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2011 NBA Season Review: Grading Midseason Transactions for All 30 Teams

Zac ChowContributor IIIJune 5, 2011

2011 NBA Season Review: Grading Midseason Transactions for All 30 Teams

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    As the 2010-11 NBA season draws to a close, it is the time to look back on all the transactions that have been made by general managers during the season in their attempt to either boost a team from mediocrity to championship contender status or begin their rebuilding process early.

    From the signing of Sean Marks on Nov. 6th, 2010, to Trey Johnson on April 13th, 2011, all of the signings (not including 10-day contracts for my fingers' sake) will be graded.

    Likewise, all the trades that occurred during the season will be covered.

    For those of you only interested in your own teams, I will grade the transactions by the name of the city the team is located in (that is, Atlanta will go first and Washington will go last) and not by transaction date.

    Enjoy.

Atlanta Hawks

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    Dec. 3rd: Signed Damien Wilkins.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Wilkins was actually waived on Jan. 5th but then re-signed with them before the month ended and stayed on the roster for good. The nephew of Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, Damien is a solid backup and in a Hawks team lacking depth in the SF position, he provided solid minutes for them.

     

    Feb. 23rd: Traded Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 18th pick) to Washington for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong.

    Grade: B

    Reason: While Hinrich was a solid upgrade over Bibby, the loss of Crawford and the 18th pick of this upcoming draft (which would likely be a SF like Chris Singleton) rid the Hawks the opportunity to develop two decent prospects. Also, with Jeff Teague showing he can play alongside the starting group in the playoffs series against the Bulls, one must wonder whether this trade is now redundant.

     

    April 11th: Signed Magnum Rolle.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Rolle was highly rated by the Pacers before they waived him after failing to materialize a trade for other players with higher salaries which would have open up a roster spot for him. The Hawks took a chance on signing him, and as there are two years left on his contract, Rolle can become a rotational player for Atlanta.

Boston Celtics: Trades

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    February 24: Traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic

    Grade: B-

    Reason: If this trade happened in the offseason and the Celtics had lost prior to reaching the conference finals, I would have gave it a higher grade. However, the timing of this trade is what killed the Celtics this postseason.

    If Perkins and Robinson stayed for the entire season, the impact they would have made (a classic example being Robinson's famous "Shrek and Donkey" act with Glen Davis in Game 4 of the 2010 NBA Finals) in the postseason would have been far greater than Green and Krstic, two players that had to blend into a veteran team midseason. Perkins' toughness and Robinson's unpredictability are two attributes that Green and Krstic, while both solid players, do not possess.

    But Danny Ainge pulled the trigger and unfortunately, the result is an early exit for the Celtics this season.

    Long-term wise, gaining Green gave them the successor to Paul Pierce while Krstic is a promising center that still has room for development. However, the door is shutting on the Celtics very quickly, and they may have blew their last chance of winning a championship with the current core.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Luke Harangody and Semih Erden to Cleveland for a 2013 second-round pick.

    Grade: C-

    Reason: This is a trade which I did not get in the first place and don't get now. Erden had showed plenty of promise prior to the trade while Harangody has showed plenty of promise after the trade. Both of these players had some playing time and did a respectable job. Why trade two rookies for practically nothing?

    Obviously, the reason that Danny Ainge made this trade was to allow Boston to acquire veterans that other teams waived. Unfortunately, the veterans they took on did not have any impact at all, and hence, looking back, this was a, for lack of a better word, pointless trade.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Marquis Daniels and cash considerations to Sacramento for a 2017 second-round pick.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Daniels was not going to play again this season due to the horrific spinal cord injury he suffered on Feb. 6th against Orlando, and since Boston had to make room for incoming veterans, this trade made sense.   

Boston Celtics: Free-Agents Signings

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    March 2: Signed Troy Murphy.

    Grade: C+

    Reason: The Celtics had to beat out Miami to obtain Murphy. However, after half a season frozen on the Nets' bench, Murphy did not shoot particularly well, nor did he rebound particularly well. With two of his strengths missing, he failed to get playing time for the playoffs and only appeared in one game for three minutes. Doc Rivers remarked that Murphy was "not ready" to be a Boston Celtic and it is doubtful that he will be retained. 

