For the past two weeks, rumors circulated that Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Carmelo Anthony and Ryan Anderson could be traded to new teams. But when the trade deadline clock struck midnight (3PM ET), none of these franchise players were dealt.
Instead, a few teams made minor tweaks in hopes of catching the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Let’s take a look at the 3 most crucial deals, and what they mean going forward:
Oklahoma City Thunder receive Randy Foye
Denver Nuggets receive D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two 2016 second-round picks
The Oklahoma City Thunder have struggled to get production from the shooting guard position, making Randy Foye a logical trade target. Augustin fell out of the Thunder’s rotation thanks to rookie Cameron Payne’s improved play, and Novak was never in the rotation to begin with. Foye provides better defense than Dion Waiters and is a better floor spacer (career 37 percent three-point shooter) to pair alongside Westbrook and Durant.
The Nuggets are in the midst of a youth renaissance, and Foye was only clogging up the rotation. With Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris and Will Barton occupying the majority of the minutes, Foye became dispensable. In return, the Nuggets get two draft assets, a mentor for Mudiay in Augustin, and a guy to wave the towel in Novak.
Winner: Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers receive Jeff Green
Memphis Grizzlies receive Lance Stephenson and protected 2019 first-round pick
The Los Angeles Clippers finally got a small forward that can ensure Luc Mbah a Moute never starts another game for them. Green gives the Clippers a much-needed scorer and shot creator at the wing position to better space the floor. While he is struggling from beyond the arc this season (30.9 percent), he should get easier looks with Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin commanding attention. The Clippers finally get a fifth starter that makes them more competitive against the Spurs and Warriors.
Memphis is officially a seller this deadline, having traded fellow starter Courtney Lee one day earlier. With Marc Gasol out, the Grizzlies can’t make another run at a championship, and were better off building toward the future. The protected first-round pick from the Clippers is a boon, and Stephenson could prove to be a bargain.
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns receive Wizards’ first-round pick, Kris Humphries, DeJaun Blair
Washington Wizards receive Markieff Morris
Of the many names being thrown around in trade discussions, Suns forward Markieff Morris was the most likely to be moved. Between the embarrassing antics and Phoenix’s horrendous collection of talent, a break-up between the two parties was inevitable. The Suns get the first-round pick they so desperately coveted in exchange for Morris and add two players who certainly won’t be in their long-term plans.
For the Wizards, this was a crucial move. With Kevin Durant’s impending free agency this summer, Washington knows it must make the playoffs if they are to have any chance of luring the hometown kid from Oklahoma City. By adding Morris, they get a nice floor spacer who should complement John Wall and Bradley Beal nicely. As is always the case when it comes to Morris though, Washington will have to make sure he is engaged and motivated. Sitting three games back of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, the sole addition of Markieff won’t be enough for the Wizards to close the necessary ground.
Winner: Phoenix Suns