2013 NBA Trade Deadline Deals That Didn’t Happen
Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon were all mentioned at some point in the march up to the 2013 NBA trade deadline. With so many big names surfacing in rumors, it seemed like it was going to be a busy day on Feb. 21. However, that wasn’t the case. Only 12 transactions were completed, but none of the players listed above were dealt despite the fact that six of them can test free agency this offseason.
The trade deadline was extremely anticlimactic this year. Executives chose to complete minor deals as opposed to the blockbuster trades that fans wanted to see. Many of the players acquired at the deadline are role players such as J.J. Redick, Jordan Crawford, Sebastian Telfair, Eric Maynor and Ronnie Brewer. While there weren’t any big trades that went down (you can see the complete list here), there were several interesting trades that were discussed but ultimately fell apart, such as…
Josh Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks
In the 24 hours leading up to the trade deadline, the general consensus around the league was that the Bucks were the favorites to land Josh Smith. They had plenty to offer the Atlanta Hawks including Monta Ellis, expiring contracts such as Beno Udrih and Samuel Dalembert, young players such as Tobias Harris, John Henson and Doron Lamb, and draft picks.
However, it soon became clear that the Bucks were hoping to land Smith without trading Ellis – Milwaukee wanted to put Smith and Ellis alongside Brandon Jennings and attempt to re-sign all three this offseason. While Atlanta considered this offer, as well as several others, they ultimately decided to keep Smith because they were underwhelmed by the packages that were on the table.
The Bucks were very close to bolstering their roster for a playoff push and becoming a perennial threat, but they weren’t able to persuade the Hawks to pull the trigger. Once it was clear that they weren’t landing Smith, they turned around and dealt Udrih, Harris and Lamb to the Orlando Magic for J.J. Redick.
Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets
For the second year in a row, the Nets had discussions about acquiring Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline. Last year, the Nets had an opportunity to land Pierce but decided to trade for Gerald Wallace instead because he’s five years younger.
This year, the Nets and Celtics reportedly discussed a deal that would’ve landed Pierce in Brooklyn in exchange for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick. However, the Celtics also wanted Mirza Teletovic and an additional first-round pick, which the Nets felt was too much to trade for the 35-year-old. Reports indicated that the Celtics approached the Nets with this deal, but the latter wasn’t interested due to Boston’s steep price for Pierce.
Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers
This rumor surfaced repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. One version of the trade rumor had the Celtics trading Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler. Another had the Celtics trading Garnett for Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. There was also talk that the Clippers would give up a first-round pick in the potential deal. Every time this rumor seemed to die, it would pop back up several days later with an adjustment or two.
The talks definitely took place and it’s obvious that the offer changed several times throughout the process, but it’s no surprise that this trade didn’t go through. It seemed unlikely from the beginning, given Garnett’s no-trade clause and the fact that he was adamant that he wanted to finish the season (and his career) with the Celtics. Also, the Clippers were understandably hesitant to move Bledsoe without first getting a long-term commitment from Chris Paul, which they can’t do until this summer.
This would’ve been fun to see and it was interesting to discuss, but it was a long shot from the start.
Tyreke Evans to the Boston Celtics
This trade rumor didn’t last long at all – nine minutes to be exact – but it was still one of the juicer storylines of deadline day. ESPN reported that the Celtics were making a last-minute push to acquire Evans from the Sacramento Kings. No other details were given, but it came out just a few hours before the deadline when there wasn’t much going on, so it generated some interest.
Boston was apparently surveying the league and seeing who was available. It’s no surprise that they made a call about Evans, especially after watching the Sacramento Kings put a bow on Thomas Robinson and give him away to the Houston Rockets the night before. Danny Ainge wanted to see if there was a deal to be made.
However, the Sacramento Bee reported minutes later that Evans had been assured by the team that he wasn’t going to be traded. The Celtics pursued Evans, but couldn’t pry him away from the Kings.
J.J. Hickson to the Brooklyn Nets
Because Hickson re-signed with the Portland Trail Blazers on a one-year deal last summer, he had the right to veto any trade. In the days leading up to the deadline, Hickson said that he wasn’t going to waive his no-trade clause because he didn’t want to lose his Bird rights. However, on Thursday, Hickson had a change of heart and was reportedly willing to allow a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets wanted to send out Kris Humphries (it seems like Humphries was offered to just about every team), but the Blazers wanted one of Brooklyn’s young players as well as a first-round pick. The talks died because the teams simply couldn’t reach an agreement on who would be landing in Portland in exchange for Hickson, who would’ve been a solid frontcourt addition for the Nets.
Carlos Boozer to the Toronto Raptors
This is another rumor that floated around for awhile, but ultimately died out. Several weeks ago, ESPN reported that the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors had discussed a possible Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani swap.
The Raptors were interested in the deal because they felt they were a better team without Bargnani, and because they were trying to bolster their roster for a playoff push and Boozer would’ve given them a former All-Star in the frontcourt to play alongside Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan among others. However, the Bulls weren’t nearly as interested.
While several variations of a Boozer-for-Bargnani swap were discussed, including one that involved Nate Robinson and John Lucas III, the deal fell apart and talks ended days before the deadline. Toronto tried to move Bargnani before the deadline, but realized that there was no interest in the forward after shopping him around the league.
Eric Gordon to the Golden State Warriors
The New Orleans Hornets were shopping Eric Gordon because they know that re-signing with the Hornets wasn’t his first choice last summer. The Hornets made a run at Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors because they love his talent and felt he would fit in perfectly with their young core.
The Warriors have liked Gordon for quite awhile and considered trading for him, but at the end of the day they weren’t willing to part ways with Thompson, especially considering Gordon has missed so many games due to injury. Any executive that has negotiated with Golden State will tell you that the Warriors love Thompson and there aren’t many scenarios in which they would move him.
This deal would have given the Warriors a piece that help them win today (assuming Gordon stayed healthy) and added another talented young player to the Hornets, but it never reached advanced stages.
What was your favorite rumor of the trade deadline? Leave a comment below.