Here we are, live! We’ll be covering both sides of every trade that happens here today. I won’t be providing any grades because I do enough of that as a teacher and these are NBA players and General Managers, they are presumably less in need of guided critique than a 5th grader reacting to a short story.
We saw three smaller trades yesterday, so let’s start with those.
Simone Fontecchio: The Name, The Hair, The Piston
The logic for the Jazz is simple: get lottery pick Taylor Hendricks more minutes to continue his development. Since leaving the point guard spot completely empty this offseason, Utah has allowed fellow rookie Keyonte George to blossom with huge responsibilities. The 16th pick has responded with season long averages of 11.3 points and over four assists. While the shooting efficiency is disappointing, it has improved over the season.
Hendricks, on the other hand, has been a DNP for the last ten games and last played over ten minutes on December 21st. The former ninth overall pick simply has not found a spot in the rotation behind a crowded Jazz front court. He should at least have a chance now.
For the Pistons, Fontecchio provides a lot of what the Pistons had been hoping Bojan Bogdanovic would provide single handedly. Fontecchio is an absolute flamethrower from deep, shooting near 40% on around five attempts a game. The Pistons still need spacing around the trio of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren and Fontecchio should provide that. Additionally, bringing together Simone and fellow Italian Danillo Gallinari in the same role over the course of just a few weeks should result in some fun mentorship opportunities.
All in all, we have our first clear win-win trade of the deadline.
Grind City Gets a Little Less Grind-ier: Tillman to Boston
These are the types of moves that always sting a little at the deadline. Since being drafted in 2020, Xavier Tillman has played in 207 games, starting 56 of them. Considering the Grizzlies injury luck, 200+ games in three and a half years is borderline gargantuan. Once extension talks broke down between Memphis and X, it seemed clear that some move would happen.
For the price tag of Lamar Stevens and two second rounders, the Celtics acquired the most min-max big man in the NBA.
The return for the Grizzlies is likely not one fans will accept in the moment. It’s always better to get some sort of trade return than to lose a player for nothing, butI’m sure Memphis fans would’ve preferred a relatively low cost extension to two seconds they might hit on.
For Boston, Tillman is an intriguing big man. I mentioned him as a min-max player, a term used largely by RPG players as a character who is immense in one category and devastatingly bad in another. In Tillman’s case, it is his defense that is incredible and his rim finishing that is dreadful.
Tillman is currently third in defensive EPM in the NBA and is one of very few players averaging both one steal and one block, the only one of which doing so in less than 25 minutes a game. Unfortunately, on the other side of the ball, X’s offensive game comes down to screening and the occasional offensive rebound. He’s shooting 22% from deep (on over one attempt a game) and, most damningly, 56.8% from the restricted area. If you go all the way out to ten feet, Tillman has shot 68/142 this season, despite around 80% of his shot attempts being assisted.
The Celtics still got a quality bench big, whereas the Grizzlies got something for a player they could not keep, but I can’t help but be filled by melancholy for Memphis fans.
The Count of Monte Assist/TO: Minny gets their Mini Guard
As this is a Timberwolves site, with many fantastic writers, I will let them discuss the Wolves side of this. Jack Borman goes a bit into the financial impact of this deal here, and Benny Hughes has a more in depth story detailing the fit coming soon. Keep an eye out, I’m sure it will be excellent!
On the Pistons side, this is an admission of error by GM Troy Weaver. This offseason, Weaver traded a 2027 second for Morris. This time around, Weaver gave up Morris after only six games in Detroit for contracts of Troy Brown Jr. and Shake Milton and an even further away 2030 second-rounder. Additionally, the Pistons now need to make another trade or cut a player to get down to the 15-man roster limit.
It seems the Pistons are taking a flier on TBJ’s upside as a shooter and defender next to the aforementioned young trio of Cade, Ivey, and Duren, but with the contracts of every involved player expiring this offseason, it seems like a very negligible move for Detroit.
The Wolves have found their backup guard, who should bring some stability to a team that has lacked it for long stretches of games, often at the cost of leads and sanity. The Pistons recouped their second rounder. If this sets the tone of the deadline as a quiet one, I can’t say I’m not disappointed.
Buddy Gets Brotherly: Philly Adding
Once Embiid went out with injury, some, myself included, speculated that the 76ers could be secret sellers. Clearly, that is not the case.