     

    March 3: Signed Sasha Pavlovic. 

    Grade: C

    Reason: Like Murphy, Pavlovic failed to earn the trust of Doc Rivers and while Von Wafer, his competition for a roster spot, is likely to be re-signed, it is doubtful that Pavlovic would stay in Boston for another season. 

     

    March 6: Signed Carlos Arroyo.

    Grade: B- 

    Reason: Arroyo came in handy when Delonte West was out and Rajon Rondo was hurt and in dire need of rest. However, with Avery Bradley emerging, it is unlikely that Arroyo will be kept. 

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Feb. 24: Traded Nazr Mohammed to Oklahoma City for D.J. White and Morris Peterson. 

    Grade: B

    Reason: In this trade, Charlotte traded one expiring contract for another in Mohammed and Peterson with White thrown in by the Thunder to sweeten the deal. While Peterson was waived four days after the trade, White is a serviceable big man and has shown some promise with the playing time given.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Gerald Wallace to Portland for Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, Joel Przybilla, 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 19th pick) and a 2013 first-round pick.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Wallace is one of the few players that other teams would actually consider acquiring from Charlotte, and the Bobcats knew that the window to cash in on him is closing, hence the trade. Getting two first-round picks as well as an expiring contract in Przybilla was what the Bobcats wanted, and in that sense, the trade was successful.

    I did expect Charlotte to acquire some talent in the trade, but Wallace alone was not going to get everything that the Bobcats needed and wanted. 

     

    March 27: Signed Garrett Temple for rest of the season.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Due to Shaun Livingston's injury, Temple got some playing time near the end of the season and he is a reliable third point guard to have.   

Chicago Bulls

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    Feb. 22: Traded James Johnson to Toronto for a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 28th pick).

    Grade: B-

    Reason: With Tom Thibodeau at the helm, Johnson was never going to get playing time and hence the trade. By trading him for a first-round pick, the Bulls are basically asking for a re-do, ignoring the fact that the new pick is far lower than the 16th pick that was used to draft Johnson.

     

    March 3: Signed Rasual Butler.

    Grade: B

    Reason: To be honest, I thought Butler was the perfect fit for the Bulls. He can shoot the three, play defense and is relatively athletic comparing to Kyle Korver. However, he joined at a time where the rotation was set and the Bulls were rolling. He was unable to displace anyone but I look for him to break into the rotation next season, should he stay with the Bulls.  

     

    March 20: Signed John Lucas.

    Grade: C-

    Reason: Lucas barely played and his relationship with Tom Thibodeau, who he played under in Houston, is the only reason I can think of to explain why he was signed in the first place.

    On an unrelated note, Lucas has a PER of -0.04 according to ESPN.

     

    March 20: Signed Jannero Pargo.

    Grade: C-

    Reason: Didn't play at all. Provided depth in practices.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Dec. 28: Signed Alonzo Gee.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Gee is a good defender and is also athletic. He fits in well with the team and would be a decent role player for most young teams.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Mo Williams and Jamario Moon to Los Angeles for Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 1st pick).

    Grade: A

    Reason: Baron will forever be remembered as the man who carried Cleveland to a win over LeBron's Heat in an otherwise miserable season for the Cavaliers. His contract may be a burden, but Dan Gilbert is willing to spend.

    And in case you are wondering, yes, this trade only got an "A" because the ping-pong balls in the draft lottery went Cleveland's way and the Clippers' pick became the one which would get the Cavs Kyrie Irving.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded a 2013 second-round pick to Boston for Semih Erden and Luke Harangody.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: Getting two prospects for a pick which might not be able to get Boston one? This is a good deal for the Cavaliers because they need as much talent as they can get. Erden can be a starting center in this league while Harangody is an adequate backup to J.J Hickson.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Jan. 24: Traded Alexis Ajinca, cash and a future second-round pick to Toronto for the draft rights to Georgios Printezis.

