Any die-hard NBA fan knows all about that ‘refresh’ life. As the NBA Trade Deadline was coming to a close today at 3PM, most NBA fans around the world were on their smartphones or computers constantly hitting the refresh button on whichever website or message board they get there NBA news from. Fans hovered over there electronic device of choice hoping and praying that there team was going to make the blockbuster trade that would help them make there second half playoff push. For the most part those fans were very disappointed, as 3PM came and left with very little movement to get excited over.
With all the talk of franchise altering players like Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin being moved, it’s understandable why fans were disappointed to see mostly role players being the only guys changing zip codes. A few moves trades were made that certainly shift the dynamics of their teams slightly. See below:
Tobias Harris to the Pistons for Brandon Jennings & Ersan Ilyasova
Ok, they aren’t necessarily the biggest names in the game, but all three of these guys are without a doubt talented. In Harris, the Pistons receive a 23 year old who knows how to score. Harris has the room to grow on the defensive side of the ball, but is a decent rebounder and plays good team ball. He will fit in better with the Pistons than he did with the Magic, as his defensive liabilities will be better covered while playing alongside Andre Drummond. In their push to get young players the Pistons also traded for talented big man Donatas Motiejunas. I could be wrong, but it appears to me from the outside looking in that Stan Van Gundy is rebuilding the team he led to the NBA Finals as the head coach of the Orlando Magic.
Many will say the Magic lost on this deal by giving up a young talent like Harris. I will be one of the few who disagree with this thought process and actually believe the Magic improved their team by trading him. By no means am I denying that he is a talented ball player and also did a ton for the community in Orlando which is surely appreciated. However, the Magic are stacked with young players who were finding it hard to get minutes behind a guy like Harris who just didn’t seem to grow fast enough into the leader the Magic were hoping for. The Magic are also looking to make a playoff push being only 5 games out of the playoff seeds at the moment. Brandon Jennings, if healthy (Achilles) is a play maker at PG which the Magic do not have in start Elfrid Payton. Ilyasova actually does a lot of what Harris does in regards to hitting the 3 and is a decent rebounder. I actually believe he will be more consistent for the Magic then Harris and brings a vet presence that the Magic need right now.
Winner: Both teams
Markieff Morris to Washington for Kris Humpries, DeJuan Blair & a 2016 1st round draft pick
Finally! I cannot be any more happier to tell you that Morris is a free man! Morris has not played the same ever since his twin brother Marcus Morris was traded before the season started. He made the Suns organization very aware of his feelings towards them for trading his brother in both words and his play. Although he is not being reunited with his brother, Markieff is the definition of a player needing a fresh start. He will do great in Washington and will help the slumping Wizards make a strong playoff push. Neither Humpries or Blair have had a good season up until this point so losing them will be no burden to the Wizards. Nobody likes to give up 1st round draft picks but for a team in the Wizards position this trade makes perfect sense.
Winner: Washington Wizards
Channing Frye & a future 2nd round pick to Cleveland for Anderson Varejao & a future 1st round pick to Portland / J. Cunningham & a 2nd round pick to Orlando
This is the trade you will likely hear ad nauseam on TV and Radio. Why you ask? Because the Cavs have this guy named LeBron James and ANYTHING that happens with this team is media apple pie, everyone wants a slice. Frye is a marksmen from long range and what better to surround Mr. James with then sharpshooters? Frye is not a young pup anymore and certainly is not known for defense or much of anything really besides his ability to hit the 3 at a decent clip. Leaving Cleveland is LeBron’s bud and longtime Cavalier, Anderson Varejao. He hasn’t done anything of value on the court this season, so shipping him out with draft picks doesn’t affect the Cavs in any negative way. Both Varejao and Cunningham will likely be cut by their new teams.
Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
Other notable trades:
Clippers traded Lance Stevenson to Memphis for Jeff Green
Thunder traded DJ Augustine, Steve Novak & two 2nd round draft picks to the Nuggets for Randy Foye
Bulls traded Kirk Hinrich to the Hawks