By Hocine LOUKKAF on 2/28/2020
The trade deadline was pretty quiet but some teams, like the Hawks or the Wolves, managed to get the kind of player they were searching for.
By landing Capela, a young defensive center with an interesting contract which will pay him an average $17m per year until 2023, the Hawks may have solved their biggest problem, the protection of the rim. Moreover, Capela doesn’t need many touches on offense but makes the best of them with 60+% from the floor. the Hawks also traded for former player of the club Jeff Teague who could help Trae Young get rest and give him some solid tips.
The Wolves decided that Wiggins would not be the future of the franchise by trading him and the 2021 first round pick for Russell. They also got rid of Covington and Deng in various trades. Russell may not be a top 20 player in the league but he brings some talent at the PG spot and is one of Towns’ best friend. The franchise did also a solid job bringing depth with James Johnson, Malik Beasley (20+pts since he’s joined the team) or Hernangomez and getting Brooklyn’s 2020 first round pick. They will need that as they’ve lost 18 of their last 19 games.
The Heat needed one more piece to upgrade their team and they found the good fit with Iguodala. The do-it-all forward was traded for the oft-injured Winslow, James Johnson and Waiters. He had time to rest as he refused to play for Memphis but is still adapating to his new situation. At least, it’s one player that no other contender will have in its roster. The Heat also acquired Jae Crowder, another player who could brng his experience and toughness during the playoffs.
Despite missing out on Iguodala, the Clippers were still able to grab another interesting vet, Marcus Morris. After experiencing the Knicks( circus, Morris will have the chance to fight for a title. He brings his versatility and shooting, two much needed qualities for the contending Clippers.
Golden State Warriors
This one is a tough one. By trading De’Angelo Russell, the Warriors filled a need at SF since Durant and Iguodala left. Wiggins has not (and may never) reached his potential but maybe he needed a change of scenario. His contract is a big load for Golden State Ttoo as he’s supposed to earn about $30m per year until 2023. GM Bob Myers has also obtained a 2021 first round pick (top three protected) in what could be an heavy draft. We’ll see in two years if the Warriors outsmarted their counterparts.
The Cavs needed a center, they got a good one for almost nothing (Henson, Brandon Knight and a second round pick). Drummond has a player option for next year that could make him earn $28m, which could give a year for the Cavs to test him. At worst, he will not exercise it and the Cavs will have some cap to sign one or could use their draft pick.
We know how much of a gambler D’Antoni is and he proved it one more time. By trading the very efficient and pretty cheap Capela for the versatile defender and shooter Covington is, the Rockets decided to go all-in with a small-ball lineup and no more inside players in the roster. That will allow them to play fast on offense but whas it worth losing the rim-protector Capela is and, above all, will it work when the rythm will get slower in the playoffs?
Utah needed some scoring from the bench and decided to give up on Exum to get Clarkson. Clarkson may not be a star but he’s a good scorer who can play both guard spots. Utah may be a good team for him where he will have a precise role to play.
By getting Ariza basically for Bazemore, the Blazers gained size at SF and a versatile defender who could play some small ball four. In the same deal, Portland brings back Swanigan, who could give some solid minutes from the bench.
With Powell out for the season, the Mavs needed one more rotation inside. For a modest second round pick, they got Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors. WCS has never reached the expectations but he will be asked to play a specific role for a playoff bound team, a good way to find the motivation.
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