The Backdoor Cut: Trades Edition

In this edition of The Backdoor Cut, the crew breaks down all of the #NBATradeDeadline deals that went down this week and more importantly, some things that didn’t go down (I’m looking at you Memphis).

Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons summed up many people’s actions yesterday with this tweet:

If you are an NBA fan who was hoping your team would make a move, then you were glued to your phones trying to get a jump on the next piece of gossip from Woj or Shams. Now that the dust has settled, let us give you our gut reactions to the biggest moves over the past few days.

Magic send Elfrid Payton to Suns for a 2018 2nd round draft pick

Slim: I like this move. The Suns basically turned nothing into Troy Daniels and Elfrid Payton, as the Grizzlies sent them this second round draft pick to take Troy Daniels off of their hands just before the season began. As Brofessor mentioned, Elf’s jumper has seemed to improve and I think he’s a solid backup guard at the very least. I can’t decide which team is worse, the Magic or the Suns.

Brofessor: This season Payton is averaging 13p/6a/4r with much improved shooting percentages all across the board. His effective FG percentage is 7 points higher than his career average. He is still a young player (23) who can certainly be a starting PG on a decent team but more than likely will be a backup PG on a good team. His contract is up this summer, so it will be interesting to see if Phoenix tries to retain him or lets him walk. The Suns have lacked consistent PG play this season and have even experimented with SG Devin Booker running the point. The young Payton/Booker back court combination theoretically will be fun to watch.

CHIEF: I thought Elf’s tweet was the most entertaining part of this whole thing:

Boy, you said it, Elf!  Not sure what either team’s long-term goal is — I guess to tank?  Who knows anymore.  Existence is pain and I’m unsure of nearly everything in my life after the Tyreke Evans debacle.

3 team trade alert! Knicks acquire Mudiay, Nuggets receive Devin Harris and 2018 2nd round pick, Mavs receive Doug McDermott and 2018 2nd round pick

Brofessor: I had high hopes for Mudiay (8p/2r/3a) coming out of the lottery in 2015, but so far he has not impressed in the NBA. His shooting ability is a concern and he has not had a consistent role in Denver, which may be partly to blame. The change of scenery and conferences might be good for him. Maybe going to a team that is likely not trying to make the playoffs will give him a chance to play relaxed.

Devin Harris (8p/2/2) should provide some good veteran leadership on this Nuggets as a backup PG to Jamal Murray. The Nuggets currently sit at 7th in the West and are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

In this deal, the Dallas Mavericks received F Doug McDermott (7/2/1) from the Knicks. This sharpshooter was a stud during college, but has yet to materialize into a full time contributor at the NBA level. He averages 20mpg for his career and this year is shooting 38% from three on 2.5 attempts per game in New York. As a 4-year college player, he came into the league at 23 so his professional window is shorter than ideal.

Slim: As strange as it is to say, I think all 3 teams benefitted from this deal. I’m not as out on Mudiay as most people seem to be, the former All Rookie Team member is shooting 37% from deep this year and is still 21 years old. Denver also exercised his team option for the 2018-2019 season back in September, so the Knicks will have him through next season, making just above $4 million. For a team that needs a playmaker at the PG position, either Mudiay or Ntilinka, or both, still have a chance to prove they can be that guy.

Devin Harris is a 13-year veteran, on an expiring deal, that has spent most of his career in Dallas, and while there is nothing sexy about his game, he is a solid backup PG that should be a good fit with the Nuggets and provided a needed veteran presence in the locker room. With this move, Denver also frees up a little bit of cap space for the upcoming free agency.

McDermott is also on an expiring deal, and the Mavs aren’t necessarily trying to win. Cuban probably just wants to get Doug comfortable in Dallas in case they are able to lure some free agents there this summer and need to sign a shooter to play alongside said free agents. Acquiring a 2nd round pick doesn’t hurt either.

