2018 NBA Trade Deadline Bonaza

Well that was one hell of a trade deadline in the NBA. A lot of teams made moves, some surprising (cough… Cavs… cough) and some more mundane. Regardless a lot of players were moved, a lot of picks swapped and a lot of players NOT moved that we anticipated. First, let’s breakdown each trade and their impact then let’s talk about those who DIDN’T get traded in this trade deadline that had everyone bruising their index finger as they F5’d their refresh.



Pistons receive Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

2018 NBA Trade Deadline

Clippers receive Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, DET 2018 1st and 2nd rd picks

This was a good trade for both sides. Detroit needed relevance and needed someone to bring in fans. Griffin, when healthy, is one of the scariest traditional power forwards out there. Detroit may not be a contender, but they have a jersey selling big man to rep Detroit for the next few years alongside their young up and coming center. The Pistons are looking for playoffs in 2018 and 2019 and getting Griffin is worth losing the 1st round pick. The rest was dumpable. Harris was the only asset that was a loss in that way as Bradley was expiring and not going to be resigned.


The Clippers finally move on from Lob City and get a nice little haul. Harris is a good player with nice upside and a nice contract, Bradley is an expiring contract and a good defender who they may be able to get cheap due to the 2018 free agency period looking to be a wasteland of cap strapped teams. The real piece here was offloading that rough max contract of Griffin and nailing down younger players and a solid 1st round pick. Clippers are doing a soft reboot at a good time.

Trade Winner: Both



Pelicans receive Nikola Mirotic, 2nd rd pick

Bulls receive Omer Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, Bulls 2018 1st, rights to swap 2021 2nd rds

This is what a desperate team for playoffs does. NOLA craves the playoffs because their Management group, specifically Dell Demps, knows this is a make it or break it moment. Cousins going down won’t be allowed the be used as an excuse by ownership so getting a stretch 4/5 to play alongside Davis was necessary. The Pels did offload that horrid Asik contract, but gave away a nice Bulls 1st to complete the deal. Mirotic is good, but this was a playoffs NOW move from a desperate GM.


The Bulls are trash and they know it. Lauri Markkanen has been a nice surprise, Dunn has played exceptionally well after his disastrous T-Wolves time and LaVine is still a good young athletic freak. The Bulls are an extremely young team with a lot of possible upside, but 2018 was not their time to try to be good again. Getting back their 2018 1st was a big win and worth that Asik contract. I expect the Bulls to be active again next year if things stay similar to 2018.

Trade Winner: Bulls



Bucks receive Tyler Zeller

Nets receive Rashad Vaughn, MIL 2018 2nd rd pick

The Bucks needed some depth at Center and Zeller is a capable back up. There really isn’t more to be said as this was one of those trades that you don’t think about until Zeller has some insane game in the palyoffs and we all talk about “Zellertime” for a grand total of 4 minutes.


Don’t go buying a Rashad Vaughn jersey too quick as you are about to see him moved within 3 days of this trade. This was about getting another diamond in the rough 2nd rd pick.

Trade Winner: Bucks? Maybe?…



Hornets receive Willy Hernangomez

Knicks receive Johnny O’Bryant, CHA 2020 2nd rd pick, 2021 2nd rd pick

This was a classic Knicks mess from the jump. Have a good young player with some upside and just never let him see the light of day in a starting rotation. The Hornets made a smart move declining to trade Kemba Walker and instead get some good young big man talent in Hernangomez. He’s only 23 years old and has good potential with the right team and coach. Luckily he is no longer in New York so the coaching staff won’t hold him back anymore.


The Knicks at least got something for him… not much, but something. Hernangomez would normally fetch a late 1st, but no teams in the 20s were going to trade a late 1st for him. It was a catch 22. They bit the bullet, took a lesser talent in O’Bryant and a pair of meh picks hoping to maybe find a Draymond Green or Rajon Rondo in those late 2nd rounders.

Trade Winner: Hornets



Cavs receive Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.

Lakers receive Isiah Thomas, Channing Frye, CLE 2018 1st rd pick

First off, I called this. The Cavs were not going to keep Isiah. Isiah has had exactly 1.5 good years of NBA play and he was not going to mesh well with that team. They found a way to move Isiah Thomas, get a solid PG in Clarkson and a nice young asset in Larry Nance Jr (whose dad is a former Cav great) all while trading only their 1st rd pick. They kept the Nets 1st and that was a brilliant maneuver. Thomas is overrated. I get the amazing story last year after his sister’s tragic death and his immense play, but Thomas is an undersized drive heavy guard with a bad hip and worse defense than Kyrie. The trade was necessary.


