A record thirty-seven (Yes, 37!) players were traded at the trade deadline this year. That's 9% of all active players! Instead of deeply analyzing all of the trades like we have been doing, we are just going to briefly go over the rest of the smaller trades around the league.
Portland Trail Blazers
Received: Arron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee
Portland improves their bench, which was already improved from last year. Chris Kaman and Steve Blake have been leading the way for the second unit and both have played well. C.J. McCollum really hasn’t improved much from last year, and Afflalo will be able to outperform him. Gee isn’t a bad player, but most of the minutes at small forward will go to Nicolas Batum and Dorrell Wright. The Blazers biggest weakness in years past was their bench, but now it’s starting to look a lot stronger. They did give up a first round pick, but the Blazers are in win-now mode.
Received: Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, 2016 Protected 1st Round Pick
It’s pretty clear by now the Nuggets are not in win-now mode. They are about to start a very tough rebuilding process. Step one is to trade aging talent for young talent and picks. They did that in this trade. Thomas Robinson was let go and Victor Claver won’t be much of a factor. Will Barton, on the other hand, has done better than anyone thought in Denver. In his six games playing there he’s averaging 14.5 points per game. The 1st Round Pick they acquired was lottery protected, according to RealGM.com. Since the Blazers aren’t likely to miss the playoffs anytime soon, the Nuggets will likely get this pick next year.
Received: Kevin Garnett
Nothing against Kevin Garnett, but it seems like they could have gotten in return more for Thaddeus Young. He is only twenty-six years old, other teams could have definitely given up more for him. The Timberwolves were probably worried that he wouldn’t take his player option and leave them for nothing, which makes sense because they are still a long ways away from making the playoffs. However, they should have been able to get something more than Garnett, who will likely retire soon.
Received: Thaddeus Young
Billy King has been known to make bad trades, but he didn’t mess up here. The Net’s GM acquired Young, and they have been 4-2 since the trade. He can be a crucial piece for a team that is barely holding on to the 8th seed. It’s uncertain if Young will take the player option, but if the team makes the playoffs, there is a higher chance he will stay. Low risk, medium-high reward trade for the Nets.
Received: K.J. McDaniels
The Rockets aren’t necessarily deep at the point guard position. Before the trade deadline they had Patrick Beverly, Jason Terry, and Isaiah Cannon. The last guard of the three is now gone and has been traded for a better prospect. With James Harden handling the ball most of the time, Houston doesn’t need a traditional point guard. They just need guys who can shoot the three and pass when needed. Houston likely would not have done this deal without knowing they would get Pablo Prigioni. K.J. McDaniels has some freakish hops and has more potential than Cannan. His contract is also very cheap and is expiring after this year. Check out this crazy alley-oop he had earlier in the year:
Received: Isaiah Canaan, 2015 2nd Round Pick (from DEN or MINN)
Philadelphia’s main goal since Sam Hinkie’s reign has been to acquire as many draft picks as possible. This trade is somewhat puzzling, because McDaniels is better and has more potential than Canaan. Maybe they didn’t see much in McDaniels, and that’s fine. Nonetheless, the 76er fans are probably getting tired of tank mode, but this year’s trade deadline for the Sixers was to lose more games this year.
New York Knicks
Received: Alexey Shved, 2017 2nd Round Pick (from HOU), 2019 2nd Round Pick (from HOU)
Alexey Shved came to Minnesota and surprised a lot of people, yet he couldn’t get much playing time from Kevin McHale in Houston. He’s twenty-six years old and is just a role player that Houston didn’t need. Since Phil Jackson doesn’t have much talent in New York, his plan is to get as many picks that hopefully turns into young talent. It’s difficult to hit on 2nd round picks, but it is possible.
Received: Pablo Prigioni
As noted earlier, the Rockets are not a deep team at the point guard position. Prigioni can be that traditional point guard that they have been missing. He’s a very good passer and an average shooter. He is a liability on defense, and come playoff time, it might be difficult for him to get minutes against the top point guards in the west.