NBA Trade Deadline 2010: Grading the Transactions

Taylor SmithAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 26:  Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets drives against the New York Knicks on January 26, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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Typically, the NBA trade deadline comes and goes with tons of fanfare and smokescreens with little actual movement taking place.

2010 was no typical year. 

With perhaps the most talented crop of free agents in the history of the league set to become available in July, several teams are scrambling to try and save as much money as possible for a potential spending spree.

Contenders like Cleveland are also attempting to solidify their rosters in hopes that it will translate into major success come playoff time.

This paved the way for several major deals to go down before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline passed.

So without further ado, let's do some evaluating.


Wizards-Mavericks Trade

Mavericks receive: G Caron Butler, C Brendan Haywood and G DeShawn Stevenson.

Wizards receive: F Josh Howard, F Drew Gooden, G Quinton Ross and F James Singleton.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs were clearly able to get the best of this deal, and there's little doubt about it. 

Butler gives them the perimeter scoring and toughness that they used to have with Howard about three years ago. Haywood combines with Erick Dampier to form one of the better defense/rebounding combinations of centers in the entire league.

Is this enough to put Dallas over the top?

There's no telling. This really depends on how quickly the new guys (especially Butler) are able to adapt to playing in the Mavericks' system.

There's also a chance that Drew Gooden will be bought out, and he could return to Dallas after a month. Gooden was having a solid season in Dallas before being shipped out in this deal.

The Mavericks are better, but I still don't think they're pushing the Lakers or Nuggets at the top of the West.

Grade: A-

Washington Wizards

For Washington, this was clearly a move intended to shed some salary and clear space to start rebuilding for the future.

Butler was one of the more sought-after scoring talents available before the deadline, and there appeared to be interest from all over the league. While he's had a bit of a down season to this point, he's still a player capable of scoring 20 and playing solid defense night-in and night-out.

The Wizards turned three players into four expiring deals, the highlight of which is troubled forward Josh Howard's $11 million contract.

They were also able to save themselves from having to pay the $4 million owed to Stevenson next year.

Washington is apparently in full-on rebuild mode, and it started with this salary dump.

Grade: B-


Cavaliers-Wizards-Clippers Trade

This deal was completed Wednesday night.

Cavaliers receive: F Antawn Jamison and G Sebastian Telfair.

Wizards receive: C Zydrunas Ilgauskas, F Al Thornton, first round draft pick from Cleveland in 2010 and  rights to Emir Preldzic.

Clippers receive: F Drew Gooden

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs (yet again) think they have acquired a legitimate running mate for LeBron James.

Jamison is a rock-solid power forward with the ability to score around the basket as well as from the perimeter.

He should be able to effectively spread the floor for James to operate wherever he wants.

He's also a good rebounder, averaging about nine per game this season.

Jamison should be a nice fit for the Cavaliers as they make a push towards the title.

They only really had to give up Ilgauskas, but it looks like he could be on his way back to the Cavs if he's bought out by the Wizards.

Keeping young forward JJ Hickson was also a major bonus.

Grade: A

Washington Wizards

The Wiz continued to dump salary in a rebuilding effort by trading another franchise cornerstone in Jamison. Jamison has two years left on his contract after this season, good for $13 million and $15 million, respectively.

They were able to acquire the expiring $11 million contract of Zydrunas Ilgauskas; a player Washington is expected to buy-out.

They also took in Al Thornton, a small forward with some scoring ability. 

Quite frankly, the Wizards could clearly care less if they win another game or not for the rest of the season.

It's unfortunate for Washington that they were not able to land any real young talent with any of these trades.

On the bright side, considering the dearth of talent that now inhabits the roster, the Wizards look as though they'll be increasing their chances in the John Wall sweepstakes. 

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clips essentially traded Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair in exchange for Drew Gooden.

Gooden had no desire to play for Washington, but there are reports claiming he would be fine remaining with the Clippers for the rest of the season.

He's a nice low post scorer and banger who should add some toughness.

It would be very unlikely for him to return to Los Angeles after this season.

Grade: B


Celtics-Knicks Trade

Celtics receive: G Nate Robinson and G Marcus Landry.

Knicks receive: G Eddie House, G JR Giddens and F Bill Walker.

Boston Celtics

With rumors swirling about Ray Allen in recent weeks, the Celtics opted for a lesser deal, acquiring three-time dunk champion Nate Robinson from New York on Thursday.

Robinson will bring big-time energy off of the bench for the aging Celtics and should help provide a much-needed spark.

Despite his small stature, Robinson is a scoring machine and can put up bunches of points in very little time.

He should prove to be quite a valuable piece, especially when Ray Allen is struggling with his shot.

How will his personality blend with the Celtics' veterans?

Grade: B+

New York Knicks

The Knicks, who have spent months trying to clear enough room as possible to lure a couple of stars this summer, dealt Robinson after several public spats with team management.

