76ers trade Noel to the Mavericks

The Philadelphia 76ers made the biggest trade on trade deadline day by sending center Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for small forward Justin Anderson, center Andrew Bogut, and a future 1st round pick.

76ers grade:

I’m not sure how I feel about this trade for the 76ers because it is a major shame that they are giving up on 22-year old center Nerlens Noel despite him having so much potential. However, the 76ers might have made a smart move at the same time since the team already has a logjam in the frontcourt with players like Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid. Meanwhile, the 76ers will receive some young talent in this trade as they are getting 2015 1st round pick Justin Anderson and likely a 2017 1st round pick. Anderson has struggled in Dallas especially on offense, but his defensive abilities fit in well with what the 76ers want to do. Anderson is a major developmental project for the 76ers on the offensive side of the ball, but if he can become a decent scorer then he could be a really good overall shooting guard for Philadelphia. Also, the 76ers are getting a 1st round pick which is a heavily protected pick as it can only be in the top 18 which the Mavericks will highly likely fall into that category for the 2017 draft. We’ll see what type of player the 76ers get in the draft and that will be the key to if this trade fails or not for the 76ers. Philadelphia probably should have gotten more in return for Noel. However, I can’t give them a terrible grade since they needed to do something to clear up the logjam at the center position.

Grade: C-

Mavericks grade:

It is extremely difficult to find centers that have outstanding potential like Nerlens Noel has. Noel never succeeded during his time in Philadelphia, but the 76ers never gave him the opportunity to succeed. Noel probably won’t make a huge impact right away, yet once Dirk Nowitzki retires soon then Noel will be the Mavericks starting center hopefully for many years to come. Noel is only 22 years old and if he can become a good offensive player then there is a very good chance that he could be an elite player for Dallas. Meanwhile, the Mavericks didn’t give up too much to get him. Trading away Andrew Bogut made tons of sense since he is getting older and he wasn’t going to have much of a role with Noel now on the team anyway. Justin Anderson provided Dallas with solid defense, but he struggled mightily offensively and he probably wasn’t going to be very successful with the Mavericks anyway. The 1st round pick is the part of the trade that Dallas didn’t probably want to give up, but by acquiring a player with the potential of Noel then that is a worthwhile risk. Dallas will need to give up a large contract soon in order to keep Noel, but if they can do so then this is a very good trade that will help them for the future.

Grade: A-

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Hawks trade Splitter to the 76ers for Ilyasova

The Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers made a very odd trade at the NBA trade deadline as the Hawks sent center Tiago Splitter and a future 2nd round pick to the 76ers in exchange for power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Hawks grade:

This trade makes some sense for the Hawks since Tiago Splitter hasn’t fit in well with the team and he is always injured. Not to mention, the Hawks were probably not willing to re-sign him in free agency anyway. Giving up a future 2nd round pick is never ideal, but the likelihood of the Hawks getting even a decent player with that 2nd round pick was slim anyway. The Hawks needed some more frontcourt depth as they look to secure a playoff spot this season and Ilyasova should provide a temporary solution for Atlanta. Ilyasova is a good shooter for a big man and he brings some more scoring off the bench for Atlanta. He is a free agent after this season and he probably won’t return to the Hawks, although he should provide an immediate impact as a decent role player.

Grade: C

76ers grade:

Just when I thought the 76ers had a clear direction to rebuild and then they trade away a quality veteran player for a silly 2nd round pick basically. Ilyasova at least made the 76ers more respectable and he gave them a quality role player. However, the 76ers clearly had no plans to re-sign him in free agency after the season which is likely why they let go of him. I don’t disagree with that logic for the 76ers, yet they still barely got anything in this trade that will help them short-term or long-term. Tiago Splitter is injured right now and he might not even play the rest of the season before he reaches free agency this offseason. Splitter is a benchwarmer at best, but I’m wondering why the 76ers acquired him since he might not even play a game for Philadelphia before he probably leaves in free agency. The 2nd round pick isn’t very valuable anymore as the likelihood of getting a decent player isn’t very good. Also, the 2nd round pick won’t help the 76ers much if they don’t have a clear plan for the future. Ilyasova wouldn’t have cost much to retain and he is worth much more to the 76ers than the 2nd round pick and Tiago Splitter combined.

Grade: D-

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Nets trade Bogdanovic to the Wizards

The Brooklyn Nets continued their rebuild as they traded shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic and power forward Chris McCullough to the Washington Wizards in exchange for shooting guard Marcus Thornton, power forward Andrew Nicholson, and a 2017 1st round pick.

