The 2016 NBA Trade Deadline has come and passed without many large trades. However, some apparently minor trades now, will play a role in the success of some contending teams in the future. Here is a recap of which teams made mistakes and which teams made great deals on February 18.
The Pistons were able to add Tobias Harris, Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton at the cost of Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova and a top 9 protected 2016 first round draft selection. The trade for Harris was perhaps the biggest heist of the deadline, as Detroit was able to attain a 23 year old player who is dynamic on offense and is under contract for the next 3.5 years. Stan Van Gundy also added Motiejunas, who has shown his great skill and potential when he has been healthy throughout his young career. Similarly to last year with Reggie Jackson, SVG has pursued a RFA smartly before the offseason where he would have to compete for the services of D-Mo with numerous other teams. The Pistons are serious about making the playoffs in the short term and setting themselves up for long term success.
The Cavs picked up an excellent three-point shooting big on the cheap, in Channing Frye. Frye has been buried in the Magic rotation due to his injuries and age, but he has shown that he can be a very efficient offensive player. The addition of Frye can help the Cavs create an unstoppable offensive lineup with Kevin Love at the 4, and Channing Frye at the 5. Cleveland was also able to get out of the terrible contract of Anderson Varejao, as they dumped him to Portland. The Cavs were able to help their team in the present and future at the cost of a late first round and a second round pick.
Los Angelos Clippers
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The Clippers traded Lance Stephenson and a 2019 first round draft pick for Jeff Green. Green has struggled greatly with the Grizzlies this year to mark his frustratingly underwhelming career thus far. A straight Green for Stephenson swap would appear to make sense with the injury of Blake Griffin, however the addition of a draft pick to the trade is strange. The Clippers are already at a desperate lack for young bench players and are eliminating their future assets for a short term fix that is underwhelming.
The Magic already have a great young core led by Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Mario Hezonja. However, cutting ties with a promising young player in Tobias Harris for older expiring contracts is puzzling. Parting ways with Channing Frye for only a second round pick is also confusing given the great interest in him around the league. The Magic are a team on the rise, however it is not an excuse for them to fail to add more younger assets in the future and to not receive fair value for their players that they elect to deal.