Unlike the NHL trade deadline day, which sees a lot of action and is highly anticipated, the NBA trade deadline has always been lacklustre. The great teams barely trade any of their star players and the only teams that end up trading any players are usually the ones having a bad season. However, there are often a few teams looking to add some pieces to make themselves championship or playoff contenders and teams looking to lighten their salary load.
Rumours, not actual trades, occupied the time leading up to Thursday’s deadline. The Raptors started the trade period off with a bang weeks ago, landing Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay in a three-team trade that saw Raptors lose longtime point guard José Calderón to Detroit and the promising big man Ed Davis to Memphis. The Raptors are 7–3 with Gay on the team, including a five-game winning streak.
The trade rumours began well before the All-Star break and intensified during the break. Possible big trades were in the works between some big teams in the league. Josh Smith, who got snubbed for the all-star game yet again, was being offered around by the Atlanta Hawks. A number of teams were interested in acquiring his services. Smith has played for Atlanta ever since he came into the league in 2004. He plays both offence and defence very well and would be a good fit for many teams. The Brooklyn Nets controlled the court in the bid to get Smith; they offered Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and two future first-round picks for him. The Hawks reportedly declined this offer.
Another team that worked the market on the trade deadline day was Boston. Ever since the season-ending injury to guard Rajon Rondo, the Celtics have been looking to expand their team in efforts to start rebuilding. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were offered out in order to rejuvenate the aging team. The Los Angeles Clippers offered DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe to the Celtics for Garnett, but that trade didn’t go through. The Celtics also reportedly offered Pierce and some pieces to the Nets for Humphries, Brooks, and those two future-first round picks the Nets declined.
“I watched the news looking to see if someone big will get traded,” said Adedeji Faseyi, a third-year health sciences student and Celtics fan. “At least the Celtics got involved in something. Hopefully we go far in the playoffs.”
As the deadline time drew closer, smaller deals were made. The Sacramento Kings traded forward Thomas Robinson, the 2012 fifth overall draft pick, to the Houston Rockets along with guard Francisco Garcia and forward Tyler Honeycutt for forward Patrick Patterson, forward Cole Aldrich, and guard Toney Douglas. The Celtics also dealt guard Leandro Barbosa and centre Jason Collins for guard Jordan Crawford. The Raptors traded centre Hamed Haddadi for guard Sebastian Telfair.
Meanwhile, the Thunder traded guard Eric Maynor to the Portland Trailblazers for Georgios Printezis of the Euro League. The Atlanta Hawks traded guard Anthony Morrow for guard Dahntay Jones. The New York Knicks traded guard Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder for a 2014 second-round pick and cash considerations. The Orlando Magic traded guard J.J. Redick and centre Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. The Magic also traded forward Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats.
David Amos, a third-year political science student, said, “All these trades seem irrelevant to these teams; it’s just teams adding bench players to their rotation. I don’t see any of these players having any sort of big impact.”
In the end, no big players were traded on deadline day. Some big teams added some interesting pieces; it will be interesting to see what new dimensions they add to their teams.