Thursday’s NBA trade deadline had no shortage of deals: Contenders added pieces, teams landed stars, and others made moves to rebuild.
Here are teams that came out of the 2020 NBA trade deadline as winners and losers.
Atlanta was involved in a few deals this trade season, most notably acquiring Houston center Clint Capela in a four-team trade. Of all the teams in this deal, the Hawks landed the best piece without giving away too much.
Despite being injured currently, Capela has been solid for the Rockets this season. As the starting center in 39 games, he averaged roughly 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. Atlanta traded away Evan Turner and two draft picks in the deal.
While the fit with big man John Collins may take some work, Atlanta acquired a young center who can become a pick-and-roll partner with Trae Young.
The Hawks made other deals that aren’t as exciting, but landing Capela makes Atlanta a winner at the deadline.
Karl-Anthony Towns received some needed help at the deadline. The Timberwolves dealt Andrew Wiggins and two picks to Golden State for Town’s good friend D’Angelo Russell.
While Wiggins was a decent scorer for Minnesota, he never took a leap to become a star next to Towns. With Russell, the Timberwolves’ ceiling is raised going forward.
Russell has played great this season as the only real weapon on a depleted Warriors squad. He is averaging a career-best 23.6 points per game on 43 percent shooting, while averaging 6.2 assists per game. At the point guard spot, Minnesota will have a good distributor and scorer to play off of Towns.
The supporting pieces around the two are still a question mark. However, Minnesota landed a second star next to their franchise player at the deadline.
The Pistons parted ways with center Andre Drummond right at the deadline. He was sent to Cleveland for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick. For a player of Drummond’s ability, that’s essentially nothing.
Drummond is in the final year of his deal, with a player option of over $28 million next season. That’s a lot of money for big man who lacks an outside game; but for a center who averages nearly 18 points and 16 rebounds per game, Detroit came up far too short in their return for him.
The Pistons likely knew they would have to pay Drummond more than they wanted to to keep him after this season, and perhaps should have looked to trade him earlier.
The bottom line is that Detroit couldn’t get a first-round pick or a young prospect in exchange for the NBA’s best rebounder. For that, they are losers at the deadline.
New York Knicks
The Knicks, now under a new president, weren’t total silent at the deadline. The team participated in a three-team deal that sent Marcus Morris to the Clippers, and received Mo Harkless and a first-round pick in return. While getting the pick was important, New York should have done far more at the deadline this year.
The Knicks are clearly in a rebuild, and should have focused on dealing the assets they have for any picks and young pieces they could get their hands on. Julius Randle is under contract until 2022, but Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson can both be brought back and dealt next season.
Dealing these two assets should be in the Knicks’ future plans. Not only for younger players in return, but also to clear the books for the summer of 2021.
Leon Rose may help turn things around as president, but as on now, the Knicks lack serious direction.
Featured image credited to AP.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.