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It’s NBA trade deadline day! Plus, grading yesterday’s pre-deadline deals and more.


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It took about a year, but the Bounce finally dedicated a Sheed section. First, though, let’s get some trade deadline direction from Shams.


The Latest From Shams

Trade deadline day is here

It’s been an odd season for deals so far.

Two major names on the trade market, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, were moved well ahead of the deadline. And arguably the two biggest deals in recent months — Damian Lillard to Milwaukee and James Harden to LA — happened long before the holidays. We’ve seen some deals over the past day (Zach has more on that below), and names like Buddy Hield and Gordon Hayward appear to be on the move, but nothing groundbreaking.

Still, there’s no doubt teams are working the phone lines for potential reinforcements and roster tweaks ahead of 3 p.m. ET. We’ll continue to track the latest news, rumors and more at The Athletic, and at 2 p.m. ET, you can catch me on Inside The Association’s Trade Deadline Special as the final hour of deadline day gets going.


Two big questions

In a few hours, all the executives will have to put down their No. 2 pencils and turn in their tests. Why has chatter been a bit quiet? It could be because certain impact players aren’t necessarily available or assets are simply being hoarded.

Will the Lakers make a move? We’re wondering if Bruce Brown Jr. or Dejounte Murray will actually get traded. Did D’Angelo Russell play his way off the trade block? Do any of the contenders have one more move in them? You can track the action all day here.

Last night’s games

Pelicans 117, Clippers 106: Zion Williamson had two points and six assists at halftime. He finished with 21 points and 10 assists in a measuring-stick win for the Pelicans (30-21, sixth in West). The Clippers (34-16) are a half game behind OKC, Minnesota and Denver (each 35-16) for first in the West.

Warriors 127, 76ers 104: The Warriors (23-25, 11th in West) used a 43-23 third quarter to put away the Sixers (30-20, fifth in East). Steph Curry had nine points in 25 minutes, but Andrew Wiggins (team-high 21) and Jonathan Kuminga (18) led the way.

Celtics 125, Hawks 117: The Celtics (39-12, first in East) were just bigger and better. Kristaps Porziņģis had a game-high 31 points while Al Horford added 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four blocks. The Hawks (22-29, 10th in East) are 10-15 on the road.

Heat 116, Spurs 104: Jimmy Butler served up the Spurs a 17-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double, breaking LeBron James’ Miami record for trip-dubs (15th for Butler, including playoffs). Victor Wembanyama had 18 points and 13 boards. Miami (28-24) is a game behind sixth in the East.

Pistons 133, Kings 120: Jaden Ivey went off for 19 in the fourth quarter en route to a career-high 37 points. Detroit is 3-37 when Cade Cunningham plays and 4-6 without him. 🤔

Cavs 114, Wizards 106: Donovan Mitchell had 40 points for the Cavs (33-16, second in East). Jordan Poole had zero points in 25 minutes. He’s the first Wizard to go scoreless while fouling out since Ian Mahinmi in 2019. Poole is the NBA’s least serious player.

Raptors 123, Hornets 117: Miles Bridges’ 45 points couldn’t keep Charlotte (10-40, 13th in East) from its ninth straight loss. Toronto (18-33, 12th in East) had seven double-figure scorers.


Yesterday’s Deals

Let’s do some grading

The day before the trade deadline, everything seemed very quiet — a little too quiet. And then, we had an explosion of three deals that happened pretty close together. By explosion, I meant it might have been more like one of those toy guns with a flag coming out that says “bang” when you pull the trigger.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t analyze those three deals. We’ve got two emoji-based meters for these trades: the impact meter (out of five, with five being the most) and the “move before the move” meter (out of five, with five meaning another deal is coming after this). We’ll throw a grade on them for good measure.

Minnesota gets the backup point guard it’s really needed. The offense has fallen off a cliff when Mike Conley or Anthony Edwards are on the bench. Morris should help keep it afloat. The Pistons might get something out of Milton and Brown.

Impact Meter: 🏀🏀🏀🏀MIN | 🏀DET

Move Before the Move Meter: ⏳MIN | ⌛⌛DET

Grade: A- for the Wolves, B- for the Pistons

The Celtics get a big-time defensive big for interior depth. Tillman is exactly what they need as insurance, in case Horford or Porziņģis get hurt. The Grizzlies got a couple of seconds for their time.

