NBA Trade Deadline: Complete Grades for All Teams on Every Deal and Rumor
Most people thought The Decision and the 2010 summer couldn't be surpassed as far as NBA excitement goes.
Those instances hadn't met the 2011 Trade Deadline. It's time for a handshake.
With Thirsty Thursday over, it's safe to say the slew of deals cut in the past few days could feature the most dramatic midseason changes ever. Some players left town in completely expected trades, while others shocked the world in a matter of minutes.
Seriously, could there be a bigger variation in superstar trades than the one between the Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony deals?
Nevertheless, there are 30 teams and they all were involved in at least one rumor or another. So, it's time to break out the grade book and put the pen to every franchise.
Please note, a C is average. Stop being overachievers, expecting an A. Damn honors kids.
Incoming: Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong
Outgoing: Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 1st round pick.
I might be alone here, but is Bibby's awful defense really that bad? Hinrich may be better, but giving up a draft pick and kid like Crawford with a lot of potential seems like a bit much.
Atlanta also had more pressing needs down low and didn't make any noise on that front.
Don't dare say Armstrong constitutes "noise."
Incoming: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, a 2012 1st round pick, 2013 and 2017 2nd round picks and cash
Outgoing: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, and Marquis Daniels
Don't call it bias. The Celtics' size and strength was their bread and butter and now Boston dealt the man who holds the knife. The rest of the players are inconsequential after losing Perkins, who may have brought a title home to Beantown had he been healthy for Game Seven.
Green has a lot of potential, but he's a sixth-man now and until Garnett or Pierce retires. The 2012 pick is really the only good sign here, as it's the Clippers pick, who could be decent next year so it's still a mid-1st selection.
Incoming: Morris Peterson, D.J. White, Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, two 1st round picks (2011 and 2013) and cash
Outgoing: Nazr Mohammed and Gerald Wallace
This team isn't going anywhere this year, so the Bobcats got ready for the future. None of the guys they acquired are on long deals, so Michael Jordan made a good move opening cap room and grabbing future picks.
They will miss Wallace, but then again, the swingman couldn't be considered the future there anyways.
Incoming: A 2011 1st round draft pick
Outgoing: James Johnson
D-Rose must be clairvoyant, because there is a lot to smile about here. Trading a guy well out of the rotation for a first round pick is just a genius trade by the Bulls.
Sure, they could've used a two-guard, but keeping Omer Asik will prove wise when they need extra size in the playoffs. Courtney Lee and Anthony Parker, the available players, weren't worth the price.
Incoming: Baron Davis, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, and a 2011 1st round pick
Outgoing: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon, and a 2013 2nd round pick.
Cleveland just got a lot larger, and no, not because The Drew Carey Show is back. Taking on B-Diddy's huge contract doesn't seem so worth it when the pick is in an extremely weak 2011 draft.
The real issue, however, is the deal they didn't pull for Richard Hamilton. Not their fault, because Rip didn't accept the buyout terms, but it would have made their cap situation a bit less ghastly.
The Mavs didn't make any moves and that's not a great sign. They needed a swingman to replace the injured Caron Butler and just couldn't get either of their targets—J.R. Smith or Tayshaun Prince.
Blame it on the Mavs' head office. Some very stingy offers with Butler's expiring contract as the centerpiece failed to get the job done and that could cost the team down the road.
Incoming: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, a 2014 1st round pick, 2012 and 2013 2nd round picks and cash.
Outgoing: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter.
Any negatives on the Nuggets' decisions comes solely on the fact they gave up one of the NBA's best scorers. Chauncey Billups may have been a hometown favorite, but including him brought back even more pieces from the Knicks.
A lot of picks, young talent and removing some bad contracts made the Nuggets come out about as good as you can after losing Anthony.
But, they will still regret it a little.
UPDATE: If the first round pick from the Knicks isn't used by 2016 due to protection rules, the Nuggets have the option to swap picks with New York. Not sure if that will matter, but something to note.
No action in the Motor City and the only semblance of change was the possible Richard Hamilton to Cleveland deal that got nixed. This team has so many problems, not even a deadline deal would've helped.
But keeping Hamilton does. He's beloved in Detroit and there's no reason to make the fans feel even worse than they already do. Only the Red Wings can give them hope at this point.
Golden State Warriors
Incoming: Troy Murphy and a 2012 2nd round pick
Outgoing: Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric
Congrats, Warriors, here's a picture of your player getting blown by! Murphy might be bought out, so this move is merely a salary dump from the Bay.
