This year’s NBA trade deadline was Thursday February 6, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. Throughout the NBA, there are few trades until the league reaches the deadline. After the trade deadline, teams cannot trade until later in the off-season. Teams looking to compete in the playoffs try to get one last asset to help them make a championship run; while teams who are struggling attempt to land young and upcoming players or draft picks for future success.
This year’s trade deadline had many trades involving multiple teams around the league. The Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves were involved with one of the biggest trades at this year’s deadline. The Warriors agreed to send former all-star point guard D’Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves in a deal that includes small forward Andrew Wiggins. Golden State would also receive a top-3 protected first round draft pick and a 2021 second-round pick. Minnesota got shooting guard Jacob Evans and power forward Omari Spellman along with Russell.
With D’Angelo Russell being traded, he only played 33 games with Golden State. Some experts around the league were surprised that the Warriors would trade their young point guard so soon, especially after Russell played in his first all-star game in 2019. Russell also led the Brooklyn Nets to the sixth seed in the eastern conference and a playoff spot in the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors general manager says this after the trade, “ Russell was just not a good fit for our team.” Russell now gets the chance to once again turn a struggling team around, and Andrew Wiggins has a chance to turn his career around.
Perhaps the biggest trade of this year’s trade deadline was the Houston Rockets sending Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a four team deal. Everyone around the league knew Houston was looking to make a big move before the deadline, but many were surprised by the changes they made. The four team trade involved 12 players. The Houston Rockets received small forward Robert Covington, power forward Jordan Bell, and a 2024 second round pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves received guard Evan Turner, forward Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasely. The Denver Nuggets received guard Shabazz Napier, forward Keita Bates-Diop, forward Noah Vonleh and injured guard Gerald Green. The Atlanta Hawks received center Nene Hilario along with rising star, center Clint Capela. With Houston trading away Capela they do not have a center on their team. This strategy is known as “small ball.” Many people around the league do not see this strategy working, Shaq says this about the trade, “ the top teams have big lengthy people, you gotta have rebounders, if you don’t have that length I don’t see it working.”
The last big trade before this year’s deadline was a three team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, and New York Knicks. The Clippers were looking to add another big man to their lineup to help compete with their L.A rivals, the Lakers who have all-star big man Anthony Davis. The Clippers acquired veteran forward Marcus Morris Sr. from the Knicks. New York will receive Moe Harkless, a 2020 first round pick, a 2021 first round pick, and a second round pick in 2021. The Wizards will send Isaiah Thomas to L.A and will receive guard Jerome Robinson. Soon after the Clippers acquired Thomas they announced he would be waived by the team. Isaiah Thomas will once again be looking for a new team.
This year’s trade deadline was very eventful. There were some shocking big moves; while other trades came as no surprise. With big trades involving a lot of different teams and players, the second half of this years NBA season will be exciting going into the all-star break.