Queen City Hoops is repping the ESPN TrueHoop Network this week with the weekly 3-on-3 along with a link roundup.
1. What eastern conference team did the best job at the trade deadline? What eastern team did the worst?
Spencer Percy (@QCHspencer), Queen City Hoops: Pat Riley smelled blood in the water in Phoenix and then performed one of his old-school holdup’s by stealing Goran Dragic from the Suns. To not have to sacrifice any of Miami’s core pieces or budding youngster Hassan Whiteside is a small miracle. The Evil Empire:
It’s hard to swallow the news about Chris Bosh that followed the Dragic trade, and thoughts and prayers go out to Chris and his family. That said, I still think Miami has enough to hold onto a playoff spot in the east. They will have to find a way to play faster to combat Bosh’ absence.
I have no clue what Hinkie is doing with the Sixers. I always thought that he had some master-plan, and he probably still does, but it’s only transparent to him. I somewhat understood the move to cash in on MCW for something – he’s been a pretty inefficient player offensively so far in his NBA career, but the K.J. McDaniels trade just pissed me off. Not only did he move one the brightest second-round pick surprise of the year and a kid who bet on himself with a one-year deal, but he practically got nothing in return – Isaiah Canaan and a 2nd-round pick. Sheesh. Clearly Hinkie had no interest in paying McDaniels next season, but why? It’s not like he can’t afford what he’ll demand + 14 other K.J. McDaniels. Hinkie doesn’t care about the cap-floor, clearly, but last time I checked chronic cap-flexibility cannot dribble, pass or shoot.
Matthew Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan), 48 Minutes of Hell: Miami killed it getting Goran Dragic for next to nothing. Pat Riley works wonders sometimes. Then the Chris Bosh thing happened, and man, you’ve got to feel for the guy. The worst? Tempted to say Philly, but the potential value they received in the trade outweighs that of the MCW, K.J. McDaniels package. So I’ll go with the Nets, as the Garnett deal is just a reflection for how awful that entire situation has been in their attempt at contention.
Charlie Yao (@skitalicious), Roundball Mining Company: Detroit got a better haul than they’re getting credit for. Giving up only a second round pick and some role guys, they scooped a nice upgrade in Reggie Jackson without losing any core asset that might compromise their rebuild. I’m not even that high on Jackson, who is having a down year, but buying low and seeing what happens is a nice move. The team who did the worst is Brooklyn. Selling off most of their team was the only way to get out of their pit of despair, and they seemingly held out for value which was never going to come. Teams called their bluff and the Nets look more stuck than ever.
2. What western conference team did the best job at the deadline? What western team did the worst?
Spencer: It’s close for me. I like what Portland and OKC did to improve their rosters immediately. The Thunder added a competent center who can score, a backup PG who may not even be a downgrade from Reggie Jackson in the short-term and corner sniper – Kanter, Augustin and Singler. OKC must win now, and although they did give up a protected first-round pick for Kanter, they got better immediately and now seem to be playing their best basketball of the season.
Portland added the most-coveted wing up-for-grabs in Aaron Afflalo. It cost them a lotto-protected first-round pick, but they got a ton better offensively and added some real muscle to their thin second-unit.
Denver had a clear identity crisis going on during free-agency this past summer when they built a mediocre team and expected it to contend for a playoff spot in the west, and it all came to the surface at the trade deadline as Tim Connelly had to do his best to clean up the mess he had made. Good on the Nuggets for grabbing two first-round picks from Cleveland in the Mosgov trade, but they took a step backwards with deadline deals that followed. Protected first-rounder for Afflalo, and they they were gutted by Philly by sending a first-round pick with McGee to the Sixers for their troubles in taking on his $12mil dead weight.
Matthew: It’s not just that OKC replaced the brooding Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins with two nice offensive players in D.J. Augustin and Enes Kanter, but they added depth, shooting, and experience with Kyle Singler and Steve Novak. On the other end of the spectrum are the Suns. It feels like they jumped the gun in the offseason with that Isaiah Thomas acquisition after such a nice 2013-14 campaign (why another point guard?), and now they’re scrambling to fix things. The Dragic trade demand forced their hand as things got kind of ugly.
Charlie: The Suns found themselves is a bad situation, partly because of their own doing but also due to Dragic’s last-second demand. Their leverage was gone, yet doing nothing would have been a disaster. They did the right thing blowing it up against their will, stocking up picks, future flexibility, and Brandon Knight for three guys who didn’t want to get on board for the long haul. They’re worse now, but the future looks better and they didn’t have much of a choice.
The Clippers did the worst. They needed an upgrade more than any West contender, but shortsighted moves left them asset-broke and unable to do anything. Spencer Hawes was a costly addition and they’ve fallen on their face trying to keep up with Memphis and Portland, who made solid additions for their stretch runs.
3. What championship-caliber team did the best job at the deadline to make themselves even more of a contender?
Spencer: Oklahoma City. They got better at two of three positions. Again, they have to win now and ultimately that hinges on whether or not they can get KD healthy, but they got better immediately and they accomplished that goal without selling their soul in future first-round picks.
Matthew: To avoid redundancy, I won’t go with the Thunder despite believing they’re the right answer to this question. But the Trail Blazers deserve some recognition here, and they’re higher up the seeding ladder right now anyway. Adding Arron Afflalo to a bench that’s needed help for years was a nice, shrewd move. The Portland starters have played so many minutes over the last couple of seasons, and Afflalo is a starting-caliber guard with a skill-set that should fit nicely.
Charlie: The Portland Trail Blazers. It’s a short-term move, but they’ve uncluttered their roster and addressed their biggest need at a reasonable cost. Afflalo’s been inconsistent, but he’ll have a ton of freedom coming off Portland’s bench. The Blazers have the right culture to fit him in and a nice insurance policy on Matthews bolting this summer.
Elsewhere Around the TrueHoop Network
Roundball Mining Company: Charlie Yao examines the Denver’s trade deadline moves and what they say about where the Nuggets are heading next
Hoop76: Anti-Hinkites, and 12 scorching hot takes they’ve had on the Sixers GM’s rebuilding strategy.
Gothic Ginobli: The Thunder added plenty of new pieces…but do any of them fit?
CavTheBlog: In our first Reader 5 on 5, five Cavs fans discuss what it means to be a Cavs fan, their favorite Cavs memories, who the Cavs biggest nemisis is, and when the Cavs will win a championship. CTB 5-on-5 Reader.
Magic Basketball: The Evolution of Channing Frye.
Cowbell Kingdom: Sunday Musings: George Karl hopes to bring stability to Kings.