Here's a look at who benefitted … and suffered during this year's NBA trade deadline.
They hit the home run of the trade deadline by acquiring shooting guard Evan Turner along with center Lavoy Allen from the Philadelphia 76ers for injury-riddled forward Danny Granger. In Turner, the Eastern Conference leaders add a well-rounded player presumably to their bench who is averaging 17.6 points, 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. The Pacers are hoping that Turner, who is making $6.6 million in the final year of his contract, could be the added punch that gets them past the reigning champion Miami Heat in the East. Granger is averaging 8.3 points while making $14 million in the last year of his contract.
Miller had no interest in mending fences with the Denver Nuggets after being sent away following his verbal dust-up toward first-year coach Brian Shaw. Miller not only got the trade he was hoping for, but also landed with an East team capable of making some noise in the postseason in the Washington Wizards. Miller will be reunited with ex-Nuggets teammate Nene. Miller, 37, gives the Wizards a much-needed backup point guard for All-Star John Wall. There will be pressure on Miller to prove that he can still play at a high level.
Golden State Warriors
They have desperately needed a backup point guard for All-Star Stephen Curry all season after the departure of Jarrett Jack. The Jordan Crawford experiment failed quickly as he showed he was a "points" guard, not a point guard. But the Warriors strongly filled their need by adding veteran point guard Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for two bench-warming guards in MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore. In Blake, the Warriors get a true point guard who can make big shots, will be a strong veteran presence and has experience playing in big games. Blake is also in the final year of his contract, but don't be surprised if the Warriors want him back. The move subsequently led to Lakers guard Kobe Bryant conveying his displeasure.
It was no secret that the Nuggets had to trade Miller. They filled the void left by Miller and injured point guard Nate Robinson by acquiring up-tempo point guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets for small forward Jordan Hamilton. The Nuggets also acquired unproven but intriguing small forward Jan Vesely from Washington in exchange for Miller. The athletic 6-foot-11, 240-pound Vesely has been very disappointing, but might finally find his game in an up-tempo offense with Brooks and Ty Lawson pushing the ball.
They aided their push to make the postseason by adding shooting guard Gary Neal and veteran point guard Luke Ridnour in exchange for point guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien. Charlotte was in desperate need of some added perimeter shooting after Sessions struggled, and landing the deep threat Neal fills that void. Ridnour also adds a true point guard to their bench. Al Jefferson and the Bobcats entered the day in eighth place in the East, but now should have what it takes to make the postseason for the first time since 2010.
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony said last week that he was very interested in re-signing this offseason as long as the Knicks showed him a strong plan to become a title contender again. Making a big splash prior to the trade deadline would have been one way to impress Anthony. A source familiar with the circumstances said New York was "close" to a deal that would have brought a much-needed point guard Darren Collison and forward Matt Barnes in exchange for point guard Raymond Felton and shooting guard Iman Shumpert. But it didn't happen. The Knicks' brass might have to work some magic on draft night to impress Anthony before free agency begins.
The Lakers have been dangling forward-center Pau Gasol in trade talks for years and even temporarily dealt him once to the Houston Rockets in the overturned Chris Paul deal. Gasol, now in the final year of his contract, was back on the trade block again as the deadline approached. Getting dealt this time could've been a great thing for Gasol now since today's Lakers are tied with the Sacramento Kings for the worst record (18-36) in the Western Conference. The Lakers are also without Gasol's good friend, Kobe Bryant, who is still uncertain when he will return from his knee injury. The good news for Gasol is he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer with the ability to depart the Lakers' drama on his own terms. The bad news for the Lakers is they could've gotten assets for Gasol.
Interim Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin made a surprise trade acquiring forward-center Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Earl Clark and center Henry Sims. The Cavaliers now have a long list of big men including Hawes, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller and rookie Anthony Bennett. Good luck to Brown finding minutes to keep all these big men happy. There is also pressure for Brown to play Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, who has improved of late averaging 8.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in February. Also, Hawes is making $6.6 million in the final year of his contract and would certainly like to make a strong impression before he enters free agency.
Who knows? Maybe the Sixers' first-year general manager has a master plan that will give him the last laugh. Hinkie raised eyebrows for drafting an injured slender center in Nerlens Noel and trading 2013 All-Star guard Jrue Holiday. Hinkie gets some benefit of the doubt for drafting the likely Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams. But on Thursday, Hinkie traded starting Turner to the East-leading Pacers for Granger. Somewhere Miami Heat president Pat Riley is fuming. Hinkie also traded Hawes to Cleveland for two role players. Moreover, the Sixers also acquired struggling point guard Eric Maynor, who has another year on his contract, and they have a drawer full of second-round picks, too.
Sixers forward Thaddeus Young asked management in December to trade him to a non-rebuilding situation, but didn't force it. He was very professional and played hard afterward. Philadelphia traded Turner and Hawes. But Young, who is under contract through the 2014-15 season, was still in Philadelphia as the trade deadline passed. Keep an eye on Young, who is averaging a career-high 17.2 points, getting traded in the offseason. Expect Young to continue to be professional, but it probably won't be easy with the rebuilding Sixers. Well, at least Young can see Allen Iverson get his jersey retired.
Add the Sacramento Kings guard to the players that were probably hoping for a trade. Fredette has been buried on the bench for the most part since being drafted by the Kings in 2011 and his contract option for next season was declined. The former Brigham Young star gave another glimpse of his scoring ability by putting up 24 points in a road win against the New York Knicks last week. The Kings added a sharpshooting veteran guard in Jason Terry along with forward Reggie Evans in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets for guard Marcus Thornton. Sacramento dangled Fredette in hopes of adding a second-round pick. Fredette, however, is still in Sacramento with limited playing time on the horizon and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Jackson has been torching the NBA Development League this season averaging a league-best 29.1 points, 6.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds for the Idaho Stampede. The New Orleans Pelicans own the rookie point guard’s draft rights and showed no interest in signing him to a contract this season. With the Pelicans owning his rights, no other NBA team could call Jackson up from the D-League. After New Orleans failed to trade Jackson, he will be leaving the D-League to play in Turkey for powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker. Jackson's rights and NBA dreams remain in the hands of the Pelicans.
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