The Indiana Pacers are trading Buddy Hield to Philadelphia for Marcus Morris’ expiring deal, Furkan Korkmaz, and three second round picks.
The instant storyline here is the end of the longest trade demand maybe ever as Furkan finally has a new team. He will be expected to be some amount of what Buddy was as a floor spacer next to newly acquired Pascal Siakam and All-Star guard Tyrese Halliburton. Marcus Morris’ contract is expiring at 16 million, leaving buyout conversations in the back of anyone’s mind.
For the Sixers, Buddy is obviously an excellent fit next to Embiid but especially next to Tyrese Maxey’s rim crashing attack. The price tag of three seconds could be a little heavy (in name, not in function), but they still own most of their picks and can absolutely survive the loss. We’ve seen what Seth Curry and JJ Redick did to unlock Embiid as a screener earlier in his career and no one has hit more threes in the past five years than Hield. This is an excellent, slam dunk trade for Philly... as long as they can retain Hield this offseason.
On the Pacers end, this echoes similarly to the Tillman deal. Hield came along with Halliburton in the Sabonis trade and the two have been an excellent pairing. With free agency on the horizon for Buddy, that pairing ends. Ultimately, these are the losses that retooling teams take.
Olynyk of the North
This is a grab bag trade if I’ve ever seen one.
The Jazz are trading Canadian center Kelly Olynyk and 2022 first round pick Ochai Agbaji to the Toronto Raptors for Kira Lewis, Otto Porter Jr. and a 2024 first rounder.
The Jazz were rumored to be big sellers as they continue to over-perform their assumptive rebuild timeline. They’ve already sent out Simone Fontecchio and now add Olynyk and Agbaji to that list. They receive Kira Lewis, who has failed to succeed in a crowded Pelicans situation after an impressive career at Alabama, Otto Porter Jr., who won a title with the Warriors in his single healthy season of his career and has been completely absent since signing in Toronto, and what I can only assume is the crown prize of a first round pick.
The acquired players are negligible for Utah here, as Porter will barely play and Kira Lewis will attempt to salvage his career, but we’ve seen less and less firsts moved in the past few years. Getting one for Kelly Olynyk as the headliner is a grift.
On the Raptors end, I loved Agbaji pre-draft. His time at Kansas was extremely impressive in terms of development and I loved his fit in Cleveland. When he was traded to Utah as part of the Donovan Mitchell trade, I was halted for a few moments but not entirely. I would consider him the headliner of this deal for Toronto, as the exact type of big wing the Raptors have been known for before this deadline’s swaps.
Kelly Olynyk has cemented himself in the “great backup” tier of NBA players and will now join a Toronto team that will love to space him out and let Scottie Barnes and RJ Barrett slash away. He’s a great fit at a strange price tag.
Hayward Heads West, Mann to the Queen City
Gordon Hayward was on track to be the best player on the buyout market (that is, if you don’t believe what was said about his bird rights). Instead, he’s joining an OKC team that suits him perfectly.
The Thunder are sending Davis Bertans’ expiring contract to the Hornets, along with promising but ostracized guard Tre Mann, for Gordon Hayward.
Gordon Hayward should immediately slot in with the starters over Josh Giddey. Hayward brings everything Giddey does along with the bare minimum of some scoring pressure, a minimum that Giddey does not reach. Additionally, Hayward likely makes it into the closing lineup as well.
The big question with any discussion of Gordon Hayward is health. It feels more and more like the man playing half of his team’s games is an ambitious over under to attack. But, the move definitely gives the Thunder a real veteran wing to go along with Lu Dort and Jalen Williams in the mix. It also lowers the dependence OKC has on Giddey, which is a plus.
Many had thought the Thunder would target Lauri Markannen, but if he wasn’t available, this is a good relief option.
On the Hornets end, it is what it is. Mann will fill the role that Terry Rozier stayed in when draft pick James Bouknight proved to be unable and unwilling to take it. Mann is a scoring guard that was on the outside looking in on a Thunder roster with lacking opportunity. Now, the 23-year-old will join another young team where the only real veteran is Ish Smith, who might be moved later today anyway.
House of Motown
Daniel House has been traded to Detroit along with a second round pick. He will be cut later today. The end!
