NBA Trades Review: Each Deadline Deal Analyzed 3 Weeks Later
Carmelo Anthony hasn't made the Knicks any better. Deron Williams could have the Nets in the playoffs next year. And Aaron Brooks may be paving the way for Steve Nash's departure from Phoenix.
These are just a few of the storylines that have emerged a couple weeks after the trade deadline.
Now that all the relocated players have gotten to know their new surroundings, it's starting to become clear which teams were winners at the deadline and which teams were losers.
Let's revisit every deal that went down and identify which teams came out on top.
James Johnson to the Raptors
The Deal: Raptors get James Johnson in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick.
Toronto's Record Since: 3-7
Better End of the Deal: Raptors
Johnson couldn't get off the bench in Chicago. Even still, a late first-round pick from this year's draft class wasn't a worthy consolation for the Bulls.
This trade was about more than the pick for Chicago, though. They wanted to clear Johnson's salary from their books so they could go after a free-agent shooting guard. They signed Rasual Butler to fill that roster spot.
Butler has appeared in one game for the Bulls and has logged three minutes. While his role will almost certainly grow in time, it could be hard for him to supplant both Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer on the depth chart.
Johnson started his first eight games as a Raptor, and while he hasn't lit the world on fire, he's been solid. He may already be the best defender on Toronto's roster.
If he can develop some offense over the offseason, he could be an important part of this team's future going forward.
Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks
The Deal: Knicks get Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams. Nuggets get Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov, cash and picks. Timberwolves get Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph.
New York's Record Since: 6-6
Denver's Record Since: 8-2
Better End of the Deal: Nuggets
The New York Knicks traded four young starters, who at least played some defense, for one superstar who's never proven himself in the playoffs and plays no defense, and an aging point guard whose skill set does not fit New York's system.
The Nuggets play much better team basketball now, and they've assumed a new defensive identity (something they never had when they were built around Melo).
They have several young players who have the potential to develop into stars. Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Arron Afflalo are all helping Denver fans forget about the Melo era.
New York would have been much better off going for an elite point guard like Deron Williams (who they may still get after next year). Carmelo Anthony stops the ball on offense, and his game does not complement Amar'e Stoudemire's.
They are still at least one major piece (elite point guard) away from having even an outside shot in the rapidly improving Eastern Conference.
Deron Williams to the Nets
The Deal: New Jersey gets Deron Williams. Utah gets Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and picks.
New Jersey's Record Since: 5-3
Utah's Record Since: 4-6
Better End of the Deal: Nets
This deal does make some sense for the Jazz. They knew Williams wasn't going to re-sign following next season, so they figured they'd get some compensation for him while that was still possible.
Devin Harris is a solid point guard; Derrick Favors has some upside, and one of the picks they got from the Nets will be early in this year's first round.
What this deal has done for New Jersey in the short term—and might do for them in the long term—(assuming Williams re-signs) is huge.
D-Will is averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 assists as a member of this team. He's already made the Nets better than his old squad.
One of the fringe benefits of this deal for the Nets was the departure of Derrick Favors. That opened up more time on the floor for Kris Humphries, who's averaging 17 points and 17.3 rebounds in March. And people called me crazy when I said he was better than Paul Millsap.
Carl Landry to the Hornets
The Deal: Hornets get Carl Landry. Sacramento gets Marcus Thornton and cash.
New Orleans' Record Since: 5-5
Sacramento's Record Since: 2-8
Better End of the Deal: Hornets
Despite the big difference in their records, the winner on this trade is actually pretty tough to call. New Orleans needed some depth in the frontcourt, but they gave up a young player who could've helped fill the void that will exist when Chris Paul leaves.
Thornton is averaging well over 20 points and three assists since heading to Sacramento, while Landry is putting up 11 points and four rebounds a game. Plus, Thornton has already gone over 40 in a game with the Kings.
Troy Murphy to the Warriors
The Deal: Warriors get Troy Murphy and a second-round pick. Nets get Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric.
Better End of the Deal: Nets
Had they kept Murphy and not bought him out, I would've gone with the Warriors on this one. Just last year, he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. The year before, he averaged 14 and 12. Why the Nets and Warriors didn't want him is beyond me.
His ability to produce outweighs that of any big man on Golden State's roster (including David Lee). Plus, he adds the versatility that comes with a 6'11" sharpshooter. For his career, he shoots 39 percent from three-point range.
The Nets got another young big man who still has some potential in Brandan Wright.
Kirk Hinrich to the Hawks
The Deal: Hawks get Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong in exchange for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 first-round pick
Atlanta's Record Since: 5-5
Better End of the Deal: Hawks
Kirk Hinrich is definitely an upgrade at point guard for the Hawks. He's a few years younger and plays significantly better defense than Mike Bibby did.
He's already asserted himself as a leader on that end of the floor for Atlanta.
While the Hawks do have a losing record since this deal, all five losses have come against teams that are firmly in the playoffs.
Baron Davis to the Cavs
The Deal: Cavaliers get Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick in exchange for Jamario Moon and Mo Williams.
