Trades. They happened.
We know Anthony Randolph is a Timberwolf. That's not half bad. We've already run down the details of it here, the finances of it here, and took a look at what it means for the team here. But for those looking for cliffnotes, it's a no-risk, no cost, high potential move. Randolph is young, has demonstrated he can be productive, and is an absolute freak of an athlete. It leaves the team better off than it was before, and that's something.
As for the rest of the league, busy week. The Randolph trade was actually just our small corner of a massive blockbuster. So let's start with that and then run through the rest in order.
Knicks acquire: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter, and Corey Brewer
Nuggets acquire: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, 2014 first rounder, 2012 and 1013 second rounders, $3 million in cash
Timberwolves acquire: Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry, $3 million in cash
So, the Knicks finally get their man. At a very, very steep price, but they got him. Carmelo is certainly a guy with one absolutely standout skill: he gets buckets when his team needs buckets. He can score on command. It's a skill that's both underappreciated and, quite frankly, a lot rarer than most people realize. New York also picked up Chauncey Billups, then proceeded to pick up Chauncey Billups' contract option as well. Before the trade, Billups went public saying he didn't want to be dealt and would ask for a buyout if he was. He's not terribly happy about being in New York....but he's also not going to turn down a guaranteed $14 million next season. With Felton out the door as part of this deal, the Knicks needed to ensure they'd have a quality point guard to finish out the season, and Knicks owner Jim Dolan decided to spend lavishly to make sure they would. Smart move. Costly, but smart.
The Nuggets, for their part, came out with a much bigger haul then I thought possible. I credit luck more than anything for that...Jim Dolan was hellbent to land Melo now, and pushed GM Donnie Walsh into making an irrational offer to make it happen. But walking away from the deal with three legit starters and three draft picks is huge. And bluffing the Knicks into including Timofey Mozgov at the 11th hour is excellent work. That's the kind of thing that proves new Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri is competent for the job.
Raptors acquire: James Johnson
Bulls acquire: 2011 first round pick
This was to try and set the Bulls up for a run at OJ Mayo, which didn't happen. But they still got a decent asset for a player they weren't using.
Nets acquire: Brandan Wright, Dan Gadzuric
Warriors acquire: Troy Murphy, 2012 second round pick
Another small deal. The Warriors basically sold two players that weren't part of their plans for a second rounder, because Murphy is going to be bought out. Wright could be a decent player if he ever gets healthy, but that's a big question mark at this point in his career. Neither he or Gadzuric will have an appreciable impact on the Nets, so this was mainly about saving a couple thousand and taking a look at what might remain of Wright's potential.
Hornets acquire: Carl Landry
Kings acquire: Marcus Thornton, cash considerations
Mark Cuban was none too happy about this deal, and I can't really blame him. For a league that claims it's going broke to not only take ownership responsibility of the Hornets, but to then cut a check to make a trade on their behalf, is questionable business at best. Are you poor or not? Technically the Hornets can make moves underneath the cap under the ownership agreement, but claiming the league is drying up then footing the bill on this is undermining, to say the least.
Anyway, the point of the trade was insurance should David West not stay. Landry was ultimately the odd man out of Sacramento's bizarre frontcourt rotation, so moving him made sense. Although acquiring Marcus Thornton seems to indicate they're still struggling to grasp the concept that Tyreke Evans just isn't meant to be a point guard.
Nets acquire: Deron Williams
Jazz acquire: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two 2011 first round picks, $3million in cash
Eeep. First of all, what's going through the mind of Jazz GM Kevin O'Conner, right now? He made off like a bandit on this, but at the same time he just watched Williams more or less run Jerry Sloan out of town, then dealt Williams away too. You gotta believe he's wondering if he could have at least saved on of them if he had done things differently.
That said, the Jazz landed a spectacular package here. Harris isn't all star caliber...and quite frankly is kind of overrated even then...but he's still a very good point guard who's a legitimate starter in this league. Favors has been much more NBA ready than initially thought, posting a double-double per36 on some very good efficiency. He also has a massive frame, good hops, and sky high potential. He can develop into the sort of defensive force the Jazz haven't had in a very long time. Getting two picks....even for a weak draft...and cash to help pay for it all is just icing.
As for the Nets, this strikes me as making a move to make a move. I don't doubt that Harris and Avery Johnson were not the best of friends, and Williams is the best player in the deal. But is he worth losing two starters and two picks? And will he stay? He's non-committal about it. More than anything, this seems like the Nets trying to prove a point after getting shut out by both LeBron and Melo, more than them making a savvy basketball decision.
Hawks acquire: Kirk Hinrich, Hilton Armstrong
Wizards acquire: Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford, 2011 first round pick
The Hawks finally....finally....shook up the core of their roster. It's been long overdue. Hinrich isn't quite the sharshooter Bibby is (or was, at least), but he's younger and a better defender. And although Hilton Armstrong isn't anything to write home about, he's still one of the better of Atlanta's true centers, which is....well, sad. But they need to find a way to get Al Horford inked into the power forward position, and this is as good an attempt as any they could have made.
For the Wizards, this is about further stockpiling assets. Mike Bibby may or may not ask for a buyout, but he's too old to be in their long terms plans anyway. But Maurice Evans offers some good things at a low price, and the team can take a look at Jordan Crawford and pick up a draft pick in the process.
Clippers acquire: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon
Cavaliers acquire: Baron Davis, 2011 first round pick
I've had 24 hours to think about this deal, and it makes no more sense to me now than it did then.
The Clippers were after a sharpshooting small forward and ended up with a guy shooting 28% from deep. And while Mo Williams is cheaper and more...mmm...reliable than Baron Davis, he's also less talented and something of a red carpet defensively. The best that can really be said here is that Moon, Griffin and Jordan are the most highlight-reelish frontcourt out there. But surrendering an unprotected first round pick for this, even in this draft, is baffling. I can only guess that Del Negro hated Davis so much that they felt getting rid of him was the biggest positive of the deal.
The Cavaliers meanwhile are paying $27 million for a first rounder in what figures to be a pretty weak draft. Davis is notoriously difficult to motivate, constantly struggles to stay in shape, and is a diva in the locker room. If this is Dan Gilbert's way of guaranteeing a title before the Heat, then he's either got one hell of an ace up his sleeve, or is at a David Kahn level of incompetency. Let's see...hires Danny Ferry, refuses to fire Mike Brown, writes an open letter to his fanbase then spends a massive amount of money to make his team no better than it was before. Yeah. I'll let you draw your own conclusions there.
Celtics acquire: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic
Thunder acquire: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson
Interesting trade. There has to be politics going on here for the Celtics because this can only be justified so far. Green and Krstic are both decent players with room to make some small improvements. They're also fairly young, which makes them good pieces for the future. But that's as far as I can follow this one.
Giving up Perkins raises all sorts of questions. The guy is their most reliable center, their best goalie, a big part of the size advantage the Celtics need to press the Heat and equal the Lakers, and their ace in the hole against Dwight Howard. I find it highly doubtful the Celtics are so confident in Shaq's health or their own superiority over the Heat and Magic that they felt they could do without him. Best guess? Contract extensions with Perkins broke down so much that the C's decided they'd never reach and agreement.
As for the Thunder, this is nothing short of sheer brilliance. In the short term, they not only clear room for Serge Ibaka (addition by subtraction between him and Green), but they get a heavyweight rebounder and bruiser they need to stand toe-to-toe with the true contenders. The Thunder are a legit threat to win the title this year now.
But the real genius of it all? Perkins' contract is expiring. That means OKC can make a title run with him this year...and if he doesn't work out, they can cut him free at no cost and have the cap room to chase a guy like Nene instead. It's win-win either way. Absolutely incredible.