    Grade: see below

    Reason: The Mavericks needed to open up a roster spot for Peja Stojakvoic and so, this deal can be seen really as Ajinca, cash and a future second-round pick for Peja, which is more than worth it.

     

    Jan. 24: Signed Peja Stojakovic.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: Without Caron Butler, the Mavericks definitely needed another SF. Fortunately, Toronto were looking to get rid of Peja and the Mavericks landed the former All-Star. Peja's shooting stretched the floor for other players and along with Terry, Dirk and Barea, he helped the Mavericks evolve to one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA.

     

    March 3: Signed Corey Brewer.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: A player with great defensive abilities, Brewer can fill in DeShawn Stevenson's role should the latter leave this offseason. However, he does not have Stevenson's ability to make three-pointers, and that should be a priority for him come training camp.

Denver Nuggets

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    February 22: Traded Carmelo Anthony,Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter to New York for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2012 second-round pick, 2013 second-round pick, a 2014 first-round pick and rights to exchange 2016 first-round picks. Also traded a 2015 second-round pick to Minnesota for Kosta Koufos.

    Grade: A+

    Reason: Long before this trade was done, everyone, including the Nuggets and the Knicks, knew that Carmelo Anthony was going to leave. Still, Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri was able to help the Nuggets acquire all the assets the Knicks had not named Amare Stoudemire, Landry Fields or Spike Lee.

    Basically, this is a trade of a superstar, a veteran and a bunch of benchwarmers for four terrific prospects (sorry, Kosta). With the current core, the Nuggets can afford to lose one or two quality players in order to gain a superstar which will instantly propel the Nuggets to the top of the Western Conference.

    Before the trade, the Nuggets seemed to have no future. After the trade, the sky is the limit.

Detroit Pistons

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    Surprisingly enough, Detroit did not sign/waive anybody, nor did they trade anybody. They had the chance to trade Rip Hamilton's contract (along with Rip the player) to Cleveland for their trade exception.

    Other than that, Detroit were not involved in many trade talks, despite coach John Kuester's benching of many players over the course of the season.

Golden State Warriors

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    Dec. 10: Signed Acie Law.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Law earned the trust of then-head coach Keith Smart, but he posted up mediocre statistics (4.2 PPG, 1.6 APG) with around 14 minutes per game. While the other backup point guard, Jeremy Lin, is no better, Law will have to step his game up if he continues to get the same amount of minutes.  

     

    Feb. 23: Traded Dan Gadzuric and Brendan Wright to New Jersey for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round pick.

    Grade: C+

    Reason: Murphy never played for the Warriors after the trade and this is merely a trade between expiring contracts (all have expiring contracts) while also allowing the Warriors front office to admit that Wright is a bust. 

     

    Feb. 25: Signed Jeff Adrien.

    Grade: C+

    Reason: Adrien is another undersized power forward. His job is to grab rebounds and provide six fouls if required. That is all.   

     

    March 3: Signed Al Thornton.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Thornton is a scorer, and Golden State can never have too many scorers. With his athleticism and ability to finish around the rim, he should be able to average at least 10 points per game next season.

Houston Rockets

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    Dec. 15: Traded a 2012 conditional first-round pick to New Jersey and draft rights to Sergei Lishouk to Los Angeles for Terrence Williams.  

    Grade: B

    Reason: Williams has tons of potential, but he did not feature at all under former head coach Rick Adelman. While I believe Kevin McHale, the new head coach, will give Williams a spot in the rotation, I do not feel that he is a fit inside the Houston system with Kevin Martin a far more efficient option on offense.

     

    Dec. 15: Traded Jermaine Taylor and cash considerations to Sacramento for a future conditional second-round pick.

    Grade: B

    Reason: The Rockets needed to free up a roster spot for Williams and Taylor was the one sacrificed. While I do believe Taylor has potential to be a decent player in the league, he was unhappy at Houston due to the lack of playing time and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey decided to let him go.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Aaron Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and a 2011 conditional first-round pick (which turned out to be the 23rd pick) . 