Although, involving Wright seems silly. He's oozing potential and while Golden State isn't exactly the best place for him to achieve it, it seems like they could have gotten more for him.
Incoming: Goran Dragic, Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and two 2011 1st round draft picks
Outgoing: Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier
Houston hit the ABORT button at the perfect time. Brooks can be a solid point guard and Battier is an excellent leader, but with Kyle Lowry and a team headed straight to the lottery, neither are assets the Rockets needed.
Sure, Thabeet has little hope of developing, but Dragic and the two picks are good enough. Both picks could be lottery selections (although the Suns' one is protected this year), giving the Rockets a shot of youth the team could use. Dragic could take the reigns if Lowry stumbles and he learned from one of the best.
Indiana had a chance to trade for O.J. Mayo, a scoring guard that fills a huge hole for the Pacers and couldn't pull the trigger. That's embarrassing, considering the price: Josh McRoberts and a 1st round pick.
Mayo is better than any of the shooting guards in the lottery this year and could have made for a mean, USC/UCLA duo with Darren Collison in the backcourt. Alas!
Los Angeles Clippers
Incoming: Mo Williams and Jamario Moon
Outgoing: Baron Davis and a 2011 1st round pick
So much for unmovable contracts. The Clippers get rid of Davis' huge deal and got younger simultaneously. Williams knows how to defer to star players and shoots the three with great efficiency, which will come in handy when teams double-team Blake Griffin.
Yes, it cost the Clippers a lottery pick, but this team needs experience, not more rookies. They cleared salary for the illustrious 2012 summer and filled (sort of) their need at small forward. If the Clippers bungle this, they should change their name to "The Cursed."
Los Angeles Lakers
Did they need to make a trade as things stood? No. But they shouldn't have pulled the trigger on the Sasha Vujacic deal a couple months ago. Hindsight is 20/20, but so many teams were looking for draft picks at the deadline, they could have done better than Joe Smith.
Jonny Flynn and Terrence Williams were two young talents that had low price tags and Kirk Hinrich was clearly available. With Vujacic's expiring deal and that draft pick, they could have added some spry legs to the squad.
Incoming: Shane Battier and Ish Smith
Outgoing: Hasheem Thabeet and a 2011 1st round pick
I have no clue what an "Ish" is, but Lakers fans know what Shane Battier is: a premier defender. With other Western Conference squads dropping like flies, the Grizzlies see themselves getting one of the last playoff spots.
The team needs to compliment their core and have plenty of youth already, so the pick isn't a huge loss. Neither is the player formerly known as Thabeet.
Battier will come in handy on defense and in the locker room.
Smart choice not to make any big changes in South Beach. This squad needs to have as much time playing together and mixing everything up wouldn't have served the Heat well.
Sure, Brendan Haywood or Marcus Camby would've been nice, but they realized too much upheaval could cost Miami some traction in the East. Plus, after Boston's deal, the Heat's roster no longer looks so small.
The definition of average. Outside of minor "Corey Maggette to New Orleans" rumblings, the Bucks stood pat.
Therefore, Milwaukee gets a neutral score.
Incoming: Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract
Outgoing: Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufos
Not too often does David Kahn make a good move, but getting involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade proved to be excellent for Minnesota.
How often does get a huge expiring contract and a player who scouts across the league love without costing anything of consequence? The only reason the grade isn't higher is because they didn't solve the point guard situation.
New Jersey Nets
Incoming: Deron Williams, Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric
Outgoing: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, two 2011 1st round draft picks, a 2012 2nd round draft pick and cash
Yes, I made up my own grade, deal with it. This could go in either direction, all hinging on whether Deron Williams stays in New Jersey past the 2011-2012 season. If he does, it's an A+. If not, it's a F-.
Williams is a top-five point guard and will be for the next seven to ten years. Almost nothing is more valuable than that and it ended up costing the Nets two less picks than originally proposed. Wright can fill in for Favors and they still have two first-rounders in the next two years.
New Orleans Hornets
Incoming: Carl Landry
Outgoing: Marcus Thornton and cash.
Mark Cuban had a good reason to complain about this trade—it makes the Hornets a threat. If all healthy, Emeka Okafor, David West and Landry make a fierce interior presence to help contend out West.
