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The important stuff that did (and didn’t) happen during 2019 NBA trade season

One big thing didn’t happen, but a few other important things did. Here’s everything you need to know.

The 2019 NBA trade deadline is now in the books. As there often is, there was a flurry of late activity, featuring a combination of actual significant moves, rearranging of deck chairs, and important non-deals. But even compared to past years, 2019 trade season was a chaotic, beautiful mess.

If you missed it all, or are still trying to figure out what moves or non-moves actually mattered, we’re here to help.

Here’s your SB Nation 2019 NBA Trade Deadline executive summary.

The Anthony Davis saga loomed, but nothing happened

Anthony Davis was the league’s biggest domino after he requested a trade from the Pelicans 18 months before his contract expired. His representatives engaged in a not-so-subtle campaign to deliver him to the Lakers, but the Pelicans, angered by the ploy and suggestions of L.A. tampering, ultimately chose to keep Davis and ghost every Laker trade offer.

This saga is far from over, but now everyone can press pause until the summer. Here’s where things stand.

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Alas, we’re not done with Davis yet

Davis WILL be traded by New Orleans. The only question left is when.

Now that the trade deadline is over, Boston is allowed to enter the bidding. (Here’s the boring, legal reason why they had to wait until the summer). The Celtics have the best potential trade package, and is not expected to be deterred by Davis’ desire to not play in Boston. Other suitors will jump in, and the futures of many other stars are intrinsically tied to Davis’

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The 76ers REALLY go for it

The deadline’s most stunning move came between Philadelphia and the Clippers. Philly, already in deep after trading several assets for free-agent-to-be Jimmy Butler, sent out damn near the rest of them to secure free-agent-to-be Tobias Harris. While the 76ers pushed their chips to the table to win now, the eighth-place Clippers cashed in on their best player for future assets. What a fascinating deal.

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The Grizzlies hold (half) a fire sale

With their record and long-term prospects in the tubes, Memphis put franchise pillars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley on the market. Finally, Memphis would pull the plug on a veteran core that had gone past its expiration date. Instead, they went halfway, dealing Gasol to Toronto, but holding onto Conley.

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Goodbye, sweet prince: Kristaps Porzingis is a Maverick

The Porzingis sweepstakes lasted all of about an hour, as the Mavericks and Knicks kept their negotiations hush-hush until the all-clear was given. When it did, it hit like a ton of bricks. Earlier in the day, Porzingis was reported to have had a meeting with the Knicks that went south, but nobody could’ve imagined he’d be side-by-side with Luka Doncic 24 hours later.

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Don’t forget about that Jimmy Butler mess

Months later, this is STILL this NBA’s season’s biggest dramedy. It included Butler staging an expletive-laden practice, where he dominated the Timberwolves starters with third-stringers and then told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols all about it.

The end result was a win-win, even if the process was painful. The Sixers get this much closer to title contention, while Minnesota stayed competitive with Robert Covington and Dario Saric.

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7 other things you missed

  1. MARKELLE FULTZ HAS BEEN FREED! Philly finally ended the era by trading him to the Magic. Orlando Pinstriped Post thinks this is a gamble worth taking.
  2. Damn, that East arms race! We already talked about Toronto getting Gasol and Philly going in for Harris, but the first-place Bucks also stole Nikola Mirotic. What a great fit.
  3. Harrison Barnes was traded to the Kings while on the court for the Mavericks, and it was awkward. Truth be told, the entire Barnes experience was awkward, writes Mavs Moneyball’s Josh Bowe.
  4. The Wizards responded to awful John Wall injury news by shipping off Otto Porter and Markieff Morris, ducking the luxury tax with incredible zeal. Fans aren’t happy. Bullets Forever’s Kevin Broom explains how these moves do nothing to fix Washington’s systemic issues.
  5. They weren’t the only team to save their owner some money. The Rockets also sprinted out of the luxury tax, though at least they also helped their team by acquiring Iman Shumpert.
  6. The buyout market is stacked this year. Some names to watch: Enes Kanter, Wesley Matthews (who’s reportedly going to Indiana), Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez, Wayne Ellington, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Greg Monroe, Milos Teodosic, Zach Randolph, Frank Kaminsky, and, of course, Carmelo Anthony. (By the way, the Lakers have an open roster spot).
  7. Poor Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV. They were traded three times in a week, then released by the Pacers.

Here’s every trade that happened this year, roughly in order of significance