The Scorecrow Staff | February 10th, 2020
This past week, the NBA had the mid-season trade deadline, and as such, trades happened! Who woulda thunk?
At The Scorecrow, trade deadlines and draft days are our equivalent of a national holiday, so when the NBA’s largest trade in two decades went down to start the madness, we all just got drunk instead of doing our jobs and writing things. Sorry Johnnie.
Either way, here are the trades, and here are (most of) our thoughts. I, for one, don’t have them often, so y’all better appreciate the rare occasion. – Josh
Atlanta receives: Clint Capela, Nene
Denver receives: Noah Vonleh, Shabazz Napier, Keita Bates-Diop, HOU 2020 1st Round Pick (Unprotected)
Houston receives: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, GSW 2024 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected)
Minnesota receives: Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner, BRK 2020 1st Round Pick (Lottery-Protected)
Zach Gotlieb: This was a monster trade. The biggest trade since 2000. Four-teams and a total of 12 players were involved in this trade. The key to this trade was Minnesota trading Covington to Houston. Recent rumors were also saying that Clint Capela was on the trade block. The Rockets may end up being the big winners or the big losers of this trade after trading away their only seven-foot player. Team analytics is going all-in on 3-point shooting and outscoring their opponents. An impressive win against the Lakers is a good start, but it’s only one game. Running 6’5” PJ Tucker at the center position will be an experiment. With bangers in the post like Steven Adams and Nikola Jokic potentially waiting for them in the playoffs, we won’t truly know how this experiment will end up.
The Rockets traded Capela and Nene. Nene, for all intents and purposes, is retired, but his contract is still on the books. Capela is a nice defensive piece to add to this team and will certainly help them win some games. It’s hard to tell exactly what his impact will be given his lack of offensive capability, but he is excellent around the basket which should be good for Trae Young.
As for Minnesota and Denver, they just made a swap of assets. For Minnesota, acquiring Beasley, Hernangomez, and Vanderbilt is a nice haul of players that have shown to be really good despite limited minutes and opportunities with the Nuggets. Beasley is the human embodiment of the Energizer bunny while also having a solid shooting stroke that was good for top-15 in the league last year is a really good piece to put around Karl Anthony-Towns. Hernangomez has possibly one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the entire league, he’s a very solid catch-and-shoot guy that moves well off the ball. He’s a decent defender, but not something I’d bank on. Vanderbilt has been described as the next Dennis Rodman for his extremely impressive rebounding ability and not much of an offensive game. He’s very very raw as a prospect, but he’s shown some good signs of growing an offensive game.
For Denver, acquiring extra depth in the frontcourt with Vonleh and Bates-Diop will be helpful, especially with recent injuries. Napier was flipped for Jordan McRae, so he’ll never get the chance to play the game as a Nugget. It was a good trade for Denver to give up two guys that have expiring contracts and likely weren’t going to re-sign with the team over the summer. Trade for value before losing them for nothing. Atlanta: B- Denver: B- Houston: B- Minnesota: A
Brandon Braasch: Atlanta: A+ Denver: A Houston: A- Minnesota: A
Josh Elias: Atlanta: A Denver: A- Houston: C Minnesota: A-
Mike Fanelli: Atlanta: A+ Denver: B+ Houston: C- Minnesota: B
Troy Pierce: Atlanta: A Denver: B Houston: C+ Minnesota: B
Atlanta receives: Dewayne Dedmon, SAC 2020 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected), SAC 2021 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected)
Sacramento receives: Jabari Parker, Alex Len
Brandon: The Dedmon experiment for the Kings went terribly wrong. He wanted out after a couple of months and made it known publicly. He was supposed to help with spacing for Marvin Bagley down low. However, Bagley couldn’t stay on the court and Dedmon wasn’t effective. Dedmon is shooting a career-low 19.7 perfect from three. By trading Dedmon the Kings get out of his contract and clear up space to resign Bogdan Bogdanovic in the offseason.