Cleveland's Record Since: 2-6
Los Angeles's Record Since: 5-5
Better End of the Deal: Clippers
The Clippers unloaded their worst contract and picked up a point guard who was an All-Star just two seasons ago with Cleveland.
He's been much more productive with Los Angeles than Davis has been all year, averaging 18 points and six assists per game.
He's younger, faster and has a better attitude than the often unmotivated Davis. This deal makes the Clippers' 2012 playoff chances look even better.
As for Davis, he's been productive in three games with the Cavaliers. I just don't see much of a future with this team, and without that, Davis' attitude will always be in question.
Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder
The Deal: Thunder get Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a first-round pick.
Boston's Record Since: 6-4
Oklahoma City's Record Since: 7-3
Better End of the Deal: Celtics
In the long run, I think this trade will make both teams better. But right now, the clear winner on this deal is the Celtics.
Kendrick Perkins' defense was solid for Boston, but his offense is dreadful, and he'd barely played this year anyway. Plus, one could argue that his effectiveness was largely due to the great system he was in.
Krstic has resurrected his career in Boston. He probably won't, but I think he should start at center even after Shaquille O'Neal returns. He's averaging 14 points and seven rebounds per game since the trade and has been better offensively than any center Boston's had in the last four years.
Plus, Jeff Green is the best bench player this team has had since the formation of the "big three." He's averaging 17 points per 36 minutes and shooting 52 percent for Boston.
If Kendrick Perkins can get healthy (and stay healthy), he could anchor a defense that has the potential to be elite. If the starting five of Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Perkins committed to being great on that end, they'd be extremely hard to score on.
Luke Harangody to the Cavs
The Deal: Cavaliers get Luke Harangody and Semih Erden in exchange for a second-round pick.
Better End of the Deal: Cavaliers
This wasn't a very significant deal when it went down, but it did open up some roster space for Boston to sign Troy Murphy and Carlos Arroyo.
Harangody and Erden were both second-round picks, but they could both be contributors on a team as bad as Cleveland's.
Shane Battier to the Grizzlies
The Deal: Grizzlies get Shane Battier and Ish Smith in exchange for Hasheem Thabeet and a first-round pick
Memphis's Record Since: 5-4
Houston's Record Since: 6-3
Better End of the Deal: Grizzlies
The only plus on this deal for Houston is the fact that Chase Budinger now starts in Battier's old role. However, that should have happened while Battier was still on the roster.
Budinger is a better option at small forward, but the Rockets will miss the leadership and defense provided by Battier. He could have brought that off the bench.
Which is exactly what he's doing in Memphis (even with Rudy Gay out due to injury).
Nazr Mohammed to the Thunder
The Deal: Thunder get Nazr Mohammed in exchange for D.J. White and Morris Peterson.
Better End of the Deal: Thunder
Mohammed has been a decent option at center as the Thunder await the return of Kendrick Perkins from injury. He's started all six games he's played in in an Oklahoma City jersey.
Aaron Brooks to the Suns
The Deal: Phoenix gets Aaron Brooks in exchange for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick.
Phoenix's Record Since: 5-5
Better End of the Deal: Suns
The Suns acquired a solid (with the potential to be very good) point guard to take Steve Nash's place.
If the Suns trade Nash to a contender this offseason (which many expect them to do), Brooks will thrive in Phoenix's uptempo system.
Just last year, he averaged 20 points and five assists per game for a team that plays a much slower brand of basketball. His production has been down this year because of injuries and issues with his coaches.
Gerald Wallace to the Trail Blazers
The Deal: Blazers get Gerald Wallace in exchange for Dante Cunningham, Joel Przybilla, Sean Marks, a 2011 first-round pick and a future first-round pick.
Portland's Record Since: 6-4
Better End of the Deal: Blazers
Michael Jordan is clearly trying to look to the future in Charlotte. The Bobcats acquired multiple draft picks and got rid of multiple big contracts this year.
The biggest winner in Charlotte's fire sale is Portland. Wallace is still a great small forward who can score, defend and rebound. That team is strangely enamored with Nicolas Batum, but I don't think it'll be too long before Wallace cracks the starting lineup.
Now, if this team could ever stay healthy, they could develop into legitimate contenders.
Orlando's Trades from December
The Deals: Magic get Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark in exchange for Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat. Also acquired Gilbert Arenas in exchange for Rashard Lewis.
Orlando's Record Since: 26-16
Better End of the Deal: Magic in the Carter deal; Wizards in the Arenas deal
The Magic got into the trade game long before the deadline, and the results have been up and down.
While Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu have both been solid for Orlando this year, Gilbert Arenas has been awful (although he has looked a bit better lately).
In 38 games with the Magic, Arenas is averaging 8.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. Those numbers actually aren't terrible considering his minutes. What has been terrible is his shooting: 35 percent from the field and 27 percent from three-point range.
Orlando is a slightly better team since they made these deals, but it's still hard to see them as legitimate title contenders.