New Orleans could have used another athletic wing and failed to coax Corey Maggette down to the Big Easy, but they will manage.
New York Knicks
Incoming: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer
Outgoing: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 1st round pick and two 2nd round picks (2012 and 2013)
They wanted Carmelo. They got Carmelo. Should be good enough. They had to give up quite a bit, but none of those players are guaranteed superstars like Anthony. The team can now compete in the Eastand that was their goal ever since they gutted themselves last offseason.
The underrated piece here is Billups. He's still an excellent leader and while he's not perfect for Mike D'Antoni's system, he's used to playing with pace. Just hope that the 2014 draft isn't loaded.
UPDATE: If the first round pick sent to the Nuggets isn't used by 2016 due to protection rules, the Nuggets have the option to swap picks with New York.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Incoming: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed
Outgoing: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, D.J. White, Morris Peterson, a 2012 1st round pick and cash
The Thunder couldn't combat the Lakers' size in last year's playoffs and filled it with Perkins, who seemed to work against Los Angeles in the NBA Finals. They back him up with a veteran in Mohammed and bring Serge Ibaka to a suddenly strong Oklahoma City starting five.
Jeff Green didn't belong alongside Kevin Durant and the rest of the guys they gave up are inconsequential. The pick could be good since it belongs to the Clippers, but the Thunder needed defense, not a risk on another youngin'.
The Magic dug their own grave with their absurd overhaul earlier in the season, so they didn't have many assets to deal at the deadline. Dwight Howard is angry and they may be shipping him out around this time next season.
The only mild rumor involving Orlando the past few days involved Zach Randolph for Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson. Since it was only a small rumor, there's not much merit to it either way, but if Randolph and Howard patrolled the paint, there would be no offensive rebounds for their opposition.
When the only move considered at the trading deadline is buying out Jason Kapono, it's clear Philly wanted to stand pat.
They could've used a big guy, but with their strong play as of late, it made little sense to makeover the roster.
Incoming: Aaron Brooks
Outgoing: Goran Dragic, 2011 1st round draft pick
Not really sure if the Suns understand what "rebuilding" means. Brooks upgrades the back-up point guard position, which is not that important, especially when Phoenix seems intent on keeping Steve Nash until he retires.
The big trade with the Magic was their huge move, but this one could prove to be significant. The Suns aren't close to making the playoffs and with no bright at the end of the tunnel, it seems they just threw away a lottery selection.
Incoming: Gerald Wallace
Outgoing: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, two 1st round picks (2011 and 2013) and cash
Wallace provides the toughness and defense the Blazers will need if they want to pull off an upset in the playoffs. If they can get this whole gang healthy (not including The Human Disabled List, Greg Oden), watch for Portland to make things interesting out West.
As far as what they gave up, it's not that bad. All they lost are expiring deals of players who aren't critical and draft picks that will likely be late. So cheers to Oregon.
Incoming: Marcus Thornton, Marquis Daniels and cash
Outgoing: Carl Landry and a 2017 2nd round pick
There's no reason outside of just for spits and giggles for the Daniels deal. Was an undersized two-guard all the Kings could get for Landry? It's extremely hard to believe that.
Maybe they just wanted the cash. Lord knows it's all about the Benjamins.
San Antonio Spurs
Best team by far in the West, so no reason to shake it up. End of story.
Incoming: James Johnson
Outgoing: a 2011 1st round pick
If the Raptors think Johnson is better than all the players available at the end of the first round this year, then sure, it's a good trade. Otherwise, bleh.
I'm sticking with bleh. Gotta get more value than a man who wasn't in the rotation for a first-rounder.
Incoming: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two 2011 1st round picks and cash
Outgoing: Deron Williams
It's pretty obvious that Williams wasn't staying in Salt Lake and Utah didn't want to be Cleveland 2.0. They had to deal the point guard and managed to get back a solid haul.
Harris can be a near top-tier point guard and Favors, at 19, has a Florence Duomo-height ceiling. Those two picks should be solid and considering the circumstances, the Jazz did quite well.
Although that won't appease the fans.
Incoming: Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 1st round pick
Outcoming: Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong
John Wall didn't like people who don't hustle? Well, this won't make things better. Bibby is a ghost of his former self and Evans will likely be bought out.
The Wizards mostly dealt for the draft pick. The team needs to be overhauled considering they have only three valuable players, on a good day. Crawford could be a fourth, but he's going to need some coaching.