Dread it, Run From it, Alec Burks Rides Again
I remember a long, long time ago, when the Knicks took a step back a season after the Julius Randle All-NBA Third Team break out year, when Knicks fans wanted to send Alec Burks into the sun for his point guard play. Instead, they dumped him and Nerlens Noel in Detroit. While Noel has fallen off, Burks actually managed to rebuild some of his value as a scorer off the bench. Now, he returns to New York, and I hope beyond hope that Tom Thibodeau has enough point guards to not ask Burks to play the one.
For the right to bring home their legend, the Knicks are sending out Quentin Grimes and two second rounders.
There should be fans screaming with rage outside of MSG today. Grimes was and is a promising, young 3&D two-guard who fell out of favor with Tom Thibodeau when it seemed like he was being frozen out of the offense in favor of Donte DiVincenzo. When Immanuel Quickley was traded, it looked like Grimes was in for a bigger role. He was not.
Burks is expiring by the end of the year and, while he may be more ready for a roller coaster of touches off the bench, he certainly doesn’t have the long term or short term upside that a happy Grimes provided. This feels like a move of politics moreso than one of substance. It remains to be seen if Grimes can flip the switch as a Piston, but the logic of the move is flawed from New York’s standpoint.
On the Pistons end, wow! Just wow! What a great move. Getting back not only two second rounders, but Grimes as well for a 32-year-old expiring contract is a masterclass from a GM in Troy Weaver who has had a rough string of bad performances at the deadline.
This was a roster that was depending on Isaiah Livers just a few months ago that can now throw Quentin Grimes out there on the wing. What a steal.
The Pistons do still need to either trade or cut someone to make it to the 15-player roster limit but I cannot speak highly enough of this deal for Detroit.
UPDATE: This trade has been expanded to include a Bojan Bogdanovic trade. The total deal now is this:
Knicks receive: Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks
Pistons receive: Malachi Flynn, Quentin Grimes, Ryan Arcidiacono, Evan Fournier’s expiring contract, and two second round picks
Since the Pistons receive even more players, they now need to cut at least two players or send them out to another team. This likely means Arcidiacono and Fournier will be getting bought out, adding them to free agency for another team to pick up.
This expanded trade has me much more enthused for the Knicks. Bojan brings shot-making from the bench and creates a ridiculously deep and strong wing rotation of OG Anunoby, Josh Hart, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Donte DiVincenzo. It’s a good move for the Knicks, despite my initial anger. The Knicks will have a lot of work to do at the end of the season, with all of their deadline acquisitions being on the verge of free agency, but maybe they go star hunting.
Knicks notable free agents now include OG Anunoby, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Isaiah Hartenstein. Alec Burks will also be an unrestricted free agent.
Gaff Down Souf: Daniel Gafford to Dallas
Dallas has been searching for a four, but will settle for a five. While Derrick Lively II has continued to produce, the clear extended drag of the NBA season has begun to slow him down. Gafford seems like insurance beyond that. Gafford is a very good player and should add some consistency to the Mavs bench that has fallen off since an impressive over-performance to start the year.
The funny part of this deal though, is that it can’t happen yet. Per Marc Stein, the Mavs are still searching for a deal to find draft compensation to reroute to Washington.
The Mavericks are in the process of trying to acquire the needed draft compensation to furnish Washington to complete its pending deal to acquire Wizards center Daniel Gafford for Richaun Holmes, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 8, 2024
More NBA from me: https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq
On the Wizards side of things, when you’re bad, your owner wants you to cut costs, even if that means trading one of the few players on this team that helps you win. Marvin Bagley has been impressive since coming over from Detroit, as the increased pace has seemed to suit him far better, but the Wizards front court is now Kuzma, Kispert, and Bagley. Is there an actual center among that group? I am unsure.
The Wizards will likely continue to shake up this team, as while Kyle Kuzma has been confirmed to not be moved, veterans like Tyus Jones will probably not be in Washington for much longer.
Schroder for Spencer: A Very Strange Swap That Affects Only Buyouts
The Raptors are trading Dennis Schroder for Spencer Dinwiddie.
Are there draft pick involved? We don’t know. Are there other players being moved? No clue. Should there be? Absolutely.
