Thursday's NBA trade deadline was perhaps the zaniest the sport has ever seen. Even taking into account the fact that the two biggest trades of deadline week -- Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks and Deron Williams to the Nets -- happened before deadline day, the flurry of moves at the 3 p.m. deadline was incredible.
While the Blazers made a huge acquisition in picking up Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats, and while the Clippers managed to move the "untradable" contract of Baron Davis, Sam Presti's moves for Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed may have the strongest repercussions in terms of the 2011 playoffs. The Thunder can now match the Los Angeles Lakers' size in the frontcourt and can also expect to make strides defensively.
Time will tell if the Thunder's pair of trades will yield the desired results, but the moves themselves were certainly bold. How do Gerald Wallace to Portland and Perkins/Mohammed to Oklahoma City match up with previous deadline deals with postseason implications?
All data from the invaluable Pro Sports Transactions database, which can be found here.
2008 - Ben Wallace to Cleveland
While LeBron James' time in Cleveland will mostly be remembered for James' brilliant career in a Cavaliers uniform, it's also marked, unfortunately for Cavs fans, by his failure to win an NBA championship. No single player -- not even a LeBron James -- wins a title by himself, and Cleveland's inability to surround LeBron with the perfect complementary players was a large factor in the team's tendency to fall just short.
Ben Wallace was one of those theoretical "missing pieces." In February of 2008, Cleveland traded Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Shannon Brown and Cedric Simmons to Chicago for Wallace, Joe Smith, and a second-round pick.
Unfortunately for LeBron, Wallace's rebounding percentages had dipped for four straight seasons by the time 2008 rolled around. During the Cavs' playoff stretch run, Wallace produced a meager 104 points per 100 possessions, and posted a defensive rebounding percentage below the league average for his position. The Boston Celtics eliminated LeBron and the Cavs in round two, holding Wallace to under six rebounds a game through their seven game series.
Wallace did bounce back a little in 2008-2009 but ultimately never had the impact Cleveland hoped for.
2005 - Baron Davis to Golden State
Famously doing yoga outside the team facility instead of practicing with his team and bickering with his head coach constantly, Baron Davis forced his way out of New Orleans with an efficiency and forcefulness that would have made a middle-of-the-decade Vince Carter proud.
Yes, Davis wasn't sent to the Warriors as the missing link to a title team, the way many of the other players on this list were. But what transpired between February 2005 and April of 2007 is surely worth mentioning. A revitalized Davis posted a career high in assist rate in 2005-2006 and a career high true shooting percentage in 2006-2007.
In the 2007 playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State pulled off one of the most remarkable postseason upsets in the history of major American professional sports. And while Baron and friends could not move past the Utah Jazz in Round 2, Davis slammed home a dunk we won't forget any time soon.
While that was to be the pinnacle for the Warriors -- Davis left for Southern California a year later -- Warriors fans would likely do that 2005 deadline day deal with the Hornets a hundred times out of a hundred.
2004 - Rasheed Wallace to Detroit
Davis' move to Oakland lifted a tortured franchise to fleeting playoff success; Rasheed Wallace's 2004 move to Detroit allowed an already strong Pistons team to lift an NBA Finals trophy.
Wallace had actually been moved just a few days prior to the trade deadline from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Atlanta Hawks. After playing just one game in Atlanta, Wallace traveled to Detroit in exchange for Bob Sura, Zeljko Rebraca, and a conditional draft pick with Lindsey Hunter and Chucky Atkins heading to the Boston Celtics.
Wallace didn't have the strongest postseason that year (97 points per 100 possessions against a career average of 108), but it didn't matter as the Pistons knocked out the Bucks, the Nets, the Pacers and the Lakers to win the title. Wallace's move to Detroit is one of the few cases in NBA history of a deadline move directly impacting a Finals-winning team that same year.
2001 - Dikembe Mutombo to Philadelphia
Three years before shipping Wallace to the Pistons, the Hawks supplied another Finals team with an important big man.
Mutombo was a well-established NBA talent by the 2001 trade deadline; at age 34, he had already won three Defensive Player of the Year awards ('95, '97, '98). The Sixers had relied on Theo Ratliff to man the center position for the past four years, but Ratliff was struck down by injury (Ratliff had actually been selected as the Eastern Conference's starting center for the 2001 All Star Game but sat out). Philadelphia sent Ratliff, Toni Kukoc, Nazr Mohammed and Pepe Sanchez to the Hawks for Mutombo and Roshown McLeod.
Mutombo's Sixers tenure was short but sweet. He made 106 starts in 106 possible appearances for Philadelphia through 2002, started the 2002 All-Star Game for the East, posted defensive ratings of 95 and 98 in '01 and '02, two of the best marks of his illustrious defensive career, and was also remarkably efficient on the offensive end.
Mutombo ended the 2001 season by winning his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, led the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage, and total rebounding percentage, and, of course, made the NBA Finals mere months after deadline day.
1994 - Jeff Hornacek to Utah
The Jazz traded guard Jeff Malone to Philadelphia on deadline day 1994 for Hornacek, and at first glance, it's stunning how similar Malone and Hornacek were in the '93-'94 season until the trade occurred.
With Utah, the 32-year-old Malone had produced 108 points per 100 possessions, shooting 49 percent on 22 percent usage; with Philadelphia, the 31-year-old Hornacek had produced 109 points per 100 possessions, shooting 46 percent on 21 percent usage. But Hornacek's one huge advantage over Malone was his range. A career 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc, Hornacek easily outpaced the 27 percent shooting Malone. Despite trading for an extremely similar player, the Jazz utilized Hornacek's specialized skill set well. Some would argue that the Jazz were never quite championship caliber until the addition of Hornacek.
In Hornacek's first five years with the team, Utah made two NBA Finals and two Western Conference Finals; prior to his arrival, the franchise had made the conference finals once in its history. It wasn't all Hornacek obviously, but the Jazz certainly made one of the shrewder deadline day acquisitions in league history.
1982 - Bill Laimbeer to Detroit
This trade didn't have a postseason impact immediately (which is also the reason for the exclusion of Ray Allen's move to Seattle on deadline day 2003), but was absolutely critical to the eventual success of the Detroit Bad Boys of the mid to late '80s. Laimbeer served as one of the lynchpins of the Finals winning Pistons teams in 1988 and 1989 after being acquired for Paul Mokeski and Phil Hubbard from Cleveland (and their "legendary" owner, Ted Stepien who traded away his team's No. 1 overall pick -- Hall of Famer James Worthy -- that same year).