NBA Trade Deadline: Stars on the Move, Contenders Strengthen, Others Fail to Pull the Trigger

This NBA trade deadline did not disappoint as teams, regardless of current status in the league, made moves. We seen all stars get moved, title contenders strengthen their roster, while others sat tight with that they got and watched Woj bombs fill up their twitter timelines. Let’s go through each trade and see who the winners and losers are.

Minnesota Timberwolves Acquire D’Lo, Send Wiggins to Golden State

Back in the Summer when the Warriors pulled of the sign and trade for D’Angelo Russell, the idea was that the clock was ticking on Russell’s tenure in the Bay. Once the Warriors season crumbled with the injury to Steph Curry, and there was no legit chance to make the playoffs, the Warriors knew they could cash in on an asset that has no place on the team next season. The Timberwolves, a team who has heavily underachieved considering they had two former #1 picks on the roster with Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, needed to shake things up immediately. Towns has been visibly upset on the court for months now, and began to go public with his frustrations. Whether you have Towns as a top 3 center in the league or not, Towns is a single talent that is locked up for years, that needs to be happy if this team will ever be successful. If not the Wolves would be trading the face of their franchise for the 3rd time this century (Love and Garnett).

The D’Angelo Russell and KAT one-two punch in theory should work. They are close friends off the court and their offensive games complement each other. Their pick and roll/pop game should give opposing teams nightmares, and Russell’s shooting ability should space the floor for Towns when he is on the block.

As for the Warriors side of the trade, I don’t love it. The two future first round draft picks could be something if the Wolves never get their act together, but the center piece going back to the Warriors is just ehh. Andrew Wiggins has been an okay NBA player, and certainly has not lived up to the expectations of being the number 1 pick in the draft. Wiggins is essentially a more talented Harrison Barnes, and maybe that’s what attracted Bob Meyers, Steve Kerr and the Warriors to pull the trigger on the trade. They do need a wing scorer and instant offense to pair alongside the Splash Brothers next season, so Wiggins does fill that void. My issue really is that I value Russell more than the package the Warrior got back. But the market was quite dry and the Wolves desperately wanted Russell so the Warriors made the move.


Wolves: A+ (They got their guy, and got out of the Wiggins business.)

Warriors: B (I like the draft picks, but Wiggins is so inconsistent that I don’t know what to make of it.)

Miami Heat Land Iguodala, Crowder. Send Waiters, Justice Winslow to Memphis

Before we get into the details of this trade, can we all applaud Andre Iguodala for being the GOAT at securing the bag? Iggy sat out all of this season, promoted his book across media platforms, forced his way out of Memphis and into Miami, oh and he got a two year-$30 million extension before even suiting up.

Anyways back to the trade. Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are going all in after being somewhat of a surprise here in the first half of the season. Many expected the Heat to hover around the 6th or 7th seed this season, but with the teams success, Riley decided to strike while the iron was hot. Acquiring Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill, all veteran 3 and D wing players, the Heat look to solidify their playoff hopes and run at the East championship. The length and defensive prowess of Iguodala and Crowder gives the Heat an extra level of defenders to throw at the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, over there course of a 7 game series. Does the move put them over the top? Not sure but I do evolve it makes them true contenders and not pretenders come May.

I absolutely love what the Memphis Grizzlies have done dating back to the summer. Drafting Ja Morant, moving on from Mike Conley jr., building a strong young core that is currently the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and flipping Andre Iguodala into another young member to its core in Justice Winslow.


Heat: A- (Love the aggressiveness, could’ve done without the two year extension for Iggy.)

Memphis: A- (Flipped Iggy who was a non player for them. Would’ve liked if they kept Crowder.)

4 Team Blockbuster Trade: Hawks get Clint Cappella, Rockets get Robert Covington

The first Woj bomb of the trade deadline was the massive 4 team trade involving 12 players. The center of the package was Center Clint Cappella getting sent to the Atlanta Hawks while the Rockets get 3 and D wing Robert Covington from the Timberwolves. My initial take on this was who the hell on the Rockets is guarding Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, and every other bigman in the league? Robert Covington is the prototype for the Mike D’antoni system. He is a 6’7″ wing defender who knocks down the 3 ball. He will fit in with Harden and Westbrook just fine. But running P.J. Tucker out at center is cruel. There is no way he or anybody else on the roster will be able to handle the bigs out West.

Side note on Rockets GM Daryl Morey, he’s traded Chris Paul, Clint Cappella and 5 first round draft picks for Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington. Not good.

As for the Hawks, I love the pick up of Cappella. They needed a rim protecter and a guy who can run the pick and roll with Trae Young. Cappella, who is only 26 fits in nicely with the young Hawks core and timetable to win. They also gave up nothing of value to bring in their center for the future.

Grade: Rockets B (Like Covington but the loss of Cappella is massive)

Hawks: A+

Clippers Win the Battle for Marcus Morris


It wasn’t quite the space race or arms race, but the battle between the Lakers and Clippers to acquire a 3 and D piece buy the deadline was something the NBA landscape watched closely. After both teams missed out on Andre Iguodala, they turned their sights to New York Knicks Forward Marcus Morris. The decisive component to the deal going in favor of the Clippers as opposed to the Lakers was Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers pulled Kuzma off the trade table in the final hour, allowing the Clippers to pull the trigger. The Clippers sent Mo Harkless and draft picks to the Knicks for Morris’ services for the remainder of the season. The deal was easier for the Clippers to pull off as they just have more assets to move. The Lakers moveable assets were gutted when they made the move for Anthony Davis, and they do not regret that move for a second, but it did leave them limited.

As for the Knicks, they get draft compensation for a guy who was on an expiring contract. Looking forward the Knicks now have two 1st round draft picks in each of the next two drafts. If and I know this is a huge if considering its the Knicks, but if they draft well they could add to a young core of R.J Barrett and Mitchell Robinson and hopefully build a solid foundation faster with the additional picks. They probably should have pushed for a deal with the Lakers to land Kuzma but once he was taken off the table, the next best thing was landing a 1st round pick.

Grade: Clippers A

Knicks: B+ (A young player in return would’ve been ideal.)

The Cavs Acquire Andre Drummond for A Bag of Chips

The most head scratching move of the day was the Cavs trading for Andre Drummond. I did not see the this coming because it makes no sense on either side. The Cavs get a more expensive, slightly better version of Tristan Thompson, who they probably won’t be able to resign this Summer. Maybe he gels with Colin Sexton and Daruius Garland and they can convince him to stay, so there is some upside there.

In the same breath, what are the Pistons doing? I get that Drummond is a free agent this Summer and you want to cash in on him before he walks for nothing, but was Brandon Knight, and a future 2nd round pick really worth it?

And this makes me question the Rockets and Clippers, two contending teams that need a center, why didn’t you inquire about Drummond when his value was rock bottom?

Grade: Cavs A (they gave up nothing)

Pistons: C- (I think there was a young player to get for a rental of Drummond somewhere.)

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