Spencer Dinwiddie has been outright bad for the Nets so far this year, not coming close to his 2018 near-All-Star level. Earlier this season, he went to Twitter to defend his place in last in FG% among players in the NBA with more than 100 shot attempts.
Dinwiddie has been barely better than a replacement level player since signing with the Wizards, being traded to the Mavs, and then being moved once again when the Mavs traded him and Dorian Finney Smith for Kyrie Irving.
The value of Dinwiddie is his expiring contract. Usually that is attached to a player or pick for an upgrade, not traded by itself.
Schroder, on the other hand, has been a bit of a disappointment as a Fred Van Vleet replacement, and his more than 12 million dollar contract has one more year than Dinwiddie. The Raptors have clearly pivoted to more of a rebuild and the trade for Immanuel Quickley stripped Dennis the Menace of his starting job, so a move makes sense, but this is a bit baffling.
Reportedly, Thad Young is joining Dennis in Brooklyn, which leaves us with a trade that is two non-expiring contracts for one expiring one with a bunch of lower level bench players being moved.
I don’t even have many thoughts. This is a move you make at the end of the offseason in 2K using trade finder.
The only interesting angle is the now assumed absence of Schroder as a buyout option. Any team looking for backup guard help will have to rush in a trade for Tyus Jones or pray they can lure a 37-year-old Kyle Lowry.
It’s a rough trade deadline. Hopefully, we get some more fireworks from here on out. Even if that’s just the Mavs failing to find some draft compensation.
PJ to DTX: The Grant Williams Dump has Happened
We still do not know whether the Mavs have their draft compensation for Daniel Gafford. What we do know is they just traded a first round pick, so they’re moving in the wrong direction.
The Mavs are trading Grant Williams, Seth Curry, and a first round pick for PJ Washington.
This could be an Aaron Gordon situation. It could also be a Jordan Poole situation (I still love everything about the way Poole plays with zero cares).
Washington is a good player, among the more intriguing ones the Hornets had to offer. He recently set Twitter on fire by scoring 43 point while making seven threes. He will immediately slot in at the four alongside Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, PJ Washington, and Derrick Lively II or the floatingly acquired Gafford. The fit is excellent. The skillset fits. The contract is a longterm.
After not receiving the offers he wanted in free agency accepted, Washington spent a year on the qualifying offer and cashed in with a three year 46 million dollar deal, which he is in the first year of. The Mavs handed out what rapidly turned into a bad contract when they gave Grant Williams a four year 53 million dollar contract, now they have an upgrade and the Hornets are on the hook.
After creating some space by acquiring Davis Bertans’ expiring deal, the Hornets are absorbing an extra year on the Grant Williams deal. Before we get to anything else, I just want to restate how funny and sad the past few Grant Williams months have been. Missed free throws, face stomps, and DNPs in Boston; a fantastic start and ice cold stretch in Dallas; and now a miserable role as a veteran leader in Charlotte at only 25. At least he’s being paid well now.
On the other side of things, I’d expect Seth Curry to be bought out, just like the other Hornets deadline return, Kyle Lowry. The crown jewel of this return is the first round pick the Hornets are receiving. Who knows what they’ll do with it, but the Hornets have seemingly found their core young trio of LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams. Having extra assets to make a move is never a bad thing. The Hornets have not drafted well outside of a few hits, but this new ownership should be excited with a price cutting, asset pool adding move.
Royce O’Neale Joins Beal in a Deal to Go Be a Heel (in Phoenix)
After days of reports of a cost of two seconds, it was the Suns who went above and beyond — to three second rounders — to solidify their starting lineup and upgrade their wings with Royce O’Neale.
The full trade is as follows:
The Suns receive: Royce O’Neale and David Roddy
The Nets receive: Three second round picks, and some combination of lower level contracts
The Grizzlies receive: A pick swap with Phoenix and some random minimum guys
Let’s start with the Grizzlies. Roddy is a former first round pick who has shown signs at moments in his career but was yet another failed story of wing development for Memphis. Between Roddy, LaRavia, and Ziaire Williams, the Grizzlies have seen many first round picks go to waste, I assume they want more minutes for Vince Williams and GG Jackson to make sure they know what they have there.
On the Nets front, this is yet another “trade expiring for something” deal. The Nets initially spent a first round pick to acquire O’Neale from Utah to pair him in part with Kevin Durant. Now, they ship him out to pair him, once again, with Kevin Durant.
