There have been exactly a dozen NBA trades made this season, from small to significant. Some teams wanted to clear up money, some teams wanted to continue rebuilding, while others took bold steps in ensuring present and future success on the court.
But in our society of instant gratification and unceasing competition, we almost have an unquenchable thirst for deciding winners and losers. And for the 19 teams involved in these 12 trades, it is time for an insightful look at how everyone fared since the end of October.
We start with the biggest of them all …
10/27/12– Oklahoma City traded G James Harden to Houston for G Kevin Martin, G Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft picks and a second-round draft pick.
Oklahoma City was unwilling to give Harden a max contract, and the Thunder made the unpopular decision to send him to Houston for scoring guard Martin, Lamb and Toronto’s first-rounder this year (top 3 protected). The Rockets were desperate to acquire a star player, but GM Daryl Morey probably didn’t envision Harden becoming one of the top scorers and players in the NBA so quickly. Here’s where he stacks up in many statistical categories (stats via Basketball Reference):
|Offensive Win Shares||9.9||3|
|Win Shares/ 48 Min||0.214||5|
|Pts Per Game||25.9||5|
|Steals Per Game||1.8||7|
|Min Per Game||38.2||8|
|True Shooting %||60.6||9|
Winner: Both Teams. Houston is now in position to be a viable conference contender for years to come, while the Thunder remained a top team while gaining cap flexibility and a lottery pick.
1/22/13- Memphis traded F Marreese Speights, G Wayne Ellington, G Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to Cleveland for F Jon Leuer.
This was a salary dump for Memphis and a prelude to the Rudy Gay trade you’ll see below. Cleveland got a heavily protected pick from the Grizzlies, but the deal for the Cavs really hinges on Speights’ long-term future with the team. He’s signed through next season, and is certainly making a case to be a building block on this young Cleveland squad.
Winner: Cleveland. The Cavs need to lock Speights up, and this will have been an even greater trade for GM Chris Grant.
1/30/13- Memphis traded G-F Rudy Gay and C Hamed Haddadi to Toronto for G Jose Calderon and F Ed Davis. Traded G Calderon to Detroit for F Austin Daye and F Tayshaun Prince.
I won’t discuss this trade in enormous detail, since I talked about Memphis’ improvement without Rudy Gay at length back in this recent column. Gay is owed roughly $37 million through the 2015 season, and the Raptors traded for him when he was going through the worst season of his career. He gave Toronto a brief boost, but it faded quickly.
The Grizzlies got nice contributors in Davis, Prince and Daye whose ultimate value will not be known until we see how they fare in the playoffs as Memphis goes in as one of the few completely healthy postseason teams. The Pistons got a huge expiring contract in Calderon. His $11 million is going off the books, and Detroit could end up with $36 million in cap space that Joe Dumars can blow this summer and the 2.0 version of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.
Winner: Memphis. Detroit’s grade is an incomplete based on what they do this summer, and Toronto goes down as a loser.
2/21/13- Washington traded G Jordan Crawford to Boston for C Jason Collins and G Leandro Barbosa.
After the trade deadline, I mentioned that Crawford could be an asset for the Celtics. I was wrong. He’s been terrible. Look at the stats:
|Crawford||Min||PPG||FG %||3 FG%||PER|
Winner: Washington. The Wizards got $2.5 million in expiring contracts and freed up playing time for the budding backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. I wouldn’t necessarily call Boston the loser, because it was a low-risk, high-reward move that could have infused scoring into a team that needed direction after the Rajon Rondo injury. But this trade/purge worked out well for Washington.