Nets Grade:

This trade makes sense for the Nets since they have been looking to accumulate draft picks and they succeeded in that area by acquiring a 2017 1st round pick in this trade. However, it did come at a cost as they had to trade young and talented guard Bojan Bogdanovic. He is under control for two more years at a very cheap price, so maybe the Nets should have kept him since he is only 27 years old and he could have been a key piece of their future success. Either way, the Nets didn’t want to get rid of all-star caliber center Brook Lopez which meant the only player that they could trade for a 1st round pick was Bogdanovic. However, I’m a little more puzzled as to why the Nets are giving so soon on Chris McCullough. He was a 1st round pick of Brooklyn in 2015 and he just turned 22 years old which is why it is odd that the Nets are giving up on him so soon. He was never really given an opportunity to play for Brooklyn as he only played in 38 career games for the Nets. Brooklyn is trying to experiment with their young talent during their rebuild which is why it is puzzling that they never even gave McCullough a chance to prove himself. Meanwhile, the Nets received Marcus Thornton who they will waive which I can’t disagree with since he is a washed out player that won’t help the Nets much immediately or in the future. Also, the Nets received intriguing power forward Andrew Nicholson in this trade as he is worth the Nets taking a chance on. Nicholson has been a major bust in his career after being a 1st round pick of Orlando back in 2012. He has been a benchwarmer for the Wizards recently, but he will likely at least get a chance to be a role player with the Nets. Brooklyn is already the worst team in the NBA and why not take a chance on Nicholson who is only 27 years old and could be a decent role player if given the opportunity. Overall, the Nets did a good job of getting a 1st round pick for Bogdanovic. However, trading away young player Chris McCullough keeps this from being a really good trade for Brooklyn.

Grade: B

Wizards Grade:

The Wizards acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic will provide the Wizards with much needed depth at the shooting guard position, but this could be a trade that hurts Washington in the long run. They are getting a very good 3-point shooter with Bogdanovic, but I question whether he is worth giving up a 1st round pick for. At least the Wizards were able to get rid of the underachieving Andrew Nicholson and his big salary. However, it remains to be seen if Bogdanovic can provide a major impact off the bench for the Wizards. If he can be a key role player for Washington especially at a low salary then this trade could be helpful short-term. It remains to be seem what the impact of this trade will be for the Wizards, but until we find out how Bogdanovic fits in with the Wizards then this is just an average trade for now.

Grade: C+

bojan bogdanovic

Lakers trade Lou Williams to the Rockets

The Houston Rockets added to their already talented roster as they acquired shooting guard Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a 2017 1st round pick and small forward.

Lakers Grade:

This is a good trade for the Lakers because the team is clearly building towards the future, so having the immediate impact of Lou Williams isn’t very useful at all since this is a team that isn’t contending this season or even next season. Sure, Williams was clearly the best player for the Lakers this season as he led the team with 18.7 points per game. However, Williams’ value is as high as it will probably ever be and the Lakers needed to maximize their return for him. Los Angeles did receive a valuable 1st round pick, but it is very likely that the player they draft will never be nearly as good is Williams is, yet the draft pick should at least give the team a long-term contributor. Meanwhile, the Lakers also acquired veteran small forward Corey Brewer in this trade. Brewer won’t ever be an impact player, but he does bring a positive attitude and tons of energy to a Lakers team that needs that type of influence. Brewer was having an awful season with the Rockets as he only was averaging 4.2 points per game despite playing 16 minutes per game. Brewer doesn’t make Los Angeles any better, but he is worth the risk since the Lakers are already a bad team anyway. Brewer is under contract for next season as well, but he is being brought in for his work ethic and locker room influence rather than his basketball skills. Overall, the Lakers are looking towards the future with their roster and clearly Lou Williams wasn’t part of those plans. We’ll see the type of impact that the 1st round pick will make for the Lakers, but at least this trade looks good right now for Los Angeles since it provides a glimmer of hope for the future.

Grade: B

Rockets Grade:

I’m not quite sure that this trade makes the Rockets a great team, but it certainly makes this roster really deep. Patrick Beverley is the team’s starting point guard and he is a decent starter, but it was clear that the Rockets needed to add quality depth to the position. Lou Williams certainly provides that and he is definitely an upgrade over Beverley at the position. Beverley is still technically the starter, although Williams will continue to come off the bench and be a more productive option than Beverley. Losing a 1st round pick could hurt the Rockets long-term. However, Williams is under control for next season as well at only a $7 million salary which is a major bargain for the Rockets. Meanwhile, giving up Corey Brewer in this trade wasn’t very difficult to do for Houston since he was likely to get waived anyway as he was playing terribly for the team this season. The Rockets were already a playoff team before this trade happened, but we’ll see if they can now make a deep playoff run with the help of Lou Williams.

Grade: B-

lou-williams

Kings trade Cousins to the Pelicans

The Sacramento Kings made a shocking trade on Sunday night as they traded star center DeMarcus Cousins and small forward Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway. The Kings will also receive a 2017 1st and 2nd round pick.

