The NBA Trade Deadline Review For The Casual Fan

Last week’s NBA Trade deadline really shook up the league. It changed a ton of franchises, some for the better, and some for the worse. But at the same time, the trade deadline can be confusing. A bunch of different players get moved at once, picks are involved, protected picks are involved (don’t worry, only like 6 people understand them), and there’s just too much, too fast. And that’s why your pal, Ben, The Content Kid, Patty Melt, Young Thiccness, the voice of Hoop-Ball here at TheBandwagon, is here to help. Let’s get it:

Trade #1

Willy Hernangomez gets kicked to the curb by the Knicks

Last season, 2nd Round steal Willy Hernangomez was named to the NBA All-Rookie 1st Team. A fantastic honor, especially for a 2nd round pick. So, naturally, the Knicks decided this season he would barely see the court. Because they’re the worst organization in all of sports. Big Willy is averaging only NINE minutes per game this season after many thought he could be a consistent starter coming into the year. So for obvious reasons, he requested a trade about two-weeks before the deadline. He, and every logical person on this planet, thought he deserved a bigger role. The 23-year-old big man ended up being dealt to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for some guy named Johnny O’Bryant, and two 2nd round draft picks. O’Bryant was immediately released by New York in order to make roster space for two other scrubs, and I’m sure the 2nd-rounders will be wasted as well. To make things worse, Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis have been best friends since they played together in Spain… Kristaps shredded his ACL the night before the trade, and I’m just picturing that he heard the news while still in the hospital. I hate my favorite team…

Trade #2

Isaiah Thomas, (not your dad’s favorite Piston) is moved to L.A.

I.T. has been a major factor in the Cavs struggles this season. After receiving him this off-season in the blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade, he has done nothing but disappoint. Thomas was supposed to come into Cleveland and be the 2nd scoring option for LeBron, however he was out for the first 2.5 months of the season with a hip injury. Then when he came back on the court, he was not the same player as the MVP-Candidate we saw last season. He’s only averaging a mediocre 15 points per game, 4.6 assists per game, and 0.6 steals per game. Not at all up to expectations. And not only was his performance disappointing, but he was becoming a locker room cancer. He was badmouthing his teammates to the media, saying they weren’t in-sync, complaining that the team wasn’t practicing enough, complaining about defense even though he’s a notoriously bad defender, and much more. So when the deadline came around, the Cavs decided that they’d had enough. They traded Isaiah, veteran Power Forward Channing Frye, and their own 1st round pick (but keep in mind they still have the much more valuable Nets 1st round pick from the Kyrie trade), in exchange for athletic play-making Point Guard Jordan Clarkson, and high-flying Small Forward Larry Nance JR. This trade is odd for the Lakers as they have to figure out how to distribute minutes between I.T. and Lonzo Ball. But I think they’re banking on Thomas’ scoring abilities to return under a new scheme, and will use the 1st round pick to assist with their re-building process.

Trade #3

LeBron gets more new friends!

If you didn’t hear, the Cavs basically got rid of half of their team. Cleveland has completely revamped their roster via the trade deadline and has gotten much younger and more athletic. I’m honestly considering them to be two different teams; pre-trade deadline they are the Cavs, and post-deadline they are the Cavaliers. If you want to hear me discuss this and more on my podcast (shameless self-plug) then click here. But anyways, back to the actual transactions. The new-look Cavaliers made a 3-team-trade with Sacramento and Utah. The way things went down were that Cleveland sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah, and Iman Shumpert + a protected 2nd round pick (this means Cleveland could possibly still have the pick, under certain very specific conditions in the future) to Sacramento. Then Utah sent Rodney Hood back to Cleveland, and Joe Johnson- yes, that Joe Johnson, he’s still hangin’ around- to Sacramento. Lastly, Sacramento sent Point Guard George Hill to Cle-Town. Go back over that a few times if your head is spinning. Go on, I’ll wait… Alright. Two of the aforementioned players have already been cut from the teams they were traded to. Joe Johnson was bought out by the Kings and signed with the Rockets, ya know, because ring chasing happens. I call it like I see it. Additionally, D-Rose was cut by Utah and is speculated to potentially join the Timberwolves and ruin their chemistry under his old coach. This trade clearly makes the biggest impact on Cleveland simply because the other two teams aren’t contenders. George Hill is a proven veteran guard who’s effective with and without the ball. He’s currently 4th in 3-point percentage, and doesn’t feel the need to be putting up shots the way ball-first guards like Kyrie and I.T. have previously in Cleveland. Hill is going to be the perfect complement to LeBron and I’m excited to see how it works out.