Impact Meter: 💪💪💪💪💪BOS | 💪MEM

Move Before the Move Meter: 🕐BOS | 🕐🕐🕐MEM

Grade: A+ for the Celtics, B+ for the Grizzlies

  • Pistons acquire Simone Fontecchio
  • Jazz acquire Kevin Knox, 2024 second-round pick, rights to Gabriele Procida

I really like this pickup for Detroit because Fontecchio is the type of competent wing it needs. We’ll see if the Jazz can turn Procida into an NBA player someday.

Impact Meter: 🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹DET | 👊UTA

Move Before the Move Meter: 🙇🙇🙇DET | 🙇🙇🙇🙇UTA

Grade: B for the Pistons, B- for the Jazz


Trade Deadline History

The best, worst trade deadline deals ever

The trade deadline has arrived! Last Friday, we started ranking the five best and five worst deadline deals of all-time. Today, we finish ranking the best and worst deadline trades of all-time.

Best Deadline Deal: 02/19/2004

  • Pistons acquire Rasheed Wallace, Mike James
  • Hawks acquire Bob Sura, Chris Mills, Željko Rebrača, 2004 first-round pick
  • Celtics acquire Lindsey Hunter, Chucky Atkins, 2004 first-round pick, $3 million

To me, this is the standard for trade deadline deals. The Blazers had given up on Sheed earlier in the month, trading him to the Atlanta Hawks. He played one game with Atlanta (20 points on 24 shots, if you’re wondering) to create the ultimate music-fest hipster NBA jersey of all-time before being moved to the Pistons. Detroit went from a “Wow, that team is pretty good” squad to a true title contender in the blink of an eye.

The Pistons were 34-22 (third in the East) when they made this trade, fresh off getting swept by the Nets in the 2003 Eastern Conference finals. Detroit went 20-6 and won the championship nearly four months after getting Sheed, snapping a 13-season title drought. Ball don’t lie.

Also, this deal got the Hawks the draft pick that became Josh Smith (2004, 17th overall), and the Celtics got the draft pick that resulted in Tony Allen (2004, 25th overall).

Best Deadline Deals Revealed: 

5. Tim Hardaway Sr. to the Heat (1996)

4. Marc Gasol to the Raptors (2019)

3. Bucks-Sonics swap Gary Payton and Ray Allen (2003)

2. 76ers bring in Mt. Mutombo (2001)

1. Sheed to the Pistons (2004)

(Note: Pau Gasol to the Lakers in 2008 was technically not on deadline day, so it didn’t make the cut.)

Worst Deadline Deal: 03/25/2021

Is it harsh to say this is the worst deadline deal of all-time? Maybe! That might be an overreaction by me, but I hated this trade for the Bulls from Day 1. They gave up a promising big man and two first-round picks to get an older center, one who is good but won’t bring your team to a contending level. The Magic ended up getting Franz Wagner with one of those picks (2021, eighth overall), and the Bulls have been stuck in mediocrity during the Vuc era (not solely his fault). This was a terrible, desperate allocation of trade resources.  

Worst Deadline Deals Revealed: 

5. Clippers give up Kyrie Irving pick for Mo Williams (2011)

4. Lakers acquire Ramon Sessions (2012)

3. Sixers-Bucks-Suns three-team deal of nothing (2015)

2. Infamous T-Mac, Landry, K-Mart (not that one) swap (2010)

1. Vuc to the Bulls (2021)


Bounce Passes

Sam Vecenie’s Trade Big Board is what you need for today.

Is there a team more tight-knit than the Oklahoma City Thunder?

When, how do you decide to give up on a shooter’s potential?

Eric Koreen explained the Raptors’ “Puzzlepalooza” — you should read.

Two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne is stepping away from hoops.


Screen Game (All times Eastern)

  • Main Screen: Mavs-Knicks (7:30 p.m. TNT). Can Luka Dončić top his MSG career-high of 33 points against the red-hot Knicks (33-18, fourth in East)? Eighth-ranked Dallas (28-23) is 1.5 games behind fifth in the West.

  • Second Screen: Warriors-Pacers (7 p.m.). Stephen Curry takes on Tyrese Haliburton. This game will determine the best point guard in the world. (We were so excited about this one that we said it was happening yesterday. Apologies.) 
  • League Pass Game of the Night: Wolves-Bucks (8 p.m.). Midwest hoops watchers everywhere, unite! Milwaukee (33-18) is 1-4 under Doc Rivers. Minnesota (35-16, second in West) is tied with the Thunder and Nuggets for the West’s best record. Full schedule here.

( Top photo: Rocky Widner /Getty Images )

 

 





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