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2012 NBA Trade Deadline Grades
Posted By Jason Fleming On March 15, 2012 @ 9:24 pm In All,NBA | No Comments
All told there were ten trades at this year’s NBA trade deadline involving 16 of the league’s 30 teams. It started two days ago with the Monta Ellis-Andrew Bogut blockbuster and ended with Nene going to the Washington Wizards. And all that doesn’t even include any of the Dwight Howard drama in Orlando, Mike D’Antoni resigning in New York, or the rest of the tear-down in effect in Portland, which are separate stories all on their own, but not trades.
Now, as is our custom, HOOPSWORLD grades each of the deals to see how well each party made out.
Milwaukee trades Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to Golden State for Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh.
This is a deal where both sides got what they wanted (as all good deals should). The Warriors have been in the market for a top-tier big man for a long time and Ellis wanted out. Jackson was then flipped in a later deal (see below), but when given the ability to add a top-five center, which Bogut is when healthy, they had do to it. Losing Ellis will hurt in the short-term, but rookie Klay Thompson looks ready to take the starting spot next to Stephen Curry. The Bucks get a very good defensive player in Udoh to man the middle and a game-changing scorer next to Brandon Jennings in the backcourt. The real question for Milwaukee is if Jennings and Ellis will play well together and if they play enough defense for Coach Scott Skiles. The Bucks also cut over $8 million off their salary obligations for 2012-13, making them possible free agent players.
Milwaukee Bucks Grade: B
Golden State Warriors Grade: B+
Memphis trades Sam Young to Philadelphia for the draft rights to Ricky Sanchez.
Memphis gets a very good grade here for one reason: they moved under the luxury tax line. They sat at $70.63 million before this trade, but are now under $70 million after removing Young’s $0.95 million salary. Philly does well because they turned an asset they would never see – Sanchez – into a piece that can help them on this year’s playoff run. After a solid run last season with Rudy Gay hurt, Young had been buried on Memphis’ bench. He can do a lot of good things and will strengthen Philly’s forward rotation.
Memphis Grizzlies Grade: A
Philadelphia 76ers Grade: A
Toronto trades Leandro Barbosa to Indiana for a 2012 second-round pick and cash.
The Pacers wanted scoring and were almost $15 million under the cap, so they easily absorbed Barbosa’s $7.6 million expiring contract. He should provide them with excellent production off the bench. As for the Raptors, they don’t get much out of this. The draft pick currently sits in the 50s, so the chances of finding an impact player are slim. They were already under the cap, so get no luxury tax savings. What they do get is the clearing of a roster spot and a veteran player who was in the way of giving more minutes to younger players (see also the waiving of Anthony Carter). It remains to be seen how valuable that will be for them.
Toronto Raptors Grade: C-
Indiana Pacers Grade: A
Atlanta sells their 2012 second-round pick to Golden State for cash.
The Hawks sit at about $600k over the luxury tax line and reportedly wanted to sell a draft pick in order pay their tax bill. Teams don’t release the exact amounts they sell picks for, but count on this sale being for just about that much. The real question is a pick in the late 40s worth that much?
Atlanta Hawks Grade: C
Golden State Warriors Grade: C
The L.A. Lakers trade Jason Kapono, Luke Walton, their 2012 first-round pick and the right to swap first round picks in 2013 (with Miami’s pick they own) to Cleveland for Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga.
Is that 2013 first-round pick part clear? Basically the Lakers still have their 2013 first-round pick and Cleveland owns Miami’s from the sign-and-trade deal for LeBron James in the summer of 2011. The Cavaliers now have the option, when it comes to the 2013 NBA Draft, to swap positions between the Miami pick and the Lakers’ pick. If L.A.’s is a better pick, they swap; if not, nothing comes of it. Giving up their 2012 first-round was the cost of pawning off Walton’s $5.8 million salary in 2012-13. For the Lakers, Sessions will step right in and be given a chance to start at point guard. Eyenga is an intriguing guard prospect who has had some good games, but will have difficulty finding any court time behind Kobe Bryant. Still, the Lakers needed a point guard and found one, so this deal works for both sides.
Los Angeles Lakers Grade: A
Cleveland Cavaliers Grade: B+
Portland trades Gerald Wallace to New Jersey for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a 2012 first-round pick (top-three protected).
The Blazers recent goal has to been to cut as much 2012-13 salary as possible, so trading out the possibility of Wallace exercising his Player Option for the ending deal of Okur and Williams’ $3.14 million Player Option automatically gave them $6.4 million more in cap space this summer. They are working on a buyout with the injured Williams to get even more space. The lottery pick they received from New Jersey as long as it’s four or lower will have them rooting against the next come Draft Lottery time. For the Nets, adding Wallace to the lineup actually gives them a solid starting five with Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez; only Brooks is for sure on the books for next season (Williams also has a Player Option, Humphries is an unrestricted free agent, and Lopez will probably be a restricted free agent).
Portland Trail Blazers Grade: A
New Jersey Nets Grade: C
Portland trades Marcus Camby to Houston for Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a 2012 second-round pick.
The Rockets found themselves a very good defensive center, albeit aging, and gave up close to nothing to get him. Flynn and Thabeet have played a grand total of 158 minutes this season and scored 43 points. Since all of them will be unrestricted free agents this summer, Portland doesn’t gain anything except the draft pick. But then, with the plan to perhaps receive as good of a draft pick as possible, trading a veteran center that helps a team win games may help them reach their goal.
Portland Trail Blazers Grade: C+
Houston Rockets Grade: B
Golden State trades Stephen Jackson to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson, T.J. Ford and a 2012 first-round pick (top-14 protected).
When the Warriors picked up Jackson in the Bogut deal there were many questions as to where he fits. Now we know – in black and silver. Jackson could step into the starting lineup with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker or the Spurs could bring him or Ginobili off the bench and start rookie Kawhi Leonard. Either way, Jackson will probably produce more for them than Jefferson. For the Warriors they had to take on more salary, but getting the first-round pick made it worthwhile.
Golden State Warriors Grade: B
San Antonio Spurs Grade: B+
L.A. Lakers trade Derek Fisher and a 2012 first-round pick (top-20 protected through 2017 from Dallas) to Houston for Jordan Hill.
For the Lakers this move was all about clearing Fisher’s $3.4 million Player Option for 2012-13 from their books. Combined with moving Walton, they may have cut $9.2 million total from next year’s cap figure and another $9.2 million in tax savings, thought $4.55 million of that comes back if Sessions exercises his Player Option. Hill may see a few minutes but probably won’t be a factor. The Rockets are reportedly also taking buyout with Fisher.
Los Angeles Lakers Grade: A-
Houston Rockets Grade: B+
In a three-team deal Denver trades Nene to Washington; Washington trades JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the L.A. Clippers; and the Clippers trade Brian Cook to Denver and a 2015 second-round pick (from New Orleans) to Washington.
This last deal to come out may have been the most surprising of the day. Nene, a central piece in the Denver Nuggets’ month of spending when the lockout ended, was thought to be a fixture, but instead they moved his contract for McGee. One of the best defensive centers in the game, McGee will be a restricted free agent this summer. How much will Denver pay him then? Or will they even be able to keep him? The team reportedly used much of their cap savings on Nene to then get very close to a deal with free agent Wilson Chandler. For the Wizards they get not only a top level NBA center, but a veteran presence that roster desperately needs. Young, in waiving his veto option to go to the Clippers, could be an explosive offensive player for them and cost them almost nothing.
Denver Nuggets Grade: A
Los Angeles Clippers Grade: B+
Washington Wizards Grade: B+
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