    Grade: B+

    Reason: The reason I gave this trade a "B+" was not because Dragic is a better player than Brooks, last year's Most Improved Player, but because this trade allowed Kyle Lowry, a much better defender, to take the starting point guard position and while Brooks was great last year, with the Rockets looking to make a splash in the playoffs, they had to go for a more calming presence at the point in Lowry.

    It helps that Morey was also able to negotiate an extra first-round pick which can allow them to fill a hole come this draft.  

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a 2013 first-round pick.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Chase Budinger needed more playing time, and Battier was standing in the way. Therefore, Morey traded him for a big prospect, both literally and figuratively, in Thabeet. While Carroll was waived, to get a former number two pick of the draft in Thabeet this early in his career allows Kevin McHale to work with him while he is still full of potential.

    To add to Thabeet, Morey also acquired another first-round pick which can be flipped again should a superstar want to leave his current team.

     

    April 11: Signed Marcus Cousin.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Cousin did not play at all with the Rockets this season, but judging by the number of call-ups he has received this season (two, Utah and Houston) and his D-League stats (14.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG in 30.5 MPG), he is one with potential.

Indiana Pacers

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    Like Detroit, the Pacers did not make any trades despite having players that they want to offload, namely Dahntay Jones and TJ Ford.

    They nearly traded Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick to the Grizzlies for OJ Mayo, which would look like a great trade for the Pacers now, but the teams were unable to agree on the deal before the trade deadline was over.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    Dec. 22: Signed Ike Diogu.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Diogu was signed due to injuries to Brian Cook and Chris Kaman and, surprisingly enough, provided decent minutes. He lost his place in the rotation after the players recovered though.   

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 1st pick) to Cleveland for Jamario Moon and Mo Williams.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: Yes, losing the pick hurts, but the Clippers gave themselves room for one great player to go alongside Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan (even after giving him a contract he deserves) and Williams. Josh Smith? Sure. Andre Iguodala? Why not. Chris Kaman's expiring contract can get either of them and this trade gives Clippers GM Neil Olshey some room to work with.

    I am also going to announce right now that the Clippers are going to make the playoffs next year. Should they not do so, I reserve the right to blame Vinny Del Negro.    

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Dec. 15: Traded Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 conditional first-round pick (which turned out to be the 27th pick) to New Jersey for Joe Smith, a 2011 second-round pick (which turned out to be the 41st pick), a 2012 second-round pick and a trade exception. Also acquired draft rights to Sergei Lishouk from Houston. 

    Grade: B

    Reason: This trade was all about losing Vujacic's salary. I have never heard of Sergei Lishouk prior to writing this article and according to Wikipedia, he was drafted in 2004, so I doubt he is ever coming to the NBA. The Lakers do not like guaranteed salary from the draft, and this trade allowed them to go without a first-round draft pick once again. 

    Joe Smith did as much for the Lakers as Theo Ratliff did. Enough said.

    On another unrelated note, Smith, like John Lucas for the Bulls, had a negative PER according to ESPN.

     

    April 13: Signed Trey Johnson.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Johnson was the leading scorer in the D-League with 25.5 PPG. Granted, it was the D-League, but Johnson can be a decent backup for the Lakers. He isn't young (age 26), but for few minutes off the bench, he will do fine. 

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Feb. 7: Signed Jason Williams.

    Grade: C

    Reason: Williams was brought in to challenge Greivis Vasquez for the backup point guard spot in the rotation. Unfortunately, he did not live up to expectations and after missing the last 17 games of the season due to injury, he retired.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a 2013 first-round pick to Houston for Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Trading Thabeet this early implies that the Grizzlies were very, very wrong in the 2009 NBA Draft. However, getting Battier, along with Tony Allen who was signed in the offseason, gave the Grizzlies arguably the best defensive combo in the SG/SF area, and Shane played a big role in the Memphis' surprising run in this year's playoffs.   