CHIEF:  I hope Mudiay kick-starts his career somehow (though all Knicks fans seem to hate this trade — rightfully so given Mudiay trending down statistically every season).  Devin Harris can mentor Jamal Murray.  Check.  McBuckets is already becoming a journeyman (four teams in four seasons), but I think if he can find some consistency on a team that incorporates him into the rotation, he can easily become a solid NBA player that gets you 10 points and is ALWAYS a threat from three.  Is Dallas that team?  Who knows.

In a sign of respect (and roster space clearing), the Cavs send Dwayne Wade back to Miami for a 2024 second round pick.


Brofessor: D-Wade (11/4/3) gets to go back home to Miami in what is sure to be an emotional return. I think this is a good move that benefits everyone. Cavs free up roster space and create the ability to add players who are about to get waived, and the Heat gain some veteran leadership that will hopefully help them break out of this skid they are on and keep their playoff aspirations alive. Side note: 2024 pick… whoever they draft is probably still in middle school right now.

Slim: All is right in the world, Miami is now back to being Wade County. Great job by all involved, D-Wade is the Heat.

CHIEF:  First this:

Oh and this too:

Raptors get Malachi Richardson from the Kings in exchange for Bruno Caboclo.

Bro: I had to look up who these guys are. No surprise that the Kings have random people on their roster. Richardson is a 2nd year SG drafted late first round out of Syracuse. Summary: he was decent in college but has scored less than 100 points this season. Bruno is a SF in his fourth year in the league and has literally played 7 minutes this season. I have as many NBA points as he does this year. Hope he saved his money wisely, as his rookie contract is up this year.

Slim: Maybe one of these guys pans out for their new teams. Both had expectations to be decent, so uhhhh we’ll see.

CHIEF:  I just want to know the purpose of this trade.  Did it free up money for one team?  Did they just want to make a trade to prove they weren’t asleep at the switch, like when you reply-all “agreed” to an email chain to prove you’re “working?” IDK.

Cleveland gets George Hill from Sacramento and Rodney Hood from the Jazz. Sacramento receives Iman Shumpert from Cavs and Joe Johnson from Utah. Jazz receive Jae Crowder  and Derrick Rose from Cavs

Bro: As The Barn Chief retweeted earlier, this is how many of us feel about the current state of the human that is Derrick Rose.

All reports lead to the conclusion that the Jazz will waive Rose shortly.

Cavs get better as they add a veteran guard to replace Dwayne Wade in Hill (10/3/3) and a young scorer in Rodney Hood (16/3/2). Savvy move by them. Hood is in his last year of his rookie contract and likely will demand a hefty salary upper during the off season. However, if LeBron decides to walk, they should have plenty of cash lying around to entice him to stay.

The Kings continue their descent into the Western Conference basement by adding a 36 year old PG in Johnson (7/3/1) and slumping Shumpert (4/3/1). They are on the hook to pay Iman 11MM if he picks up his player option in the off-season, which I would have to assume he will.

Jazz received Jae Crowder (8/3/1) in this deal, who will help fortify their already strong post presence of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. Crowder flourished in Boston under Brad Steven’s system, but has struggled in Cleveland so far this season, averaging under 10 points per game for the first time in 3 seasons.

Slim: Cleveland had to make a move, and boy did they make some freakin’ moves. Jae Crowder had been downright bad, D-Rose wasn’t even playing like he did last season for the Knicks (which wasn’t too bad), and Shumpert had found himself at the end of the bench.

Sacramento takes on some salary, and may start buying out some of the veteran players. But really, what the hell are the Kings even doing at this point? I’m not sure that they know.

The Jazz will be hoping for the rebirth of Jae Crowder, and he actually may fit better into the Jazz style of play, as it is more similar to that of the Celtics than that of the Cavs. They really have no need for Rose, so he is expected to be waived. What a sad story.