The Lakers did one thing they cared about. Got rid of Clarkson’s contract. They don’t need Clarkson and more needed his money gone. They had to give up Nance Jr though which will upset Lakers fans as he is a favorite, but in order to pull that 2018 1st rd pick they had to give in. They got a pair of expiring contracts and a 1st while only giving up a single thing they cared about in Nance Jr. Lakers are in full rebuild and now have to decide what to do with Isiah Thomas. Keep him and start him or bench him or do you cut him?

Trade Winner: Both



Pistons receive Jameer Nelson, CHI 2022 2nd rd pick

Bulls receive Willie Reed, DET 2022 2nd rd pick

Here’s a case of “oh damn, we both need a specific position and you have that position, wanna trade?” and then one of them goes, “yeah, but I want a 2nd rd pick swap too”. Both teams had gaps they needed filled and filled them with this trade. Small names, but the Pistons will be helped by Nelson as a good back-up PG to help their duel talented big men when he’s on the floor. The Bulls just wanted off Nelson and took Reed willingly.

Trade Winner: Pistons



Heat receive Luke Babbitt

Hawks receive Okaro White

The biggest trade of the decade obviously. Babbitt will singlehandedly turn around the Heat franchise and Okaro White, someone you’ve likely never heard of until just now, will make the Hawks a top 3 team. Of course none of what I just said is true and this trade was just a trade. Both teams switched forwards, the Hawks saved money and the Heat know how to use Babbitt.

Trade Winner: Murica’



Grizzlies receive Brice Johnson, DET future 2nd rd pick

Pistons receive James Ennis

The Pistons needed a backup guard/forward and got that with Ennis. Brice Johnson was not needed nor was Willie Reed after trading for Griffin, in the same deal, and it left them weak on the perimeter. Ennis and the Nelson trade helped that depth and balanced the Pistons in a far better way than pre all these trades.


The Grizz actually needed Johnson as their PF position is weak. All they have is JayMichael Green (26 MPG), Jarell Martin (19.8 MPG) and Brandon Wright (13 MPG). Of those three only Green is really worth playing significant minutes. Johnson could jump in and get 15 minutes right off the bat. The Grizz are looking to land a good young player that ends up being rather good and got a future 2nd rd pick out of it too.

Trade Winner: Both



Cavs receive Rodney Hood, George Hill, rights to Arturas Gudaitis

Kings receive Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert, MIA 2020 2nd rd pick, cash

Jazz receive: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, rights to Dimitrios Agravanis, right to swap 2024 2nd rd pick w/ Cavs

Ok, this is beautifully complicated. Firstly, damn the Cavs did well. Remember when we heard it was Frye and a 1st for Hill? Well, they took that single and hit a straight up home run here.


So the Cavs get a starting point guard and a starting shooting guard while getting rid of the corpse of Rose and contract of Shumpert. Hood lets them bench JR Smith immediately and Hill is a better PG than anything they’ve had since Kyrie was traded, Clarkson not included in that statement. This fixed the Cavs backcourt issues, gave them legitimately passable defenders and now they have a pair of players who can play effective off-ball which is crucial for LeBron’s ball dominant playstyle. The only “loss” here is the Crowder contract, but with how poorly he’s played I don’t see that being a big deal.


The Kings wanted cash and a pick. They got both and willingly took that ugly Shumpert contract and Joe Johnson who they might end up buying out. They were the middle man in this and wanted off the Hill contract primarily thus they got little in return.


The Jazz don’t want to pay Hood or rather can’t afford to do so. That Crowder contract was what had the Jazz front office licking their chops. If he can be 80% of what he was in Boston then they have an enticing contract going into the offseason and next year. Rose will be bought out or cut and if he does sign with a team this is likely his last year. He just isn’t what he used to be.

Trade Winner: Cavs



Heat receive Dwayne Wade

Cavs receive MIA protected 2nd rd pick

This was a good move overall. Heat get to play up that Wade is back, Cavs get to not have him ride their bench. The pick was a formality as the Cavs would have likely given him away for free, but after landing Hood, Hill and Clarkson they didn’t need Wade at all. This is one of those trades that just makes a lot of sense and for the Cavs it’s nice to see them look at their team as a whole and make moves for the Cavs instead of just their star.

