Feb 22, 2014 1:25 PM EST
Thursday at the NBA trade deadline, we saw a total of 26 players, seven second round draft picks, and zero blockbuster trades. On Friday, we covered how the 10 players that ended up on West teams will shape the playoff race, and now we are looking at the 16 that were sent to the D-League…whoops, I meant the Eastern Conference.
While the Western teams made a few smart, calculated trades to improve depth (Steve Blake to the Warriors) and cut costs (possible buyout for Jason Terry from the Kings), the East had the biggest deals of the deadline. The East deals included the only two All-Stars dealt (Antawn Jamison and Danny Granger), the two best players (Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes), and the smartest player (Professor Andre Miller, PhD).
The Brooklyn Nets traded their disappointing – but playoff tested – guard, Jason Terry, for the Sacramento Kings' disappointing – and never played in a playoff game – guard, Marcus Thorton. Thorton, who once averaged 21.3 points per game, is a solid sixth man and capable of scoring in bunches when needed though he has struggled badly this season. He will likely provide relief for Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson down the stretch of the season. However, adding his extra $730,000 in salary means paying a ridiculous $3.3 million in tax, bringing their total to over $88 million on taxes alone…for a team that won’t get out of the first round.
The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for 76ers' center, Spencer Hawes. He will likely anchor their team right to where they were destined to be before they traded for him…the lottery. Hawes is a talented 7-footer who leads all centers in three-pointers made and percentage, is an elite passer for his position, a good scorer and rebounder, and a capable body on defense when he cares. Forced to play on a hapless Philadelphia team, Hawes had no reason to try over the past few months, but as he heads into free agency this offseason, expect his production to go back up for the Cavs. Despite the addition of Hawes and recently acquired Luol Deng, this team is unfortunately still coached by Mike Brown, suggesting they are likely doomed to miss the playoffs and then ultimately lose Hawes and Deng to free agency for nothing.
Professor Andre Miller, PhD left his classroom for winter break on December 30th and has been M.I.A. ever since. However, after being traded to the Washington Wizards, you can rest assured Professor Miller will be making a teaching once again. Miller, who was restless under indecisive rookie head coach Brian Shaw will be a capable backup behind John Wall, likely helping lead this Wizards team to homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Charlotte Bobcats made a good deal at the trade deadline. Say it with me: “The Bobcats did something right.” They traded valuable but redundant point guard, Ramon Sessions to the Milwaukee Bucks along with Jeff Adrian for Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal. Ridnour is a terrific backup point guard who can play behind or with Kemba Walker, while Neal is an outstanding shooter who won an NBA Finals game last season by scoring 24 points in 25 minutes!
In the only move that might affect the NBA Finals this season, the Pacers trading former All-Star forward, Danny Granger to the 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Turner is a do-it-all forward who has fallen out of favor league-wide because he has failed to live up to the hype of a second overall pick. Turner should play with the first unit as well as anchor the second for the Pacers. His ball handling will allow George Hill, Paul George and CJ Watson to get free and take uncontested shots while giving them insurance –albeit expensive at an $8.7 million qualifying offer or whatever long-term offer he receives – in case Lance Stephenson leaves in free agency. Additionally, Allen started in the playoffs only two seasons ago and is a capable big man off the bench. Most importantly, Larry “The Legend” Bird signed off on this trade, thus, it must be great.
The last set of trades involved the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks. Each team gave up players that weren’t part of their future and received cash, second round draft picks, and laundry service for a year in exchange for helping another team out. The Heat traded Roger Mason Jr. and cash for a pick they will likely never see in order to open a roster spot for Caron Butler (Tuff Juice wants to go home!). The 76ers, who were involved in a league-high four deals during the trade deadline ended up with five second round draft picks and five players that won’t be buying property in Philadelphia. Finally, the Hawks acquired Antawn Jamison from the Clippers and enough cash to take him out to a nice dinner before buying out his contract.
Compared to the four West teams that made a deadline deal, eight of the top ten Eastern franchises made a deal with only Chicago and Detroit remaining inactive. Whether this reflects the fragility of the Eastern Conference standings (5th place through 11th is separated by just 5.5 games), or the strength of the mighty teams in the West (3rd place in the East would be 10th in the West) is anyone’s guess. With that said, all these moves outside of Indiana and Miami are moot because none of them are making the Eastern Conference Finals.
Indiana Pacers Vs. Miami Heat, Round III starts May 20th – Get ready, America!
Jan 04, 2014 11:12 AM EST
If you put together a team that includes six former All-Stars (seven if you count the coach), you expect to have a very good team. If you put together a team that has six guys that have played in 36 All-Star games (46 if you include the coach), you demand to contend. However, instead of contending the Brooklyn Nets are trying to gain relevance as they sit in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. Having spent the offseason adding former All-Star players like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Andrei Kirilenko, this team has no excuse to not make the playoffs this season…oh, and their best player this season, Brook Lopez, is out for the season.
The Good: Deron Williams is healthy again and put up a productive line of 15.1 points, 8.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game in December. Did I mention the 36 All-Star appearances by this team? Mason Plumlee may turn out to be better than his brother Miles, who is playing well in Phoenix. The Nets have five guys averaging double figures this season, and despite the least enthusiastic coaching of all-time by Jason Kidd, he’s managed the minutes of this veteran squad well as only one active player is playing over 30 minutes per game…this might not be a good thing.
