As always on draft night, there were too many trades to count. We saw the top overall prospect traded, a 23 year old all star traded, two future Hall of Famers traded, and one of the worst contracts in the league traded. Since draft night, a flurry of other deals have been finalized as well. We’ve seen multiple trades in the past few days, and the top free agent in this year’s class resign. Already in this offseason, it looks like plenty of teams will be in full tanking mode in hopes of landing Andrew Wiggins in next year’s draft. The offseason is just beginning, but there are already plenty of deals to evaluate.
1. Celtics receive: Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace, and 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks.
The Celtics are in full-fledged rebuild on with this deal. Celtics fans may be upset to see KG and Pierce finally go, but it was time to move on. Whether it was necessary to take on a 3 year $30 million deal in the process is up for debate, but Celtics fans shouldn’t be bummed.
They made out with three future first rounders, and two of those could be lottery picks. The Nets will be good for the next year or two, but when KG and Pierce retire and Joe Johnson gets old, the Nets will be back near the lottery. The pick in 2016 and definitely the pick in 2018 will be useful assets for the Celtics. Celtics fans couldn’t expect much more than three first round picks for a 35 year old Pierce and 37 year old Garnett, who probably don’t have more than one year left in their NBA careers. If not for picking up Gerald Wallace’s abysmal contract, Celtics fans would be parading the streets in ecstasy for receiving three first round picks for guys about to retire anyway.
Nets receive: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry
While true of any trade, this trade especially shouldn’t be graded (mainly on Brooklyn’s side) until a year from now. If the Nets make the Conference Finals or somehow even managed to go further (they won’t), then they would get an A+ for this deal. They mortgaged their future to go all in with their current team, but it’s not clear that they’re even one of the top three teams in the East after the trade. They are still behind the Heat, Pacers, and probably Bulls too. They are absolutely capped out now, but a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, and Kevin Garnett should be able to match up with anyone in the league.
The flip side is that the Nets go out in the second round next year and then Pierce and KG abruptly retire. If something along those lines happens, then the Nets would deserve nothing higher than an F. Momentarily, the trade brings some more hype into New York coming into the season, but we’ll see if any of it means anything in April.
2. 76ers receive: Nerlens Noel and 2014 Top 5-protected first round pick
For some reason, everyone loves this deal for the Sixers, but I’m not sold on it. In a draft with no discernable future all stars, the Sixers gave up a current 23 year old all star. Noel may have a higher ceiling, but he could easily end up a bust. If the Sixers get the 6th or 7th pick from the Pelicans in next year’s loaded draft class, then this trade could be worth it, but on the surface, the Sixers are putting much faith in Noel. It’s hard to look at this trade as a win for the Sixers, when just two seasons ago, they looked like one of the up-and-coming teams out of the East, just one game away from the Conference Finals.
That young, promising nucleus of Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young is now gone and replaced by Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, and some hope for a future savior in next year’s draft class. Not to menion that Holiday is on a bargain of a contract, similar to Steph Curry’s contract.
Pelicans receive: Jrue Holiday
If the Pelicans lose their pick in next season’s draft and it’s in the top 10, it will hurt. They are building around a nucleus of Holiday, Eric Gordon, Ryan Andersen, Anthony Davis, and possibly Tyreke Evans (??????). That might be a playoff team in the East, but probably not in the West. Holiday is an upper-middle class point guard in the league. He’s not a go-to-guy, but he provides another solid foundation for the Pelicans to build on. Who can blame the Pelicans for wanting to speed up the rebuilding process a little bit? It’s not like they traded Noel for a guy with only a few more years left. Holiday can be their point guard of the future and give them 18 and 8 every night.
3. Suns receive: Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler
The Suns are getting younger and more athletic and The Post-Nash Era might finally be in effect. It’s too bad the Suns didn’t draft Ben McLemore, or they would have one of the most promising backcourts in the league. Nonetheless, getting Bledsoe and Butler for Jared Dudley is a great deal for the Suns. They can now build around Bledsoe and Alex Len. That’s better than building around no one, which is what they were doing one month ago. Bledsoe may be a bit overrated, looking impressive in a fairly small sample size, but no one is expecting him to be an all star. The Suns have some issues now that they have Bledsoe, Dragic, Kendall Marshall, and recently drafted Archie Goodwin, but they should be able to figure that out. Marshall and Dragic should find their ways onto new teams if the Suns play this right.
Clippers receive: J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley
The Clippers have been on the market for shooters for a while, and they finally found some deadeyes. Redick will sign a 4 year $28 million deal and the addition of Dudley will provide another wing scorer. They did what they were supposed to do: trade Bledsoe for a couple of shooters, but I’m not a big fan of this deal. Bledsoe’s name was in trade talks with Danny Granger, as well as Arron Afflalo, both of whom are preferable to Redick and Dudley. The Clippers badly needed shooting, but they also need to improve defensively and Redick and Dudley don’t do that at all. At the end of the day, the Clippers are a little closer to being true contenders in the West.
Bucks receive: Two future second round picks
Swapping Redick for a couple second round picks wouldn’t be bad if the Bucks hadn’t previously traded Tobias Harris to get Redick. Harris is one of the most promising young players in the league, and would have had a chance to star on the Bucks’ now-depleted team, had they kept him. The Bucks are clearly in full rebuilding/TANKING mode right now, a la the Celtics and Sixers. Seriously, at this point, the word rebuilding should be synonymous with tanking. That’s going to be the Bucks’ only way of reeling in talent because Milwaukee got 99 problems and their team is one.