Trade Winner: Both



Raptors receive Malachi Rickardson

Kings receive Bruno Caboclo

A trade of depth needs more than anything else. Caboclo was getting 3.5 minutes per game with Toronto who was more in need of a true shooting guard to spell Derozen for the regular season. They have a boatload of small forwards and hybrid forwards, but no true shooting guards. Richardson fixes that problem at a cheap price.


Same thing for the Kings. They needed depth at power forward since Zach Randolph is older than Methuselah’s balls and Skal Lebissiere has been coming along slowly, but effectively. Caboclo gives them some breathing room if and when Randolph dies from exhaustion or old age.

Trade Winner: Richardson and Caboclo as they get playing time



Knicks receive Emmanuel Mudiay, POR future 2nd rd pick

Nuggets receive Devin Harris, LAC 2018 2nd rd pick

Mavs receive Doug McDermott, DEN future 2nd rd pick

As a Mavs fan I will miss Devin Harris. He’s been a stalwart Mav and a really good playmaker even as he got older…




Ok, need to calm it down… McDermott isn’t a good defender, but he can score when given the right team with spacing. He is far better than his stats indicate with the Knicks as that organization is a trainwreck that makes the Browns look competent at times. I enjoy his raw scoring ability and 3-pointer which gives the Mavs some good bench scoring with height. McDermott can cause mismatches on defense and this is a Mavs team that is not good so getting some youth for necessary.


The Knicks make a good move in landing Mudiay who has been up and down since coming into the NBA in 2015. The Knicks needed youth and you can’t get much younger than 21 in the NBA right now. He’s cheap, which is perfect for asshat wannabe jazz musician James Dolan and you get his rights for years to come. Mudiay could end up being a nice fit with Porzingis after he returns next year from his torn ACL.


The Nuggets wanted to move on from Mudiay who didn’t fit their team well at all leading to the Rubio trade. Mudiay was third in line when it came to point guard minutes as Rubio and Burks were ahead of him in rotation. Devin Harris is a much more reliable option at point guard with a veteran sense that he could help the younger Rubio and Burks with. He also could be a boon for Favors who was also rumored to be moved, but stayed put. Then again they could cut or buy out Harris and I wouldn’t be surprised.


Trade Winner: Mudiay, he gets to start with less than 0 expectations


Blazers receive rights to Milocan Rakovic

Bulls receive Noah Vonleh, cash

Vonleh is a young forward who wasn’t going to get consistent minutes in Portland and the Blazers wanted some kind of value for him. They were smart in grabbing a rights based player so that they are basically getting rid of a contract. They did give cash to the Bulls but that’s peanuts compared to what they save going into 2018-2019.


The Bulls needed a replacement in their big man rotation after moving Mirotic and Vonleh was the perfect fit of youth and averageness. He’s good enough to get minutes, but not good enough to win games and ruin the Bulls tanking. His contract is under $3 million AND they got some cash from the Blazers to boot.

Trade Winner: Vonleh, who gets legit playing time now



Pelicans receive Rashad Vaughn

Nets receive Dante Cunningham


After moving Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson they needed a guard, particularly a shooting guard. The only true shooting guard they had on their roster getting playing time was Ian Clark as they have a trifecta of point guards (Holiday, Rondo, Moore) and a bunch of small forwards (Hill, Miller, formerly Cunningham) so it made sense to get Vaughn to play some 2-guard minutes in the regular season and to see if he breaks out a bit with his floor spacing.


The Nets going for Cunningham is a bit weird. They have about 4 small forwards (Harris, Hollis-Jefferson, LeVert, Carroll) and adding a fifth makes little sense, but it makes sense if you realize their rotation has Harris as their immediate backup to Carroll. Joe Harris is not nearly as good as Dante Cunningham so grabbing him does make sense in that regard when Vaughn wasn’t in their rotation much at all since their shooting guard position is stacked with Crabbe, Russell and Stauskas. I say stacked as in there are a lot of mouths, not that they are insanely good.

Trade Winner: Cunningham, who will be getting significant minutes



Wizards receive ATL future protected 2nd rd pick, cash

Hawks get Sheldon Mac, cash

Just so you know this is Sheldon Mac, not Shelvin Mack. Different players. The Wizards wanted to dump Mac’s salary and open a roster spot, the Hawks obliged by super protecting their 2nd rd pick in the future. Mac might get more playing time on the Hawks, but this was a salary and roster spot trade.

