Now you know why we call it the best day of the NBA season. Deals go down, fact triumphs over fiction, Sam Hinkie is outed as a hoarder and Larry Bird wins big at the buzzer.
A total of 10 trades were agreed to already today after two deals were made Wednesday on the day before the NBA trading deadline (Steve Blake from the Lakers to the Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks; and Marcus Thornton from Sacramento to Brooklyn for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans).
Among the players who were in play but did not get moved were Jarrett Jack and Luol Deng of the Cavs, Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill of the Lakers, Iman Shumpert of the Knicks, J.J. Barea of the Timberwolves, and others.
So let’s have a looksee at the deals that did go down, in the order in which they were revealed to the world.
And let’s all gaze in awe at Bird, who pulled off the shocker of the day by acquiring Evan Turner (and Lavoy Allen) from the Sixers for Danny Granger and his expiring contract. We can also wonder what the Clippers are going to do in case their big men ever get into foul trouble, because Ryan Hollins is their only big coming off the bench (though they could turn to China for help).
And while we’re at it, lets’s gasp at Hinkie, who now has 10 second-round draft picks stashed away — along with the Pelicans’ first-round pick this June. The Sixers now need a scouting staff that’s larger than their roster.
Cleveland acquires Spencer Hawes from Philadelphia for Earl Clark, Henry Sims and a pair of second-round draft picks.
ANALYSIS: The hottest team in the Eastern Conference got itself the rarest of commodities — a stretch 5.
Hawes can not only serve as a backup to Anderson Varejao (who has missed the first two games after the All-Star break due to injuries) and Tyler Zeller at center, he can play alongside either of those two guys as a center/power forward who can space the floor on offense. Hawes, a career .315 shooter from 3-point range, has improved his accuracy this season by making 3s at a .399 clip while also leading the Sixers in rebounding with 8.5 per game to go along with his 13.5 points.
After going 0-for-8 in a particularly putrid performance Feb. 9 against the Clippers, Hawes had another stinker against the Cavs as he shot 1-for-6 in 29 minutes Tuesday night and the Sixers lost by 29 points.
But his body of work over 6-plus seasons (three with Sacramento, 3 1/2 with Philadelphia), along with his size, were enough to convince interim Cleveland general manager David Griffin to take on his expiring $6.6 million contract.
Cleveland has won six straight games to move within three games of Charlotte for the eighth seed in the East.
The draft picks going to the Sixers are the Cavs’ own second-round pick in 2014 and Memphis’ second round pick in 2014.
SACRAMENTO ACQUIRES ROGER MASON FROM MIAMI FOR A CONDITIONAL SECOND-ROUND PICK
This move was made by the Heat to clear a roster spot, so it is only a matter of time before we know who will be Chris Anderson 2.0 for the two-time defending champs. Perhaps it will be Granger if he is bought out. Or does Pat Riley have his eye on an American who has been playing in China? The CBA regular season just ended, and there are plenty of serviceable players who are now free to sign in the NBA.
Mason is expected to be waived by the Kings, whose general manager, Pete D’Alesandro, has made four in-season trades.
CHARLOTTE ACQUIRES GARY NEAL AND LUKE RIDNOUR FROM MILWAUKEE FOR RAMON SESSIONS AND JEFF ADRIEN
Neal’s tenure with the Bucks lasted about as long as a couple of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s marriages (Yes, I am dating myself with that line. You younger folks should Google her). It wasn’t all that long ago that Neal (along with Danny Green) was a star during the NBA Finals, regaling us with tales of a honeymoon spent in Las Vegas playing in the summer league after he and his wife had planned a vacation in the Bahamas.
Neal’s inspired performance helped him land a two-year, $6.5 million free agent contract in Milwaukee, where he proceeded to stink — scoring 10.0 points per game and making just two starts among his 30 appearances for the NBA’s worst team.
Maybe Michael Jordan will inspire him.
IMHO, the best player in this deal is Ridnour, a member of the famed 2003 draft class (he went 11th to the Seattle SuperSonics) who will be an upgrade over Sessions, who had a double-double Wednesday night with 10 points and 10 rebounds in Charlotte’s victory over Detroit.
WASHINGTON ACQUIRES ANDRE MILLER FROM DENVER IN A THREE-TEAM TRADE SENDING JAN VESELY TO DENVER AND ERIC MAYNOR AND TWO SECOND-ROUND PICKS TO PHILADELPHIA
Quite a nice pickup for the Wizards, who are free-falling in the LEastern Conference and have dropped two games below .500.
Miller, a 14-year veteran who had been on paid leave following a December fallout with coach Brian Shaw, takes over the backup duties behind John Wall from Maynor, who will now be with his fifth team in five seasons. Washington also had to give up on Vesely, the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft.