     

    March 5: Signed Leon Powe.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Powe was waived by the Cavaliers earlier this season and the Grizzlies swooped in to take him before Powe's old team, the Celtics, could do so. He is excellent at drawing fouls (as the Lakers would know after Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals), and he should be able to get a spot in the rotation if he remain healthy.

Miami Heat

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    Nov. 23: Signed Erick Dampier.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Dampier was signed to strengthen the Heat's center position. However, Joel Anthony's success and Zydrunas Ilgasukas's mid-range ability kept Dampier on the bench, and now he is on the inactive list to make room for Jamaal Magloire.

     

    March 2: Signed Mike Bibby.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: While Bibby's defense is still suspect, he is a far more reliable three-point option than Carlos Arroyo, who the Heat waived in favor of Bibby. He has come up big at times in the playoffs, and his experience in these sorts of situation is priceless.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Milwaukee is another team which did not make a trade, and that can be attributed to the fact that the newcomers such as Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden have yet to gel in with the team, and the contracts they were signed to were quite difficult to move.

    While rumors of Brandon Jennings leaving have seemed to heat up recently, it would be difficult to see the Bucks pulling the trigger on a potential trade given that the current core warrant another season together after the team's surprising run last season.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Feb. 22: Acquired Anthony Randolph, cash considerations and Eddy Curry from New York for Corey Brewer. Traded Kosta Koufos to Denver for a 2015 second-round pick.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Brewer was blocking the development of Wes Johnson, and Randolph, despite disappointing many during his time with Golden State and New York, still has potential to be a heck of a player. Indeed, Randolph provided a string of great games for the Timberwolves at the end of the season, and he should continue to improve.

New Jersey Nets

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    Dec. 15: Traded Joe Smith, a 2011 second-round pick (which turned out to be the 41st), a 2012 second-round pick and a trade exception to Los Angeles for Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 27th). Also traded Terrence Williams to Houston for a 2012 conditional first round-pick.

    Grade: B

    Reason: This trade was all about getting rid of Williams, whose antics have caused nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, they had to absorb Vujacic's contract to do so, although he did put up some scoring during his time with the Nets.  

     

    Feb. 23: Traded Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the third pick) and a 2012 first-round pick to Utah for Deron Williams.

    Grade: A

    Reason: Just one day after losing the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes to New York, the Nets acquired a superstar arguably of the same level as Anthony, for less.

    It is not every season that a team can acquire a player of Williams' ability and while Favors, Harris and the two picks are all filled with potential, Williams would more than likely be better than all of them.

    Losing Favors hurt the most for now, but if the Nets can re-sign Kris Humphries, who had a terrific season to say the least, it doesn't even matter.

     

    Feb. 23: Acquired Dan Gadzuric and Brendan Wright from Golden State for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round pick.

    Grade: B

    Reason: The only thing lost in this trade was the second-round pick. Wright and Gadzuric are more than likely to be let go, although Wright would be an intriguing prospect to bring back (for less money of course).   

     

    March 20: Signed Sundiata Gaines.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Gaines did a decent job as the backup point guard, earning himself a guaranteed contract. Forever remembered by me as possibly the first player to hit a game-winning shot on a 10-day contract, Gaines will be the third point guard on the team next season, behind Williams and Jordan Farmar.  

     

    April 10: Signed Mario West.

    Grade: B

    Reason: West was signed to fill in the defensive stopper role left vacant by Quinton Ross. He should get some playing time now and then purely for his defense. 

New Orleans Hornets

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    Nov. 20: Acquired Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks from Toronto for Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless.

    Grade: B

    Reason: While I did not like trading Bayless merely a month after acquiring him from the Trail Blazers, gaining Jack, a friend of Hornets star Chris Paul and a very solid point guard, was a good move by the Hornets.

     

    Feb. 23: Acquired Carl Landry from Sacramento for Marcus Thornton and cash considerations.

    Grade: A

    Reason: How vital this trade was, since David West would be ruled out for the rest of the season soon after the trade. Landry gave the Hornets a respectable low-post scoring option after West went down and while Thornton flourished with the Kings, the Hornets needed Landry in the playoffs and with help from him, pushed the Lakers to six games.

