Another third week of February meant another close to the NBA’s trade deadline, and this year several deals went down with most of the rumored superstars on the move staying put.
The majority of moves were made by clubs shoring up cap space for 2014 and 2015, and teams looking to solidify their benches ahead of the playoffs.
Boston’s Rajon Rondo, the Knicks Carmelo Anthony, and Minnesota’s Kevin Love were the biggest names linked to trade speculation the past few days, but nothing materialized as all three franchises vie to keep their superstars for the near-future. Rondo was the biggest question mark as the Celtics gamble on whether he can return to All-Star form following a torn ACL.
Luol Deng looked like he was in for the second trade of his season as the Cleveland Cavaliers put him back on the block after realizing the two-way forward likely wouldn’t re-sign this summer. However any team interested in Deng probably feared the same as Cleveland.
To a lesser extent the Houston Rockets apparently couldn’t find a deal sweet enough to ship out center Omer Asik, despite the player demanding a trade last summer after the acquisition of Dwight Howard.
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Golden State second-year forward Harrison Barnes, who looked primed for a move to the Memphis Grizzlies, will also remain a vital part of the Warriors bench for now.
The New York Knicks, desperate to make any sort of deal to spur a late playoff push in the second half of the season, saw most of their trade wishes dashed after Iman Shumpert went down with an MCL injury on Wednesday. The Knicks were reportedly in serious negotiations with the L.A. Clippers for point guard Darren Collison before Shumpert was hurt.
The deal was still in the mix after an MRI reportedly revealed Shumpert would only be out for roughly 10 days, but nothing was ever consummated and New York stood pat.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets were by and large the most active teams at the deadline, with Philly now the owner of seven second-round draft picks.
The final shock move of the day was completed by the Sixers, who landed oft-injured but talented guard Danny Granger from the Indiana Pacers in a move confirmed after the deadline. The Pacers, in full win-now mode, in return reportedly picked up Sixers leading scorer and swingman Evan Turner.
Philadelphia is sending Evan Turner as part of a package to the Pacers for Danny Granger, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
â€” Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
Below is a breakdown of the each of the trades completed ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST deadline.
Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers began the final deadline push by sending center Spencer Hawes to Cleveland for two second-round drafts picks and reserve forward Earl Clark. The Cavs also shipped second-year center Henry Sims to Philly.
Hawes's $6.5 million contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and re-signing the seven-footer didn’t fit into Philly’s long-term rebuilding project, especially with Nerlens Noel expected to return from a knee injury.
The Cavs were in need of size and Hawes gives them a certifiable big man capable of lifting them up the weak East standings.
Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets
The only multi-team deal of the day gave Washington the back-up to John Wall it sought all year. According to reports, Denver sent disgruntled veteran point guard Andre Miller to Washington with former first-round draft pick turned bust Jan Vesely going to Denver, and point guard Eric Maynor heading to Philadelphia.
Miller was suspended by the Nuggets for arguing over playing time with first-year head coach Brian Shaw, and the durable 37-year-old hasn’t appeared in a game since the incident occurred back on Dec. 30.
Long and athletic but severely limited offensively, Vesely represented a waste of a draft pick by the Wiz but he could serve the Nuggets well on the defensive end with JaVale McGee now out for the season.
Nuggets' JaVale McGee had season-ending surgery today to repair stress fracture in left tibia, team says.
â€” Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) February 20, 2014
Vesely’s contract also expires at the end of the season, so Denver wins out financially.
Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets
A target for the Knicks when the day started, Jordan Hamilton instead wound up in Houston for guard Aaron Brooks, according to Yahoo!Sports.
After dealing Miller, Denver got back a solid back-up point guard for Ty Lawson in Brooks, who’s struggled to find minutes in Houston’s rotation behind Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin.
In Hamilton Houston received a long and versatile wingman capable of filling in at the two or three for the postseason.
Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings
After signing Greg Oden and Michael Beasley to fill out their bench earlier this season, the defending champion Heat had very little deals cooking ahead of Thursday’s deadline, so instead freed up a roster spot by sending veteran reserve guard Roger Mason Jr. to Sacramento for a protected second-round draft pick, according to ESPN.
The Kings are expected to waive Mason, in a move that frees up some extra cap space ahead of this summer.
As of now it’s unclear what Miami will do with the extra spot.
Spoelstra says move to trade Mason doesn't mean Heat have something else imminent on the table to fill roster spot.
â€” Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) February 20, 2014
Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats are in line for just their second playoff appearance in franchise history, and tried to solidify their backcourt by acquiring Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal from Milwaukee.
Charlotte sent reserve point guard Ramon Sessions and third-year power forward Jeff Adrien to the Bucks. The move won’t hurt Milwaukee’s salary cap in the long run, with both players combined salary of nearly $6 million expiring at the conclusion of the season.
Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks
In a last minute deal, the Clippers traded Antawn Jamison to the Hawks, according to ESPN, netting Atlanta some much needed depth behind Paul Millsap.
L.A. in turn saves some cash, but is still on the hook for a luxury tax bill reportedly for the first time in team history, according to ShamSports.
At first it was unclear what Atlanta sent back, but the Hawks also received big man Byron Mullens in the deal, as reported by CBS Sports.
Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors
Steve Blake, an integral part of the Lakers organization for the last four years, was shipped to the Warriors in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. In order to absorb Blake’s $4 million salary, the Warriors used the trade exception created when they dealt Brandon Rush to Utah last summer.
Golden State had long been in the market for a certifiable back-up point guard for Stephen Curry, and the Lakers save $4 million salary cap space and even more in luxury taxes.
So with Steve Blake trade, Lakers likely standing pat with an $8M tax bill, down from $11.9M before deadline.
â€” Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 20, 2014
San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors
As the afternoon wound down, the Spurs sent French international shooting guard Nando De Colo to the Raptors for forward Austin Daye, according to Yahoo!Sports.
De Colo has played well at the Development League level, and has averaged 4.3 points in 11.6 minutes per game in the NBA. He’ll serve has extra depth on the wing for Toronto behind Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan.