- With the 2019 NBA trade deadline officially passed, The Crossover provides a look at all of the news and rumors that emerged from a day with fewer fireworks than expected.
The NBA’s second Christmas has come and gone. The trade deadline has officially passed, and it’s just as notable for what didn’t happen as what happened. The biggest news of the day? Anthony Davis is staying put in New Orleans, meaning the Celtics will get a chance to trade for the all-world forward in the summer. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have movement. The East’s best teams loaded up, as the Bucks added Nikola Mirotic and the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol in the wake of the Tobias Harris-Sixers deal.
In a smaller but equally intriguing transaction, the Sixers dealt Markelle Fultz to Orlando, ending the saga of one of the most polarizing No. 1 picks in NBA history. Meanwhile, out West, the Rockets added Iman Shumpert, while dumping James Ennis to open up a roster spot. The Lakers made some small moves on the margins, but will move forward in what promises to be an incredibly awkward finish to the season.
If you want to relive every second of the madness as it happened, check out our live blog below, which featured instant reactions in real-time to all the deadline hoopla.
3:20 PM: Greg Monroe, Second-Round Pick Shipped to Nets
Just after the trade deadline buzzer sounded, Greg Monroe and a second-round pick were shipped to the Nets. This was just one move in a busy day for the Raptors, who could be a front-runner in the East after landing Marc Gasol.
Sources: Toronto is trading Greg Monroe and a second-round pick to Brooklyn.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2019
– DeAntae Prince
3:00 PM: Knicks, Enes Kanter Consciously Uncoupling; Wes Matthews Has a Frontrunner
Matthews is a nice pickup for the Pacers, though I’m not sure how much he can do for that team with Victor Oladipo injured. – Rohan Nadkarni
2:40 PM: Mike Conley is Staying Put; The Markelle Fultz Era is Over
Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 draft, is headed to Orlando. The Sixers are cutting bait with the mercurial guard, receiving Jonathon Simmons and a first-round pick in return. It made sense for Philly to trade Fultz, but I’m surprised the front office didn’t pick up a point guard in this deal somehow. Entering the postseason with T.J. McConnell as the backup point is a bit of a risk. A fuller breakdown of the Fultz story in Philadelphia will hoepfully be revealed one day. For now, the Sixers are focused on the present, while the Magic are taking a worthy gamble.
The Grizzlies are keeping Mike Conley, league sources tell ESPN. Memphis discussed deals with multiple teams, but ultimately decided to hold onto their franchise point guard.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
Hmmm. Not sure I understand this strategy. Memphis was right to ship out Marc Gasol—moving Conley for any pieces would also help to kick start the rebuild here. Perhaps the Grizzlies will revisit this later in the summer. For now, I wonder what this does for the rest of the trade market. Will the Jazz try to find a point guard somewhere else? Does this heat up the trade market for Goran Dragic? Maybe Kyle Lowry? – Rohan Nadkarni
2:30 PM: Mike Muscala???; Blazers-Kings Swap; One More Trade
The Clippers are trading Mike Muscala to the Lakers for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
Not exactly the trade Lakers fans were hoping for. I also don’t really love this move? Zubac was a solid propsect for L.A. who flashed a tiny bit of potential this season. I don’t think Muscala really moves the needle in any direction. Maybe the Lakers are just trying to open up a roster spot for someone else.
And here are a couple trades I genuinely don’t have an opinion on.
The Kings have traded Skal Labissiere to the Blazers for Caleb Swanigan, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
Grizzlies trading Shelvin Mack to Atlanta for guard Tyler Dorsey.— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) February 7, 2019
– Rohan Nadkarni
2:25 PM: Anthony Davis Update
Trade deadline almost here and all signs overwhelmingly point to Anthony Davis, as expected, staying with the New Orleans Pelicans for the rest of the season. Less than 40 minutes left for the biggest of trade buzzer-beaters— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 7, 2019
On second thought, not really an update. – Rohan Nadkarni
2:20 PM: Let the Marcin Gortat Sweepstakes Begin
“I bet Gortat gets signed before Carmelo Anthony,” anonymous SI Staffer. – Rohan Nadkarni
1:55 PM: Marc Gasol is Headed to Toronto
Things are getting spicy! The Raptors are acquiring center Marc Gasol:
Toronto is planning to send Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Milles and a 2024 second-round pick to the the Grizzlies for Gasol, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
I love this for Toronto. The Raptors had to load up after the Sixers and Bucks both made improvements to the roster. Gasol has transformed his game in the last couple seasons, becoming more of a stretch option at the five, making sure his game is keeping up with modern times. It’s tough for Toronto to lose Delon Wright in this trade, but Gasol is going to be a useful piece come playoff time. The Raptors are going to have a lot of flexibility in the frontcourt; they’ll be able to match up with whoever is thrown at them by Boston, Philly, and Milwaukee. – Rohan Nadkarni
1:25 PM: LeVert BACK; Wes Matthews Is Popular
Caris LeVert will be available for the Nets tomorrow. It’s not quite a trade deadline pickup, but it’s a nice boost for a Brooklyn team that should make the playoffs in the East.
