Jimmy Butler is still in Chicago. Paul George remains an Indiana Pacer. Carmelo Anthony has another third of a season with the New York Knicks. The new Los Angeles Lakers management didn’t do anything of note. The Detroit Pistons couldn’t find a deal for Reggie Jackson. And the Minnesota Timberwolves backed away slowly from a transaction involving Ricky Rubio for Derrick Rose. Yes, there were a few deals that went down as the NBA’s deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon, but they were small potatoes given what the expectations were in some corners. Here’s an analysis of what transpired, including major moves in the days before the deadline:
P.J. Tucker (Phoenix) for Jared Sullinger and two second-round draft picks (Toronto)
Why? The Raptors get a tough wing defender they’ve coveted, and didn’t have to part with the first-round pick the Suns were hoping to land for Tucker. Raptors president Masai Ujiri fills another hole in his roster.
Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson and a second-round pick (Chicago) for Cameron Payne and Joffrey Lauvergne (Oklahoma City)
Why? The Thunder get a boost to their bench and some inside scoring, giving them a far more versatile offence. The Bulls get … well, they don’t get rid of Jimmy Butler and Payne’s an okay backup, but they aren’t much better.
Tyler Ennis (Houston) for Marcelo Huertas (Los Angeles Lakers)
Why? Houston expected to waive Huertas to create another roster spot, while Canadian point guard Ennis is now with his fourth team (Rockets, Bucks, Suns) in less than two seasons.
Roy Hibbert (Milwaukee) for a second-round pick (Denver)
Why? Not really sure. Hibbert’s a plodding big man in a game that’s getting faster, while the Bucks clear some room.
K.J. McDaniels (Houston) for second-round pick (Brooklyn)
Why? The Rockets clear about $3.3 million in cap space, maybe to spend on the buyout market, plus McDaniels is a defensive specialist who wasn’t in the rotation.Brooklyn gets a player they can assume into cap space.
Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia) for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a 2017 first-round pick (Dallas)
Why? The Sixers start clearing a logjam at centre, where now only Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor remain, and get an intriguing project in Anderson. They may also buy out the rest of Bogut’s deal. The Mavericks get a young big man as they prepare for the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.
Ersan Ilyasova (Philadelphia) for Tiago Splitter (Atlanta) and a 2017 second-round pick (plus a possible swap of existing second-rounders)
Why? The Sixers seem content to hand the power forward role to Dario Saric after this deal, while the Hawks get a veteran who is on an expiring contract for Splitter, who is hurt and hasn’t played all year. The second-round picks are window dressing.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough (Brooklyn) for Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson and a 2017 first-round pick (Washington)
Why? The Wizards get a proven scorer off the bench in Bogdanovic, addressing their one pressing need. Brooklyn gets a pick and a few more losses to add to the total, and will waive Thornton to open up tryout space for a 10-day guy.
Lou Williams (Los Angeles Lakers) for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick (Houston)
Why? Houston isn’t a defence-oriented team anyway, so why not go all-in with a backup guard who shoots and shoots and shoots until you tell him to stop? The Lakers like the pick, and their first deal under new president Magic Johnson goes the safe route.
DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi (Sacramento) for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway plus a 2017 first-round and second-round pick (New Orleans)
Why? The Pelicans now have what is the most imposing front line in the NBA in Cousins and Anthony Davis, and will have a season and a third to convince Cousins to re-up as a free agent. Sacramento does an about-face after swearing off a Cousins trade a day before making it. The Kings are a mess, and this deal doesn’t do much to make it any better.
Serge Ibaka (Orlando) for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick (Toronto)
Why? The Raptors fill a gaping hole in the rotation with a veteran power forward with rim-protection skills who can stretch defences with outside shooting. The Magic get a shooter on a team starved for offence, and a mid- to late-20s pick in what’s seen as a deep draft.
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