Winners and Losers of the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline
This was a trade deadline that had more losers than winners—fans included.
After waiting patiently until the final buzzer for a deal to get done, it turns out the Atlanta Hawks will hold onto Josh Smith for the rest of the year.
Smith wasn't the only one to stay put, though. The entire Utah Jazz frontcourt hung tight, Tyreke Evans is still a King and Iman Shumpert's flattop will continue gracing the Garden floor.
The biggest news of the day was J.J. Redick's move to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics' ability to acquire Jordan Crawford without giving up hardly anything in return.
Overall, it was a trade deadline to forget.
Winner: Thomas Robinson
Picture this: Thomas Robinson gets the call that he's just been traded from Sacramento to Houston (via Yahoo! Sports), hangs up the phone and immediately starts doing the Harlem Shake with his friends and family.
Relocation is great news if you're Robinson, who was stuck in a toxic environment. Now, he will have the opportunity to play in a more balanced rotation with an experienced coach in Kevin McHale calling the shots from the sidelines.
Now that Patrick Patterson has been shipped out, the Rockets don't have much tangible competition at power forward. Robinson should see a lot of minutes coming his way and freedom in an offense where his athleticism will be put to good use.
Somewhere, Jimmer Fredette is saying, "What about me?"
Loser: Sacramento Kings
Remember that valuable No. 5 overall pick the Sacramento Kings had just eight months ago? It turns out the Kings didn't feel it was all that valuable.
They decided to pass on Damian Lillard, select Thomas Robinson, play him 15 minutes a game and then trade him before March.
All told, the team saved only $3.7 million (via Pro Basketball Talk) with the transaction.
The Kings are also losers this February for holding onto Tyreke Evans. Evans is a restricted free agent this summer who should draw offers the Kings have no intention of matching. And why would they?
They haven't found a real place for him in the lineup since his rookie year. We've seen him rotated between the 1, the 2 and the 3—none of which have resulted in long-term success.
The Kings will likely lose Evans for nothing when they could have landed multiple assets.
Winner: Today's Boston Celtics
One day, Jordan Crawford is going to tell his grandchildren that he was once so valuable to a franchise that it traded him for one player with a torn ACL and another averaging 1.2 points per game (via Yahoo! Sports).
One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose.
The Celtics needed to add some life to their depleted rotation, and they did just that by acquiring a guard who can score in bunches. Crawford's ability to put the ball in the hoop should take some of the pressure off their veteran lineup.
Overall, this was a nice last-second move by GM Danny Ainge to give the Celtics a better chance at reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013.
Loser: Tomorrow's Boston Celtics
With Danny Ainge's inability, or lack of desire, to blow up the current roster, he is putting the team's future in jeopardy.
The Celtics needed to deal Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett to acquire some long-term assets to develop down the road.
By not making a move, they have sacrificed long-term for short-term. This is fine if the short-term reward pays off, but can Boston really contend with a Rajon Rondo-less rotation?
I don't buy that they are better without him, and I don't see them beating Indiana, Miami or Chicago in a seven-game series at half-strength.
The longer they wait to make a big move, the tougher it will be to rebuild.
Winner: Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired J.J. Redick (via USA Today)—arguably the best player dealt the day of the trade deadline—and they didn't give up much to get him.
The Bucks parted ways with Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih—three expendable pieces who probably won't be missed—and a 2012 second-round pick.
Redick is an impact player, and one that Milwaukee can use on the wing to balance their floor game.
He will assert himself as a legitimate third scoring option behind Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, and should make the Bucks more of a threat in the first round of the playoffs.
Loser: Atlanta Hawks
So after all that, the Atlanta Hawks have just decided to hold onto Josh Smith?
The fact that the Hawks didn't trade Smith could mean that they are prepared to offer him the max when the time comes. However, the Hawks aren't exactly a threat with him now, so overspending in a few months doesn't make any sense.
If they don't overspend, they have put themselves in a position to lose Smith—likely one of the most coveted free agents come July—for nothing.
With so many suitors at the deadline, you would have thought GM Danny Ferry would be able to trigger competition on the market and raise the value of his asset to an acceptable cost.
But he didn't, and now his team will pay for it.
Loser: Josh Smith
Most players fear the dreaded phone call that tells them they've been traded away.
Josh Smith was likely praying for it.
Smith, an impending free agent, had been acting out all season in what seemed like an attempt to get himself dealt.
And now, in the prime of his career, he's stuck on a team that he is "unlikely" to sign with in the offseason, according to a source (via USA Today).
He would have been much better off helping a suitor like the Brooklyn Nets—who appear one piece away from joining the Eastern Conference elite—make a playoff push.
Now, he will have to finish out another season on a squad that was reportedly determined to trade him just days ago (via ESPN.com).
Loser: Orlando Magic
With so many suitors after J.J. Redick, all the Magic could come up with was Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih and Tobias Harris (via USA Today)? No first-round draft picks?
This is the same thing they did with Dwight Howard—wait until the last minute before accepting a deal with an uneven return.
Lamb has always been labeled as a tweener at the pro level, lacking point guard instincts and shooting guard size. Udrih is a serviceable backup point guard, but is little more than a short-term solution. Harris has shown promise, but is still raw as a combo forward.
The Magic would not have ponied up the dollars to retain Redick, but a trio of mediocre talents in exchange for a proven one is not a wise move.
Winner: Toronto Raptors
Since acquiring Rudy Gay, the Raptors have won six out of nine games against very strong competition. Not only that, but Gay has averaged 20 points per game as the go-to scorer since coming over for Toronto.
The bottom line is the Raptors have put together a core that can at least test some of the premier teams in the league.
Gay has a dynamic offensive arsenal, and with a decent nucleus surrounding him in Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, he might be able to lead the Raptors to Eastern Conference relevance.
Loser: Utah Jazz
If they could play eight players at one time, the Utah Jazz would be in good shape. But they can't, and that means they have valuable assets wasting away on the bench.
Between Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, the Jazz should have found a way to deal one of their big men—especially with Millsap and Jefferson being impending free agents.
What makes Utah's complacency even worse is that the team has needs elsewhere. Starting Jamaal Tinsley, Randy Foye and Marvin Williams is not a good thing.
I'm not sure what the game plan is moving forward in terms of building this roster, but the Jazz didn't help themselves out by standing pat during the trade deadline.
Loser: NBA Fans
What a letdown.
I haven't been this disappointed since seeing that last American Pie movie.
There was supposed to be player movement today— action, drama and suspense.
Well, we got the suspense, as most trades came right down to the wire, but there wasn't any payoff.
Dexter Pittman, Eric Maynor, Ronnie Brewer and Sebastian Telfair aren't exactly headlining names, and our craving for trades just wasn't fulfilled.