The Kings also get Parker who has continued to fight through injuries his whole career. He currently has a shoulder injury so he will not be playing right away. He comes to the Kings averaging 15 points on 50% shooting. He will be under contract next year and could be a great scoring spark off the bench. In addition it Parker they also get Len who is on an expiring contract. He will have the rest of the year to showcase his worth to the Kings. If he proves valuable, the Kings might re-sign him over the summer. Len, however, is also injured so he will not be in the rotation for a week or so. All things considered, this is a pretty good trade for the kings.
The Hawks are basically taking on Dedmon’s contract to get a couple of second-round draft picks. They get Dedmon back who was an important leader for the young Hawks team. Dedmon will likely come off the bench for the Hawks because the backcourt is a little crowded. Dedmon will be under contract for the next two years and will provide leadership to a young Hawks team. Atlanta: B Sacramento: B+
Josh: Atlanta: B- Sacramento: B
Mike: Atlanta: A- Sacramento: F-
Troy: Atlanta: B Sacramento: B
Zach: Atlanta: B+ Sacramento: B-
Golden State receives: DAL 2020 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected), DEN 2021 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected), TOR 2022 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected)
Philadelphia receives: Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson
Josh: The Philadelphia 76ers have had a very apparent spacing problem this year, with a starting lineup full of exclusively players who have shot under 35%. Adding Burks and Robinson to their disposal gives them two of such options on the wing, and should help to limit some extent of the spacing issues Philadelphia has become notorious for.
The Warriors were able to find a taker for two of their better players in a lost year. Both Burks and Robinson are on one-year veteran minimum contracts, and there was no guarantee that they would’ve stayed beyond this year. So, in a way, they got something for nothing. Having the option to bring back one or both next season as they retool would have been nice, but they aren’t irreplaceable and they send them both to a situation where they can succeed immediately. Golden State: B- Philadelphia: B+
Brandon: Golden State: B Philadelphia: B-
Mike: Golden State: A Philadelphia: B-
Troy: Golden State: B+ Philadelphia: B
Zach: Golden State: B Philadelphia: B+
Memphis receives: Justise Winslow, Gorgui Dieng, Dion Waiters
Miami receives: Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill
Minnesota receives: James Johnson
(Ed: Unfortunately, Pranav hasn’t woken up from his beer coma yet, so he never got around to doing his job and writing a couple paragraphs for this roundtable.) Memphis: ? Miami: ? Minnesota: ? Pranav: F-
Brandon: Memphis: A Miami: A Minnesota: B-
Josh: Memphis: B Miami: B+ Minnesota: C+
Mike: Memphis: B+ Miami: A Minnesota: C+
Troy: Memphis: B Miami: A Minnesota: C+
Zach: Memphis: A- Miami: A Minnesota: B
Atlanta receives: Derrick Walton
LA Clippers receives: Cash Considerations
Troy: Walton has been used rather sparingly by the Clippers, making just 23 appearances so far this season. That will remain the case as he was waived by the Hawks shortly after the trade.
For the Clippers, this trade allowed them to free up $1.55 million via trade exception. It also helps open up a roster spot.
For Atlanta, this trade gives them some relief in their salary cap, though it’s not much. But this trade is fine considering Atlanta is a team that’s very young, and they do not provide much in terms of competition for the rest of league. Building around Trae Young is their main goal going forward, as it should be. Atlanta: A LA Clippers: A
Brandon: Atlanta: B+ LA Clippers: B
Josh: Atlanta: B- LA Clippers: B+
Mike: Atlanta: C LA Clippers: C
Zach: Atlanta: C+ LA Clippers: C+
Golden State receives: Andrew Wiggins, 2021 MIN 1st Round Pick (Top-3 Protected), 2021 MIN 2nd Round Pick (Unprotected)
Minnesota receives: D’Angelo Russell, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans
Brandon: The plan for the Warriors when they acquired Russell was always to trade him. They get Wiggins in return, who has always had a lot of potential. I think this will be a great fit for Wiggins and the Warriors. He gets a change of scenery and he will be the third or fourth option behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. He will be taking fewer shots but they will be better looks resulting in more efficient scoring.
