The NBA Trade Deadline has finally passed, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on February 7. Let’s take a look at every deal from this week, including explanations and grades for each team.
The way I grade trades, the deal doesn’t have to be a blockbuster to get a good grade. Also, I don’t think that every trade has a winner and a loser. In many trades, both teams win. So here are my criteria:
A: vastly improved team or cap situation, very smart trade
B: positive deal, good choice, but not super great
C: neutral, didn’t really improve or hurt
D: poor choice, shouldn’t have done this
F: incredibly stupid trade, fire this GM
Bullock to the Lakers
Pistons send Reggie Bullock to the Lakers for Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2nd
This is a solid trade for each team. It’s no blockbuster but makes sense for both sides. In Bullock, the Lakers acquire a great role player, who finished 2nd in the NBA in 3pt percentage last season. His contract expires this summer, so it’s essentially a rental for LAL, but they could use him. Meanwhile, the Pistons pick up a young prospect in Svi, who’s only played 20+ minutes four times this season, but he’s had some promising performances, shooting 36.% from three. Good for both sides here.
Richardson to No One for Nothing
Raptors give Malachi Richardson and a 2022 2nd to the Sixers, who waive him
The Raptors are just lowering their tax bill with this deal. We’ll see it again later with the Monroe trade. Meanwhile, Philly gets a 2nd-rounder, so it makes sense. I’m not gonna waste any more time on this one.
Sixers land Tobias Harris
Sixers trade Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 1st, MIA 2021 1st, 2021 2nd, and 2023 2nd for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjonovic, and Mike Scott
In the first big deal of Deadline Week, Philadelphia landed Tobias Harris, who would have been an all-star if he’d been in the East two weeks ago. Philly seems confident they’ll be able to lock him and Jimmy Butler up long term, but they really did pay a high price for Harris. First, to get this out of the way, Chandler and Muscala are expiring contracts. They were primarily included to make salaries match, at $18 million combined. Both role players sent to Philly are actually expiring, too. However, they’ll both be solid pieces for the Sixers. But look at what they sent to LAC: Landry Shamet was averaging 20.5 minutes for the Sixers, and shooting 40.3% from three. He’s a good young asset. Philly also included TWO first rounders, their own in 2020 (not super valuable), and the coveted 2021 Miami pick, which is unprotected and could end up being a good one. Another interesting note: the Clippers’ draft pick this year is lottery protected. If they make the playoffs, they lose it (Boston), but if they miss the playoffs they keep it. Smart, forward-thinking move here to make their team worse in exchange for future assets. I also think the Sixers could’ve used Patrick Beverley, another expiring contract on the Clips’ payroll. Yes, they got Harris, who gives them a really good starting lineup, but I think they overpaid for him.
Thon Maker for Stanley Johnson
Bucks send Thon Maker to Detroit for Stanely Johnson, straight up.
This one’s pretty straightforward. Both of these guys still have upside, but can use a change of scenery. Johnson ended up going to NOLA in the Mirotic deal, but I don’t think the Bucks knew that when they acquired him. Here are their career stats. Johnson is a little more established, and a year older, but Maker’s ceiling is probably higher.
Maker: 21 years old, 3rd season, 7.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 37% FG, 29% 3FG, 77% FT
Johnson: 22 yrs old, 4th season, 4.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 43% FG, 33% 3FG, 65% FT
Tyler Johnson for Ryan Anderson
Heat send Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington (waived) to Phoenix for Ryan Anderson
For Miami, this trade was all about getting under the luxury tax line. Wayne Ellington is an expiring contract at $6.7 million, and Tyler Johnson is owed $19 million this season and next if he wants it (player option). Ryan Anderson is paid $20 million a year, so the Heat save just enough money to get under the tax, while the Suns pick up a 26-year old guard that they can run out next to Devin Booker for a year and a half. The Suns kindly waived Ellington, who will sign with a contender… and has real value.
Bulls get Otto Porter Jr.