It also adds to the absolute insanity of second round pick musical chairs we have had over the past two years. Second round picks are being moved at an insane rate and will become very little. They are the crypto currency of the NBA: completely unvaluable in reality, but hyper-important when used in theory.
4 second round picks were traded yesterday, and 6 so far today— Lev Akabas (@LevAkabas) February 8, 2024
Seems like last year's total of 36 (!!!) second round picks traded is going to remain the record #NBA #NBATradeDeadline pic.twitter.com/awRGC2q8cg
For Phoenix, adding a real quality wing was always the aim. The top three of Beal, Booker, and Durant has been good as advertised when healthy. The top-six of Beal, Booker, Durant, Grayson Allen, Jusuf Nurkic, and Royce O’Neale is absolutely excellent. It seems like the Suns will be keeping agent of chaos Josh Okogie as well. The questions will still be depth. That was always the case with a roster built this top strong. But, after clearing the bargain bin of affordable wing talent in free agency, the Suns have finally found a real option.
O’Neale is a low usage, high impact two way wing. His defense is probably no longer as good as advertised, but the complementary play he provides fits perfectly for any playoff team, especially the Suns.
To add to it, the Suns now also have two open roster spots for what may be the most popular buyout location in the NBA.
It’s a trade that makes sense for all sides. But, I can’t help but be disappointed in the Nets and Grizzlies for rolling over their roster like this.
Pat Bev is in Brew City
Talk about a news breaker.
We had heard that the Bucks were looking for a bit of a goon in the hockey sense, an instigator with defensive instincts to get the team more bought in under new head coach Doc Rivers.
They think they have found that in Pat Bev.
The trade seems like a straight swap of Pat Bev for Cam Payne and a protected second.
Payne has taken many steps back from his one and a half season renaissance in Phoenix. He’s been genuinely awful for Milwaukee this year. Patrick Beverley should be better. He has been for Philadelphia. The second round pick adds to the above total, a bar graph that keeps climbing for new heights.
It seems like the trade for Buddy Hield made Pat Beverly’s role off the bench less present and, as such, less needed.
Philly no longer needed him, Doc Rivers knows who Bev is, so Milwaukee desperately did, and a 2027 second makes it happen.
This is just a hilarious trade all in all. Here’s hoping for more Pat Bev shenanigans, and more Doc Rivers quotes about them. It should be fantastic.
Note: Still no confirmation on Daniel Gafford.
Dougy McBuckets HomeComing
When I worried about how Indiana would find shooting options with Buddy Hield in Philadelphia, it seems the Pacers were in agreement.
The Pacers are rerouting Marcus Morris’ expiring contract, as well as a second round pick, in order to bring back franchise legend and former draft pick Doug McDermott.
The Spurs are getting a second rounder and are expected to cut Morris, allowing him to join a team for the rest of the season off waivers.
McDermott is in the final year of what looks like an absolutely insane three year 41 million dollar deal. As such, this is a completely uninteresting move from a money standpoint. What it does do, however, is take McDermott off the boards as a buyout candidate.
McDermott is a 43% shooter from deep this year and was valued as a floor spacer.
Jaden Springer Goes to Boston in Rare In-Rivalry Trade
After trading three second rounders for Buddy Hield, the Sixers recoup one for Springer.
For Boston, they are taking a flier on an excellent point of attack defender who has the offensive game of an NFL player. Springer’s offense is largely just fast break dunks and layups but he could find a niche role for the Celtics in end of game situations for his defensive abilities.
For the Sixers, they are hoping and praying that this situation does not mirror that of Isaiah Joe, who was run out of Philadelphia only to turn into one of the most valuable contracts in the NBA and is the perfect shooter that this team needed for a Hield trade. Springer is no knockdown, or even average, shooter, but if he adds some ability on that end, the Sixers could’ve just traded a wing that becomes exactly what their bench needed.
Most likely though, this will be a deal that plays almost no role, outside of being a footnote on Wikipedia under this second round pick.
Pacers Are Getting the Band Back Together
The Pacers are trading a second round pick to get Corey Joseph from the Warriors. That means two seconds out for Joseph and McDermott and three in for Hield. In other words, a net swing of one second, which is cool. I guess?
Let’s go live to Pacers legend and one of my favorite writers out there: