The most frantic stretch of the NBA regular season has come and gone!
The NBA trade deadline passed without any major moves Thursday. A few trades had already been made—DeMarcus Cousins became a member of the Pelicans, Lou Williams is a Houston Rocket—but not much more went down outside of a flurry of moves on the fringes. The biggest news is what didn’t happen: The Celtics held on to their assets, leaving Paul George in Indiana and Jimmy Butler in Chicago.
George and Butler were the biggest names on the 2017 market, and Boston had the firepower to acquire the stars thanks to a trove of young players and highly coveted draft picks originally belonging to the Brooklyn Nets. But Danny Ainge stood pat, and now we’ll wait until the summer to see if any superstars are moved.
Pseudo contenders did the best they could with what else was on the market. The Thunder acquired some shooting and toughness in Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson. The Raptors added P.J. Tucker for a paltry price after already adding Serge Ibaka. The Mavericks don’t have lofty dreams, but they did good in fleecing Philadelphia for Nerlens Noel. Here’s a blow-by-blow of every trade:
• Rockets send Ennis to Lakers for Huertas
• Hawks trade Mike Scott to the Suns for cash
And you can re-live our liveblog with instant analysis and reaction to every move and rumor below.
3:03 p.m. - [Twista Voice] OH YOU DIDN’T THINK WE COULD DO IT AGAIN
Thank you, Toronto! A (I assume) first-round pick is a steep price (Update: It’s actually only two second-round picks!), but in Tucker the Raptors get a three-and-D wing who aids the team in lineup flexibility. It’s not awe-inspiring, but I applaud the Raptors for at least attempting to improve themselves at the margins. This will be the best Toronto team we’ve seen in the playoffs this decade.
3:00 p.m. - Little Moves Rolling In
Not exactly the moves we were hoping for.
2:50 p.m. - It's All Happening!!!
The Pacers are keeping Paul George? You’re welcome, Indiana.
The Thunder-Bulls trade is a go.
I don’t know if I love this trade for OKC, but it’s not like three-and-D wings were readily available on this market, and the Thunder desperately need shooting. Gibson doesn’t bring that, and McDermott still needs a little work as a rotation player, but he’s worth a gamble for his three-point stroke. As stated earlier, the Gibson-Adams frontcourt will be annoying for every other NBA team.
Cameron Payne is a solid pickup for the Bulls. Payne would have always been stuck behind Russell Westbrook in OKC, and now he should have a chance to develop as a starter.
Nuggets pick up the league’s premier LeBron stopper.
With Lou Williams already in town, it looks like the Rockets are clearing roster space for the buyout market.
2:40 p.m. - Plot Twist!
This is what the Pacers should have been doing all along, in my opinion. Get George and Myles Turner some help and try to build around the talent already in Indy. I’m not sure Arron Afflalo moves the needle necessarily, but it’s a start. Meanwhile, the Mavs are still active as well.
Williams may have some fringe value for a contender, but it’s not completely clear all the teams interested at this point.
2:33 p.m. - We Have Another Trade!
This is a pure salary dump for the Rockets. Woj reports that Houston will use the salary saved on McDaniels’s deal in the buyout market.
2:30 p.m. - George Wants the Lakers
Still only one trade so far today. Apparently Denver tried to get involved in the Paul George talks, but the Nuggets’ “monster offer” wasn’t enough, per Marc Stein. Meanwhile, Sam Amick reports George is “hell-bent” on heading to the Lakers. This is the latest evidence that no one east of Colorado stays up to watch games on the west coast.
2:06 p.m. - Thunder Looking at Some Bulls
Adding Gibson would be great for any team, and he would especially look fun next to a fellow bruiser in Steven Adams. Doug McDermott would help alleviate some of OKC’s shooting concerns, but they need someone who is a little more of a three-and-D guy than McDermott is at this point in his career. Roberson has missed his fair share of open threes this season, but his defense is almost undervalued because of how bad his offense is. Also, the Bulls remain somewhat of a mess.
1:56 p.m. - Trade Grades Are Rolling In
Rob Mahoney says the Maverics get an A- while the 76ers get a D for their Nerlens Noel-Justin Anderson swap earlier. Read why here. Not much else is going on right now. In the meantime, here’s a B+ tweet from The Crossover’s Deantae Prince:
1:34 p.m. - HUG WATCH 2017
Which team will Andre Roberson be missing wide-open threes for next?
1:12 p.m. - Just Ate My Body Weight in Chicken; No Traction on Butler/George
We ordered some Chick-fil-A to the SI office today and after scarfing down an obscene amount of chicken tenders I then mainlined some sweet tea. But more importantly, Woj is reporting Boston is still not close to pulling off a move for Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
If Boston’s endgame is to push its title window into the future, then this might actually make some sense. I just don’t see the Celtics toppling a healthy Cavs team as presently constructed.
12:42 p.m. - Phil Jackson is Awake
I’m not sure this trade does much for either team, but I like it much more for the Knicks than the Timberwolves. Rubio could have some fun moments with Kristaps Porzingis, but I’m not sure Carmelo Anthony will relinquish the ball enough to allow Rubio to be fully effective. There’s also the matter of Rubio not being able to shoot, though his defense would be welcomed in New York.
Rose has, frankly, been one of the worst point guards in the NBA for the last couple seasons. His counting stats are not awful, but his advanced metrics paint a much bleaker picture. Maybe Tom Thibodeau can bring something out of Rose, but that seems like much too tall of an order at this point. The Wolves would be better off keeping Ricky or finding another trade partner.
12:20 p.m. - Sitting Here Watching The Wheels
Still waiting for the big trades to go down. This deadline really comes down to whether or not the Celtics are finally willing to go all in. If they don’t, it may be time for us to take the Raptors a little more seriously in the East, especially if Toronto makes another move for a solid rotation player. While we wait for sweet, sweet trade action, make sure you update your bingo board.
11:50 a.m. - We Actually Have a Trade!
The 76ers pick up another first-round pick in this deal, which could be valuable considering Dallas’s current state of affairs. (Update: The pick is heavily protected, which is not so great for Philly.) Noel really needs a change of scenery, and working with Rick Carlisle could help him raise the ceiling on his offensive game. I like this deal a lot for the Mavs, who can potentially turn Noel into a diet version of what Tyson Chandler used to be for this franchise. At the very least, it gives the team a defensive anchor for the foreseeable future.
Bogut will likely be bought out or traded. Look for him to end up with a contender. Also, don’t completely sleep on Justin Anderson. His athleticism makes him a little intriguing on the wing, though he really needs to improve his shooting to become a solid rotation player.
11:46 a.m. - Celtics, Pacers Talk Paul George
This deal may or may not be holding up the whole market right now. If I’m Boston, I think you need to cash in on the Brooklyn pick now, because it depreciates quickly if it falls out of the top three/as soon as a player is actually selected. George is a great player, and there’s no way the Pacers—if they are convinced trading George is the right move—should budge on acquiring Boston’s best assets. For the Celtics, adding one of the best two-way forwards and an outstanding scoring option to pair with Isaiah Thomas seems like a no-brainer. The Cavs look creaky at times, and having George for a full season after this one should be enough time for Brad Stevens to work his voodoo and convince George to sign a long-term deal. Let’s see what happens.
11:05 a.m. - Play Deadline Bingo
Let’s get interactive people.
10:45 a.m. - Raptors Working the Phones
Wilson Chandler, eh? I may even like Chandler for the Raptors more than P.J. Tucker, because Chandler’s length allows him to move to power forward in small-ball units. I’m irrationally intrigued at the thought of a Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan-DeMarre Carrol-Chandler-Serge Ibaka lineup. If I’m Toronto, I can’t get rid of my first-round pick fast enough. Throw in some Tim Horton’s and I don’t know how Denver (or any other team) can say no.
This tweet should have ended after “The Magic have nothing going on.”
10:15 a.m. - Give Me More Rumors
I am hopped up on Dunkin Donuts and a suspiciously cold banana I ate courtesy of the Time Inc. snack area. I need more rumors. Why is Marc Stein tweeting about paperwork? Let’s just talk about life. I’m going to be really upset if the Thunder don’t make a move. They owe Russ some help. So that’s my biggest wish of the day. Hopefully some more news breaks in the next hour or so. Until then, enjoy the greatest music video of all time.
9:34 a.m. - Suns, Bulls Shopping Vets; Raptors Back?!?!?!
Looks like the Bulls and Suns are both trying to unload some of their bigger contracts as we near the deadline. I can't imagine why any team would take on the Chandler contract unless Phoenix attaches a good draft pick.
I would love for Toronto to make this trade. The Raps already acquired Serge Ibaka, and it would be awesome if they loaded up for a playoff run. With the Cavs facing some injury issues, you never know...
The needle could literally not move less.
9:09 a.m. - Thunder making a move?
Taj Gibson would be a solid pickup for OKC, who are currently relying on Domantas Sabonis to start at power forward. Personally, I’d like to see the Thunder pick up a wing player instead, because Russell Westbrook desperately needs to be surrounded by shooters. Let’s see if Wilson Chandler comes back into play at all...
Okafor has fallen out of favor pretty quickly with most NBA observers, but if Chicago can snag him without giving out a first-round pick, he could certainly be a decent reclamation project.