Trade Winner: whoever gets that Wizards roster spot



Suns receive Elfrid Payton

Magic receive MEM 2018 2nd rd pick

The Suns are a garbage team in cap hell. They have Devin Booker and a wasteland of overpriced players. They shipped out Bledsoe to the Bucks for Monroe, whom they bought out and is now a Celtic, a protected 1st and a protected 2nd. Now they are stuck with the Brandon Knight contract ($14.6M in 18-19 | $15.6M in 19-20) and don’t really like him. It’s like being stuck in a rental place with your ex who you kinda have to stick it out with. Ulis and Canaan won’t be more than back-ups in the NBA while Payton has starting ability and his passing (averages 2 more assists than Knight per game) could help someone like Booker, Jackson and Bender with spacing and movement. It’s really a no lose trade for the Suns as they give up a rather meaningless pick (watch the Magic draft the next Kawhi Leonard with that pick).


The Magic want to move on from Payton and give the keys to DJ Augustin and Shelvin Mack (not Sheldon Mac) for the time being. They hold the keys to the tanking machine for now. It can’t be long before Vicevic and Fournier get moved, sometime this offseason or next year and that leaves Hezonja as the likely eventual trade piece too. Hezonja hasn’t meshed well in the Magic lineup, but due to not playing him much and him not performing well his return could be in this 2nd rd pick area. The Magic are the most confusing, without a plan or star, franchise in the NBA right now. No, Aaron Gordon is not a star yet.

Trade Winner: Payton, getting out of Orlando


Who DIDN’T get traded?

DeAndre Jordan went nowhere and it makes sense. Jordan, for the Clippers, is too good to trade, but not good enough to ask for enough considering his value to the team right now. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place as the Cavs wouldn’t give anything except a 1st rd pick, but you had to take that awful JR Smith contract. Jordan is going to have a limited market in 2018’s offseason and could end up back with the Clippers as easily as any other team, but he will be behind the pecking order for a contract until Cousins signs.


Marcus Smart is young and talented, but the Celtics are also hesitant to pay him. They offered him a good contract, but Smart declined it apparently. Smart is an RFA, Restricted Free Agent, this summer and could, possibly, command a big contract. The question is, where? One team could be the Lakers who will have cap space, another is the Magic. It depends on if he is willing to take less to be in a winning city or wants to get as close to max as possible and go wherever. A dark horse to look at would be the Mavericks who have money to burn this offseason.


Terry Rozier has come up as a solid backup point guard to spell real life flat earther Kyrie Irving. Rozier had been brought up in trade talks, but it would take a good haul, a nice 1st rd pick specifically, to get Rozier from the Celtics. His contract is friendly with a Qualifying Offerin 2019/2020 that is only $4.2 million. Rozier is a bargain for his ability and is a great one-two with Kyrie at the point position.


Derrick Favors was the big man I kept hearing may go to Cleveland, but nope. Favors has been average. He shoots decently from the paint (54.8% in 18) and hauls in decent rebounds (7.2 in 18) but he doesn’t guard particularly well in the paint and is a perimeter liability. He wouldn’t be able to guard Draymond Green basically. His contract is cheap at only $6 million, but his game comes and goes. One night he will score 20 with 8 boards and the next he will score 4 with 6 boards. Both nights he plays 30 minutes. That’s Derrick Favors right now.


Golden State did absolutely nothing and they didn’t need to. What were they going to do? They would have a hard time matching salaries, no one wants Iguodala’s contract and their 1st rd picks are next to worthless so they can’t even package them for something. You’ve got KD, Curry, Dray and Klay. Be happy.


The Thunder didn’t do anything either which I think was a mistake. Trading Melo for a defender or something at all would have been a good move, but I get why they didn’t. Still, there are better overall defenders or rebounders than Melo who can give you better than 34% from the 3 or 41% field goal percentage. They are who they are though.


Spurs do as the Spurs do. They did nothing electric or interesting and didn’t try to buy low on anyone. The Spurs are overrated immensely and can’t stack up against half of the playoff west and expect to win a series. The Rockets, Thunder and Warriors are all better by far with the T-Wolves, Blazers and Nuggets all being a nuisance as well. Both conferences are really top heavy and the Spurs are in a weird place right now where their coaching cannot defeat the talent in front of them.


That’s the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline! What worked? What failed? Will the Cavs be better or worse? Who screwed up and who went all in and hit the home run?

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