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Grading Each NBA Trade Deadline Day Move

(Graphic via Andrew Yang)

After a somewhat hectic NBA trade deadline, the league has seen some big names find new homes. With Woj Bomb after Woj Bomb, fans are always fast to critique and grade each trade, based on a variety of factors, such as how far that player can take that team, and what they bring to the table.

Today, The Intermission’s Andrew Yang grades the biggest moves from yesterday's trade deadline.

Disclaimer: he doesn’t speak for everyone, this is just his opinion. Enjoy.

Move #1: Delon Wright becomes a King

Trade details: DET trades Delon Wright to SAC, SAC trades Cory Joseph and two second-round picks

Sacramento acquires a fantastic backup 2-guard behind Buddy Hield. Wright has had an above-average season for the Pistons, averaging 10.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5 APG, and 1.6 SPG. Wright brings his strongside in defensive efficiency but will struggle to find minutes while playing behind Hield. Despite this, the Kings add depth to their team, as well as a great defensive guard in Wright.

Grade: B

Trade Winner: Sacramento Kings

Move #2: Javale McGee goes back to Denver

Trade details: DEN acquires Javale McGee from Cleveland, in exchange for Isaiah Hartenstein and two future protected second-round picks

Behind (arguably) the best centre in the league in Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets get a reliable centre that can get you blocks, and maybe a few points here and there. McGee has been known to be rather inconsistent with his performances, mainly due to a struggle to gain playing time, as he’s always played behind star big men like Anthony Davis and now, Jokic. Only time will tell how McGee’s role in Denver plays out.

Hartenstein serves as a young developing centre, who recorded 3 blocks in 11 minutes of play during his last game with Denver. The Cavaliers will also receive two future protected second-round picks, which serves as an upside to the rebuild in Cleveland.

Grade: C

Trade Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers

Move #3: The Magic blow it up

Trade details: 1) ORL sends Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu to CHI, for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and two first-round picks. 2) ORL sends Evan Fournier to BOS for two second-round picks. 3) ORL sends Aaron Gordon to DEN for Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a first-round pick

The Magic have made the right moves to move their 3 biggest players out of Orlando, as a rebuilding process is greatly needed. The team has seen little to no post-season success, and has always lurked around the 8-10 seed range in the Eastern Conference. Aside from the rebuild process, this also gives young players such as Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba to gain some playing time.

The bulls get a top 3 centre in Vucevic, and the Celtics get a highly talented veteran guard in Evan Fournier. For those two teams to receive those players after looking at what they had to give up, it’s really a win for both sides of the trades. But it’s safe to say that Chicago walked out of this as the ultimate winner. The trio of Vucevic, Zach Lavine, and Lauri Markkanen will be one to look out for in the Eastern Conference.

Grade: A

Trade Winner: Chicago Bulls

Move #4: Skip to my Lou

Trade details: LAC sends Lou Williams and two future second-round picks to ATL for Rajon Rondo

Heading back to his home state of Georgia, Lou Williams finds himself on the Hawks for the first time since 2014. With this trade, Atlanta loses but gains a veteran guard that can mentor young players like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, or Cam Reddish. In Los Angeles, the Clippers receiving Rondo could potentially lead to the guard starting at the one beside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Having a pass-first guard like Rondo is extremely beneficial to the Clippers, especially after failing to acquire Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (which was a trade that many speculated).

Grade: A-

Trade Winner: Los Angeles Clippers

Move #5: Redick takes a trip to Dallas

Trade details: NOP sends JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli to DAL for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and a second-round pick

Dallas gains more offensive firepower with the addition of Redick, and even more offensive talent with a young stretch big in Nicolo Melli. For Dallas to only give up Johnson, Iwundu, and a second-round pick, the Mavericks walked away as winners in this trade. With these offensive weapons and the already prominent duo of Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks now make a case for an improved playoff run, compared to last year’s loss to the Clippers.

Grade: B+

Trade Winner: Dallas Mavericks

Move #6: All eyes on Toronto

Trade details: 1) TOR sends Normal Powell to POR in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. 2) TOR holds on to Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell were among the biggest names that were expected to be moved during the trade deadline. The Raptors ultimately decided to ship Powell off to Portland for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. If there’s anything the Raptors are good at, it’s player development. We’ve seen it in the growth of Pascal Siakam, Fred Vanvleet, and OG Anunoby. With that being said, it seems like Trent has a high ceiling here in Toronto*. Not to mention, the newly acquired veteran guard Rodney Hood, who has always been an extremely reliable 3&D player, which the Raptors can use right about now.

Regarding Lowry, Raptors fans will have to see if he’s willing to run it back with the rest of the Jurassic Park squad after this season. But for now, they can be happy that Lowry will finish this season as a member of the North*.

Portland also walks away with a reliable scorer in Powell, who will serve as a great offensive complement to the duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Powell has averaged 19.6 PPG, 3 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.1 SPG while shooting just under 50 per cent from the field, and just over 43.9 per cent from three-point land.

* – Tampa for now (We The South?)

Grade: A

Trade Winner: Toronto Raptors

Move #7: Pat Riley, The Godfather

Trade details: 1) SAC sends Nemanja Bjelica to MIA for Moe Harkless and Chris Silva. 2) MIA acquires Victor Oladipo from HOU, in exchange for Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and a draft swap

It goes without saying that Pat Riley has been one of the league’s premium executives when it comes to signings and trades. This trade deadline was no exception. The Heat were able to land Nemanja Bjelica, a scoring big that can fill the hole that Jae Crowder, who left for Phoenix in the offseason. But most of all, after a short stint in Houston, Victor Oladipo finds himself in the 305 to end off this season. With a lineup that now consists of Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo, the Heat could do some damage in the regular season, as well as the playoffs.

Grade: A+

Trade Winner: Miami Heat (obviously)


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