     

    April 4: Signed Patrick Ewing Jr.

    Grade: C

    Reason: I never really understood why Ewing Jr. was signed by the Hornets. He is more of a SF than a PF, meaning he can't take David West's minutes. If he played at the 3, the Hornets already have Quincy Pondexter waiting for his chance to play. The Hornets would have been better if they allocated the roster spot to a strong PF.    

New York Knicks

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    Feb. 22: Traded Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first-round pick, a 2012 second-round pick, a 2013 second-round pick and the right to exchange 2016 first-round picks to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. Also traded Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph and cash considerations to Minnesota for Corey Brewer.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: The Knicks basically gave half of their rotation to acquire Anthony and Billups. To add to the losses, they also waived arguably the third best player acquired in Brewer few days after the trade. As a result, when Billups went down, the best bench player was Shawne Williams, a player without a team last season.

    However, all these will not matter if the Knicks can attract decent role players this offseason or sign another superstar to form a formidable trio with Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

    With all that said, this trade got an "A-" simply because they acquired Anthony, arguably the best scorer in the league.  

     

    March 1: Signed Derrick Brown.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Brown is an athlete, and should D'Antoni give him some minutes, I expect him to flourish. However, I said the same for Anthony Randolph, and he did virtually nothing in New York, so take my prediction with a pinch of salt. 

     

    March 1: Signed Jared Jeffries.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Jeffries' signing was discussed by many. In fact, many videos were made to celebrate his return to New York, including this one

    In all seriousness, though, Jeffries actually got some playing time with the Knicks, which tells you how bare the roster was after the Anthony trade. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Feb. 24: Traded Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Make no mistake, Perkins was the tough center that the Thunder needed. However, he did virtually nothing in the playoffs, and comparing that with Serge Ibaka's strong defensive effort (including a stunning nine-block game), some may wonder whether this trade was the wrong move.

    Indeed, possibly the only thing the Thunder were lacking in the playoffs was inside scoring, but Ibaka can be that player, and he certainly improved his game this season. Trading Green also allowed more shots for James Harden, and he has not disappointed. 

    All in all, this was still a good trade by the Thunder, and the entire team is still young. If Ibaka, Cole Aldrich, BJ Mullins or someone else becomes the inside scorer they need, then you are looking at a championship contender.

     

    Feb. 24: Traded D.J. White and Morris Peterson to Charlotte for Nazr Mohammed.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Mohammed is a savvy veteran who can give 10-15 quality minutes, and the Thunder certainly would not have minutes for White had he stayed.

     

    April 9: Signed Robert Vaden.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Thunder actually traded for Vaden in the 2009 NBA Draft but did not sign him to a contract. He is a decent shooter who can challenge Daequan Cook for a rotation spot next season.   

Orlando Magic

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    Dec. 18: Traded Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, cash considerations and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 23rd pick) to Phoenix for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Just looking at this, player-to-player wise, overall Orlando got the better deal. Richardson is better than Carter, Hedo is better than 12 minutes of Gortat (don't forget he would have been playing behind Dwight Howard), and Clark is a better prospect than Pietrus.

    So why just a "B"?

    Because as far as this season is concerned, Hedo is no longer the player that he was a few seasons ago and turns out, 12 minutes of Gortat was a necessity at times, especially when Stan Van Gundy wants to play big and the biggest player besides Howard is Ryan Anderson, a three-point shooter. While Richardson performed relatively well, Hedo's lack of performance and Van Gundy's trust in him despite that drove the Magic to failure this season.

     

    Dec. 18: Traded Rashard Lewis to Washington for Gilbert Arenas.

    Grade: C

    Reason: I was a fan of the Hedo trade initially, but never a fan of this one.

    Arenas was not Arenas with the Magic, simply because he doesn't have the freedom to shoot at will. The Magic have a point guard in Jameer Nelson and a point forward in Turkoglu, and that means Arenas can no longer be ball-dominant simply because he doesn't have the ball most of the time.

