After the wild NBA Trade Deadline had past, my good friend Nick Sanchez invited me on his podcast Loose Balls to discuss the biggest deals of the week. We covered the D’Angelo Russell, Marcus Morris and Andre Drummond trades the most, but there are a couple we didn’t get too that I’d like to give some thoughts on. Below the podcast are some notes on those.
As always, this podcast is distributed by Arizona State University’s Blaze Radio.
Now for notes on some of the other deals from the past week:
- We did a couple minutes on the massive four team, 12 player trade (The biggest since Patrick Ewing’s trade in 2000) that went down early last week at the end of the show, but I wanted to expand a bit on it here.
- The Hawks trade for Clint Capela kind of goes hand-in-hand with their deal for DeWayne Dedmon.
- Two things are at play here: 1) Atlanta’s need for a center since John Collins – who’s very talented and versatile offensively – is a black hole defensively and can’t protect the rim whatsoever and 2) their need to surround their darling Trae Young with “help”, as he proclaimed earlier this season.
- These deals for Capela and Dedmon do both. Both Capela and Dedmon are great rim protectors, with Dedmon bringing shooting and a bit more switchability to the table. They also are both legitimate NBA players as opposed to 20 year olds, which will keep Young happy. It’s Atlanta worst nightmare to have him not be so.
- The Hawks didn’t have to give much up. They got two second round picks to bring Dedmon in, and shipped out reclamation project Jabari Parker and Alex Len in the deal. Len was great last year for Atlanta but has seen his shooting numbers drop dramatically this season.
- For Capela, all it took was a shipping out of Evan Turner, the Nets first round pick in 2020 which they owned from a prior deal and a second rounder. Not a bad price to acquire a rim-running/protecting center and revitalize the position on your roster!
- I really liked the four-teamer for Houston despite some of the criticism it drew. While Capela is an excellent rim protector, his lack of switchability onto perimeter players made him at times unplayable in the playoffs last year, especially against Golden State.
- Houston has had success with playing PJ Tucker at center in the past, so turning Capela into Robert Covington – a fantastic defensive player who can shoot enough (He hit what looked like a game-winning three last night) works even though it’s super small. It maximizes a Rockets roster that probably wouldn’t be playing Capela anyways come April and May. Instead of Daniel House out there for him, it’s now Covington.
- The issue that remains is that they now have zero size whatsoever. You can go small late, but you still need at least a big to start games and play intermittently. They got Jordan Bell from the Wolves in the four teamer, but later flipped him to Memphis for Bruno Caboclo, who should be whatever Fran Frischilla thought he’d be by now.
- It appears that Houston will probably wait for the buyout market to form to find a big, because Isaiah Hartenstein won’t cut it, and Tyson Chandler is the epitome of what Houston doesn’t want in a center.
- Houston essentially gave up Capela, Nene (who was waived by Atlanta), a first round pick and Gerald Green for Covington and a second round pick, which is a lot but feels much better than giving up two first round picks.
- Even though Minnesota made out very nicely with D’Angelo Russell, their end of this deal confused me a bit.
- The top asset they received in the trade was Malik Beasley, who’s a restricted free agent. Sure, trading for him now gives the Timberwolves his matching rights come July 1, but it seemed unlikely that Denver would match whatever it was as Beasley’s been in and out of the Nuggets’ rotation this year.
- Essentially, they sold Covington for a guy they could have easily attained over the summer. Sure, they got more pieces back – a first round pick, Juancho Hernangomez (Also a RFA, but Minnesota might’ve faced more competition from Denver when matching him than Beasley), Jarred Vanderbilt and Evan Turner’s contract – but Vanderbilt is a flyer, Turner is an albatross and Hernangomez is in a similar situation to Beasley contract wise.
- Why not try and turn Beasley into a more controllable player or another pick, especially when Covington was one of the most valued commodities on the market?
- I liked the four team trade for everyone but the Timberwolves. But they certainly made up for it with the Russell trade later in the week. As a whole, Russell-KAT-Beasley make up three pretty good pieces in a rotation.
- Denver made out very well in this deal. They netted a first round pick for a guy who they weren’t bringing back (Beasley), an eighth man (Hernangomez), and a guy who didn’t work out (Vanderbilt). In addition, they brought in a couple flyers/deep bench pieces: Shabazz Naiper (who was flipped for Jordan McRae), Keita Bates Diop (He might be really really good in Denver’s scheme), Gerald Green and Noah Vonleh.
- I thought Philadelphia massively overpaid for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. Practically no trade for bench help has worked out for the Sixers. Paying three second round picks for Robinson (who’s probably out of NBA chances now) and Burks (Who’s…. fine?) seems heavy.