4. Trailblazers receive: Thomas Robinson
I would have been in love with this trade for whoever snatched Robinson for 25 cents on the dollar. Robinson was the 5th pick in a draft everyone pegged as far superior to this year’s draft, and he was traded for two second rounders and two international players. Robinson might not be a star, but he’s worth the price. The Blazers can build around Lillard, McCollum, and Robinson now. They’re far from a playoff team, and they should deal Aldridge while his value is still high. The Blazers are suddenly looking promising in their post-Brandon Roy/Greg Oden-less era.
Rockets receive: Two future second round picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic.
This grade cannot be given a grade until we see if Dwight Howard goes to Houston. If the Rockets get Dwight after their massive cap-clearing, they deserve an A+, but if they don’t get Howard, things are significantly different. We knew they had no intention of keeping Robinson, whose game doesn’t fit their scheme at all since he’s not a 3-point shooter, but they still could have gotten more value for him than they got. Robinson could’ve been packaged alongside Asik or Lin, or he could’ve been dealt for a future first rounder.
Grade: Incomplete. A+ or C
5. Knicks receive: Andrea Bargnani
At first, I hated this trade for the Knicks. Then I talked myself into thinking it wasn’t that bad. Here was my thinking: the Knicks are getting a terrible contract in Bargnani, a 7-footer who averages less than 4 rebounds per game, but they’re also giving up bad contracts in Camby, Novak, and Richardson. Plus, those guys hardly ever play, and if you’re going to swap horrendous contracts, at least get a rotation guy back. The Knicks are giving up three guys that hardly ever play and they’re getting a guy that will play for them, so it was a good deal in my mind. Then I ready Kevin Pelton of ESPN in his absolute evisceration of the deal from the Knicks’ perspective, and he won me over. This is a HORRIBLE trade for the Knicks. I’ll let his analysis do the talking. But just some advice: you know it’s a bad trade when the phrase “I know he averages less than 4 rebounds a game and is 7 feet tall, but…” comes up. There’s never a ‘but’ there. Not to mention giving up a first round pick for Bargani is absolutely despicable.
Raptors receive: Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first round pick and 2017 second round pick.
The Raptors should be thrilled with this deal. They got rid of a terrible deal, one of the worst in the league, and got a 1st round pick in return. The rebuilding process will be long and tedious for the Raptors, and this won’t bring back noticeable results immediately, but sneaky deals like this one are necessary. If they can follow this deal up with another, dealing Rudy Gay, they will have made significant progress this offseason without having a pick in this year’s draft or a major offseason signing.
6. Spurs Re-Sign Tiago Splitter to a 4 year $36 Million deal.
The Spurs could’ve gone numerous ways with their cap space this summer. A couple free agents would have been perfect fits for the Spurs. Andre Iguodala and Josh Smith would’ve been perfect utility guys, who Popovich would’ve gotten the most out of, especially at this point in their careers. Even a guy like Al Jefferson would’ve added another scoring threat down low next to Duncan, taking some of the scoring load off of Duncan in the playoffs. I hoped the Spurs wouldn’t resign Splitter to a deal that feels like they’re overpaying him. He proved he couldn’t play in the Finals against the Heat. You know Josh Smith or Iguodala could play big minutes in the Finals. This was a disappointing move, but somewhat predictable since the Spurs pride themselves on continuity.
7. Clippers Re-Sign Chris Paul to a 5 year $107 Million deal.
The Clippers absolutely had to keep Paul. There was little doubt he’d leave, but when Donald Sterling is involved, never take anything for granted.
8. Timberwolves Sign Kevin Martin to a 4 year $30 Million deal.
In case it wasn’t already official, the Thunder gave away one of the league’s best players for Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams. They get an F and can look to that as the reason that they never won a title with KD and Westbrook. And that KD ends up leaving OKC when his contract expires. Anyways, the Wolves didn’t quite overpay, especially since they’ve been looking for a wing to help take the scoring load off Kevin Love. Martin is a decent player, but his deficiencies were clear when the Thunder came up short in the playoffs. The Wolves are simply looking to appease Kevin Love and get to the playoffs for the first time in his career, but their time is in the future, and the 30 year old Martin will only help so much.
9. Pacers Re-Sign David West to a 3 year $36 Million Deal.
West deserved a big pay day and he got it. West is the unquestioned leader of the Pacers and if they had lost him, they would have automatically slipped from the second best team in the East to the third, behind the Bulls. West is an integral part to their success, and there was never any doubt the Pacers would re-sign him.
10. Grizzlies Re-Sign Tony Allen to a 4 year $20 Million Deal.
Allen is a fan favorite in Memphis, and a crucial part of their ‘grit and grind’ identity. He’s the best perimeter defender in the league, and losing him would have been a significant loss for the Grizzlies. They still need to add wing scorers, but Tony Allen has just as much psychological importance to Memphis as anyone in the league has to a team.
11. Pelicans Offer Tyreke Evans a 5 year $44 Million Deal.
WHAT? The Pelicans need to push the brakes. They’re trying to speed up the rebuilding process a little too quickly. Trade the sixth pick and a future first rounder for a 23 year old all star cornerstone? Good call. Offer $44 million to a guy who has regressed in each of his four seasons? Nice try. The Pelicans better hope the Kings are dumb enough to match this offer, or else they’ll be regretting it quickly.