Kings Analysis:

This was a really bad trade for the Kings mostly because they should have gotten more than they did for probably the best center in the NBA DeMarcus Cousins. I understand that they don’t want to have to pay a massive maximum contract to Cousins in free agency, but this trade doesn’t help them that much for the future. Guard Buddy Hield is the biggest return that the Kings got in this deal as he has tons of potential. Hield was known in college as being a great scorer and 3-point shooter, but his skills have yet to translate well to the NBA level. He is only averaging 8.6 points per game in his rookie season while averaging 20 minutes per game. Maybe he is just having trouble adjusting to the NBA in his rookie year, but if he lives up to his potential then he could be a 20 point scorer for the Kings. Also, the Kings are receiving Tyreke Evans who actually was drafted by the Kings in 2009 and he spent 4 years with the team before going to New Orleans. Evans never lived up to his expectations because of injuries and a career 29% 3-point shooting has really limited his offensive potential. Despite not being a good shooter, he still has managed to score a respectable 16.3 career points per game and he could be a decent offensive threat for the Kings if he has the opportunity to play quality minutes. Langston Galloway was also included in the deal for the Kings, but he is expected to be waived which makes no sense. The draft picks included in this deal might help the Kings rebuild a little bit, but the way that the Kings have been drafting lately it probably won’t do any good. The only good draft pick that they have had was DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Neither of those players are even on the team anymore. Every first round pick that they’ve had since 2011 have all been busts as they have drafted players like Thomas Robinson, Nik Stauskas, and Ben McLemore. Overall, DeMarcus Cousins might not have been worth a massive contract extension because of his character concerns. However, trading him away for 3 shooting guards that haven’t had great careers so far is just wishful thinking. Also, the Kings now have an extremely crowded backcourt and it is much more difficult to find elite centers these days than it is to find a good shooting guard. Sacramento had somewhat of a future with Cousins, but now they are looking at several years before they can compete again.

Grade: F

Pelicans Analysis:

This is an outstanding trade for the Pelicans because they are finally getting some more help for star power forward Anthony Davis. Cousins is probably the best center in the NBA and Anthony Davis is probably the best power forward in the NBA. That is a frontcourt duo that makes the Pelicans contenders right away and I’m sure many teams will not want to face Davis and Cousins. The Pelicans gave up some potential in this trade, but honestly they got lucky that they didn’t have to give up more to get Cousins. It probably wasn’t ideal trading away Buddy Hield especially since he is a rookie with so much potential. However, he hadn’t adjusted to the NBA level and he certainly under performed for New Orleans this season and I wonder if Hield will ever be a really good player. Meanwhile, giving up Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway wasn’t too difficult for the Pelicans since neither played a key role on the team. Both have proven that they can be decent scorers, but it was clear that they wouldn’t have a big role going forward with the Pelicans. New Orleans giving up their 1st and 2nd round pick in the 2017 NBA draft will certainly hurt. However, the likelihood of the Pelicans drafting a good player with those picks wasn’t very likely. It’s never easy to make a trade like this considering how risky it is, but the Pelicans are getting a proven center with DeMarcus Cousins that makes them immediate contenders. It will be interesting to see if the team can re-sign Cousins before he hits free agency after the 2017 season, yet even if he doesn’t re-sign with New Orleans then he at least will be able to make them a contender for this season and next season. The Pelicans still have a few areas to improve, but this move could at least be enough to push them into the final playoff spot in the western conference.

Grade: A

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Josh Smith signing adds much needed depth to the Clippers roster

There is no doubt that the Los Angeles Clippers starting lineup was one of the best in the NBA last season, but when some of those guys weren’t on the court was when the Clippers really struggled. The Clippers appeared to have made it a priority this offseason to add some more depth to their bench. Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson are good depth signings, but it was obvious that they needed a impact player coming off the bench next season. That is why it was a perfect fit for the Clippers to sign forward Josh Smith to a 1-year veterans minimum contract on Thursday. Smith is only 29 years old, so he still has many years of production left in him and he is the type of playmaker that can change a game coming off the bench. Smith can score, pass, and rebound which will really help the Clippers when he has to step in when a player needs rest or if a player has an injury. Smith might not quite be the all-star caliber player that he used to be, but he is still a really good player that other teams have to be worried about. The Clippers are already a playoff team, yet they just haven’t been able to reach the western conference finals recently because they just haven’t had the depth to overcome the western conference teams that have more depth. Smith should be able to change all of that by himself and he provides some more stability to the Clippers at the small forward position.

josh smith

Knicks not making big moves in free agency

The New York Knicks are obviously in a major rebuild mode so it was expected that they would make a big splash in free agency by making at least one major free agent signing, but they are continuing to lose out on the big players like LaMarcus Aldridge that they wanted. Sure, signing center Robin Lopez and shooting guard Arron Afflalo will help, but those aren’t the types of moves that make them a playoff team in a weak eastern conference. The Knicks were interested in some big name players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, and DeAndre Jordan. However, for some reason those players just didn’t seem to have the same level of interest in joining the Knicks. In fact, Aldridge strangely cancelled his scheduled meeting with New York altogether. At least New York is trying to get better, but unless they can lure some big name players to their team then they probably aren’t going to be a contender really soon. I have confidence in Phil Jackson to get the job done, but unless he gets some more talent to work with then the process will take a lot longer.

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