The draft, free agency, and the midseason trade deadline – this is the ultimate triumvirate of hope trafficking in the NBA. What makes the trade deadline special is that you have a finite timeframe where front offices are pressed to force the action. The excitement makes news breaking cool again and Woj is in full rockstar mode with the world at his knees frantically clicking refresh in hopes to be “first.” We’ve fallen in love with the transaction more than the actual games at this point. For the most part, the consensus is that the games are already decided – we’re headed for Warriors vs Cavs (again) and all of this is a mere formality. The one thing we can use to entertain ourselves during the grind of the season until we get to that familiar destination….the hope that the Lakers will get to sign 3/5 of the All-NBA First team. Every great story needs a villain.
Los Angeles Lakers get: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Cavs’ 2018 first-round pick
Cleveland Cavaliers get:Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.
Taige: Part of me wonders if Isaiah Thomas’ hasty fall from a supermax contract guy to a woefully undersized 2 guard with a bad hip and a worse attitude was a gambit on the part of Danny Ainge and Brad Stephens to cut him down to size (pun definitely intended).
It goes like this: coax an MVP season out of the definitely playing over his head Thomas, trade him for actual great NBA player Kyrie Irving when people actually believe that they’re in the same league, watch his stock drop because he can’t hide in Stephens’ system anymore, then sign him back for $5 million a year instead of $40 million. This is some Keyzer Soze shit and I hope it happened.
Oh, and the Cavs got a couple of light skinned dudes who resemble a late 80s harmonizing duet
And some cap room stuff opens up for the Lakers to pursue Lebron, or Paul George, or Giannis. And Kyle Kuzma is able to spread his wings and become an all-star, whatever that shit is boring. And the Cavs are going to get smoked by the Warriors in the finals anyway.
Renaldo: *Ha Ha Davis’ pops walks into Koby Altman’s office*
Pops – “Koby I need you to team down this team and build me another one.”
Koby – “Say no more.”
When LeBron is unhappy the tectonic plates have to shift and on deadline day that’s exactly what the Cavs set out to do. IT4 getting up out the paint had to be first on the list and was absolutely the least surprising move of the day. His 15-minute stint in Cleveland was completely forgettable to everyone but Kevin Love (Love is going to hate him forever and with good reason. Actually, after this entire Cavs experience, I’m not against K Love becoming a little bit racist. Not a David Duke world class racist, but an old lady clutching her purse a little tighter in an elevator type racist). What it means for Bahamian Laker fans is a double edged sword – you lose two of your favourite
Utah Jazz get: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose
Sacramento Kings get: Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Rodney Hood, George Hill
Taige: The Kings are determined to find old washed-up dudes to take shots away from Buddy Hield and goddammit I am not with the shits.
Rodney Hood and George Hill should be good fits next to Lebron, Hood is a defender with young legs who can hit a 3 and George Hill is a spot-up 1 who can defend point guards.
Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose, UGGHHH
Renaldo: Of all the takeaways from the 10YS Florida Swing last month, a few things stood out. Number one, George Hill was done with Kings. He looked exactly like I do every day walking into my office – listless, uninspired, there to do the minimal amount of work, make an appearance and leave. Hill gave all the standard soundbites every player does in this situation – “I don’t pay attention to the media, I ignore all that noise and I keep to myself” – but he looked exactly like Peter in Office Space. Number two, every Kings beat writer wants Buddy to get more playing time. The extended Vince Carter minutes were confusing, Malachi Richardson was obviously the odd man out so he was shipped off, but Imagine thinking playing time opened up on the wing, Buddy would get 35 mins a game and …BOOM Kings get Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert.
We’ve since learned than iSoJoe will eventually be bought out with Houston as his ultimate destination, while Shumpert should be pretty busy with Teyana Taylor’s album and reality show. False alarm Buddy…it’s fine.
New York Knicks get: Emmanuel Mudiay, Nuggets’ second-round pick
Dallas Mavericks get: Doug McDermott
Taige: This trade is ass but Doug McDermott is shooting 46% from the field and 39% from three this season. The Spurs are going to get him and everybody is going to think Pop is some genius at player development for incorporating Dougie McBuckets into his well-oiled machine when in actuality there is a very effective NBA player hiding in plain sight.
Renaldo: None of this means anything. It’s the Knicks and the Mavericks.
Phoenix Suns get: Elfrid Payton
Orlando Magic get: Second-round pick
Taige: Trini Andrew pointed out in an aborted podcast that trading a point guard who can defend, distribute the ball, shoot 52% from the field and almost 38% from 3 for a second round is stupid. I’m inclined to agree. I’m just said that Payton is that good but he has to toil on the Suns. Poor guy
Renaldo: I’m excited about this. We should all be. This trade means so much to the Bahamas and could possibly shape our basketball future as a country for the next 15 years. The Magic front office could not be more clear about their intentions to go all in on the Deandre Ayton Sweepstakes. This move had to be a clear sign of commitment to the Bahamas and for real this time, not like that tumultuous tryst we had with New Orleans where we got “light skinned” for a few months. This one feels real and I’m all for “The Promise” going anywhere on the East Coast with a straight flight from Nassau. #WaitinForAyton
Miami Heat get: F Luke Babbitt
Atlanta Hawks get: G Okaro White
Taige: “Okaro White” sounds like the name of one of those dudes NBA 2k generates in career mode when you’re super far into the future. He isn’t a real person. But that’s not the lede here. The real story is that 305 legend, #HeatLifer, Luke Da Gawd, Uncle Luke, is making his return to Miami. In appreciation of this, here’s a Luke Babbit forum on RealGM. Because if Luke Babbit doesn’t trust you Future is gonna shoot you.
Renaldo: Half of a season without the face of the 305 was too much for Heat Nation to bear. It was imperative to get him back to complete the storybook ending of his legacy. They also traded for this other guy…
Miami Heat get: Dwyane Wade
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Second-round pick
Taige: Some dude not-named Luke Babbit who also played for The Heat also went back. This Cleveland shit was never going to work for D-Wade. Not only was he not going to win a championship, he had to spend his winters with his glamorous movie star wife in Cleveland. Leaving Miami was never the move for Wade. Thank goodness he got to rectify that terrible decision.
Renaldo: This decision had so little to do with basketball I don’t know if the Cavs should have had to give up a draft pick. A modeling contract, way too short shorts and suits like these should have sufficed.
This move happened because Gabrielle Union and D-Wade felt like they were wasting far too many lit outfits rotating between Akron and Cleveland. Gabby’s 45-year-old body is too perfect to be contained in overcoats in the bitter Cleveland winter.
Detroit Pistons receive: G Jameer Nelson
Chicago Bulls receive: C Willie Reed Future second-round pick
Taige: Jameer Nelson is still in the league? Keep getting them checks my guy. Wait, he’s from Philly. Keep getting them jawns, ock.
Chicago Bulls receive: F Noah Vonleh
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Draft rights to Milovan Rakovic (2007)
Taige: Nah you read that right. Noah Vonleh got traded for the rights to a dude who got drafted 11 years ago and will never play a minute in the NBA.
Renaldo: Scoff if you must Taige, but this move was crucial in the Blazers freeing up cap space to resign Jusuf Nurkic and ardently continue down their path of regional relevance and first-round exits.