What does this mean in the long term? Not much, considering Robinson is a free agent after the season and likely wouldn't have been back with the Knicks anyway.

The acquisition of a fan-favorite type player and sharpshooter Eddie House should give fans something to enjoy as they wait impatiently for July 1 to arrive.

Grade: B+


Rockets-Knicks-Kings Trade

Rockets receive: G Kevin Martin, F Jordan Hill, F Jared Jeffries, C Hilton Armstrong, right to swap first-round picks with New York in 2011 (top-1 protected) and 2012 first-round pick from New York (top-5 protected). 

Knicks receive: G/F Tracy McGrady and G Sergio Rodriguez.

Kings receive: F Carl Landry and F Joey Dorsey.

Houston Rockets

For only giving up three players, the Rockets sure did receive a lot in return.

They were essentially able to steal Kevin Martin from Sacramento for Carl Landry by himself.

While Landry is a rising low post talent and Sixth Man of the Year candidate, the Rockets felt that Martin was better than any player that they were going to be able to get in free agency this summer and pulled the trigger.

K-Mart will fit in perfectly with Houston. He's a high-percentage shooter from anywhere on the floor. Once Yao Ming returns next season, he should be able to feed off of the potential double-teams in the post. 

While he's battled injuries in recent years, he's one of the most efficient scorers in the entire league when healthy.

To make up for the departure of Landry, the Rockets were able to snag rookie Jordan Hill from the Knicks. 

Hill, selected eighth overall in the 2009 draft, has not gotten much time at all to show what he can do.

His season (and career, obviously) high for minutes in one game is just 20. 

With a relatively thin frontcourt, Hill should get the opportunity to make a difference right away.

He's a project but one with a high enough ceiling that the Rockets were willing to gamble on him.

The draft picks from New York (Houston's prize for taking on the contract of Jeffries) were instrumental in getting this deal done.

The Rockets have improved themselves and appear to have landed themselves the biggest steal of the week.

Grade: A+

New York Knicks

GM Donnie Walsh accomplished exactly what he has wanted to do all along.

He has nabbed the biggest expiring deal in the league in McGrady, and was also able to shed the Jeffries contract that runs through next season.

The Knicks are now in position to potentially land two max-contract players this summer in free agency.

They'll also get the chance for a first-hand look at McGrady, who has played just 46 minutes total this season.

If the former scoring champion is able to give them anything at all in terms of production this season, it'll only be a bonus. 

If he performs well, some team may be inclined to give him a contract and a shot for the future.

Sergio Rodriguez is a player who Mike D'Antoni has always liked, and he's a serviceable NBA point guard.

Grade: B+

Sacramento Kings

The trade of the former face of their franchise (Martin) came as a huge shock.

However, Martin has struggled to blend in well with Kings super-rookie Tyreke Evans, and the team's performance had suffered since Martin returned from a wrist injury.

The Kings were demanding a low post scorer in any potential trade for him, and it looked as though there were no suitors until the Rockets stepped in and offered up Carl Landry.

Landry is a rising talent who can shoot from anywhere inside the arc with efficiency and is also above 80 percent from the free throw line.

He's tenacious on the low block and is proficient at finishing around the rim.

He'll fit in quite nicely with Evans and the rest of the Kings' core of young talent.

Grade: B


Trail Blazers-Clippers Trade

Trail Blazers receive: C Marcus Camby

Clippers receive: F Travis Outlaw and G Steve Blake

Portland Trail Blazers

This is likely a short term, band-aid trade for the Blazers.

Since both of their normal centers (Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla) are out for the season with patella injuries, Portland felt it needed to get a shot-blocking presence in order to be able to go anywhere this season.

Camby provides that perhaps better than any other player in the league not named Dwight Howard.

On the season, Camby is averaging 12 rebounds and two blocks per game.

They didn't have to give up much to get him, and he certainly makes them into a more dangerous team down the stretch.

Now, they'll have to hope Brandon Roy's injury won't keep him out for too long.

Grade: A+

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers traded a guy who actually liked being there for a weak package in return.

Outlaw, while he's a decent player and certainly very talented, hasn't played since mid-November when he broke his foot.

The Clips aren't sure when he'll be able to play again, and he's in the last year of his contract.

Steve Blake is a nice backup point guard and should give LA solid minutes whenever Baron Davis is on the bench.

This was just an unnecessary move for the Clippers.

Grade: D


Bucks-Bulls Trade

Bucks receive: G/F John Salmons, option to swap first-round picks with Bulls (top-10 protected) and second-round picks in 2011 and 2012.

Bulls receive: F Hakim Warrick and F Joe Alexander

Milwaukee Bucks

Salmons (whose contract runs through the 2010-11 season) will certainly be an upgrade for the Bucks at two guard, where Charlie Bell has been starting.

