The NBA trade deadline passed yesterday — not with a bang, but with a whimper. Teams are placing a high premium on draft picks, becoming more and more tightfisted while franchises grasp the significance of rookie scale contracts. This leaves the other “assets” out to dry, and players who were given larger-than-useful contracts in the early days of the new CBA were living out the drudgery of having to move themselves across the country (or into Canada) at a moment’s notice. Not many of them had to do that.
That is not to say that the whole day was uneventful, just that it wasn’t the extravaganza many fans and talking heads expected. Of course, the major deals aren’t expected to take place until the summer when the oh-so-valuable 2014 draft order will be decided and the suspected top picks will turn into the actual top picks. For now, there’s a whole host of second rounders with new homes, most of them that won’t turn into NBA players.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each team’s trade deadline shenanigans. But first, the winners on the court are Indiana and Washington. The Sixers got the closest to their goal — bottoming out the season — and Daryl Morey kept his consecutive streak of trades-at-the-deadline going.
Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers refueled the tank, cleaned it up, and made it shiny. They sent center Spencer Hawes to Cleveland for a pair of second round picks, then sent Lavoy Allen and 2010 second round pick Evan Turner to Indiana for Danny Granger and his expiring contract, worth $14 million. Granger, a former All-Star, has battled knee troubles that have left him largely bench-ridden for the last couple years. The 76ers also received Eric Maynor from the Wizards and two second round draft picks Nuggets.
Atlanta Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks received forward Antawn Jamison from the Los Angeles Clippers, “for the rights to Cenk Akoyl, a 6’7″ forward who was the Hawks’ second-round draft pick in 2005, but has never appeared in the NBA and now plays in the Turkish Basketball League,” per the Los Angeles Times. Jamison is one of only 20 NBA players to score at least 20,000 points, grab 8,000 rebounds, and dish 1,000 assists. He is the only one of that group who could feasibly miss the Hall of Fame.
Charlotte Bobcats: The Charlotte Bobcats sent point guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrian to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour. Charlotte had expressed its interest in making the playoffs this season throughout the year, and starting point guard Kemba Walker had called tanking “ridiculous,” according to ESPN. The Bobcats are currently the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 25-30.
Miami Heat: The Heat traded LeBron James for the rights to every jet ski in South Beach and all of the reggaeton records. Not really. The Heat did send twelve-year veteran forward Roger Mason Jr. to the Sacramento Kings in order to free up some cap space. Sacramento sent them a second round draft pick in exchange. Second round draft picks have become the arbitrary inclusion of the NBA — like tipping a dollar on a two-dollar drink.
Denver Nuggets: The Denver Nuggets rid themselves of discontented point guard Andre Miller and acquired athletic Wizards forward (and notable bust) Jan Veseley. They also ended up trading for Aaron Brookes, heading to the Mile High City from the Houston Rockets, and sent forward Jordan Hamilton down to Texas in return. Daryl Morey’s streak is unbroken, even if it was a relative non-event for Houston.
Toronto Raptors: The Toronto Raptors, desperate for some guard help, sent forward Austin Daye to San Antonio in exchange for Nando Del Colo. Del Colo has played the last several games in a protective mask. No word on whether Austin Daye is actually an alias.
That’s it. That’s all. There were some rumblings from the Knicks and the Clippers about a trade centered around Iman Shumpert and Darren Collison:
Clippers discussing Darren Collison, Willie Green and Matt Barnes for Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton, league source tells Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
However, the two sides couldn’t come to an arrangement. The Boston Celtics, widely thought to be a player in the trade deadline, also did not end up making any moves. Now teams will start to shift into buyout mode (Glen “Big Baby” Davis is about to be bought out by the Orlando Magic), and teams will be able to further consolidate their rosters there.