The Cavs get George Hill, a guard that is much better defensively than Isaiah Thomas, and someone that can also knock down the long ball when Lebron decides to pass it to him. Rodney Hood will be expected to do a lot for this franchise moving forward, and I think we will see his game continue to grow. Consistency will be key for Hood moving forward, but the Cavs are going to need him to play like a borderline star.

CHIEF:  Y’all already said everything.  FYI — I contacted the Anesthesia Jazz Fan for an interview on our next POD.

Grizzlies give James Ennis III to Detroit for Brice Johnson and a ’22 second round pick.

CHIEF: Thanks to Ennis the Menace for giving me my third pet peeve (NBA wing players who don’t consistently hit corner 3s in rhythm).  Oh, by the way, Slim, he’s averaging 36% (career best) on 1.9 attempts per game on a team that’s terrible.  Nothing personal against the guy, I’m sure he’s a good dude, but I wasn’t sad to see him go.

Bro: I have not been a big Ennis (7/3/1) fan as can be seen here. He played well during the playoffs last year and even guarded Kawhi Leonard marginally, however I felt most of his productivity cam during garbage time and so I wont miss him much. Brice Johnson hasn’t logged a full game worth of playing time so no assessment on him.

Slim: I enjoyed Ennis more than most Grizzlies fans seemed to, and I think his minutes unfairly fluctuated throughout the past 2 seasons. That said, he is on an expiring deal so I have no problem with acquiring an asset while sending him to make a run in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Lakers receive Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye from the Cavs in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. 

Slim: Isaiah Thomas simply did too much talking off the court and not enough producing on the court. His lack of offensive production and limited defensive abilities just didn’t fit with the Cavs, so he will have the remainder of the season to try to prove that he is still an All-Star level player with the middling Lakers.

The Cavs hated to see Frye go, the 7-footer with the quick trigger from deep had just started playing big minutes this season and seemed to be a piece in most of the Cavs best lineups throughout the past couple of seasons. The Lakers get 2 expiring contracts to make a run at big time free agents this offseason. Oh the irony of this deal.

Clarkson is an upgrade defensively for Cleveland and he can take the ball to the rim and get buckets, while Nance Jr will inject some energy and big plays into the lineup. Who knows how good they will actually be, but on the surface I think this move makes a lot of sense for both teams.

Bro: Excellent move for the Cavs. Larry Nance (8/7/1) is an electric player (dunker) and brings some youth to this previously frail team. Clarkson (14/3/3) will be able to take up the scoring slack from IT’s roster absence. On the flip side, the Lakers are able to clear out Clarkson’s 12mm + contract for the next two years. With KCP and Lopez’s contracts also expiring, they will have cap space to sign two max level free agents… which means that the Cavs might be playing right into LA’s plan to attract LeBron in the off-season.

It remains to be seen how Thomas’ playing time will be affected and if he will be coming off the bench or not. I can appreciate the moves LA is making and will be curious what else Magic has in store for them.

CHIEF:  We discussed in detail in the POD.  Cavs got much younger and way more athletic.  As we all know, LeBron makes everyone on the team seem better.  It should be exciting and props to the Cavs for nutting up and making moves attempting to keep The King in the ‘Land.

Detroit trades Willie Reed to Bulls with a second round pick for Jameer Nelson

Slim: SVG and the Pistons just making all kinds of moves. Jameer should be a solid fill-in for the injured Reggie Jackson and then be a very good backup for this team. The Pistons may win their first round series in the Playoffs this year, and that would be a huge accomplishment for this franchise.

Bro: Poor Reed will be on his third team in a week after this trade. Then likely no team after he is waived. After the blockbuster Blake Griffin trade, I am pulling for the Pistons in the East to make the playoffs.

CHIEF: DE–TROIT BASKET–BALLLLLLL. Pumped for those fans, they’re gearing up to make a run in the East.  Jameer reunited with SVG, who’s still sweating more than ever this season.  LOVE THE NBA.

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NBA Trade Deadline: Cleveland Cavaliers trade Isaiah Thomas to LA Lakers for Larry Nance, Jordan Clarkson

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