NBA trade deadline winners and losers
They say you can’t truly judge the impact of a trade until two years later, but frankly who has that kind of time? We’re going to fast forward through that excruciating waiting period as we determine the winners and losers of the NBA’s annual trade deadline.
Lovers of small ball
Fans of Houston’s so-called “Tuck-wagon” are in for a treat as Mike D’Antoni will be forced to ride his pint-sized rotation now that Houston has said adieu to Clint Capela and Nene. The mini Lineup of Death has fared well so far, going 3-0, but it will be interesting to see how it sizes up against teams with mobile bigs like the Lakers and Bucks.
It isn't often you can refuse to show up to work for six months and still get a raise, but that's precisely what happened to Andre Iguodala, who agreed to a two-year, $30 million extension with Miami promptly after being traded to the Heat. We wouldn’t recommend emulating Iggy’s bargaining tactics, but they worked well for the former Finals MVP as he now finds himself on a deep and talented team with a legitimate chance of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Hawks instantly upgraded their frontcourt with Clint Capela, a ferocious rim-runner and defensive menace who has averaged a double-double in each of the last three seasons and is among the league leaders in rebounds and field-goal percentage. The bouncy big man should pair well with John Collins, who has come into his own as a deep threat in his third season in the league.
The NBA trade deadline is like Christmas Day for Adrian Wojnarowski, whose Woj Bombs are glittering gifts for the basketball-starved masses. The ESPN columnist was the first to break the stories about trades involving Clint Capela and Andre Iguodala, and he covered the Knick’s hiring of Leon Rose like a weighted blanket.
It’s been quite a week for Dillon Brooks, who made headlines on Monday when he expressed his frustration over Andre Iguodala’s season-long holdout. "I can't wait until we find a way to trade him so we can play him, and I can show him what really Memphis is about," he said at the time.
Unfortunately, Memphis won’t face Miami again this season, but Brooks can take some comfort in his new three-year, $35 million contract extension, which he signed on Thursday morning. It turns out being outspoken really does pay.
The Sixers addressed a major area of need on Wednesday evening by acquiring Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks from the Warriors. The versatile duo will help bolster a bench which currently ranks 27th in scoring and 24th in field-goal percentage. Philadelphia has lost three straight and badly needs someone – anyone, really – who can hold down the fort while Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris sit.
It wasn't easy - or particularly cheap - but the Timberwolves got their man in D'Angelo Russell. The 23-year-old point guard is averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game and should combine with his good buddy Karl-Anthony Towns to form one of the most dynamic pick-and-roll combos in the league. Minnesota is still miles away from the playoffs, but at least hope is finally on the horizon.
Some signings, as we’ll soon discover, don’t always work out. That was certainly the case for Dewayne Dedmon, who inked a lucrative three-year, $40 million contract with the Kings in the summer. The veteran big man soon fell out of Luke Walton’s rotation and issued a public trade demand on Dec. 29. "I haven't been playing, so I would like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated," Dedmon told the Sacramento Bee.
Dedmon now gets his wish as he returns to Atlanta, where he posted the best numbers of his career from 2017-19. Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce knows Dedmon’s game well, and should make the most of his ability to crash the boards and protect the rim.
Houston’s exile of Capela and Nene means that the 6-foot-6 Tucker will have to battle the likes of Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns for the remainder of the season. Send your prayers and your boxes of Icy Hot.
Another year, another change of address for Evan Turner. The former No. 2 draft pick is now on his sixth team in 10 years and could be playing in the deepest, darkest reaches of Eastern Europe in another 12 months. On the positive side, at least he has an awesome jersey collection.
Just when Andre Drummond didn't think his nighmare of a season could get any worse, he ends up getting traded to Cleveland. The 13-39 Cavs have somehow been even more putrid than the Pistons this year and are destined to finish with the worst record in the league, with or without Drummond manning the middle.
Let’s be honest: you didn’t really want to spend five minutes of your life reading about Evan Turner and Dewayne Dedmon, did you?