Recapping and grading every move of the 2016 NBA trade deadline.
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and though things stayed quiet relative to last season’s wild series of events, plenty of players are relocating. Most notably, the Grizzlies and Clippers snuck in a late deal at the buzzer, the Suns sent Markieff Morris to the Wizards, and the Cavaliers got their guy in Channing Frye.
Other deals mostly exchanged role players and provided cap relief, with the Thunder, Pistons and Jazz among the potential playoff teams that upgraded their rosters. Potential for player buyouts remains going forward, with a number of veterans, as usual, possibly joining postseason-bound teams.
Below is a list of every deal that went down this week prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline (in reverse order) and all their details.
• Grizzlies trade Green to Clippers for Stephenson and a first-round pick
Trade grades: Grizzlies B+ | Clippers: C+
"The Lance Stephenson era in L.A. lasted all of 680 minutes. Months after acquiring Stephenson from the Hornets, Doc Rivers decided to ship the mercurial guard following weeks of rumored movement. As with his handling of Josh Smith, another 2015 summer addition, Rivers wasted no time reversing course." — Ben Golliver READ MORE
• Suns ship Markieff Morris to Wizards for two players and first-round pick
Trade grades: Suns: A- | Wizards: B+
"After bungling its handling of Morris for months, Phoenix finally parted with the disgruntled power forward in surprisingly productive fashion. Just to recap, Morris was charged with felony aggravated assault for his role in a beating, fined for publicly demanded a trade and suspended for throwing a towel at his coach while posting a career-low 11.1 PER and shooting a career-worst 39.7% from the field. Given the Suns’ general dysfunction and Morris’s value-killing red flags, it was fair to wonder whether Phoenix would have to simply give him away." — B.G. READ MORE
• Nuggets deal Foye to Thunder for Augustin, Novak, two second-rounders
Trade grades: Thunder: B | Nuggets: B+
"Foye is no more a complete player than any of the Thunder’s other wing options. That said, what’s the harm in giving him the chance to try to fill that particular role so long as it doesn’t cost Oklahoma City any meaningful assets? It took D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak, and a pair of second-round picks to get this deal done—none of which are necessary for a team looking to maximize its play for this season at reasonable cost." — Rob Mahoney READ MORE
• Hawks trade Shelvin Mack, to Jazz, Holiday to Bulls; acquire Bulls' Hinrich
Trade grades: Jazz: B | Hawks: B- | Bulls B-
"Utah’s need for point guard help earned a measured response on Thursday, when the Jazz flipped a marginal asset for a veteran placeholder. Mack was too good a player to be Atlanta’s third point guard, and certainly too good to play a largely distant third to capable superiors in Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. The Jazz offer a way out—an opportunity to play regular minutes, to work alongside a coach (Quin Snyder coached Mack in Atlanta) and star (Gordon Hayward played with Mack at Butler) with which he’s quite familiar, and to genuinely help a team in the playoff hunt." — R.M. READ MORE
• Magic trade Frye to Cavaliers, Cleveland ships Varejao to Blazers
Trade grades: Cavaliers: A- | Blazers: B- | Magic: F
"As if firing coach David Blatt while sitting atop the East’s standings wasn’t clear enough evidence that the Cavaliers are serious about their championship push, GM David Griffin traded away longtime fan favorite Anderson Varejao on Tuesday. The 33-year-old Varejao, who has been in Cleveland since 2004 and remained in town during LeBron James’s four-year detour to Miami, received only scant playing time this season after coming back from an Achilles injury earlier in the year. His friendship with James and the good feelings he built up in Cleveland over the last decade-plus weren’t enough to keep him in town for the latest title push; instead, Griffin dumped Varejao’s salary into the Blazers’ open cap space and added stretch big man Channing Frye in his place." — B.G. READ MORE
• Rockets trade Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Thornton to Pistons for pick
Trade grades: Rockets: A- | Pistons: Incomplete
"Interesting as it might be to evaluate this trade in its entirety, there’s just too much we don’t know with regard to Motiejunas’s health. A pesky back injury has kept the 25-year-old big man out of the Rockets’ lineup since December. It’s not immediately clear how much he’ll be able to contribute this season, nor whether there’s reason for lingering concern as Motiejunas approaches restricted free agency." — R.M. READ MORE
No deals completed
• Magic trade Tobias Harris to Pistons for Jennings and Ilyasova
Trade grades: Pistons A | Magic C-
"The motivations for the Magic here are, at best, quite fuzzy. Squint and you might see some vague value in the outline of a rebuilding team bailing on an enigmatic forward somewhat underwhelming in the first year of a $64 million contract. It’s hard to know what Harris is, exactly, at this point; he doesn’t defend especially well, tends not to read the floor all that quickly, and hasn’t yet built a reputable record of long-range shooting. The volume scoring is nice, but how redeemable is it when Harris’ greatest success has come while stopping the ball on a losing team?" — R.M. READ MORE
• Grizzlies trade Courtney Lee to Hornets in three-team trade
Trade grades: Grizzlies: B+ | Heat: B+ | Hornets: B
"The Grizzlies, slogging through a so-so season by their recent standards, reeling from the loss of Marc Gasol to a foot injury, and contemplating the possibility of Mike Conley’s departure in free agency this summer, opted to cash out on Lee before he hit the market in July. If this trade feels a bit familiar, that’s because Memphis actually acquired Lee under similar circumstances, snagging him about a month before the 2014 deadline in a three-team deal." — B.G. READ MORE