NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Deal Recap and Grades for Every Team and Rumor

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIMarch 15, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Deal Recap and Grades for Every Team and Rumor

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    The 2012 NBA trade deadline is in our rear-view mirrors, and it certainly didn't disappoint fans.

    There were a number of last-minute trades that have the potential to make a serious impact in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

    While big names like Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and Pau Gasol all stayed put, there were a number of trades that have the potential to shift the balance of power in the East and the West as we head into the homestretch of the 2011-12 NBA season.

    Sure, there were some head-scratchers, but there were also some great moves that will surely impact the outcome of both the regular season and the 2012 NBA playoffs.

    Ahead is a recap of every trade and grades for every team that was involved in either a serious trade rumor or an actual trade that went down.  

Orlando Magic: F

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    The Orlando Magic's inability to move Dwight Howard before the deadline isn't the only reason why the Magic are receiving a solid F here.

    According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic were reportedly interested in Warriors guard Monta Ellis but failed to reel him in. It would have been a solid addition for a team that lacks elite ability aside from Howard.

    In addition to not getting Ellis, the Magic failed to improve at any position on their underwhelming bench, which is a reason for concern heading into the homestretch of the 2011-12 NBA season.

    The final reason why the Magic have an F grade is because they failed to make any progress with the Dwight Howard saga. While Howard is in Orlando for at least another year, the power in still in his hands. That's bad news for the Magic, who could find themselves in this same position next year.

    Grade: F 

Portland Trail Blazers: D

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    What the Trail Blazers got from trades: PG Jonny Flynn, C Mehmet Okur, C Hasheem Thabeet, SF Shawne Williams, future first- and second-round draft picks

    What the Trail Blazers lost from trades: C Marcus Camby, SF Gerald Wallace, head coach Nate McMillan

    As reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and Ken Berger of CBS Sports, while the Blazers didn't necessarily give up all that much to get a bunch of players in return, the players they got aren't all that special.

    Mehmet Okur has been injured throughout the span of both this season and last, and while Jonny Flynn is an exciting talent, he's not the answer for Portland at the point. That's what they needed to get before the trade deadline.

    Losing Gerald Wallace will definitely impact the Blazers' offensive production, and the guys Portland is getting in return aren't necessarily upgrades at any of the positions.

    While it wasn't a result of a trade, the Blazers also fired their head coach.

    It's not a good time to be a Portland Trail Blazers fan.

    Grade: D

Minnesota Timberwolves: D

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    As reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN, there were numerous rumors regarding the Timberwolves' attempts to move Michael Beasley. Minnesota ultimately failed to do so, and that's a big-time mistake for Minnesota.

    Michael Beasley isn't necessarily a bad player; he's just inconsistent coming off the bench. That's the last thing the Timberwolves need, especially with Derrick Williams' play improving as of late.

    What the Timberwolves really needed to do was to find a temporary replacement for injured point guard Ricky Rubio, and they failed to do that.

    Minnesota undoubtedly needed to move Beasley in hopes of reeling in a point guard in return. They should have done that with the Lakers, as they were interested in Beasley.

    With the Timberwolves holding onto Beasley after the trade deadline, they failed to get better as a team, and that earns them a solid D.

    Grade: D 

San Antonio Spurs: D

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    What the Spurs got from trades: SG Stephen Jackson

    What the Spurs lost from trades: SF Richard Jefferson and 2012 first-round pick

    I'll be honest: This move doesn't make that much sense.

    As reported by the Associated Press (per ESPN), San Antonio acquired Stephen Jackson in exchange for Richard Jefferson. The Spurs were surely looking to find production off the bench for the injury-prone Manu Ginobili, and I'm not sure that's what they got.

    San Antonio got an aging guard who constantly puts up questionable shots and shoots the ball at a low percentage. In reality, I think the Spurs are worse off now than they were before this trade.

    Giving up a first-round pick in addition to Jefferson for an arrogant player who just wants to shoot the ball is a boneheaded move in my book.

    Major downgrade here for the San Antonio Spurs.

    Grade: D 

Memphis Grizzlies: D+

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    What the Grizzlies got from trades:  PF Ricky Sanchez

    What the Grizzlies lost from trades: F Sam Young

    As reported by the Associated Press (per ESPN), the Grizzlies lost Sam Young. He's not an extremely productive player coming off the bench, but they should have gotten more for him than they did.

    Instead of getting something in return for Young that the Grizzlies could have used right now, they got a player who's said in an interview with HoopsHype that he will be ready to play in the NBA in two years.

    With a statement like that, you've got to be concerned with the player that Sanchez, at some point, is going to become.

    The Grizzlies lost a solid defender and a player with a lot of potential and upside in Sam Young for nothing really immediate. That earns them a low grade here.

    Grade: D+

Denver Nuggets: C-

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    What the Nuggets got from trades: C JaVale McGee and C Ronny Turiaf 

    What the Nuggets lost from trades: C Nene

    I'm not exactly sure why the Nuggets thought that they needed to get rid of a player who was averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds a game, but hey—that's why I'm not the Nuggets GM.

    As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nuggets got an athletic center in JaVale McGee, who has a ridiculous amount of upside. However, they gave away the center of their frontcourt offense, which is something that is going to come back to haunt them down the stretch this season.

    Adding Ronny Turiaf really means nothing for the Nuggets, as he'll find himself last on Denver's depth chart at the center position.

    If JaVale McGee figures out how to play like a mature player, this trade will be good news for Denver. That's a highly unlikely possibility for the Nuggets, as McGee's never even heard the word "maturity" before.

    Grade: C- 

Cleveland Cavaliers: C-

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    What the Cavaliers got from trades: SF Luke Walton and 2012 first-round pick

    What the Cavaliers lost from trades: PG Ramon Sessions and SG Christian Eyenga

    As reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cleveland Cavaliers got exactly what they wanted out of point guard Ramon Sessions by the time the trade deadline passed today.

    They got a first-round pick and even another player in small forward Luke Walton.

    While Luke Walton isn't exactly the kind of player who will make a difference for Cleveland, he's at least a player with playoff experience who can help the younger Cavaliers mature.

    The only reason why the Cavs aren't getting a higher grade is because losing Sessions' production without getting immediate help in return is going to hurt Cleveland throughout the rest of this year. With that being said, with another first-round pick, the Cavs are setting themselves up nicely for a bright future.

    Grade: C- 

Golden State Warriors: C+

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    What the Warriors got from trades: SF Richard Jefferson, C Andrew Bogut, 2012 first-round pick (Spurs), 2012 second-round pick (Hawks)   

    What the Warriors lost from trades: SG Monta Ellis, C Ekpe Udoh, C Kwame Brown, cash (Hawks), SG Stephen Jackson

    The Warriors' initial move that sent Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks doesn't look so bad now that they've been able to move Stephen Jackson to the Spurs for a first-round pick and Richard Jefferson.

    Sure, losing Monta Ellis will hurt the Warriors for the time being, but the pieces they got in return are nice moving forward for the future of the franchise.

    The Warriors added two draft picks and some nice players who can help them win games and solidify them on the defensive side of the ball, which is something the Warriors haven't had for quite some time.

    What started off as a questionable trade turned into a decent deadline move for Golden State. 

    Grade: C+

Indiana Pacers: C+

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    What the Pacers got from trades: SF Leandro Barbosa and PG Anthony Carter

    What the Pacers lost from trades: 2012 second-round pick

    The real steal for the Pacers is Leandro Barbosa (reported by AP, as per Sports Illustrated). He's a solid player, but in all honesty, doesn't really fit that well into the Pacers' bench rotation.

