Not everyone can be the Cavaliers and engineer an episode of Extreme Makeover: NBA Edition in the span of a few hours. Here’s a roundup of all the other, more minor deals from the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday.
The Deal: The New York Knicks get Emmanuel Mudiay, the Dallas Mavericks get Doug McDermott, and the Denver Nuggets get Devin Harris in a three-team deal, reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Knicks and the Nuggets will also be swapping second-round picks in 2018.
The Motivation: The Nuggets are giving up on Mudiay. It’s been a long time coming — ever since Denver drafted him with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft — and he has underwhelmed across the board. Denver’s on the rise, with Paul Millsap set to return soon. It couldn’t afford to give playoff minutes to Mudiay. He is in need of a reset, which he will get in New York. Adding the 34-year-old Harris from Dallas will give the Nuggets a more reliable backup point guard as they shift toward a win-now mentality.
For the Knicks, getting rid of McDermott and sending him to the Mavericks is barely a move, and getting the chance to revive Mudiay’s career is worth it. Dallas is just the latest stop for Dougie McBuckets.
Good or Bad Idea? I like it for everyone. Good job, guys.
The Deal: The Pistons get Jameer Nelson in exchange for Willie Reed. Detroit also traded for James Ennis, sending a second-round draft pick and Brice Johnson to Memphis, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The Bulls and Pistons are also swapping 2022 second-round picks.
The Motivation: With Reggie Jackson still out due to an ankle injury, adding a veteran point guard will shore up the Pistons backcourt and reunite Nelson with his former coach, Stan Van Gundy. Nothing like some late-aughts Orlando Magic nostalgia! The addition of Nelson will bring another ball handler to a team that just added Point Blake Griffin. It seems like a natural fit, especially with Ish Smith playing well and Jackson on the mend.
Good or Bad Idea? Great idea for the Pistons, who are still vying for a playoff spot.
The Deal: The Bulls get Noah Vonleh from the Blazers in exchange for cash and the rights to Milocan Rakovic, according to Woj.
The Motivation: This is a straight-up money move by the Blazers, who shed just enough to get underneath the luxury tax line. And they’ll get a nice $3.5 million trade exception. The Hornets drafted Vonleh ninth overall in 2014, and he has yet to average five points per game in any of his four seasons. Vonleh’s been a disappointment, but in Chicago he’ll get the chance to make his career interesting.
Good or Bad Idea? I bet Paul Allen likes it a lot.
The Deal: The Nets acquire Dante Cunningham in exchange for Rashad Vaughn, who goes to the Pelicans, according to Charania.
The Motivation: Cunningham is on an expiring deal, and he’s been in the league since 2010. This is a cap clearer for the Nets, while Vaughn, who is only 21 and has shown some (fine, just a little) potential is also set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Are the Pelicans planning to keep Vaughn long term? If not, I’m not entirely sure what this deal will accomplish.
Good or Bad Idea? Unclear.
The Deal: Orlando trades Elfrid Payton to Phoenix for a second-round pick.
The Motivation: The Magic really wanted to get rid of Payton, apparently, and I like the fit in Phoenix, where he can play alongside Devin Booker. The Magic get a second-round pick, which is decent, though they have no clear direction. It’s a brutal reality for Payton and the Magic that all they could get for a former lottery pick is a second-rounder.
Good or Bad Idea? Great idea for the Suns to buy low on a point guard they need. Now if they can only convince Payton to get a haircut …
The Deal: The Kings acquire Bruno Caboclo from the Raptors in exchange for Malachi Richardson.
The Motivation: Richardson has shown flashes even if he hasn’t produced stats in terms of volume, but he’s also been buried on the Kings’ depth chart, playing only 12 minutes a game. My guess is Masai Ujiri wouldn’t have traded for Richardson if the Raptors GM didn’t think Toronto could use him even a little bit more than they could Caboclo as they head into a wide-open race for the East. Getting rid of Caboclo — whose claim to fame was that Fran Fraschilla said he was two years away from being two years away in the 2014 draft — represents the loss of a cult figure for the team’s fan base, even though he was barely getting any playing time in Toronto (3.5 minutes this season). At least Richardson has shown he’s a willing shooter, taking more than six 3s per game. The Raptors will take that.
Good or Bad Idea? This is a solid bet for the Raptors. Meanwhile, the Kings were expected to release Caboclo to make room for Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert, who arrive in Sacramento after the George Hill trade, but have reportedly decided to keep him. Instead, they reportedly released Georgios Papagiannis, their 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft, after only 38 games played. That’s not a good look for Vivek Rana — I mean, the Kings’ draft evaluators.
This piece was updated after publication with additional information.