The 2014 NBA trade deadline came and went without any true superstars swapping teams, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some meaningful moves.
Who won the Granger for Turner swap?
The Indiana Pacers bolstered their bench in hopes of holding off the Miami Heat, and the Cleveland Cavaliers made their intentions to chase a playoff spot clear.
Let’s dig into a discussion on some of the biggest deadline trades.
Danny Granger for Evan Turner
The Indiana Pacers received Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen in exchange for Danny Granger and a 2015 second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers.
There was a time when Granger was the face of the Pacers’ franchise, so any move involving him was sure to raise some eyebrows around the league. While Granger never really appeared fully comfortable in his new position as a role player, superstar Paul George sent his sentiments to his former teammate:
On a serious note upset day for me losing a big brother and mentor hate to see him leave us.. You… http://t.co/44QRLNlFqK— Paul George (@Paul_George24) February 21, 2014
Turner is something of a stat-sheet stuffer when he plays up to his ceiling. He can score (17.4 points a game), rebound (six rebounds a game) and set up teammates (3.7 assists a game). Turner isn’t the most efficient scorer, but he will have much more talent surrounding him in Indiana, which means opposing defenses will not be focused on stopping him as much.
Pacers president of basketball operations, Larry Bird, said the following in a statement that was passed along by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: "We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our bench. In Evan and Lavoy, we think we got two really good players that can help us and we look forward to what they can bring."
The Pacers lead over the Heat for the No. 1 seed is down to less than two games. If Turner can provide some offensive punch off the bench to help hold off Miami, the trade will be worth it.
Marcus Thornton for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans
The Brooklyn Nets received Marcus Thornton in exchange for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans, who both went to the Sacramento Kings.
Thornton took the time to thank his fans in Sacramento:
Thxs to the Sacramento organization and most of all the fans for showing me love since my 1st day in sac really appreciate it— Marcus Thornton (@OfficialMT23) February 19, 2014
All three players have struggled to produce this season, so perhaps a change of scenery will do everyone some good.
The Nets are hoping that Thornton can provide a scoring lift off the bench as they battle for playoff positioning in the middle of a wide open Eastern Conference. Thornton is averaging less than nine points a game, but he scored 42 against the Pacers on Jan. 24 in a demonstration of just how talented he is capable of being.
Clearly, the Nets won’t be asking for 42 points a night, but something in the double-digits would help their offense tremendously.
Spencer Hawes to Cleveland
The Cleveland Cavaliers received Spencer Hawes from the 76ers in exchange for Henry Sims, Earl Clark and two second-round picks (one via the Memphis Grizzlies).
The real takeaway here is that the Cavs are making a serious push for the postseason.
They already dealt for Luol Deng earlier in the year and have All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving as the straw that stirs the drink. Dion Waiters is a solid scorer off the bench, and Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson are formidable rebounders.
All of a sudden, there is a considerable amount of talent on the Cleveland roster.
Will Cleveland make the playoffs?
The Cavs are three games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 8 playoff spot in the East. They are riding high on a six-game winning streak and appear poised to make a run at the postseason.
Perhaps fans will be treated to a LeBron James versus Cleveland series in Round 1 if the Cavaliers can climb into the No. 7 or 8 seed in the season’s stretch run.
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