Wizards send Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago for Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, and their 2023 2nd
For Washington, like Miami in the Johnson/Ellington deal, their primary goal was to get under the tax. By trading Porter and Markieff Morris, the Wizards have successfully gotten under the tax line, but then the question becomes “Did they get any value back?” Well, Jabari Parker has a team option this summer, for $20 million. Chances are, Washington declines that option and Jabari was simply a salary-filler. Bobby Portis is a solid rotation big who will never become much more in my Bulls fan opinion. So what about the Bulls’ side? As a Chicago fan myself, I really like this trade for my Bulls. Yes, Otto Porter is expensive–way overpriced at $27 million–but what else were the Bulls going to do with that money? They still have a projected $23 million in space this summer, and Porter is the exact type of 3-and-D wing I was hoping they’d be able to put on the wing next to Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. Now, the Bulls have LaVine, Markkanen, Porter, Carter, Valentine, Hutchison, and their 2019 pick (Zion or Ja Morant *fingers crossed*). All seven of those are locked up until 2021, and all of them are 25 and under. That’s not a bad young core to work with.
The Shump 3-teamer
Rockets send Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, and 2019 1st to the Cavs, who send Alec Burks to Sacramento, who sends Iman Shumpert, Nik Stauskas, and Wade Baldwin to Houston
This one makes sense all three ways. The Rockets get off Knight’s contract and get back a better player in Shumpert, but it costs them Chriss and a 1st. The Kings get Burks for Shump. That’s an upgrade. Shumpert is averaging 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 37% from deep. Burks? 12 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, 39% from three. Small upgrade, but makes sense for SAC. Meanwhile, the Cavs pick up a 1st rounder this year and 21-year-old Chriss. They don’t mind taking on Knight’s contract… they won’t need that money this summer. Houston will. They also don’t mind losing Burks, who’s expiring. Win-win-win.
Dallas sends Barnes to SAC
Mavericks trade Harrison Barnes to Sacramento for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph (waived)
This is a very interesting one. Barnes was playing in a game for Dallas as he was traded. However, as reported by Paul Pierce (!), Barnes and his agent knew a trade was possible and he chose to play anyway. The trade itself makes a lot of sense. The Mavericks had just picked up Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee in the Porzingis deal. Those two and Barnes don’t all fit together, and all three are under contract for a season and a half… it only makes sense to move on from Barnes. In return, the Mavs got a cheap young wing with upside, and Randolph, a salary filler. The real asset that Dallas got is cap space in 2019. They’re projected around $14 million now, depending on what happens with Kristaps Porzingis, of course. Meanwhile, the Kings are the perfect suitor for Barnes. They don’t have their pick this year, so they might as well try and win. They had plenty of cap space and still do. Barnes fills a gaping hole for a bigger forward in SAC, and they have a real shot at the playoffs now.
Markieff Morris for… nothing?
Wizards ship Markieff Morris and their 2023 2nd for Wes Johnson
This one is, once again, just the Wizards getting under the luxury tax. Both players are expiring contracts, but Morris is a little bit more expensive, so the Wiz gave NOLA a 2nd rounder and asked them to waive Morris instead of them. That’s about it.
Ennis to Philadelphia
Rockets trade James Ennis to the Sixers for a 2021 2nd round pick swap (Rockets get the better pick, Sixers get the worse)
Houston is getting under the luxury tax with this deal. They already got Shumpert, don’t really need Ennis anymore, and the 2nd rounder swap is a nice sweetener. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Rockets giving up a rotation player just to get under the tax… they’re supposed to be contending. Meanwhile, the Sixers pick up a wing that may play some real minutes for them. They’ve done a nice job to improve their bench, which now includes TJ McConnell, James Ennis, Jonathon Simmons, Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjonovic. They’re way deeper than they were a week ago.
