Sunday Topic: NBA Trade Deadline Winner
Every Sunday, HOOPSWORLD’s analysts weigh in on an NBA-related topic. Get in on the debate by leaving your thoughts in the comment section. Here’s this week’s Sunday Topic.
The 2013 NBA Trade Deadline was somewhat anticlimactic, but there were 12 deals that were completed. In this week’s Sunday Topic, HOOPSWORLD’s analysts take a look at the biggest winners of the trade deadline and why they’ll be better going forward.
Which NBA team was the biggest winner at the trade deadline?
“Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were one of the most active teams in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline and all of the hours that they put in paid off. They weren’t able to pry Josh Smith away from the Atlanta Hawks, but they were able to acquire J.J. Redick from the Orlando Magic. The 28-year-old will make Milwaukee a much better team going forward. Redick was the most notable player to be dealt before the deadline and there was a long line of teams interested in his services for good reason. The Bucks outbid the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers among others.
Redick has turned into an excellent all-around player. Not only can he knock down threes, he has developed into a great facilitator and exceptional leader. Redick has a high basketball IQ and he always seems to make the right play. In Orlando, Redick became a fan favorite because he made an impact every time he stepped onto the court. Whether he was knocking down shots, creating easy baskets for others, taking charges or drawing fouls, there’s no question that good things happened when Redick was on the floor.
Milwaukee wanted to bolster their roster for a playoff push, and Redick will help them do just that. During his debut game with the Bucks, Redick posted 16 points and seven assists, which he’s capable of contributing on a nightly basis.
The Bucks managed to land Redick without having to give up too much for the shooting guard. They didn’t have to part ways with a first-round pick, which is what Orlando wanted in return for Redick. Beno Udrih’s expiring contract was going to be moved anyway and young players Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb were expendable.
This acquisition also gives Milwaukee an alternative to re-signing Monta Ellis this summer if he decides to exercise his early termination option and demand a big contract. The Bucks could re-sign Redick instead because he has shown that he’s more than capable of playing big minutes and having an increased role on a competitive team.” – Alex Kennedy
“Oklahoma City Thunder. The acquisition of Ronnie Brewer will provide the Thunder with another body to throw at opposing scorers such as LeBron James. Nobody has been able to figure out how to slow down LeBron and although Brewer is by no means a “LeBron stopper” he can take some of the responsibility of guarding James off of Kevin Durant if the Thunder meets the HEAT in the NBA Finals this season.
Oklahoma City now has a lineup (Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Brewer, Durant and Serge Ibaka) that can matchup with the HEAT’s small lineup, which decimated them in the Finals last season. Brewer, who can play either shooting guard or small forward, struggled offensively in his limited minutes with the New York Knicks this season. Fortunately, he won’t need to provide offense to a Thunder team that leads the NBA in scoring and gets 62 percent of its points from Durant, Westbrook and Kevin Martin.
Brewer has played in 46 playoff games during his six-year career. Getting a chance to play with a team that made it to the NBA Finals last year should motivate him to be whatever the Thunder need him to be.
It wasn’t one of the more glamorous moves of the trading deadline, but Brewer to the Thunder could prove to be the deciding factor that takes them over the top this season.” – Richard Hardy
“Houston Rockets. With such minor pieces moved, it’s hard to really label any team a winner at the deadline other than the Rockets.
The Rockets tried relentlessly to get into the top five of the draft last year to get a guy like Thomas Robinson, and to be able to get him for purely expendable parts just 51 games into his career is an absolute steal. The Rockets, unlike the Kings, will work to incorporate Robinson and give him an opportunity to develop. He still has immense potential and could fit in really well with Houston’s style of play. He’s potentially their starting power of the future and removes the need to possibly overpay for someone at the position this offseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks also received J.J. Redick in a favorable deal, but he doesn’t provide anything they didn’t already have in the backcourt and the fact that they missed out on their main target of Josh Smith makes me regard them more as losers than true winners.” – Yannis Koutroupis
“Toronto Raptors. The Raptors won this year’s trade deadline scramble by getting their big deal done three weeks earlier when they acquired Memphis Grizzlies star small forward Rudy Gay for veteran point guard Jose Calderon and developing power forward Ed Davis. The Raptors managed to trade two players that had become surplus to their needs for the star player that had eluded team president and general manager Bryan Colangelo since he arrived in Toronto on March 1, 2006.
The impact of the trade was felt immediately as Gay played the day he arrived in Toronto and led the Raptors to a 98-73 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers by scoring 20 points coming off the bench. Gay has been Toronto’s go-to guy from day one, averaging 21.4 points per game for his new team and taking them to record of 7-3. The Raptors have made up five games on the eighth-place Milwaukee Bucks and are now just four games out of a playoff spot.
The Grizzlies sent Calderon to Detroit as part of the deal for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye and the move has allowed Memphis to keep pace in the Western Conference while shedding enough salary to stay out of the luxury tax into the foreseeable future. Detroit acquired a much needed pass-first point guard to help guide and develop their young lineup while increasing their salary cap flexibility for next season. Neither team has any reason to complain about the deal, but Toronto was the big winner on this day. Since no other significant deals were completed in February, the big winner at the trade deadline was the Raptors.” – Stephen Brotherston
Which team was the biggest winner at the 2013 NBA trade deadline? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.