The 2013 NBA trade deadline came. The 2013 NBA trade deadline went. Left in its path were only a smattering of trades and near-trades, and but a handful of WINNERS and LOSERS. Let us help you make sense of it all.
I'm considering writing legislation that would bar the Sacramento Kings from making any future trades with the Rockets so long as Daryl Morey is in charge. If you thought Kevin Martin for Carl Landry was bad, this Thomas Robinson trade must have dropped your jaw. (It certainly dropped mine.) The Rockets gave up a good piece in Patrick Patterson, but landed a potentially great piece in Thomas Robinson. (Plus, Francisco Garcia is a good guy who can shoot and likes to defend aggressively. He'll be fun in their system. I'm imagining a Garcia-Delfino unit that just freaks everyone out.) Robinson is going to be so much better in Houston, in part because of the style of play, in part because he's been improving anyway, and in part because there's a reason he was a consensus top-five pick. He's a darned good prospect. Houston committed grand larceny here.
In the end, the Bucks -- a very deep team -- didn't give up a whole lot to get a nice, needed piece in J.J. Redick. This will bolster Milwaukee's playoff push and might give them something to hang onto going forward. Josh Smith would have been nice, and I still struggle seeing a Brandon Jennings-Monta Ellis backcourt being too successful. But this was a nice, medium-risk deal for a solid player.
Yep, this was the rare trade that helps both teams. The Magic took a pending free agent not on their timeline and a mid-rung big man and swapped them out for two prospects and a neat point guard who is surprisingly fun to watch. Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb might end up irrelevant, but this is a classic case of maximizing your dice rolls, something all young teams should try to do.
J.J. Redick During April, Possibly May And In July
Redick goes from a team that was going to challenge for the NBA's worst record to a team that looks increasingly like a playoff lock. (The only thing that can derail the Bucks now would be a triumphant Andrew Bynum return.) So J.J. will be able to pad his resumé with another playoff series, possibly one against a damaged team if Milwaukee lands the No. 7 spot. In addition to that, he goes to a team much more likely to use his Bird rights to sign him to a deal. The Magic are rebuilding, the Bucks are not. If this goes well, Redick could stick around as a free agent. He's eligible for bigger raises and more years if he stays with his incumbent team.
He escapes the most dysfunctional franchise in sports before he's been ruined forever, he gets to learn at the hand of Kevin McHale and he gets to play with James Harden and Jeremy Lin in a helter skelter system that matches his attributes beautifully. T-Rob won the lottery, and I imagine all of the other Kings' big men are incredibly jealous.
He might end up a hero in Boston. He might also get maimed on national TV by Kevin Garnett, but that's a toss-up scenario most young players would take in a heartbeat.
Portland Trail Blazers
Getting Eric Maynor is a big deal. No offense to Nolan Smith or Ronnie Price, but Maynor is a major upgrade. The Jazz or Lakers weren't able to improve themselves at the deadline. The Rockets might not be better this year due to the deadline trade. Portland, the fourth team in that tier, did improve, undoubtedly. Good job, Neil Olshey.
Orlando Magic Fans Who Love Pull-Up Jumpers In Traffic
If Josh Smith really doesn't want to stay with the Hawks beyond this season, he just watched his Bird rights go kablooey on Thursday. Consider also that the lack of a trade may have been a referendum on his apparent salary request. While perhaps a team like the Rockets didn't make a major play for him due to the fact they can just sign him in July thanks to cap space, others needed to deal in order to land his Bird rights and get him a contract he'll take. They didn't. What's that say about his chances at a max deal? It might not be a backbreaker, but it sure isn't a good sign.
One of a few teams needing an upgrade for the playoff push, the Lakers get nothing. Also one of the teams with the steepest tax bills and most payroll fluff that ended up striking out. Who knew that Steve Blake and Chris Duhon were bad ideas? Oh, almost everybody? Oh, alright.
When a GM picks a player at No. 5 overall and trades him four months into his rookie season for a player who will never sniff an All-Star bid, that is a *bad* GM. As if Sacramentans didn't have other things to worry about, they have to be concerned as to whether their roster will be stripped for parts during this whole mess. Good grief.
And poor Patrick Patterson has to not only join the most dysfunctional franchise in sports, but he'll now be forever compared to Robinson. So when Robinson becomes a double-double machine -- which is almost assured, given minutes and the fact he's an excellent rebounder -- Patterson is going to get jokes in his direction, which is totally not fair. Plus, he's now responsible for DeMarcus Cousins. Gulp.
Patterson is now fourth power forward brought in to supplant J.T. as the Kings' starting power forward in four years, following Carl Landry, J.J. Hickson and Robinson. Oh, also, the Kings gave J.T. a five-year, $30 million deal last July. This team is totally erratic.
J.J. Redick Over The Next Few Weeks
There's an adjustment period for any player traded midseason. But a shooter traded to a team that features Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis? Man.
Boston Celtics Fans Who Appreciate Basketball As Art
Congratulations, you get to watch the thought process of Jordan Crawford. He's going to take shots that would make Jason Terry blush. And it's going to be incredible to watch ... so long as you're not actually hoping that he'll, you know, make them.
I have a feeling we just watched Al Jefferson's Bird rights go up in a puff of smoke.
We'll write more about them soon. Suffice it to say that things are getting weird.
More in the NBA: