cousins to resign with them next summer. The Pelicans also waived PF Terrence Jones and signed PG Jarrett Jack to a 10 day contract.

The Washington Wizards traded the Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic to fortify their roster for a playoff run, in turn helping the nets climb to the cap room floor, and insure flexibility come this summer.

Washington Wizards get:

Bojan Bogdanovic SF/SG

Chris McCullough PF

Brooklyn Nets get:

Andrew Nicholson PF

Marcus Thornton SG

Lottery protected 2017 first round pick

Bogdanovic will no doubt help Scott Brooks and the wizards make a strong push for the playoffs. McCullough who has struggled in his development to become a capable big man in the NBA will probably see little time in Washington. The Nets get young power forward Andrew Nicholson who will no doubt be a part of their rebuild. They also received the expiring contract of Marcus Thornton who will likely be waived and a lottery protected pick in this year’s draft which will more than likely be in play with the Wizards playoff run in order.

The Nets also acquired guard K.J. McDaniels from the Houston Rockets for cash considerations.

Brooklyn Nets get:

KJ McDaniels G

Houston Rockets get:

Cash Considerations

The trade helps the Net climb to within about $800,000 of the cap floor and gives Houston cap space for flexibility this summer. K.J. McDaniels has a team option for next season meaning the Nets will be watching him closely for the rest of the season to decide whether to keep him or let him walk this summer.

Houston was one of the busiest teams this trade deadline pulling off two other trades besides the one with the Nets. Both other moves were with the Los Angeles Lakers:

Houston Rockets get:

Lou Williams SG

Los Angeles Lakers get:

Corey Brewer SG

2017 1st round pick


Houston Rockets get:

Marceo Huertas PG

Los Angeles Lakers get:

Tyler Ennis G

The first move with the Lakers nets the Rockets a SG that fits well in Mike D’Antoni’s system, and will help them make a deeper playoff push come April. The move nets the Lakers a 1st round pick in this year’s draft to help them begin the new era that sees Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka taking over the front office. They inherit guard Corey Brewer who just signed a three year contract last year with the Rockets and has had a horrible shooting year, hitting just 23% from the arc.

The second trade gives the Lakers a young PG in Ennis to replace Marceo Huertas who wasn’t quite working out. The Lakers will be able to sign Ennis whose contract is expiring on the cheap if they decide to hold on him. The Rockets waived Huertas and created cap room and a player exception that they will use to claim a player off of waivers, perhaps Sullinger from the Suns, bring back Terrence Jones, or make a run at Bogut should he be waived by the Sixers.

The Philadelphia Sixers were also busy during the deadline making several moves including sending F Ersan Ilyasova to the Altanta Hawks for Tiago Splitter, and Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a protected first round pick.


Philadelphia 76ers get:

Tiago Splitter PF/C

2017 second round pick (Miami)

2017 second round pick

Altanta Hawks get:

Ersan Ilyasova F

2017 second round pick (Warriors)

Both trades net Philadelphia draft picks for this year’s draft and helps them get to the cap floor. They will probably waive either Tiago Splitter or Andrew Bogut. Splitter is more likely Anderson gives the 76ers another young prospect, and though he has struggled in Dallas, he has a chance to redeem himself in philly. The moves also help to open up playing time for Dario Saric. The 76er’s were heavily shopping Okafor but had to trade Noel instead at the deadline when no deals for the rookie big man could be made.

Atlanta gets Ilyasova who will give them more length and strengthen the roster for a playoff push. They rid themselves of Splitter who was an ill fit to begin with, and was only taken on as a favor to Greg Popovich  last season to facilitate signing LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Dallas Mavericks finally get Noel who they have coveted and who will bring a defensive presence the Mavericks have been missing since the days of Tyson Chandler. They will have to resign Noel this summer to a hefty contract, but have retained his bird rights allowing them to match any other offers. Noel will likely help the Mavericks who are hoping to make the playoffs this year.

The Denver Nuggets after trading center Jusuf Nurkic to the Blazers more than a week ago for Mason Plumee, traded the Milwaukee Bucks a 2019 second round pick for the expiring contract of Roy Hibbert.

Denver Nuggets get:

Mason Plumlee PF/C

2018 second round pick

Cash Considerations

Portland Trail Blazers get:

Jusuf Nurkic C

2017 1st round pick (Memphis)



Denver Nuggets get:

Roy Hibbert C

Milwaukee Bucks get:

Protected 2019 second pick


Both moves help the Nuggets get close to the cap floor to avoid penalties. Both Hibbert and Plumlee are expiring, and both will likely find new homes this summer. Though Denver may look to resign Plumlee.

The Blazers get rid of Plumlee’s expiring contract, who will be looking a big pay day this summer that Portland can ill afford with one of the largest team salaries in the league. Portland gets young center Jusuf Nurkic who will provide an inside presence and third scoring option the Blazers have been missing. They also get a third 1st round pick in this year’s draft where they will look to trade up in the draft and find some new talent on the cheap.

The Denver/ Milwaukee trade was Roy Hibbert’s second move of the season, after being traded several weeks ago to Milwaukee from the Charlotte Hornets along with Spencer Hawes in return for Miles Plumlee.

Charlotte Hornets get:

Miles Plumlee

Milwaukee Bucks get:

Roy Hibbert C

Spencer Hawes PF/C


The move is an attempt by the Hornets to get younger at Center, where they already have Cody Zeller. They take a risk with the seemingly overpaid Plumlee who under performed in Milwaukee. For the Bucks it is a straight up salary Dump. Plumlee’s contract worth $50 million was a regret of Bucks GM John Hammond, and somehow he was able to convince the Hornets to take it.


The Phoenix Suns also made a few moves sending PJ Tucker to Toronto and acquiring big man Mike Scott from the Hawks.

Phoenix Suns get:

Jared Sullinger PF/C

2017, 2018 second round picks

Toronto Raptors get:

PJ Tucker SF/PF


Phoenix Suns get:

Mike Scott

Draft rights to Cenk Akyol

Cash Considerations

Atlanta Hawks get:

2017 second round pick

The Suns wanted a 1st round pick for Tucker but they settle for two seconds and Jared Sullinger who they will likely waive. The Suns will also waive big man Mike Scott who they acquired from the Hawks. Atlanta signed ex-Laker forward Ryan Kelly to fill the roster spot opened by Scott.

The Raptors get PJ Tucker who along with Serge Ibaka who they acquired in an earlier trade with the Orlando Magic will strengthen their roster for the playoffs amidst a championship run.

Toronto Raptors get:

Serge Ibaka PF

Orlando Magic get:

Terrence Ross SF

2017 1st round pick

Toronto gets a dependable defensive big man in Ibaka to help them in their push for the O’Brien trophy. Ibaka is also a 41% shooter from the arc. The Magic get young forward Terrence Ross and 1st round pick to help them find some fresh talent in the draft. Ibaka is a free agent who was traded to the Magic from the Thunder in last years draft. He was likely to leave this summer in free agency. Instead of not being able to retain him, the Magic moved him for some assets.

Speaking of the Thunder they were another team who opted to make a move to place talent around PG Russell Westbrook. They shipped Cameron Payne, Joffery Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow to the Chicago Bulls for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a draft pick.

Oklahoma City Thunder get:

Taj Gibson PF

Doug McDermott SF

2018 Second Round pick


Chicago Bulls get:

Cameron Payne PG

Anthony Morrow SG

Joffery Lauvergne PF/C


For the Thunder, Westbrook gets some help from Taj Gibson as they continue their playoff run. McDermott who struggled in Chicago will have a chance to redeem himself in Oklahoma. The Thunder will have to decide whether to pay up and resign Gibson at the end of the season when he becomes a free agent. He is restricted as Oklahoma receives his bird rights, so they can match offers from other teams.

The Bulls will develop young PG Cameron Payne as their PGOTF. Rajon Rondo will probably be headed elsewhere this summer. Lauvergne and Morrow will get a chance to audition for the bulls before they become free agents in June.


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. - Log in