Milwaukee picks up Mirotic
Bucks send Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith, and 2 2nd rounders for Nikola Mirotic
This might be my personal favorite of all the deadline deals this year. The Bucks pick up a 37% three-point shooter on 7.2 attempts/game, averaging 17 and 8 for New Orleans. He fits absolutely perfectly in their system, which surrounds Giannis with shooters. The #1 team in the East just got even better. They gave up hardly anything. The Pelicans really couldn’t find a better deal for Mirotic? I guess Stanley Johnson and 2 2nds are better than losing Niko this summer anyway, but I feel like they could’ve found a better offer somewhere. Awesome trade for the Bucks.
Marc Gasol to the 6ix
Raptors send Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and their 2024 2nd to Memphis for Marc Gasol
This is such a weird trade. I don’t love Gasol’s fit in Toronto. They really don’t need another center. Ibaka and Siakam starting has been working out really well. I guess this gives them another option at least. But the thing is, I can’t give the Raptors a bad grade, because they hardly gave anything up in the deal. Valanciunas’s contract ($19M/year) is for the next year and a half, just like Gasol’s ($24M), and he’s significantly worse. Delon Wright is averaging 7, 2, and 2 in 18 minutes… he’s already 26, but he’s under contract for the next year and a half when he’ll be restricted. C.J. Miles is really just a salary filler. How did Toronto not have to include a 1st here? That’s a highway robbery. This is what you got for the 2nd best player in your franchise’s history?? My best theory here: Gasol knew he was getting traded, the relationship was pretty much over between him and the Grizzlies, and they had to get rid of him. The Charlotte deal fell apart and all of the sudden this Raptors offer was the best one they had… his value wasn’t as high as they had hoped, but they had to trade him. That has to be it.
Bradley for Temple and Green
Clippers send Avery Bradley to Memphis for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green
The Clips are making moves! Temple and Green are both expiring, while Bradley has another year left. LAC is clearing space for free agency this summer. They’ve traded Harris, Bradley, Boban, and Scott for Zubac, Shamet, three 1st rounders, and two 2nds. Plus some extra cap space. I guess the Grizzlies are just trying to blow it up and lose as many games as possible by getting rid of two of their good starters. Who knows what they’re doing.
Muscala for Zubac in LA
Clippers send Mike Muscala to the Lakers for Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley (waived)
Once again, we see LAC making smart moves. This trade cleared up a roster spot for the Lakers to go after Wayne Ellington / Carmelo Anthony, and Muscala will provide some shooting from the center position. The Clips traded an expiring vet, worthless to them, and got back Zubac, who has scored in double digits over half of his games this season and is averaging 12 and 6 with 59% shooting since being cemented into the Lakers’ rotation (last 22 games). He’s only 21, and in his 3rd season, which means he’ll be restricted in 2020. Great pickup for the Clippers.
Labissiere for Swanigan
Kings trade Skal Labissiere to Portland for Caleb Swanigan
This is pretty much just a change of scenery deal. Swanigan, who attended Purdue (Boiler up!), has one extra year on his contract compared to Labissiere, but Labissiere’s production has been slightly better. Both are averaging around 2 points this year and have fallen out of their team’s rotation. I guess it makes sense to give a new guy a chance.
Raptors unload Monroe
Raptors give Greg Monroe and a 2021 2nd to the Nets for cash
Toronto is now under the tax. After the Gasol deal, they needed to get rid of Monroe, and they gave Brooklyn a 2nd to take him. Chances are the Nets waive him.
Mack for Dorsey
Grizzlies trade Shelvin Mack to the Hawks for Tyler Dorsey
Shelvin Mack is having a solid season, averaging 8.3 points, 3.4 assists, shooting 41% from the field and 36% from three. Memphis is tanking, and Mack’s contract is expiring, so they get a little value back in Dorsey, who’s in his second year. The 41st pick in the 2017 draft, he averaged 7.3 points as a rookie. Atlanta plans to waive Mack.