The Bad: Their best player, Brook Lopez, was lost for the entire season after breaking his foot for the second time in two years. Lopez was the one bright spot on this otherwise horrendous Brooklyn Net team. The Nets – who are 9-17 at the time of writing – is costing owner, Mikhail Prokhorov $186 million ($85 million in tax) this season. They have no one to replace Lopez’s production (he was seventh in PER this year). If that wasn’t bad enough, next season they’re already committed to spending $87 million on eight players (this does not include Pierce, Kirilenko, Andray Blatche, and Shaun Livingston). So more than likely, that number will rise a bit higher before all is said and done. In addition to their on-court issues (winning, being coached properly, not being old), and their financial constraints, this team has no hopes of getting better through the draft.
The Fix: You’re left hoping that the early season struggles will evaporate as the season goes on. This team can hope for a favorable matchup in the playoffs (if they get there) that they can take advantage of and use as a springboard to the second round. However, they would most assuredly lose in four games to the Heat or Pacers. Prokhorov has invested far too much money in this team to not go down with the ship. Good luck, Nets fans!
Dec 11, 2013 12:22 AM EST
As a second round draft pick placed onto the veteran-laden Brooklyn Nets last season, Tyshawn Taylor spent extensive time in the NBA D-League, but teammates and coaches swiftly noticed his tenacious style on both ends of the floor. He’s put up four double-digit scoring performances in 14 games this season, starting three, and has a growing relationship with the Nets’ new coaching staff.
Taylor praises Eric Hughes and John Welch as the assistant coaches who have helped in his improvement, working on his jump shot technique that has slowly developed between four seasons at Kansas and the NBA.
“My coaches have been great working with me,” Taylor told RealGM. “We have a whole new coaching staff from my rookie year, obviously. Coach [Jason] Kidd has also helped me, just talking to me and pointing things out that I don’t see on the court.
“Getting the experience and getting to play, it’s been helping me out a lot. The season hasn’t gone how we wanted to so far, but we still got time to change it and we’re looking forward to it.”
Taylor knows the depth to which the Nets have disappointed not only people around the league, but also themselves. Taylor and Shaun Livingston have done an admirable job filling in for Deron Williams, who returned from an ankle injury on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics. The Nets have also been without Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko for extended parts of the season.
Even with Williams' comeback to the lineup, Taylor expects Kidd to use either him or Livingston frequently next to the former All-Star.
“With Shaun’s style and his versatility, D-Will’s style and his versatility, two out of three of us are going to play at the same time together as a one and two combo,” Taylor said. “We’ll be good.
“I’m excited for our whole team to be healthy. I’m looking forward to it, man. When our team gets healthy, we’re going to be really good.”
Dec 09, 2013
A year ago, Brook Lopez would always speak as the ultimate role player citing a need to get others a flow on offense, before himself. A year ago, the skilled seven-footer was pushed away from the block far too often and at times resisted constant feeds inside. No more.
Nov 25, 2013
Strangely, none of the major market teams have the competitive advantage of their location and a top-flight organizational reputation. History and money are still (largely) on their sides but players have become more conscious of organizational quality in recent years.
Oct 29, 2013
After Brooklyn acquired Joe Johnson, everyone decried how inflexible their roster situation had become. Since then, they have acquired Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Andray Blatche. The Nets are extremely deep, with one of the most loaded rosters from top to bottom in the league.
Oct 29, 2013
The following 30 questions are the biggest issues facing each NBA front office as the 13-14 regular season begins.
Aug 16, 2013
Great drafts for the Rockets, 76ers, Nets, Warriors, Hawks and Grizzlies headline this complete rundown of the 2013 offseason.
Jul 15, 2013
The only thing crazier than Brooklyn’s reckless approach to team building this offseason is that it just might work. Championships aren’t won on paper, but if everything goes right, all the pieces are in place for the Nets to make a deep run in the playoffs and could beat the Heat using the 2011 Mavs' model.
Jul 01, 2013
With the 2013 NBA offseason underway, here is a primer on what all 30 teams are facing.
Jun 28, 2013
We ended up with a quintessential Brooklyn Nets trade: flashy with big names and short-term benefits but with meaningful potential costs down the line. Fortunately for them, the team should be good enough to make those selections less painful to miss.
Jun 28, 2013
Breaking down all 30 teams by category of how they fared in the often surprising, never disappointing 2013 NBA Draft.
May 20, 2013
One fun component of the Amnesty rule is that we know exactly which players are eligible for it and that number can only decrease over time since the players had to have been under contract with the same team before the new CBA.
Apr 30, 2013
Brook Lopez scored a series-high 28 points, while Deron Williams was aggressive in attacking a Bulls' defense missing Kirk Hinrich.
Apr 21, 2013
The Bulls and Nets finished the regular season ranked as two of the slowest paced teams in the league, preferring to operate in halfcourt sets. As much as anything the series appears to be shaping up to be defined by health and interior scoring.
Apr 18, 2013
Jerry Stackhouse has been a valued teammate providing tutelage as a coach on the floor and quality minutes at small forward when called upon. In the midst of his 18th season, Stackhouse has maintained his physique to keep up with the young legs of players who watched him growing up.
Apr 12, 2013
Conventional wisdom suggests that the team with the best player has the advantage in a seven-game series, which could bode well for the Nets. Deron Williams has been playing great as of late, perhaps only surpassed by Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in the Eastern Conference in terms of individual performance.
Feb 22, 2013
Everything goes back to the Nets' fateful decision to acquire Deron Williams in 2011. Right now, in 2013, would you rather have Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez and no cap room, or Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Damian Lillard, Lopez and room for a max player?
Feb 21, 2013
The Kings, Knicks, Rockets, Thunder and Cavaliers have been the most active teams at the deadline over the past decade, while the Spurs, Pistons, Heat, Lakers and Pacers have made the fewest deals.
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