The Warriors also get a first-round pick as long as it doesn’t end up being in the top three. That will give them two first-round picks that will likely be in the top 10. These top picks will be added to the core of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green. The Warriors could be well on their way to rebuilding another great team for years to come.
The Timberwolves went out and brought in another star for Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT has expressed his displeasure with losing a lot lately. He has not won a game since November. Adding Russell is part of the Timberwolves’ effort to bring in players around him. KAT and Russell are also friends so that should satisfy him a little. With Spellman and Evans, they are getting some young guys that will be under contract for the next couple of years. They should both get some minutes and showcase there worth as a role player. Golden State: A- Minnesota: B+
Josh: Golden State: A Minnesota: B+
Mike: Golden State: B- Minnesota: A
Troy: Golden State: A+ Minnesota: A+
Zach: Golden State: A- Minnesota: A-
Houston receives: Bruno Caboclo
Memphis receives: Jordan Bell, Rights to swap DAL/MIA 2023 2nd Round Pick (Least Favorable) with HOU (Top-32 Protected)
Troy: After being dealt to Houston as part of the monster four-team trade, Jordan Bell was on the move again. This time to Memphis. Houston received Bruno Caboclo.
Memphis received Jordan Bell, and the right to swap the least favorable of their Dallas or Miami second-round picks in the 2023 draft with Houston’s draft pick (top-32 protected). This allows Memphis to continue their accelerated rebuild, gaining players that will compliment star point guard Ja Morant.
For the life of me, I do not understand why Houston would trade Capela away, receive another center (Bell) as part of the same trade, and then move said acquired center in another deal. Other than the corpse of Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein, Houston does not have any true bigs on their team, and the two remaining on the roster are nearly unplayable. Houston: D Memphis: B+
Brandon: Houston: B- Memphis: B+
Josh: Houston: B- Memphis: B-
Mike: Houston: F Memphis: A+
Zach: Houston: C Memphis: B+
Atlanta receives: Skal Labissiere, Cash considerations
Portland receives: ATL 2024 2nd Round Pick (Top-55 Protected)
Josh: For Atlanta, the response to Neil Olshey when he offered them this deal had to be a resounding “Duh”. Of course they would be willing on to take Skal Labissiere, who has proven this year to be far less of a lost cause than previously thought, if it meant they would also be receiving a free $2 million.
An articular cartilage lesion in Labissiere’s knee has kept him out in recent weeks, and once he returns, it’s unlikely he would have gotten any meaningful playing time in Portland, with Jusuf Nurkic returning from injury soon as well and no Hassan Whiteside trade. This move opens up a roster spot, although it’s unlikely that Portland will opt to use it. More than anything, this is a move to save tax money. Atlanta: A- Portland: C-
Brandon: Atlanta: B Portland: B
Mike: Atlanta: C+ Portland: C-
Troy: Atlanta: B Portland: B
Zach: Atlanta: B+ Portland: B-
Cleveland receives: Andre Drummond
Detroit receives: John Henson, Brandon Knight, CLE/GSW 2023 2nd Round Pick (Least Favorable)
(Ed: This is a real gut-punch, Pranav. I thought you’d come through for us, but instead… this. Instead of providing us with any knowledge of Andre Drummond’s impact on the Cleveland Cavaliers, you’re passed out in the cockpit of an airplane heading to Hell. The one in Michigan, not the Old Testament. Not sure which one’s worse. You know the only reason we ignore child labor laws is that you guys are supposed to hardly ever be drunk, right Pranav? And now we can’t even trust that. One of these days we’re going to have to replace you with a live bear, and it’ll increase our writing efficiency.) Cleveland: ? Detroit: ? Pranav: F- Some Bear: B
Brandon: Cleveland: D- Detroit: F
Josh: Cleveland: B+ Detroit: C+
Mike: Cleveland: A+ Detroit: F-
Troy: Cleveland: B Detroit: C
Zach: Cleveland: B+ Detroit: C
Denver receives: Jordan McRae
Washington receives: Shabazz Napier
Zach: Simple one-for-one trade. After acquiring Napier, Denver had four point guards to go with one “official” shooting guard. McRae fits their need of depth at that position while still being able to play the three as well. Trading for Napier meant that Isaiah Thomas was likely on the move, and he was part of a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers later during deadline day.