    I'm sure Barbosa will figure out a way to be a productive player for the Pacers coming off the bench, but his addition definitely wasn't a need for Indiana. Either way, getting what they did for only a second-round pick is a solid move for them to make.

    Anthony Carter, at 36-years old isn't going to make a difference in Indiana at all, and while I'm sure the Raptors gave him up to clear up cap-space, it certainly didn't make this trade any sweeter

    Grade: C+ 

Boston Celtics: C+

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    The Boston Celtics did what they needed to, and that was to not do anything.

    The Celtics hung onto their Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, while also holding onto Rajon Rondo, who's the foundation of Boston's future.

    While Danny Ainge denied trade rumors (per ESPN) circulating around the possibility of moving Rondo, there's no doubt that the Celtics made the right decision by not letting him out of their sight.

    Sure, the future of the Celtics isn't all the clear, but that doesn't mean they should mess up what they have right now.

    Boston is contending in the East, and that's right where they need to be at the moment. Not making a trade might hurt them in the long run, which is why they have a C+ here, but at the moment it helped them remain competitive in the East. 

    Grade: C+

New Jersey Nets: C+

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    What the Nets got from trades: SF Gerald Wallace  

    What the Nets lost from trades: C Mehmet Okur, SF Shawne Williams, future first-round pick, no Dwight Howard

    In a somewhat shocking turn of events, the New Jersey Nets made a deadline move to get Gerald Wallace from the Portland Trail Blazers.

    While at first glance that move might not look like anything all that special, it gives the Nets an impressive rotation with MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams in the same lineup.

    The Nets didn't have to give up all that much to get Wallace either, aside from their "future" first-round pick, which could come back to bite them in the next year or two. Giving away Okur and Shawne Williams doesn't hurt that much, as Okur is out with an injury and Williams isn't productive at all.

    The only reason why the Nets are stuck with a C+ and not higher is because they failed to get Dwight Howard. That means they might lose Deron Williams at the end of the season. It's certainly a tough spot to be in for the Nets. 

    Grade: C+

Houston Rockets: B-

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    What the Rockets got from trades: PG Derek Fisher and C Marcus Camby (held onto Kyle Lowry)  

    What the Rockets lost from trades: C Jordan Hill, PG Jonny Flynn, C Hasheem Thabeet, future second-round pick and a chance at Pau Gasol

    At first glance it might appear that the Rockets lost out by not making a move for Pau Gasol, which was heavily rumored heading into the trade deadline, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN. But when you stop and look at what Houston got, it's clear that it made some nice moves.

    The Rockets managed to hold onto Kyle Lowry while improving at the center position and bringing in the veteran leadership they've needed at the point guard position for players like Lowry and Goran Dragic.

    Houston is currently a playoff contender in the Western Conference, and they certainly didn't need to make a blockbuster move that would have blown up their roster. Instead, the Rockets got a few pieces they needed in Camby and Fisher (as reported by Ric Bucher of ESPN) without losing real talent.

    The Rockets gave up players they didn't need in Hill and Flynn, and they also were able to unload the horrible contract of Hasheem Thabeet, which is a definite win for Houston. 

    Grade: B- 

Philadelphia 76ers: B

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    What the 76ers got from trades: SF Sam Young

    What the 76ers lost from trades: PF Ricky Sanchez

    In a somewhat shocking turn of events, the Philadelphia 76ers made a move that sent Ricky Sanchez, a prospect who's never played an NBA game, to the Grizzlies for an athletic small forward in Sam Young.

    While I'd argue that Philadelphia didn't need to make a move by the trade deadline to be competitive in the Eastern Conference, they certainly found a way to make a smart move.

    Philadelphia was able to get an athletic defender and a solid rebounder in Young, while giving away a player who has never actually seen minutes in an NBA jersey.

    This is the kind of under-the-radar move that can really be a difference-maker heading in the second half of the 2011-12 NBA season.

    Solid move, Philadelphia—you've shocked us all by not making a terrible trade. Well done.

    Grade: B  

Washington Wizards: B+

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    What the Wizards got from trades: C Nene Hilario, PF Brian Cook and "draft pick"

    What the Wizards lost from trades: C JaVale McGee and SG Nick Young

    This last-second trade was certainly one of the biggest shocks of the day.

    The Washington Wizards are absolutely not going anywhere with the roster they currently have. It's clear that the play of JaVale McGee held them back more than it helped them, which is why it was smart to send him away.

    The Wizards absolutely stole Nene Hilario away from the Denver Nuggets, which is a great move for them. It gives them veteran leadership that they need, while also allowing them to keep pieces like John Wall in place.

    While losing Nick Young holds the Wizards back from getting a higher grade, getting Nene is an absolutely great move for a Wizards team that now has hope for the future—as long as Nene manages to stay healthy.

    Grade: B 

Los Angeles Lakers: B+

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    What the Lakers got from trades: C Jordan Hill, PG Ramon Sessions, SG Christian Eyenga, the right to swap first-round draft position in 2013 with Heat's first-round pick, holding on to Pau Gasol

    What the Lakers lost from trades: SF Luke Walton, PG Derek Fisher, 2012 first-round draft pick (Mavericks) and 2012 first-round draft pick (didn't move Metta World Peace and didn't get Michael Beasley)

    The Lakers really didn't make any wild surprises before the trade deadline, aside from trading away their veteran point guard Derek Fisher. That doesn't mean they weren't one of the winners of this trade period.

    The Lakers got the point guard they needed in Ramon Sessions, and they also managed to improve their production off the bench by getting Jordan Hill from the Houston Rockets. When Jordan Hill is healthy, he can be a solid producer on offense, and that's something the Lakers will undoubtedly benefit from.

    The only reason why Los Angeles isn't higher on this list is because they lost both of their 2012 first-round draft picks, which might hurt them moving forward. Either way, the Lakers came out of the trade deadline as one of the clear winners by adding Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill.

    The Lakers thrust themselves into the contention for the best team in the Western Conference just by making the trades they did. 

    Grade: B+

Milwaukee Bucks: A

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    What the Bucks got from trades: SG Monta Ellis, C Ekpe Udoh and C Kwame Brown   

    What the Bucks lost from trades: C Andrew Bogut and SG Stephen Jackson

    If the Los Angeles Clippers hadn't got Nick Young right at the trade deadline, the Milwaukee Bucks would have earned the highest grade on this list, but they come in second with a high A.

    Milwaukee was able to get rid of their oft-inured center in Andrew Bogut, and their horribly inconsistent shooting guard in Stephen Jackson. This was absolutely a perfect move for them to make going forward.

    Getting Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh are major upgrades for them at both major positions, and the creation of the backcourt of Ellis and Brandon Jennings is absolutely great for the future of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise.

    There's no doubt that the Bucks were the big winners of the trade deadline. They dropped players who either didn't produce efficiently or couldn't stay on the court because of injuries and they replaced them with players who have a lot of upside and can legitimately produce.


Los Angeles Clippers: A+

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    What the Clippers got from trades: SG Nick Young 

    What the Clippers lost from trades: PF Brian Cook and "possible draft pick"

    The clear winners of the trade deadline were the Los Angeles Clippers, who swooped in right at the end and got the shooting guard they needed in Nick Young.

    Nick Young is the kind of player who not only can help the Clippers this season, but is also a solid building block for the future. They were able to get him by sending away Brian Cook, who's a below-average power forward, and a possible draft pick.

    Young's average of 16.6 points per game is going to make the Clippers a very difficult team to beat, and with him joining Chris Paul, he's going to help form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the entire game.

    By trading for Nick Young, the Clippers made themselves one of the favorites to represent the Western Conference in the 2012 NBA playoffs.

    Kudos to the Clippers for pulling off yet another incredible trade.

    Grade: A+


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