It's no wonder the NBA trade deadline is such a hyped event. When else are huge names like Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Danny Granger all moved on the same day?
Although it shouldn't come as a surprise given the league landscape, the 2014 deadline came and went with very little substantial action. There were plenty of smaller moves, but nothing that turned a lottery team into a playoff team or a playoff team into a title contender.
Among an underwhelming Thursday full of minor trades, a few developments came to light.
This is David Griffin's Team Now
Remember that scene in The Office when Dwight thinks he's usurped the acting manager role from Michael? He immediately goes about throwing all of Michael's desk things away and dismisses Michael's prized Chrysler Sebring.
This must have been how it was in the Cleveland Cavaliers front office.
Chris Grant signed Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark in the offseason and traded for Luol Deng in what would be his final season with the team. Meanwhile, David Griffin sat the background, publicly getting behind the moves but secretly plotting as to how he'd makeover the team should he ever get the chance.
He got his chance on Thursday.
He offloaded Clark, Henry Sims and two second-round picks for Spencer Hawes. The Cavs confirmed the trade in the late afternoon.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reported that Griffin had been "actively shopping (Jack) for weeks," with nothing coming through on deadline day.
Deng was also one of the names Cleveland had been dangling out to see if anybody would bite, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst:
Concerned about re-signing him, Cavs have been testing trade market for Luol Deng ahead of deadline, multiple sources told ESPN.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 19, 2014
There was also the proposed deal Windhorst reported on that would've seen Tyler Zeller and Reggie Bullock swapping teams:
The Clippers and Cavs have had discussions on trade involving Reggie Bullock for Tyler Zeller, sources told ESPN— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 20, 2014
Although the Hawes deal does seem a bit odd, as there are no shortage of big men in the Cavs lineup, Griffin is at least making a playoff push.
Maybe he's earned the full-time general manager role going forward. Let's hope he doesn't go and ruin it by firing a gun in the office or something.
The Philadelphia 76ers Aren't Tanking. They're Losing with Style.
Well, this is awkward.
Following All-Star weekend, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that tanking has never happened in the league, per ProBasketballTalk's Brett Pollakoff:
My understanding of tanking would be losing games on purpose. And there’s absolutely no evidence that any team in the NBA has ever lost a single game, or certainly in any time that I’ve been in the league, on purpose. And, to me, what you’re referring to I think is rebuilding. And I’m not sure it’s just a function of the collective bargaining agreement; I think there’s a balance with any team of the need to look out to the future and at the same time put a competitive product on the floor.
At the time, the statement was met with some guffaws. Now, it looks even more foolish.
While it's impossible to find hard evidence that a team is trying to lose on purpose, it's like the Miller test. You know something is obscene when you see it, and you know a team is tanking when you see it.
See 76ers, Philadelphia.
Along with the Hawes trade, Sam Hinkie sent Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to the Indiana Pacers for the player that used to be Danny Granger, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Indiana has traded Danny Granger to the 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
You have to give Hinkie a ton of credit, because he's amassed a wealth of second-rounders, as well, noted here by Windhorst:
76ers today picked up: 2014 Cavs & Grizz 2nd rounders, 2015 Pacers & Pelicans 2nd rounds, 2016 Nuggets 2nd rounder— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 20, 2014
All of those picks could prove invaluable should Philadelphia want to move around at the draft at all, as HoopsCritic.com's Brian Geltzeiler said:
Considering the difficulty of the market, Sam Hinkie knocked it out of the park today. He'll be able to move up draft night almost at will— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) February 20, 2014
At this point, the Sixers have no shame. They're throwing away the rest of the regular season and almost daring Silver to do something about it, as Fear the Sword's Conrad Kaczmarek joked:
It's like Hinkie *wants* the NBA to do something about tanking. Make it more obvious, why don't you.— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) February 20, 2014
It won't be pretty for the next few months in Philadelphia, but if it helps land a player like Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins, then all will be forgiven.
The Brooklyn Nets Want All of the Contracts
It's a shame the Jordan Hill trade never came through for the Brooklyn Nets, per Bleacher Report's Howard Beck:
Nets' attempt to snare Jordan Hill "hasn't left the starting blocks," source says.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 20, 2014
Wojnarowski wrote earlier in the week that should Brooklyn have pulled the trigger, it would mean a $17 million luxury tax penalty.
Finances didn't stop the Nets from acquiring Marcus Thornton from the Sacramento Kings for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans:
Nets and Kings make it official, announce deal sending Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn, for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 19, 2014
You can only wonder what Mikhail Prokhorov would've approved with more time before the deadline.
Amar'e Stoudemire? He was really good once. Sign him up. Throw in Andrea Bargnani, too, since they're on the same team.
Why stop at basketball? Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the upcoming season. If he's not gonna be busy, maybe he can play the 3 in Brooklyn.
The fact that Prokhorov is so willing to spend may be scary down the road, when the Nets are actually good, but for now, it's pretty comical.
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