Meanwhile, the Pacers will be going after Wes Matthews if the Knicks buy him out, in addition to the Sixers, Warriors, and Thunder. I hope Matthews goes to a team that actually needs him in the playoffs, so not Indy or Golden State. The Rockets would also be fun... – Rohan Nadkarni
1:10 PM: Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin Just Got Traded Again
The hottest buddy comedy of 2019 is Stauskas and Baldwin, Thursday nights at 7:30 on TNT. Two men. One large suitcase. Several thousand miles on the credit card. Where will they go to next?
On Feb. 3 the Portland Trail Blazers sent Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin to the Cleveland Cavaliers— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) February 7, 2019
On Feb. 6 the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin to the Houston Rockets
On Feb. 7 the Houston Rockets sent Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin to the Indiana Pacers
Hopefully these two guys don’t mind being seat buddies on an airplane. – Rohan Nadkarni
1:00 PM: Mirotic to Milwaukee; LeBron Claims He’s Satisfied; The Pelicans are Unfazed
The Bucks are acquiring Nikola Mirotic in exchange for Stanley Johnson:
This is a really smart move for Milwaukee. The Bucks have prioritized spacing under Mike Budenholzer. Mirotic will be a useful piece down the stretch and in the playoffs. I’m especially excited to see him in lineups with Giannis Antetokounmpo at center. Remember how well the Pelicans played with the AD-Mirotic frontcourt last year? Expect those vibes to continue in Milwaukee.
Elsewhere, LeBron is already backtracking on his blatant ploy for Anthony Davis:
LeBron James on whether he's pushing the Lakers to make moves sooner rather than later: "There’s nothing I need to get in this league that I don’t already have. Everything else for me is just like icing on the cake... there’s nothing I’m chasing"— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) February 7, 2019
Does anyone believe this? LeBron has clearly been trying to orchestrate this AD trade through Rich Paul. Don’t be fooled—James wants to win. But I respect him for trying to move the goalposts in the event the Lakers strike out at the deadline. (For more—here’s what the Lakers’ path looks like without Davis.)
Meanwhile, it’s getting more and more obvious the Pelicans aren’t trading today.
Have been hearing that some within the Pels' organization want an AD trade now partly to get the PR mess/distraction out of the way, but that owner Gayle Benson and VP Mickey Loomis, who are more focused on the Saints, are unfazed by the noise.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 7, 2019
If Mickey Loomis’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the general manager of the New Orleans Saints. Have a feeling he has no desire to help out the city of Los Angeles any time soon. – Rohan Nadkarni
12:15 PM: We Have a Trade!!
The Rockets are sending James Ennis to Philly for the rights to swap second-round picks in 2021:
So, this makes a lot of sense for the 76ers. Philly needs depth, and Ennis is a warm body to add to the wing rotation. He can shoot well enough (36.7% from three) that he shouldn’t be a liability, and he’s a solid defender as well. The Sixers still need to add a guard, but Ennis should be able to contribute now and in the postseason.
I don’t understand this for Houston, unless Daryl Morey is clearing a roster spot in conjunction with another move. Ennis has played in 40 games for the Rockets this season, averaging nearly 24 minutes a night. He’s seemingly an important part of their rotation. Iman Shumpert is an upgrade over Ennis, but why wouldn’t Houston want both? I would assume the Rockets are not done tinkering, whether it‘s now or come buyout time. – Rohan Nadkarni
11:45 AM: The Lakers-Pelicans Cold War Continues
The latest update in the Anthony Davis saga as it pertains to the Lakers is the same as the update before, that is, nothing:
Nearly 3 hours away from the NBA's trade deadline and ... the Lakers-Pelicans talks on Anthony Davis are dormant, league sources tell ESPN. No communication, nor an expectation that they'll even speak today. Pelicans seem content to run out the clock.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
As much as we would love to see some wild trade go down, it never really made sense for New Orleans to trade AD before the deadline. I would be completely floored if Davis is somehow moved before the summer. Why shouldn‘t the Pelicans wait to see if Zion Williamson or Jayson Tatum is on the table come late June?
