The 2020 NBA Trade Deadline
By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Each season teams across the NBA have an opportunity to improve their rosters for the season’s upcoming playoff race. The trade deadline is often one of the best ways most teams improve their rosters, though this season the trade deadline has been moved up to early February. Most teams use this as an opportunity to get better, whereas other teams use this time as an opportunity to unload players and/ or salaries in preparation for the upcoming offseason.
Among the many highly sought-after players of this trade deadline were the New York Knicks Forward Marcus Morris Sr., Detroit Pistons Center Andre Drummond and Memphis Grizzlies Andre Iguodala. Morris Sr. was actively sought after by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers simultaneously. There has been banter for much of the season about either LA team acquiring the services of 3-time champion Iguodala. Though the size of Drummond has been ignored by most of the NBA.
Stunningly, the forever tinkering Daryl Morey, GM of the (32-19) Houston Rockets, surprised the NBA by trading away their only playable Center in Clint Capela. For Capela, the Rockets acquired Robert Covington, 2017-2018 NBA First Team All-Defensive player, and Jordan Bell from the (16-35) Minnesota Timberwolves. To round out this 4-team trade, this past Wednesday night, Capela and Nene Hilario were sent to the (14-39) Atlanta Hawks, while Gerald Green and the Rockets 2020 first-round pick were sent to the (37-16) Denver Nuggets.
What makes Covington’s so coveted is that he is one three players to have averaged 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.0 3 pointers made in a game. Additionally, he is also one of three players to amass 4,500 points, 2,000 rebounds, 500 assist, 600 steals and 300 blocks sinc3 2014-2015. So, his ability to play solid defense while being able to knock down shots from the perimeter adds to more versatility to this unique lineup that the Rockets will be playing.
The (19-36) Detroit Pistons send their best active player Andre Drummond after he made it clear he wanted to stay, in a salary dump to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In return, the Pistons pick up Brandon Knight, John Henson, and the Cavaliers 2023 second-round pick. With the Pistons currently in 11th seed in the Eastern Conference, this team would need more than a miracle to get in the playoffs this season.
In a move that wasn’t discussed much in NBA circles, the (16-35) Minnesota Timberwolves partnered with the (12-41) Golden State Warriors to shock the NBA world with their last-minute trade. The Warriors sent D’Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves for the enigmatic Andrew Wiggins. By acquiring the #1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Warriors hope to have Wiggins’ length and athleticism serve as a complement to their perineal All-Stars Stef Curry and Klay Thomson. Conversely, the Timberwolves hope to appease their franchise player Karl Anthony Towns by bringing in pick-and-roll point guard which should be a better-paired duo.
While multiple teams were in limbo waiting to see what the (26-26) Memphis Grizzlies were going to do with the 3 time-champion Andre Iguodala. This three-team trade had (34-17) Miami Heat winning the Iguodala sweepstakes while receiving Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. The Minnesota Timberwolves receive Justise Winslow and James Johnson while the Memphis Grizzlies get 28-year-old Dion Waiters. The lone fallout from this trade is that Dion Waiters has been released by the Grizzlies.
The apparent winner of this week’s trade deadline is the (36-15) Los Angeles Clippers. Not only do they beat the (39-12) Lakers to the draw, by signing Forward Marcus Morris Sr. by bringing in the talented Morris, who is averaging 32 mins per game along with 19.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists with the (17-36) New York Knicks. Though they have added more of a scoring punch to their lineup, they give up some defense prowess by removing Harkless from their lineup. Moe Harkless was packaged with a 2020 first-round pick in exchange for the 8-year veteran Morris as part of a three-team trade.
Completing the three-team trade of Harkless and Morris Sr. also saw the (18-32) Washington Wizards Isaiah Thomas get swapped with 2nd-year Clippers Guard Jerome Robinson. With a now jam-packed backcourt, the Clippers subsequently waived veteran guard Thomas, once the deal was completed. I thought the Clippers actually could’ve used the true point guard Thomas however, their backcourt was just too crowded.
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