The 30-year-old is a capable scorer and is averaging about 13 points per game this season.

He has the ability to create his own shot and drive to the basket. He should be a nice complement for Brandon Jennings in the Bucks' backcourt.

The draft picks are nice pickups, as well.

Grade: B

Chicago Bulls

Both Warrick and Alexander were acquired by the Bulls because their contracts expire after this season.

Warrick is an athletic, wiry big man who puts up decent numbers but doesn't have much impact overall.

Alexander has been a major disappointment since being drafted in the lottery in 2008, and rarely saw the floor for the Bucks.

This is a straight-up salary dump for the Bulls, and neither player figures into Chicago's long-term plans.

Grade: B


Bobcats-Bulls Trade

Bobcats receive: F Tyrus Thomas

Bulls receive: G Ronald "Flip" Murray, G Acie Law IV and future first-round pick.

Charlotte Bobcats

This could turn out to be a fairly shrewd, under-the-radar move for the Bobcats.

Thomas is a player who Larry Brown has always been a fan of. Thomas should provide a nice boost to their frontline as they try and reach the playoffs for the first time in the franchise's short history.

He was a bit of a disappointment for Chicago but did show signs of potentially being a special player from time-to-time.

He's incredibly athletic and has enjoyed a nice improvement in his jump shot since entering the league.

He should fit in nicely with what the Bobcats are doing.

Thomas' contract expires after this season.

Grade: B+

Chicago Bulls

The trade of Thomas effectively clears more money off the books for the Bulls this summer. They appear to be headed for a full-fledged run at players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. 

Chicago is a desirable destination for free agents, and they've got a decent young core highlighted by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

Thomas wasn't working out in Chicago anyway, and they did well to at least get a future first round pick out of him. 

Murray and Law likely won't give them much in terms of on-the-court production and likely won't stay with the Bulls after the season.

Grade: B


Grizzlies-Jazz Trade

Grizzlies receive: F Ronnie Brewer

Jazz receive: Future first-round draft pick

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies were able to add a rotation player Thursday without breaking up anything they have going this season.

Brewer isn't a great scorer, but he has long arms and good athletic ability that makes him a very tough defender.

He'll be a good backup for Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo down the stretch, as the Grizzlies try to shock the world and make the playoffs out West.

Grade: B+

Utah Jazz

The Jazz had a logjam at the swing position, and Brewer had become expendable with the way his role has decreased this season.

His departure should open up the door for CJ Miles and Wesley Matthews to get more opportunities. Utah has high hopes for both of those players. 

Getting a pick down the road is nice, but the opportunities for Miles and Matthews are the real bonuses for the Jazz.

Grade: B


Bobcats-Spurs Trade

Bobcats receive: C Theo Ratliff

Spurs receive: Protected 2016 second-round draft pick

Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte continued to add to their frontcourt, and Ratliff provides a nice, veteran shot-blocking presence off the bench.

It's unclear how major his role will be, but he's a worthwhile addition to the roster, if nothing else.

They essentially got him for nothing.

Grade: B

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs didn't trade Ratliff because they coveted a 2016 second-round pick.

Like Utah, San Antonio is making the trade in order to give a younger guy more of an opportunity.

In the Spurs' case, the player is rookie DeJuan Blair.

Blair has been good in his limited role all season long and will be given more of an opportunity to make an impact now.

Grade: B


Bucks-76ers Trade

And the award for The Lamest Trade Involving Multiple players goes to...this one! Congratulations!

Bucks receive: C Primoz Brezec, G Royal Ivey and 2010 second-round pick

76ers receive: C Francisco Elson and G Jodie Meeks

Milwaukee Bucks

Ivey was a starter for the Bucks a couple of seasons ago and now goes back in what looks like a third-string point guard role behind Brandon Jennings and Luke Ridnour.

Brezec, a once-productive player for the Bobcats, will replace Elson as the center who never plays.

Not quite sure why Milwaukee made this deal. 

Were they dumping Meeks' salary?

He's scheduled to make under $1 million for each of the next three seasons.

Grade: C-

Philadelphia 76ers

The prize in this deal is clearly Jodie Meeks.

Philly has coveted Meeks since the draft, and now they'll get their chance with him.

He was a prolific scorer in college at Kentucky but hasn't really gotten much of a chance with the Bucks.

He should come off the bench in a fairly-regular role for Philadelphia, where he'll be expected to do what he does best: score.

However, there are doubts as to whether or not his size (6'4") affects his ability to score at this level.

Philadelphia didn't give up much in this trade, and there's a chance that they won't get much in return, either.

Grade: B-


Other Trades

New York Knicks trade Darko Milicic and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Brian Cardinal.

Washington Wizards trade Dominic McGuire to Sacramento Kings for a protected second-round draft pick. 


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