Douglas Whitson ’16
The NBA recently had the mid-season All-Star break in Toronto. While some players were enjoying their break from the demanding NBA schedule, others were being moved around to different teams and/or getting focused for the vital second half to the NBA season.
One of the major headlines for the NBA trade deadline (which was February 18th) was what would happen to Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. He’s already made it clear that he does not want to stay in Houston as he said he will opt out of his contract that ends after this season, making him a free agent. Rumors of a three-way trade between Houston, Atlanta, and Miami popped up. It would have sent Atlanta’s Al Horford and Jeff Teague to Miami, Miami’s Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside to Houston, and Dwight Howard to Atlanta. The trade, had it happened, would have been of huge benefit to the Rockets and Miami Heat. The trade did not happen, and some teams that needed Dwight have already lost playoff hopes for this season making a trade for him mid-season pointless when they can sign him as a free agent after the season.
There weren’t any big name players traded at this year’s deadline, so the trades that happened were mostly to switch around some role players that would fit better in certain teams’ systems and to save some money here and there. The Detroit Pistons might have been the biggest winner from the trade deadline. They acquired Tobias Harris from Orlando and Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from Houston. For what they gave up it was definitely successful. Harris is a great player to have help the star of the team and Motiejunas and Thornton are helpful three-point threats that Detroit has needed.
The Los Angeles Clippers traded Lance Stephenson and a first-round pick for Jeff Green of the Memphis Grizzlies, which is not a surprise considering Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers loves coaching players he’s coached in the past and is familiar with.
The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Channing Frye, which was huge because he can stretch the floor as a post player that they need, and the Cavs were able to save some money they’re going to desperately need.
The Phoenix Suns, who have absolutely withered away as a team this season, gained yet another first-round draft pick giving them two and possibly three lottery picks in the draft this year. That’s just what the Suns need in order to get their franchise back on track.
Lastly, the Rockets did receive a potential lottery draft pick from their trade with the Pistons.