NBA Roundtable

Team-by-Team Trade Deadline Grades

In Trade Talk on February 19, 2010 at 7:47 am

Atlanta Hawks — N/A

The Hawks weren’t involved in any substantial trade rumours/discussions because they didn’t have much flexibility to make a major deal.

The Hawks are happy with their roster and are on track to have a 50+ win season. They are still improving and have a bright future.

The only large expiring contract is Joe Johnson, their best player, which made them an unsuitable trade partner in any salary dumps. They lacked large contracts outside of JJ (only Smith + Crawford) + Marvin Williams was a BYC + Horford was their only high ranked prospect on a small contract.

Note: I wonder if a Jamal Crawford + Al Horford package could have netted Amare Stoudemire? I think it would have. Unsure if that trade was in the Hawks’ best interests. Worth considering though.

Boston Celtics — C

The Celtics did about as much as they could given the circumstances.

There wasn’t much interest in Ray Allen’s expiring contract because of Boston’s lack of other quality assets. The interest that was there wasn’t a substantial upgrade. So no major trade opportunities.

The Nate Robinson trade was a solid upgrade. Good move.

Note: I wonder what type of interest the Celtics could have gotten if they offered Ray + an unprotected 2013 or 2014 first round pick. Those picks after the Big Three leave would be very valuable. Could that have netted them the star they needed?

Charlotte Bobcats — A

Excellent acquisition of Tyrus Thomas. A good rotation player with impressive potential. A player for today and for the future and attained for a low price.

Chicago Bulls — A

The Bulls achieved their primary objective of clearing enough cap space to make a max contract offer in free agency this summer.

They did, however, fail to trade Kirk Hinrich + consequently fail to find a way to keep Tyrus Thomas in the long term.

Those are serious negatives but the positives gained from the initial salary dump override them. Still an excellent week’s work from the Bulls front office.

Cleveland Cavaliers — A

The Cavaliers gained Antawn Jamison without even giving up JJ Hickson.

They are the overwhelming favourite to win the East as a result.

Dallas Mavericks — C

Dallas made a good trade for Butler + Haywood but failed to make the second necessary trade for another impact.

They improved their roster but didn’t manage to climb out of the second tier in the Western Conference. Still not a true contender.

Denver Nuggets — N/A

No flexibility in taking back contracts or in trading current prospects.

They didn’t make a move because they weren’t able to.

Detroit Pistons — F

Overrated their own players (Prince + Rip) and failed to find suitable trades as a result.

Consequently, the Pistons rebuilding process be delayed further.

Houston Rockets — A

Daryl Morey is a genious who couldn’t have done any better for himself while trading McGrady.

Excellent acquisition of Kevin Martin + picks/prospects.

Indiana Pacers — F

Larry Bird overvalued Troy Murphy and failed to clear out bad contracts. As usual.

Golden State Warriors — F

The Warriors didn’t blow up their roster (Maggette + Monta + Biedrins + Turiaf) and did not decide to build their future around Curry + Randolph + Morrow.

They are making their future more difficult than it needs to be.

This lack of direction is a serious problem.

Los Angeles Clippers — A

The Clippers cleared a fair amount of cap space and with another little push could have enough space to offer a maximum contract to a free agent this summer while keeping their four best players on the roster.


Los Angeles Lakers — A

The Lakers are up to wazoo in luxury tax bills already. They had no flexibility to make deals.

Edit: I’m going to give the Lakers an “A” because nobody in the West was able to make a move that brought them on par with the Lakers. Their failures will lead to LA’s success.

Memphis Grizzlies — C

A good trade for Brewer amidst a cloud of uncertainty as the Grizzlies shopped their backcourt during the final few days.

Reports of uncertainty + panic + desperation from the front office to ownership. A worrying trade window that likely spells further problems in the future.

Miami Heat — D

An uninspiring trade window from the Miami Heat.

They showed patience and belief in their initial plan and were unwilling to take any major risks for a talent like Amare Stoudemire

Milwaukee Bucks — B

Nice job by the Bucks to add John Salmons to their roster. He will help Milwaukee make a strong push for the playoffs in the final third of the season.

Minnesota Timberwolves — C

Nice pickup in Darko Milicic. The Wolves attempted to do little else.

All eyes on Minny’s summer moves + clarity of direction of franchise.

New Jersey Nets — D

Odd acquisition of Kris Humphries. A solid player on a good contract who could make a substantial impact but also a limited role player who takes away some of their cap flexibility next summer.

New Orleans Hornets — F

Same old roster, same old problems. A rudderless franchise.

New York Knicks — A

The Knicks created enough cap room to have a legitimate opportunity at signing two maximum contract free agents.

Oklahoma City Thunder — A

The Thunder waited in the wings patiently for a good opportunity but none ever arose.

Instead, they have kept their assets and will look to make a move in the summer.

Orlando Magic — D

The Magic retained the roster and choose not to pursue any trades.

I wonder if they would have been better off trying to trade Brandon Bass for an upgrade on the wing.

Philadelphia 76ers — D

Good News: They didn’t make a bad trade.

Bad News: Their franchise is still in serious trouble.

Phoenix Suns — F

Mishandled this whole Amare Stoudemire situation from the get-go.

The Suns should be building their franchise around this guy. Not trying to get rid of him.

Portland Trailblazers — B

I’m unsure what type of grade to give the Blazers. I like the Camby pickup and think it will make them better this season but I would have liked to have seen Steve Blake + Travis Outlaw stick around long term.

Both were unrestricted free agents so that may not have happened anyway (particularly Outlaw).

Sacramento Kings — A

Choose to breakup the disappointing pairing of Kevin Martin + Tyreke Evans and acquired a talented cheap power forward in Carl Landry + improved cap flexibility in the process.

San Antonio Spurs — F

Just lost their best remaining Championship opportunity.

An unforgivable failure that showed a complete lack of creativity + vision + backbone.

Toronto Raptors — N/A

Not much the Raptors could have done here.

Utah Jazz — D

I still don’t know what to make of Utah’s decision to trade Brewer.

Washington Wizards — A

The Wizards began their rebuilding process in earnest. An impressive display of fortitude by their front office.

Brief Analysis

  • A — Ten teams — Charlotte + Chicago + Cleveland + Houston + LA Clippers + LA Lakers + New York + Oklahoma + Sacramento + Washington
  • B —  Two teams — Milwaukee + Portland
  • C — Three teams — Boston + Dallas + Memphis + Minnesota
  • D —  Four teams — Miami + New Jersey + Orlando + Philadelphia
  • F — Seven Teams — Detroit + Indiana + Golden State + New Orleans + Phoenix + San Antonio + Utah
  • N/A — Three teams — Atlanta + Denver + Toronto

So, half the league (15 teams) got themselves a good grade (ABC) while ten teams got poor grades (D or F) and another three got no grades due to insufficient assets/opportunities/activity.

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