Sixers let go of Fultz
Sixers send Markelle Fultz to Orlando for Jonathon Simmons, OKC’s 2020 1st (lottery protected), and Orlando’s 2019 2nd
I was actually surprised by the value Philly got back for Fultz. I’ve continued to believe in his upside throughout the weird shoulder saga. A great shooter in college doesn’t just forget how to shoot. Something is physically wrong with Markelle, for sure. It seemed he had almost no value, but Philly got a solid wing, a 1st, and a 2nd in this deal. Simmons averaged 14 pts, 4 rebs, 3 ast last season on 46% and 34% shooting. That being said, I love it for Orlando too. Why not give up a 2nd and a late 1st for a guy who was picked #1 just twenty months ago? It’s worth the flyer for Orlando, and Philadelphia gets some long-term value as well as a player that can help their playoff push.
Buyouts and Waivers
Carmelo Anthony is unsigned (14, 5, 1, 40%, 33%) Seems he is the Lakers’ backup plan, and not a lot of other teams have interest
Clippers waive Marcin Gortat (5, 6, 1, 53%) Not sure if he has any real value. Maybe in late July, he’ll be signed as a 10th man
Clippers waive Milos Teodosic (3, 1, 2, 43%, 37%) Averaged 10, 3, and 5 last year and seems like a good bench piece to me
Bulls buy out Robin Lopez (6, 3, 1, 53%, 28%) 12 and 5 last season, seems like he’s going to the Warriors who can always use another center
Knicks waive Enes Kanter (15, 11, 4, 54%, 32%) Are we sure Kanter doesn’t have value? A good scorer, but an absolutely awful defender
Mavs waive Zach Randolph (15, 7, 2, 47%, 35%) Put up some impressive stats in SAC, could help with depth, not a playoff rotation guy
Pacers waive Nik Stauskas (6, 2, 1, 41%, 34%) Won’t be a huge piece, but could be a consolation prize and a depth guy, career 36% from three
Pacers waive Wade Baldwin (2, 1, 1, 30%, 22%) Probably not getting signed till the summer, and may end up being a 2-way guy even then
Nets to waive Greg Monroe (5, 4, 0, 46%) Averaged 10 and 7 last season on 56% FG, can still contribute a little off the bench
Kings waive Ben McLemore (3, 1, 2, 39%, 42%) Shooting better from three than from two… only 25, still has some upside
Grizzlies waive Omri Casspi (6, 3, 1, 53%, 35%) Solid reserve wing that could contribute 10 minutes per game, but not in a playoff rotation
Hawks to waive Shelvin Mack (8, 3, 1, 41%, 36%) Good backup guard that deserves some minutes somewhere, now or in July
Knicks waive Wesley Matthews (13, 3, 2, 41%, 38%) Probably the top prize of this list, reportedly signing with Indiana, but not official yet
Suns waive Wayne Ellington (8, 2, 1, 38%, 37%) 11.2 PPG on 39.2% 3FG last season, great role player, Lakers and Pistons interested
Pelicans waive Markieff Morris (12, 5, 2, 44%, 33%) Good stretch-four who can shoot and defend, teams like Utah could use him
Clippers to waive Michael Beasley (7, 2, 1, 49%, 18%) 13 PPG and 40% from three last season, still has that potential but not super valuable
Winners and Losers
Winner: Milwaukee Bucks
The best value deal of the deadline, Milwaukee basically traded Thon Maker for Nikola Mirotic and have solidified themselves as legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
Harris, Bradley, Boban, and Scott for Zubac, Shamet, three 1st rounders, two 2nds, plus some additional cap space. They’re building a really solid young core and they are real players for Kawhi this summer.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala are good players, but they’re not Anthony Davis. The Lakers aren’t gonna win a championship without a second superstar, and they may have already lost out on AD.
Loser: Boston Celtics
Bucks got Mirotic, Raptors got Gasol, Sixers got Harris and the Celtics? Nothing. Their roster is plenty talented, yes, but their competition is loading up and they’re falling behind.