Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winners and Losers of the 2013 NBA Trade Season

J.J. Redick was among the NBA players traded before the Thursday deadline (

The clock for trading players in the NBA expired Thursday at 3 p.m. EST and, to be honest, the trades made didn't live up to the hype built up in the weeks before the deadline. Sure, several players changed teams, but no major names will be showing up on new rosters or appear on upcoming tickets in different uniforms. Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce all stayed put. For the sake of completeness, however, let's figure out who won and lost the trade season.

The Orlando Magic had a busy final day of the trade deadline, trading away four players in two deals.

The major player in the mix for the Magic — and the most valuable player moved by any team before the deadline was shooting guard J.J. Redick, who is now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Redick was part of a six-player trade which also included the Magic sending Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith for Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih and Tobias Harris.

In a separate deal, Orlando parted with another former Duke player Josh McRoberts for Hakim Warrick from the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bucks acquire Redick during his most successful season in the NBA. The sharpshooter is averaging 15.1 ppg, nearly six points more than his career averages of 9.2. Redick is also improving in field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals (although the difference in the final two stats is slim).

It seems like Redick, in his sixth season in the NBA, has come into his role on an NBA team and has learned how to be successful moving from a star at Duke to a supporting character in the NBA.

The Bucks seem to have won this trade due to the fact that Redick is having the best year of his career. Brandon Jennings is already the premier scorer, so Redick can resume the role of 3-point threat and give the Bucks some needed offensive firepower. Doron Lamb is the youngest and possibly has the most upside of of any player the Magic got in return, but he is mostly unproven, averaging just 3.4 ppg. However, this was a smart time for the Magic to trade Redick if it was going to happen because his stock was looking to climb by the season's end.

We already touched on one angle of the Houston Rockets/Phoenix Suns trade, which reunites Marcus and Markieff Morris in the Suns' logjam of a frontcourt. If played at the same time, the twins' chemistry could give Phoenix a small spark. They aren't going to be beating top teams at the end of this season, but they are developing players again with rookie and social media star Kendall Marshall getting minutes as the second-string point guard, prompting a swap of Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for center Hamed Haddadi and a protected second-round pick.

Haddadi is on his third team of the season, having been moved in the same deal that sent Rudy Gay to Toronto, but is unlikely to get minutes playing behind Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O'Neal in the desert. That deal overshadows another deal the Grizzlies made: sending Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a conditional first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jon Leuer. The most notable portion of this trade — other than Memphis going under the luxury tax is the pick, as it was the only future first-rounder traded this season. Under the new CBA, first-round picks are more valuable than ever. This is the sixth first-round pick the Cavs had obtained via trade since 2010 and will continue to help Cleveland solidify a young core around Kyrie Irving.

Easily the busiest team over the course of the trade season, the Grizzlies also received Dexter Pittman, a 2013 second-round pick and cash considerations from the Miami Heat in exchange for the rights to Ricky Sanchez, a forward selected in the second round of the 2005 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers who is currently playing in Argentina.

The Blazers may have missed out on Sanchez, but shortly before yesterday's deadline they welcomed Eric Maynor into their guard rotation. Maynor had played decreased minutes with the Oklahoma City Thunder after injuring his knee last season and becoming the third point guard option after returning. The Blazers get a much needed reliable, if rusty back-up for rookie stalwart Damian Lillard while OKC shaved approximately $1 million in salary by receiving cash and the rights to 27-year-old Greek forward Georgios Printezis.

The most forward getting the most attention because of a trade, though, is Thomas Robinson. Drafted as the No. 5 overall pick less than a year ago by the flailing Sacramento Kings, Robinson was dealt to the Rockets along with frontcourt brethren Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt for fellow Kansas Jayhawk Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson. While Patterson is putting up better per-game numbers than Robinson this season, Robinson has been mired in a crowded rotation of big men and played 410 fewer minutes than Patterson. Comparing the per-36 minutes numbers, though, reveals that while Robinson is averaging 1.7 turnovers and 1.5 personal fouls more than Patterson, the rookie is putting up better defensive stats than his replacement with 4.1 rebounds per 36 and holding the edge in assists, steals and blocks, as well. Patterson is the better player right now. He's also more exciting at the moment, scoring more points per 36 minutes than Robinson, but this trade is another bungled move in a series of them for the Kings. Giving up on a player so early is foolish and the Rockets don't intend to do the same thing, having said they intend to keep Robinson (and, for now, they have by refusing to flip him immediately after acquiring his contract). Robinson is going through typical rookie struggles and should even out next season, if not before.

Of the more ancillary moves, Jordan Crawford landing in Boston will give the Celtics more offensive firepower in the absence of Rajon Rondo, whose back-up, Leandro Barbosa, also tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was traded in return to the Washington Wizards along with Jason Collins. With Barbosa and Collins entering free agency this summer and only one-third of their current contracts left, the Wizards save a bit of money (Crawford's contract goes through 2013-14 with a $1 million pay raise next season) and can continue restructuring around John Wall without Crawford living in bench limbo.

Other trades included the New York Knicks sending Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder for a 2014 second-round pick and cash, and the Atlanta Hawks receiving Dahntay Jones (for Anthony Morrow) and Jeremy Tyler (for cash and future draft considerations) in separate trades with the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, respectively. The Warriors were involved in a second trade, taking in a protected second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers as Charles Jenkins and a bit of cash goes to the City of Brotherly Love.

Who wins and who loses, then? Here's a quick recap, with the lessons, as always, being that most trades have more to do with pocketbooks than with play on the court and the Maloofs hate Sacramento:

Winners: Bucks, Celtics, Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Wizards
Losers: Kings (and their fans)
Line-Steppers: Everyone else

*Kyle Davis contributed to this article due to conflict of interest.

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