Philly GM Sam Hinkie added another two second-rounders, upping his total to four for the day. The Sixers get Washington’s second-rounder in 2015 and Denver’s in 2016, but they also get stuck with Maynor for a year. He has a player option for $2.1 million next season.
All in all, a nice deal for a Washington team that will not need to rely on Wall to play 48 minutes per game in the playoffs.
The second-round picks Philly is getting are the Pelicans’ in 2015 and Denver’s in 2016.
DENVER ACQUIRES AARON BROOKS FROM HOUSTON FOR JORDAN HAMILTON
What, you expected Daryl Morey to sit out a trade deadline day?
The Rockets really had no use for Brooks, who is a decent player and will get plenty of burn in Denver with Ty Lawson injured and Andre Miller traded. For those of you in fantasy leagues, Brooks looks like the best waiver pickup of the day. He had the right to veto the trade but declined.
As far as real basketball goes, the Rockets get another wing player who started 11 games for the Nuggets, averaging 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds. He’ll play behind Chandler Parsons.
ATLANTA ACQUIRES ANTAWN JAMISON FROM L.A. CLIPPERS FOR THE DRAFT RIGHTS TO CENK AKYOL.
This one came out of the blue right as the deadline arrived after the Clippers apparently turned down a deal with the Knicks that would have sent Darren Collison to New York for a package including Iman Shumpert, who sprained his MCL Wednesday night. Shumpert trade rumors were running rampant in the final hour before the deadline.
So what version of Jamison are the Hawks getting? The 14-year veteran will be joining his seventh NBA team, and it may surprise some of our younger readers to learn that Jamison was an All-Star twice — in 2005 and 2008 when he was with the Wizards.
He was playing only 11 minutes per game for the Clippers and was shooting a ghastly .196 from 3-point range. But some of the older folks around the NBA tend to produce in brief bursts come playoff time (see Mike Miller), and that is apparently what Hawks GM Danny Ferry is banking on.
Then again, the Hawks might just give Jamison a buyout.
The Clippers save about $2 million in luxury taxes.
Since we knew you were going to ask, Akyol was the 59th pick of the 2005 draft. He plays for Galatasaray Liv Hospital of the Turkish Basketball League
SAN ANTONIO ACQUIRES AUSTIN DAYE FROM TORONTO FOR NANDO DeCOLO
Wait a minute, the Spurs traded a foreign player away?
Well, that’s what can happen when you are carrying four point guards on your roster, including one — Patty Mills — who just went off for 54 points in the Spurs last two games as Tony Parker was sidelined.
Daye hasn’t done anything in the Association since being picked with the 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he has scored a grand total of 8 points in 8 games for the Raptors this season. We’d call him the most insignificant player dealt on Thursday, but R.C. Buford is known for finding diamonds in the rough, so we’ll resist that temptation.
PHILADELPHIA ACQUIRES B.J. MULLENS AND A SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PICK FROM THE L.A. CLIPPERS FOR A CONDITIONAL SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PICK
Just when you think you’ve seen the most insignificant player traded (Austin Daye), along come the Clippers with another piece of luxury tax savings. Naturally, the Sixers picked up yet another second-round draft pick. And if our instincts are correct, the conditions on the 2nd rounder Philly is sending away is that it is protected Top 59, and extinguished if not conveyed.
Mullens, a 7-footer who likes to wear his hair long and shoot 3s, has a player option for next season at $1.05 million that he would be nuts to turn down. After four-plus years in the league, the Sixers will be his fourth team.
The Clippers’ frontcourt depth is now depleted, with Ryan Hollins the only big coming off the bench behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
INDIANA ACQUIRES EVAN TURNER AND LAVOY ALLEN FROM PHILADELPHIA FOR DANNY GRANGER AND A SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PICK
News of this one hit Twitter via Adrian Wojnarowski (who else?) at 3:39 p.m., and a collective gasp was heard near and far.
The Pacers, leading the Eastern Conference by two games over the Miami Heat, surrendered a broken down veteran coming off knee surgery (and who was producing only 8.3 points per game on 36 percent shooting) for the No. 2 pick of the 2010 draft.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner of Best Trade of the Day.
And his name is Larry Bird.
Philadelphia was shopping Turner and Thaddeus Young, and it’s astonishing that they could get no more than an expiring contract for a player averaging a team-high 17.4 points per game. Turner, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, will have his playing time greatly diminished, but if he produces consistently as the backup behind Lance Stephenson, he will have a chance to earn himself a healthy-sized contract when he becomes a free agent.
As for Allen, he is gravy in this deal for the Pacers — an additional front line player coming off the bench along with Luis Scola, Ian Mahinmi and Andrew Bynum.
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.