McRae is a solid scorer, averaging 13 points/game while shooting 38% from 3-point range. The team has a ton of depth, so it’ll be interesting to see just how many minutes he’ll end up getting. I don’t anticipate that he’ll play a huge role come playoff time. All of their acquisitions seem to be adding depth but won’t affect their rotations. For Washington, Napier is a serviceable backup and that’s about it. He’s averaging almost 10 points on 40% shooting with almost six assists per game. Denver: B+ Washington: B
Brandon: Denver: A- Washington: A-
Josh: Denver: B- Washington: B-
Mike: Denver: A Washington: B-
Pranav: Some Bear: You say you want to go to the man-village. I say you could be a man right here.
Troy: Denver: B Washington: B
Orlando receives: James Ennis
Philadelphia receives: LAL 2020 2nd Round Pick
Mike: For the 76ers this was simply about getting something for Ennis instead of waiving him for nothing. They needed to open up roster spots thanks to the additions of Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. While the Lakers’ 2020 second-round pick is currently projected to be in the last 10 picks of the draft, and an overseas stash is better than a cap hit for a player not on your roster.
With the injuries to Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Magic lacked depth at forward. Ennis isn’t anything special but is shooting 35% from three this season and can provide energy with the second unit. Giving up a late second-round pick is well worth it for the Magic to add some experience and depth at forward as they make a push for the playoffs. Orlando: A Philadelphia: A+
Brandon: Orlando: B+ Philadelphia: B-
Josh: Orlando: B Philadelphia: B-
Some Bear: You have never been a more endangered species than you are at this moment. (Ed: You hear that Pranav? That one’s meant for you.)
Troy: Orlando: B Philadelphia: B
Zach: Orlando: B Philadelphia: B
LA Clippers receives: Marcus Morris, Isaiah Thomas
New York receives: Maurice Harkless, LAC 2020 1st Round Pick (Unprotected), DET 2021 2nd Round Pick, Rights to swap NYK 2021 1st Round Pick with LAC, Rights to Issuf Sanon
Washington receives: Jerome Robinson
Mike: The Clippers and Lakers were in a battle to get Morris. Reportedly, the Clippers told the Knicks they refused to trade Landry Shamet in the deal, yet they still landed Morris without giving him or another one of their young players up. Adding Morris (who is having a career season) with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard not only gives the Clippers arguably he best trio of forwards in the league but easily the best trio of two way forwards in the league.
For the Knicks, they got what they could out of a puzzling offseason signing. Everyone was shocked when they gave Morris a one year/$15 million dollar deal. However, with their front office changes, the Knicks agreed to move Morris before losing him for nothing this offseason. Harkless is in the last year of his deal and could be a potential buy out candidate, while this deal was all about adding draft picks. If the Knicks are ever going to be relevant again, they need to make more moves like this. The more draft picks, the better.
I wanted to give the Wizards an A+++++ for this trade but apparently, A+ is the highest grade possible. (Ed: That is correct, choosing a grade higher than A+ would have been a fireable offense. Thank God you didn’t go through with it. An article with two bears would have been unbearable.) First-year general manager Tommy Sheppard has done a great job putting together the team since he took over in April 2019. Signing Thomas this offseason was all about seeing if he can increase his value enough to flip for some asset at the deadline. Wizard fans were hopeful to get a mid-second-round pick for him, instead, they got the former lottery pick, Robinson. The Wizards were very high on Robinson during the 2018 draft and were a few picks away from landing him. Now at the cost of paying Thomas for 49 games, they add what is hopefully a rotational player for at least the next few years. LA Clippers: A- New York: A Washington: A+
Brandon: LA Clippers: B+ New York: B- Washington: B+
Josh: LA Clippers: B- New York: B+ Washington: B+
Some Bear: The bare necessities of life will come to you. *Slams ass into banana tree. Bananas fall into hands.*
Troy: LA Clippers: A New York: C Washington: C
Zach: LA Clippers: A New York: B+ Washington: B
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images