    Having Lewis, meanwhile, would have reunited him and Turkoglu as the formidable duo that propelled the Magic to the NBA Finals two years ago. Both of them can shoot the three and on defense, they can switch to cause mismatch problems. Lewis' low post ability was quite underrated and should he match up with a smaller SF he can score down low at will.

    If I was Magic general manager Otis Smith, I would have pulled the trigger if the Magic were still struggling just before the trade deadline. Arenas would have been available still because of his hefty contract and because John Wall is still the future in Washington, and this would have allowed Hedo to gel with the team first and vice versa so that the team did not have to adjust to that many newcomers at once.  

Philadelphia 76ers

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    While rumors of Andre Iguodala leaving were flying across the NBA, the 76ers made no trades or signings, and that is understandable. The prospects, namely Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, were showing promise and Elton Brand had a rejuvenated season.

    There weren't any pieces they could have offered and were willing to let go of that other teams would have been interested in aside from Iguodala, and he is their best player.

    I would not be surprised to see him leave if Turner can average at least 12 PPG, however.

Phoenix Suns

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    Nov. 16: Signed Earl Barron.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Barron usually gets quite a few offensive rebounds. Unfortunately, most of them are from his own misses. 

     

    Dec. 18: Traded Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark to Orlando for Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 conditional first-round pick (which turned out to be the 23rd pick) and cash considerations.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Turkoglu was not working out with the Suns and while losing Richardson hurts a bit, gaining Gortat could be the catalyst for the Suns to rise back into the playoffs. He consistently posted double-doubles and his pick-and-roll with Steve Nash is surprisingly effective, something that neither Robin Lopez or Hakim Warrick did successfully.

     

    Feb. 6: Signed Zabian Dowdell.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Dowdell is a decent third-string point guard to have, and the Suns are trying to find someone who can give Nash a breather.    

     

    Feb. 24: Acquired Aaron Brooks from Houston for Goran Dragic and a 2011 conditional first-round pick (which turned out to be the 23rd pick)

    Grade: B

    Reason: Dragic was not up to speed in his bid to inherit Steve Nash's spot as the starting point guard. He was unreliable and once Nash sat on the bench, the level that the Suns played at dropped significantly. While Brooks struggled this season, being last year's Most Improved Player, he certainly has the ability to be the starting point guard of the Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Nov. 6: Signed Sean Marks.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Marks was signed as an extra body to use for rebounds and fouls after Fabricio Oberto's sudden retirement. Nothing more.

     

    Feb. 24: Acquired Gerald Wallace for Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, Joel Przybilla, 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 19th pick) and a 2013 first-round pick.

    Grade: A-

    Reason: Portland acquired an All-Star for arguably three replaceable rotational players and two first-round picks. Wallace's arrival gives Portland an extra dimension as they can now play big with Wallace at the 4 or play small with Wallace at the SF position. 

     

    March 14: Signed Chris Johnson.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Johnson has shades of Marcus Camby in him, except Johnson is even thinner. Despite that, this year's D-League's Defensive Player of the Year has great potential and Portland has possibly found the successor to Camby.

     

    April 12: Signed Earl Barron.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Barron was signed for same reason as Marks, to provide rebounds and fouls. I find it hard to believe that Barron is the same player that averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks late last season. I suppose that shows how beneficial Mike D'Antoni's system is for boosting statistics.    

Sacramento Kings

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    Dec. 15: Acquired Jermaine Taylor and cash considerations from Houston for a future conditional second-round pick.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Taylor is a decent backup combo guard for any team, and he can put up points when given the minutes.

     

    Feb. 23: Traded Carl Landry to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton and cash considerations.

    Grade: A

    Reason: Landry was not going to get the playing time his ability deserves wtih DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson also in the roster. Hence, Sacramento traded him for Thornton, who is a dynamic scorer. His 21.3 PPG with the Kings is absolutely superb and he could possibly be the second-best scorer in the NBA right now that has not been selected to an All-Star Game yet, just behind Monta Ellis.  

