While there were plenty of deals in the final day before the trade deadline, nothing too grande happened in the NBA over the last few days. The Memphis Grizzlies gave up on the season by sending Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets and Jeff Green to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Detroit Pistons got better by adding Tobias Harris and two pieces from the Houston Rockets, while the Cleveland Cavaliers hope to get better by trading for Channing Frye.
Maybe the interesting things are the trades that teams couldn’t pull off. The Houston Rockets called just about everybody trying to move Dwight Howard but didn’t get the answer they liked in terms of price. The Chicago Bulls wanted to dump Pau Gasol and couldn’t find a match. The Cavaliers had more targets and players they wanted to move but Frye was the only thing that worked out for them, while shipping off Anderson Varejao and Jared Cunningham.
Hornets – Grizzlies – Heat
This deal was about getting the Charlotte Hornets a wing player to replace Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Courtney Lee made his way to the Hornets, probably to start as shooting guard for them. The Grizzlies got P.J. Hairston, Chris Andersen from the Miami Heat and also two second round draft picks, as they’re clearly giving up on the season. The Heat picked up Brian Roberts from the Hornets, and later moved him along to the Portland Trail Blazers in order to get under the luxury tax. The Heat also sent Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the salary dump.
Pistons – Magic
In a trade deadline without any stars leaving their teams, Tobias Harris joining the Detroit Pistons might be the biggest of moves. He’s been disappointing this season, as often players with no contract threat hanging over their heads do. Averaging 13.7 points per game, he left Orlando to the Pistons for Brandon Jennings (who has hardly done anything this season) and Ersan Ilyasova, as both teams are hoping this positions them better to make the playoffs, while continuing to rely on a very young core for the next few years.
Bulls – Hawks – Jazz
Everyone expected something to happen with the Bulls, Hawks and Jazz, and Utah & Atlanta had discussions regarding some point guard switch. In the end, all the deal meant was Kirk Hinrich, for the second time in his career, stunned by getting traded away from Chicago, joining the Atlanta Hawks. The Jazz get Shelvin Mack who barely sees the floor this season, while the Bulls got Justin Holiday and a second round draft pick.
Pistons – Rockets
The Rockets couldn’t get the deal they wanted (Dwight Howard) done, asking too much for the declining center. But they did get to send Donatas Motiejunas away along with Marcus Thornton to the Detroit Pistons, who seem to have gotten stronger and deeper in this trade window, for the immediate term and the long term. The Rockets got a first round pick and Joel Anthony in return. Anthony was later moved to the Philadelphia 76ers by Houston. The Pistons believe their medical group can help Motiejunas with his rehab, while Thornton, averaging 10 points per game this season, is some sure way to get quick points off the bench.
Thunder – Nuggets
The Oklahoma City Thunder always look for ways to improve their championship chances. Was sending D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two second round draft picks to the Denver Nuggets for Randy Foye (6 points, 29.6% from beyond the arc) good enough? It doesn’t hurt them, but I’m not sure it actually makes them better.
Cavaliers – Magic – Trail Blazers
The Cleveland Cavaliers tried to make several things happen in the trade deadline. The best they could come up with was getting Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic, while sending Anderson Varejao to the Portland Trail Blazers and Jared Cunningham to the Orlando Magic. The Cavs also sent Portland a conditional first-round pick, while the Magic got a conditional second round pick from Portland. Frye might be used better than he was this season in Orlando, but is it the game changer the Cavs needed to match up with the Warriors?
Suns – Wizards
The Phoenix Suns season is in shambles, and maybe a few months too late, they’re finally able to get rid of Markieff Morris, and probably getting a lot less than what they would have loved to get for him. They sent him to the Washington Wizards, getting Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair in return, along with a protected first round pick, which is the only good thing about this deal for them.
Clippers – Grizzlies
The Los Angeles Clippers were another aggressive team during the trade deadline countdown to make things done only without a lot of assets to move around. They did manage to land Jeff Green from the Grizzlies, who pretty much set themselves up to fail the rest of the season, and fall out of their playoff placing. Lance Stephenson goes to Memphis to maybe rebuild his career. Unlike early assumptions, he’s not being released or moved somewhere else. Green might help the Clippers finally find some consistent scoring at the small forward position.