Trade Deadline Shakes up the NBA

By Riley Buerk, Reporter

The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets made the first major trade of the NBA season, albeit a minor trade.  The Blazers traded away their starting center, Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round draft pick, and cash considerations for center Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first round draft pick. The Blazers definitely got the better end of this deal.  Nurkic is four years younger than Plumlee, and the draft pick from Denver will be very valuable this year in a deep draft class.  However, Denver did do well to get Mason Plumlee, a very solid big man.

Portland grade: A

Denver grade: B

The second major trade of this year involved the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic.  Orlando gave up on their logjam of bigs and traded away center Serge Ibaka for small forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round draft pick.  This trade is a very even trade.  Orlando had way too many bigs, and after giving up guard Victor Oladipo and forwards Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis last summer to get Ibaka, tried their best to get back equal value to what they lost.  While Ross isn’t one of the best small forwards, he is very serviceable to start right away over Mario Hezonja.  The power forward position has been the weakest for Toronto by far with Patrick Patterson starting for them.  Ibaka provides an immediate upgrade with his ability to rebound, play defense, and stretch the floor on offense.

Toronto grade: A+

Orlando grade: A

The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings made the biggest trade of the year, with the Pelicans pulling off a major heist.  The Kings traded three-time all star big man Demarcus Cousins, who is averaging a career high 27.8 points, and 10.6 rebounds, giving the Pelicans the best frontcourt in the league.  All the Pelicans had to give up to receive this star was Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first round pick, and a 2017 second round pick.  The best player the Pelicans gave up is Tyreke Evans who is averaging only 9.5 points a game, and hasn’t played an entire season in his whole career.  If Buddy Hield continues to develop, he could be a very good player.  His ceiling is limited because he is already 23.  The best part of the package Sacramento got could be the first round draft pick in a loaded draft this year.  

New Orleans grade: A+++

Sacramento grade: F

Other notable trades:

  • Dallas Mavericks receive Nerlens Noel.  Sacramento receives Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 first.
  • Atlanta Hawks receive Ersan Ilyasova.   Sacramento receives Tiago Splitter, 2017 second round pick (from Miami, via Atlanta), and a 2017 second round pick.
  • Houston Rockets receive Lou Williams.  Los Angeles Lakers receive Corey Brewer and 2017 first round pick.
  • Raptors receive P.J. Tucker.  Suns receive Jared Sullinger, and 2017 and 2018 second round picks.
  • Thunder receive Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and 2018 second round pick.  Chicago receives Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne.