The 2015 NBA trade deadline was one of the busiest in recent history, with Goran Dragic joining the Miami Heat in a big three-team trade, Kevin Garnett re-joining the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder finding a way to get rid of Reggie Jackson and the Portland Trail Blazers making another move towards contending by adding Arron Afflalo.
The Goran Dragic Trade
Goran Dragic pushed for a trade through the media and it eventually happened. A big one. Along with his brother, the Slovenian guard joined the Miami Heat, hoping to finally breathe some life into their wounded season. For this duo, the Heat had to give up Danny Granger (to the Suns), Norris Cole, Shawne Williams and Justin Hamilton (Pelicans) and two first round picks (2017, 2021) to the Suns as well. Phoenix got John Salmons as well in this deal from the Pelicans. But that wasn’t the only move the Suns made on a busy Thursday.
The ‘What the Hell are the 76ers doing’ Trade
Sam Hinkie keeps promising great things, but I’m one of those who don’t believe in tanking for future success, and see the 76ers as a team with a very random plan: Stockpile on picks and hope to get a high blue chipper in the draft. Michael Carter-Williams was supposed to be a long term thing, but turns out he’s not. He joined the Milwaukee Bucks in a three team trade, with the Bucks also receiving Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee from the Suns. The Suns got Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall as they moved around point guards all day. The 76ers? A 2015 first round pick from the Suns. Carter-Williams was a first round. I’m not sure what they did there.
The ‘Lets get rid of Reggie Jackson’ Trade
The Thunder finally got rid of Reggie Jackson, never looking happy this season and kinda ruining his chances of getting a big contract via his attitude. He joined the Detroit Pistons in a three-team trade that also included the Utah Jazz. What did the Jazz do? Get rid of Enes Kanter and Steve Novak while adding Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, the rights to Tibor Pleiß and two draft picks (first & second) in 2017. The Thunder got Kanter and Novak, D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from the Pistons and a 2019 second round pick from Detroit.
The Afflalo Trade
The Portland Trail Blazers mean business and see themselves as big contenders in the West. But they needed to get better. So they added Arron Afflalo, who has been with the Nuggets (on this tenure) for less than a season along with Alonzo Gee while giving up on Will Barton, Victor Claver and the always disappointing Thomas Robinson, along with a first round pick in 2016. The Blazers get a proven scorer (14.5 points per game this season) with a reasonable salary ($7.9 million player option for next season) and not losing too much from their bench, except for maybe some size by giving up on Robinson, who can be electrifying on rare occasions. The Nuggets? Overall, this is simply another step of rebuilding they didn’t really think they’d need, but things haven’t been any good since the day they fired George Karl.
The Garnett Homecoming
Even though the Brooklyn Nets are trying hard to trade everyone on their roster with a long term deal, they might actually find themselves making the playoffs this season. Adding Thaddeus Young, averaging 14.3 points per game this season might give them some extra offense in the final two months of the season. The big name in all of this is Kevin Garnett, on the verge of retiring, joining the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team he played and starred for (including an MVP in 2004) from 1996 to 2007. He won’t actually help them, but it might be nice to see him retire where it all began for a future hall of fame inductee.
The Other Deals
The Boston Celtics actually find themselves with a chance to make the playoffs, and trading for Isaiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns, a point guard averaging 15.2 points in only 25.7 minutes this season, is a step in the right direction (coming with a deal through the 2017-2018 season). The Suns got Marcus Thornton (expiring deal) and a 2016 first round pick for him.
The Celtics didn’t do just that. They added Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome from the Detroit Pistons while sending Tayshaun Prince, a rather recent acquire, in the opposite direction.
The New York Knicks never should have given Pablo Prigioni a long term deal. He was shipped off to the Houston Rockets while Alexey Shved and two future second round picks (2017, 2019) were used on the Argentine point guard.
In the busy day the Philadelphia 76ers had, they managed to send K.J. McDaniels to the Houston Rockets for Isaiah Canaan and another second round pick (2015), which they have plenty of already.
More 76ers? They added JaVale McGee, a 2016 first round pick (via Oklahoma City) and the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum while giving up the rights to Cenk Akyol, sending them to the Denver Nuggets.
The Thunder, as you already know, were a busy team. It’s hard to operate as title contenders while also rigidly keeping watch of the salary cap and luxury tax. They dumped Ish Smith, a second round pick and some cash considerations for a 2016 second round pick, dealing with the New Orleans Pelicans.
In an exchange of point guards, the Washington Wizards are hoping to slightly improve their chances heading into the big playoff push by sending Andre Miller to the Sacramento Kings while adding Ramon Sessions, a veteran without a lot of playing time this season, averaging 5.4 points per game.