The Lakers should take my advice and shift their efforts to Bradley Beal. – Rohan Nadkarni
10:40 AM: Somebody Trade For the Grizzlies’ Vets
After an incredibly slow morning, some updates are starting to trickle in regarding longtime gritters and grinders Mike Conley and Marc Gasol:
There are still gaps needing to be bridged in Marc Gasol discussions between Memphis and Charlotte, league sources tell ESPN. Talks continued this morning.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
Utah, meanwhile, has not abandoned its pursuit of Mike Conley, league sources say, even knowing Conley's preference is to go to the East if he is dealt today. As discussed here yesterday, Memphis may decide its trade options for Conley broaden by waiting until closer to the draft— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 7, 2019
Gasol makes sense for the Hornets—that team has long been in need of a shakeup, and they have bad contracts to swap. The big man should also has the potential to form a nice partnership with Kemba Walker, perhaps one not too dissimilar to the one he had with Conley.
Meanwhile, this is the first I’m hearing of Conley’s preference to play in the East. I wonder how long Utah will work on him before turning its attention to other point guards (Goran Dragic? Kyle Lowry?)
As a quick refresher, Gasol has a player option for $25.5 million next season. Conley is owed $32.5 million next season and has a player option for $34.5 million the year after. – Rohan Nadkarni
8:00 AM: Reckless Markelle Fultz Speculation
If you’re absolutely in some dire need for a rumor, a local news reporter from Orlando has you covered. This is what the trade deadline does to people, and frankly, I love it:
If you wanna read deep into the @NBA trade rumors: here’s Magic Guard Terrence Ross posting a Fresh Prince (Philadelphia) filter on Instagram.— Adam Shadoff (@FOX35Adam) February 7, 2019
76’ers Markelle Fultz has been rumored to be a target for Orlando.
Maybe this is a thing, or maybe I’m sleep deprived & up too early. pic.twitter.com/9cyvjvRqZ3
The move would legitimately make sense for the 76ers, who almost certainly need to deal Fultz today. Philly is now desperate for depth, and Fultz represents their best chance at picking up another rotation piece. I would assume the Sixers are looking to add a wing and point guard before the postseason.
Unless you’re a big fan of Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (and Vogue), it’s been an otherwise fairly quiet morning on the trade front. (Bieber can hoop, though.) – Rohan Nadkarni
7:00 AM: Kevin Durant Does Not Like Your Rumors
While everyone else who follows the NBA seems to love trade deadline week, there is one notable exception: two-time NBA champ Kevin Durant. KD has heard your Knicks rumors—and he's managed to stay quiet for a little bit over a week. But last night the floodgates opened and a gush of complaints came pouring out of his mouth:
"I have nothing to do with the Knicks," Durant said. "I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in here every day, ask me about free agency, ask my teammates, my coaches. You rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying. And now when I don't wanna talk to y'all, it's a problem with me. Come on, man.
There were probably better ways to handle this, but it's understandable why KD lost his cool. Everyone in the NBA is looking five months ahead and doesn't care about the present. There's no answer that KD can give that will truly hush the masses. That's what happens when the season's result feels predetermined—our minds wander! — Matt Dollinger
12:00 AM: The Wizards are Tearing Down, Maybe?
In the aftermath of John Wall’s Achilles injury, the Wizards finally appear to be headed for something resembling a reboot. They shipped Otto Porter to Chicago on Wednesday, then followed that up with a tax-ducking transaction, sending Markieff Morris to New Orleans for Wesley Johnson. Shams says Washington still has no plans to trade Bradley Beal, but then again Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said just last week Porter wouldn’t be traded. Washington may be worth keeping an eye on. In addition to Beal, Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green are pieces who could have some value to playoff-bound teams, though Ariza is apparently “enthusiastic” about remaning in D.C., says Woj. (Why? asks Rohan.)
Leading into Thursday
• TRADE GRADES: The Clippers sent Tobias Harris to the 76ers in a pre-deadline blockbuster. Jeremy Woo grades the trade for both the contending Sixers and the reloading Clips.
• ROUNDTABLE: Which other NBA stars should demand a trade? The Crossover's staff looks around the league at stranded stars not named Anthony Davis.
• NO AD? What happens if the Lakers don't land Anthony Davis before the deadline? Rohan Nadkarni examines their boom-or-bust situation.
• BOSTON AND AD: Can the Celtics convince the Pelicans to keep Anthony Davis past the trade deadline? Chris Mannix goes behind the scenes in Boston.
• AND THE KNICKS: After trading Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, what should the Knicks do next? One writer believes they should turn their attention to Kyrie Irving.