     

    Feb. 24: Acquired Marquis Daniels and cash considerations from Boston for a 2017 second-round pick.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Daniels should be able to return next season, and if the Kings are able to re-sign him along with Thornton, they are a team to look out for next season. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Nov. 8: Signed Chris Quinn.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: Quinn was signed in case Tony Parker or George Hill was ruled out of action. Fortunately for the Spurs, he did not have to play often. 

     

    Nov. 24: Signed Ime Udoka.

    Grade: C+

    Reason: Udoka had a brief stint with the Spurs before, and he did not last any longer this time. Brought in as the defensive stopper, he was eventually replaced by Danny Green and was waived in January.

     

    March 4: Signed Steve Novak.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Novak is a terrific three-point shooter, nothing more. This was a strange signing to me considering that the Spurs already have Matt Bonner, but Novak did not have enough playing time for the two to clash.  

     

    March 16: Signed Danny Green.

    Grade: B

    Reason: Green is a prospect worth developing, and the Spurs signed him again after he had spent some time with the team earlier this season. 

     

    March 25: Signed Da'Sean Butler.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Butler can be a decent player in the league if he can make a full recovery from the injury he suffered from when he was still at West Virginia. The Spurs signed him to a long-term contract and hopefully for them, Butler will be in the rotation by the end of the contract. 

Toronto Raptors

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    Nov. 20: Traded Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks to New Orleans for Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Toronto was going to rebuild, even this early into the season. Hence, while Jack was putting up respectable numbers, Bayless' potential was too tempting for Toronto to pass on, even though they would have needed to take Peja's contract.

    Indeed, Bayless has shown flashes of what he can do in a Raptors uniform and it would be interesting to see whether Raptors would push him to be the permanent starting PG over Jose Calderon.

     

    Jan. 24: Acquired Alexis Ajinca, cash and a future second-round pick from Dallas for the draft rights to Georgios Printezis.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: This is basically a trade that allowed Toronto to give Peja to Dallas while getting Ajinca back. Since the Raptors got cash back which I believe would cover Ajinca's salary, this was a good deal.  

     

    Feb. 22: Acquired James Johnson from Chicago for a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 28th pick).

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Johnson has potential, and the Raptors need players with potential. The pick the Raptors traded belonged to Miami, and so it wasn't going to be any better than the 25th pick and therefore, this was a low-risk trade.

Utah Jazz

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    Feb. 23: Acquired Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the third pick) and a 2012 first-round pick from New Jersey for Deron Williams.

    Grade: A

    Reason: Utah knew that Deron Williams was unhappy. No matter what they say, I believe that Jerry Sloan stepped down because of that. Therefore, by trading him for multiple assets, Utah can go in a lot of directions.

    With Favors in town, Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap can be traded. Harris, while not the best PG you can have, is still a decent, young guard who can improve. The third pick for this year can be Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Jan Vesely... All in all, the Jazz can rebuild quite quickly thanks to this trade.

Washington Wizards

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    Nov. 23: Signed Alonzo Gee.

    Grade: C

    Reason: It was a surprise to many that Wizards were willing to re-sign Gee after he left for San Antonio last season upon the end of his 10-day contract. However, this reunion did not last long, as Gee was waived the following month.

     

    Dec. 20: Signed Lester Hudson.

    Grade: C

    Reason: Hudson was waived previously to make room for Gee. However, this reunion did not last long either, as he was waived again early January.

     

    Feb. 23rd: Acquired Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first-round pick (which turned out to be the 18th pick) from Atlanta for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong.

    Grade: B+

    Reason: Hinrich was acquired last offseason because Chicago wanted to dump salary. The Wizards then traded him to Atlanta for a decent prospect in Crawford and the 18th pick this season. I would say that for giving up nothing in the first place, this is a good deal.

    Compared to another scorer in the Wizards squad, Nick Young, Crawford has shown a higher willingness to pass and while he is very inefficient at the moment, he can only get better.  

     

    Feb. 28: Signed Mustafa Shakur.

    Grade: B-

    Reason: After trading Hinrich, Shakur was signed to act as the backup PG. However, he did not do a good job, and Flip Saunders eventually went to Crawford to deputize the role.  

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