The NBA trade deadline finally passed yesterday at 3 p.m. eastern time and of course there were no shortage of moves made before the hour came.
Some of the moves that so many expected to see failed to come to fruition, while others materialized out of thin air. As trade season comes to an end and the speculation over players taken their talents elsewhere moves to the back burner until after the NBA Finals, the journalists and analysts can finally turn their attention to basketball instead of contract values and trade packages.
But before we do that, let’s take a look at the moves that shook things up around the NBA.
Magic Deal JJ Redick in Six Player Deal
The number of teams interested in acquiring Redick was increasing by the day, but Milwaukee had maintained all along that bringing in the sharp shooter was a priority for the team as the uncertainty over Monta Ellis’ future looms in the offseason. In doing so, they let go of three players they didn’t really need this season as they push to make the postseason.
The deal sends point guard Beno Udrih, rookie Doron Lamb and second year forward Tobias Harris to the Magic with guard Ish Smith, Redick and second choice power forward/center Gustavo Ayon going to Milwaukee.
The Bucks acquire a team option on Ayon’s $1.5 million contract and owe Smith just under $1 million next season leaving lots of room in the team’s budget to resign Redick to the mid level deal he is expected to receive.
Orlando’s motivation for accepting the trade is pretty simple. Udrih’s contract alone clears $7.8 million from the books this summer, $1.8 million more than Redick’s expiring deal and brings in young players with upside that they can use to step up their rebuilding process or as trade chips in the future. The reason this deal works for the Magic is Jacque Vaughn’s ability to work with young talent and develop players as he has done with Maurice Harkless, Andrew Nicholson and Nikola Vucevic. Harris and Lamb combined will cost the team $2.3 million next season.
Who Got the Better Deal? This one is a wash. Both teams get pieces that benefit them and contracts they can dump in the summer. The Bucks will feel like they win it for acquiring their target in Redick, who they can sign for between $8-10 million in the offseason. What they do with Ayon and Smith remains to be seen, but they now have the shooter they wanted to come off the bench behind Ellis.
The Magic will no doubt feel like winners for upgrading an expiring deal with Udrih and getting two young players along with him. Where it all goes from here will prove interesting, but if Vaughn has the same effect on them that he’s had on the rest of the Magic youngsters, the future is looking up for Orlando in the long term.
Washington Dumps Jordan Crawford For Expiring Contracts
The Boston Celtics were in the market for a two guard given that Avery Bradley has moved to point guard in Rajon Rondo’s absence, but the deal to acquire Crawford materialized in almost no time at all.
Crawford had fallen out of favor in Washington and over the last few games has spent the entire contest on the bench. Last week, the guard threw his jersey into the stands out of frustration after not playing. Since the return of John Wall, Crawford took a back seat for the Wizards and began playing less minutes. His numbers dipped and it became evident he no longer fit the team’s system as he hurled wild shots from the perimeter and proved a detriment to the team’s progress of late.
The Celtics need an aggressive play maker who can come off the bench and isn’t afraid to shoot. Crawford is just that, and the move allows them cut the dead weight of Jason Collins, whose minutes were kept to a minimum throughout the season, and Leandro Barbosa who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Though the Wizards get nothing from the deal, it doesn’t really matter considering they have a full roster without Crawford and can now clear $2.5 million from the payroll without committing anything to the guys coming in.
Who Got the Better Deal? Boston because the Celtics now have another aggressive shooter and a young talented guy with a lot to prove. The Wizards acquiring a minimal amount of cap space in the offseason does nothing to make them better now and like much of the rest of their campaign, it’s tough to classify this as a victory for the team.
Josh Smith Stays, but Anthony Morrow Goes
Anthony Morrow never got off the ground in a Hawks uniform. The fifth year guard has averaged a career low 12.5 minutes per game, but that may change in Dallas where he was sent in exchange for guard/forward Dahntay Jones.
The Hawks shed Morrow’s $4 million deal to bring in Jones, a better wing defender who can help them improve on their 11th ranked defense. Jones $2.9 million deal expires after this season meaning the Hawks don’t lose any of their salary cap space that GM Danny Ferry worked so hard to attain last summer.
Atlanta was expected to deal Josh Smith as most analysts couldn’t believe that Ferry would risk losing Smith for nothing in the summer. But the plan all along was to make sure that the Hawks got something significant in return or they would simply hang onto Smith, make another run at the playoffs and if he left in the offseason they would have an additional $13 million freed up. In the end, that’s what Ferry decided to do, meaning this summer will be far more interesting for Atlanta than the trade deadline was.
Who Got the Better Deal? Dallas, simply because Morrow’s contract is bigger meaning they upgraded the amount of cap space they’ll clear this summer. Also, they acquire a guy who averaged 13 points per game just a few years ago compared to Jones’ best year at 10.2 points per game.