Bobcats acquire: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, two first round picks, cash considerations
Blazers acquire: Gerald Wallace
'Cats have been looking to move Wallace for a while now, and ended up with a good take for him. Charlotte is clearly looking to dismantle and rebuild. The expiring contracts of Vanilla Gorilla and Sean Marks will help clear the books, the picks will help them restock the shelves, and Dante Cunningham is a nice young piece to have around.
On the other end, GForce is the first major mark new Blazer GM Rich Cho is making to firmly say "this is my team now". I don't know where Wallace fits in, with Nic Batum needing playing time as well. Perhaps the Blazers will run with a small lineup featuring Crash at the 4 and LaMarcus Aldridge at the 5. We'll have to see. But Cho has been insistent he's going to move forward from the iso-Roy era, and he's doing just that.
Bobcats acquire: Morris Peterson, DJ White
Thunder acquire: Nazr Mohammed
More clearing the books for the Bobcats. More "getting size" without making a long-term commitment for the Thunder. Another home run for OKC.
Kings acquire: Marquis Daniels
Celtics acquire: 2017 second round pick
Congratulations, Daniels. You're officially worth a second rounder 6 years from now.
Cavaliers acquire: Semih Erden, Luke Harangody
Celtics acquire: 2000...something...second round pick
Get the feeling the Celtics want to save some cash?
Rockets acquire: Goran Dragic, first round pick
Suns acquire: Aaron Brooks
This deal came at our own expense actually. Assuming Brooks can regain his shooting touch, this gives the Suns a little more leeway to start seriously fielding Steve Nash offers this summer. Dragic will make for a more reliable, less defensively-challenged backup for the Rockets.
Rockets acquire: Hasheem Thabeet, first round pick
Suns acquire: Shane Battier, Ish Smith
Ok, this trade has sentimental value to me. I don't know how many of you know about Thabeet, but the kid is likable in a very Corey Brewer-like way. I'm very happy he's escaping Memphis, and going to a team that will help him develop and give him a fair chance. I think he's a lot more talented and capable than anyone realizes, and I hope he proves it now.The Rockets need a center badly, so he'll have every opportunity.
The Grizz are reunited with one of their favorite all-time players in Battier (he was the first draft pick the team made post-Vancouver) who will be able to give them some immediate help for a playoff run. Ish Smith is still 90% potential, but the Grizzlies do need a backup point guard pretty badly, so he'll get a chance.
Deals that didn't happen:
Jonny Flynn to the Jazz for Raja Bell; Jonny Flynn to the Rockets for Aaron Brooks
Quick,someone hide the puppies
OJ Mayo to the Pacers for Josh McRoberts and a 2011 first round pick
It's not entirely clear why this deal fell apart. They missed filing by the deadline, but it could have been for any number of reasons. Some reports say the Grizzlies backed out at the last second, some say the Pacers dropped the ball, some even say there was a third team (Hornets?) involved who didn't get things straight in time.
The fact the Pacers were the team that secured the agreement is a bit of a surprise. Of all the teams oft-cited as interested in Mayo, Indiana was not one of them. The Bulls were the most aggressive team.
I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the Wolves were actively pursuing Mayo. Why they didn't get an agreement, I don't know. Maybe they didn't dial the phone in time. Maybe they couldn't assemble a package the Grizzlies liked. Maybe the Grizzlies decided to be the Grizzlies and do something entirely illogical. If there's any team I would say is run even more haphazardly than our own, it's Memphis.
S-n-P also raises a good point that perhaps the Wolves simply couldn't find a way to fit Mayo into the budget. Taylor isn't going to get spendy with this team, which is perfectly understandable. The Wolves had some flexibility to make a move at no cost heading into the deadline, but they used it up to get Anthony Randolph.
It's a shame, because Mayo would have been a good fit and a big help to this squad. But what happened, happened.