Trade #4

Dwyane Wade is bringing his washed up remaining talent back to South Beach

D-Wade is heading back to Miami, and he’s going for basically nothing. Miami is sending back a “heavily protected” 2nd round pick, a Cuban sandwich, and a whole bunch of coke. The city is going to welcome their legend back with open arms. Nah, but seriously from the sounds of it, Flash just wanted to go back home. He wasn’t having any success in Cleveland and just wanted to finish his career where his legacy is. Good for D-Wade, he should retire in Miami. Him and his booty-eating wife get to live on the beautiful beaches rather than *Dumpster-Fire, Ohio. (*= not to be confused with Dumpster-Fire, Pennsylvania)

Trade #5

Noah Vonleh has a change of scenery

The Trail Blazers and Bulls had a long, grueling trade talk that turned into this blockbuster. Get ready for it… Portland sent failed Chris Bosh comparison Noah Vonleh to Chi-Town in exchange for superstar Milovan Raković! The Rak-Dog! Can you believe it!? Wait.. what’s that? You’ve never heard of The Mil-Man?! Yeah don’t worry about it, neither had the Bulls. The dude is 32, drafted in 2007, and hasn’t actually stepped foot on an NBA court. he’s been playing pro in Serbia for years. This move was just to dump Vonleh’s salary and give him a new home. Hopefully, he makes the most of it.

Trade #6

The Raptors and Kings exchange basically the same player

The Raptors send Bruno Cabcolo to Sacramento in exchange for Malachi Richardson. Both are athletic wings who are extremely raw, need a lot of development, but are good defenders. It’s like these teams swapped baby cows. No big impact here. Next!

Trade #7

A 3-team trade where no one wins.

Based on the title of this, you had to know my Knicks are involved. In a weird and unexpected 3-team deal, the Knicks sent Doug McDermott to Dallas, The Mavericks sent Devin Harris- who has been a mediocre Point Guard practically my entire life- to Denver, and then the Nuggets sent Emmanuel Mudiay to NYC. The Knicks moved McDermott who is a 3-point specialist that’s shooting 37.9% from deep. Meh. So I’m fine with NY ditching Dougie McBuckets. Then I have no clue why Denver would wan’t Devin Harris. That man is not only ancient, but I’d say a downgrade to mediocre. But hey, if they think he fits their scheme better, let them take him. But then we come to the Knicks. the same Knicks who took Frank Ntilikina in this past 2017 NBA Draft. Now one might ask: “What type of player is Frank?”, well let me tell you. Frank Ntilikina is a tall, athletic Point Guard who is a good passer and a very solid defender. Do you know who else that describes perfectly?! Emmanuel Mudiay. Why on Earth would the Knicks trade for an older, failed version of Ntilikina when the same minutes can be used to develop the 19-year-old Frenchman?! It makes no sense. I don’t think Mudiay is a lost cause, he’s only 21, but they shouldn’t give such a similar player the chance over the rookie. They drafted Frank with the purpose of playing him, so the move is simply illogical, unless they’ve somehow already given up on Frank. Honestly, what worries me most about this move; isn’t the players traded, but the teams involved. Simply because the Knicks have been burned in a trade with the Nuggets before… 🙄🙄🙄

A few other trades did happen, but none important enough for you to worry your pretty little head about. I hope this helped someone figure out what’s happening in The Association. Now, time to go write my complaint letter of the week to James Dolan.