The All-Star Break has been the complete opposite of a break for NBA general managers with the flurry of moves made this past week and the potential for more as the trade deadline comes closer.
Toronto gets defensive
The Magic and Raptors started the fun on Valentine’s Day when Orlando traded forward Serge Ibaka to Toronto for guard Terrance Ross and a future first round pick. For the Raptors, this fills the hole at power forward that has existed since the start of the Kyle Lowry-Demar Derozan era.
Ibaka is a clear upgrade over the likes of Amir Johnson, Luis Scola, and Pascal Siakam on both ends. Toronto will be hoping for a return to his OKC form as he adds much needed defense to a team that gives up 105 points per game. For Orlando, Terrance Ross gives them more reason to play Aaron Gordon at power forward, with the potential of Ross sliding in at the 3. Ross’s career 38% shooting from beyond the arc will certainly help the Magic who are ranked 28th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage.
Boogie dealt to the Big Easy
The Kings finally unloaded the All-NBA center Demarcus Cousins in a trade with the Pelicans sending him and Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway, as well as their first and second round, picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The move comes as a shock, due to the Sacramento front office making it clear that they would like to re-sign the three-time All-Star this offseason.
Cousins join Anthony Davis in the Pelicans frontcourt, which now features two players that average 20 points and ten rebounds. Just 2.5 games back of the eight-seed in the Western Conference, the pressure in New Orleans now shifts from Anthony Davis to Head Coach Alvin Gentry to try and get the Pelicans back in the playoffs.
The Kings are only getting Buddy Hield as an asset as Tyreke Evans has proven to be injury prone and Langston Galloway is a borderline G-League prospect. By the looks of the trade, Sacramento was looking for any excuse to get rid of their troubled but talented big man.
Houston adds more firepower
The Houston Rockets found a match as a secondary playmaker to James Harden as they traded forward Corey Brewer and a future first-round pick for guard Louis Williams. Williams is the leading scorer off the bench in the NBA averaging 18.6 points per game. He now joins Eric Gordon, the second leading scorer off the bench in NBA on Houston’s second unit.
Houston is going all in on offense with Mike D’Antoni at the helm. It is unlikely they will be able to stop Golden State’s fearsome foursome from scoring, but have a chance with Harden, Williams, and their collective three-point shooting to outscore them in a seven game series.
Trade Possibilities across the NBA
As the last team to beat the Warriors in a seven-game series, Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping to find the playmaker Lebron James believes they so desperately need. At a bargain of a deal, the Cavs could snag Devin Harris or Shelvin Mack for a second round pick and Jordan McCrae. If they are in the market for a big name guard, the Mavericks have also been shopping Deron Williams, and the T-Wolves are ready to move on from Ricky Rubio.
The Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers have shown interest in moving on from their respective All-Star swing men in Jimmy Butler and Paul George. With Boston possibly holding this year’s number one overall draft pick, Butler would be the likely choice for the Celtics to poach.
Carmelo Anthony is still due to leave the disastrous situation in New York, but it may have to be as a free agent since both the Clippers and Celtics have cooled their trade talks over the past few weeks. However, the possibility of Knicks guard Derrick Rose reuniting with former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota is seeming more likely as the Knicks continue to erode.
The Portland Trail Blazers and the Detroit Pistons have spiraled off the momentum they built last season with their respective playoff berths. For the Pistons, the possibility of trading away either Reggie Jackson or Andre Drummond and blowing up the team for Stan Van Gundy has surfaced as a legitimate idea.
The Blazers have trapped themselves with the amount of multi-year deals they gave to Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers may look to find a suitor like the Denver Nuggets or Atlanta Hawks looking to reshape their franchise.
The NBA Trade Deadline closes at 3 pm today, which may signal the end of a team’s playoff hopes if they do not strike a deal soon. Like always the NBA is very unpredictable, and every trade offer will be brought to each NBA general manager before time runs out to strike a deal.
- I'm a 19-year old sophomore dual major in Journalism and Sports Management at Eastern Nazarene College. Born in Boston, MA raised in Brockton, and just happy to be here at NGSC Sports.