Roster Roundups – Trade Deadline Special

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Two months of games have already gone by in 2017 and the trade deadline has just passed. Now seems as good a time as ever to take a look at each of the 30 NBA rosters and how they have been travelling since our last roster roundup in January. It was here that we laid out resolutions for each franchise, so we will take a look to see if they have succeeded, failed or remain unresolved.

With a total of 18 trade transactions in 2017 and close to 40 players changing teams, we take this opportunity to look at the ‘Ins and Outs’ for each franchise. We will look at all the trade details and provide an overall grade for how each teams fared before the deadline. Let’s take a look.


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ATLANTA HAWKS – Current Record (33-26) / Since Last Time (12-10)

On The Move
Traded K. Korver for M. Dunleavy, M. Williams & CLE ’19 1st.
Traded M. Williams & Cash for the Draft Rights to C. Akyol.
Traded T.Splitter, MIA ’17 2nd & ATL ’17 2nd for E. Ilyasova & GSW ’17 2nd.
Traded M. Scott, Cash & the Draft Rights to C. Akyol for PHX ’17 2nd.
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
Find A New Home For Paul Millsap. Failed.

2017 So Far
The Atlanta Hawks season so far is a confusing one. I’ve pretty much disagreed with it from the very start but at the same time, it’s really hard not to admire what they have achieved so far. 2017 hasn’t started off all that well with the Hawks picking up more L’s around the All-Star Break, resulting in losing touch with the “home court” playoff pack. It’s hard for me to say they failed by not trading Millsap but then still give them a B for their overall trade grade. This is the Hawks in a nutshell this year. They aren’t doing what I think they should be but they are doing a damn good job at achieving what they have set out too. Even if I do disagree with it, trading Korver (impending FA) for a 1st Round pick was a good move from a future standpoint and Ersan Ilyasova was a cheap pickup for their playoff push now. The Hawks are still stuck in limbo land but I admire their perseverance.

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BOSTON CELTICS – Current Record (38-22) / Since Last Time (15-8)

On The Move
Boston made no trades in 2017.
Overall Grade: D

New Year Resolution
Trade for Paul Millsap. Failed. 

2017 So Far
Another important NBA date on the calendar goes by and yet another chance for Danny Ainge to stand pat. Who knows what to truly believe, however if you just look at the mounting information it seems Ainge COULD have landed Paul George or Jimmy Butler. He chose not to. In terms of need, we believe a front court partner for Horford is a much bigger need right now anyway. The Celtics also sit clearly as the second best team in the East and are unlikely to be moved from there with so little games remaining. The lack of a trade (ANY TRADE) won’t hurt the Celtics in the regular season but it may bite them in the playoffs. It seems the distraction of landing a big fish, may have caused much smaller fish (Noel, Tucker, Bogut) to slip through Ainge’s hands and for moves that wouldn’t have given up his most prized possessions (Nets picks, Crowder, Brown), that is a major hiccup. I’m fine with Ainge standing pat but patience isn’t always a virtue when it comes to roster building. The pressure is now on to win the lottery and not draft a bust!

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BROOKLYN NETS – Current Record (9-49) / Since Last Time (1-22)

On The Move
Traded B. Bogdanovic & C. McCullough for A. Nicholson, M. Thornton & WAS ’17 1st.
Traded Cash for KJ. McDaniels.
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
Trade Brook Lopez. Failed.

2017 So Far
The Nets continue to suck as expected, playing valiantly and testing their youth in the process. GM Sean Marks has been dealt one of the worst rosters in the history of incoming GM’s, but despite this has made some shrewd moves, adding another first round pick in a deep draft and adding KJ McDaniels, a potential handy 3-and-D guy if he can continue to improve his jumper. Marks is doing all he can really do until the last of Billy King’s imprint on the organisation fully fades away. That last imprint is Brook Lopez, who is the only real trade-able asset on the roster. Unfortunately, the Nets were unable to find a suitor, despite lowering their asking price. This season is not going to get any shorter for Brooklyn.

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CHARLOTTE HORNETS – Current Record (25-34) / Since Last Time (5-16)

On The Move
Traded S. Hawes & R. Hibbert for M.Plumlee & POR ’18 2nd.
Traded CHA ’17 2nd for C. Andersen & Cash.
Overall Grade: C

New Year Resolution
 Get Help. Failed.

2017 So Far
For a season that started so well, the bottom has almost fallen out from under the Hornets and is currently swinging wildly on its last hinge. The Hornets have won a measly 2 of the last 15 games with those wins coming against Brooklyn and the post-Boogie Kings. They needed help, especially when centre Cody Zeller went down with a quad injury (I love Cody Zeller, but your season should never hinge on him). But Miles Plumlee and his whale of a contract do not count as help. This is justified by a) Plumlee’s 13 minutes a game thus far for the Hornets which has been limited as a result of poor conditioning b) his average of 3 points, 4 boards a game and c) the fact that he injured himself 5 games into his Hornet career. Welcome back to the draft lottery Charlotte!

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CHICAGO BULLS  – Current Record (30-29) / Since Last Time (11-11)

On The Move
Traded D. McDermott, T. Gibson & CHI ’18 2nd for C. Payne, J. Lauvergne & A. Morrow.
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
 Jettison Rajon Rondo. Failed. 

2017 So Far
Somehow the Bulls are 6th in the East. With basically no shooters, no point guards and lack of forward planning, I am not sure how this could happen. Equally befuddling is the 3-0 record against the Cavs and winning their last 4 games, 3 of which were against the Cavs, Celts and Raptors. Still, they needed to jettison the washed-up, prima-donna Rajon Rondo by the deadline because the basketball Gods commanded it. They didn’t and instead they executed a trade that on face value was horrible, but really is pretty savvy (my co-writers will not agree) sending Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. Firstly, the Bulls have no starting calibure point guards. Second, Gibson is an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and he would be like a 25-50% chance of re-signing. Payne is a potential starting point guard but was stuck behind Westbrook and Oladipo (and recovering from a Jones fracture – same injury as Ben Simmons), Morrow at least used to be able to shoot and Lauvergne is one of those sneakily handy players. Really, they gave up McDermott for three guys including a potential starter at point.

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CLEVELAND CAVALIERS – Current Record (41-17) / Since Last Time (14-9)

On The Move
Traded M. Dunleavy, M. Williams & CLE ’19 1st for K. Korver.
Traded CLE ’17 1st for CLE ’18 1st.
Traded C. Andersen & Cash for CHA ’17 2nd.
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
Get a viable backup Point Guard. Succeeded.

2017 So Far
The Cavs haven’t been on top of their game recently, losing nine games in the last 23 after only dropping 8 games in their first 35. To compound the problem, they’ve lost Kevin Love to a knee injury – though he should be back in time for the playoffs. Speaking of playoffs, with Boston standing pat at the deadline, it is almost a lay-down messaire that Cleveland will finish top spot in the East. They’ve added better shooting bringing in Kyle Korver, and removing some dead weight in Chris Anderson and Mo Williams. With the added flexibility, the Cav’s can add both Deron Williams as a back-up point guard (a huge win when you remember that Patrick Beverley was one of their trade targets) and Andrew Bogut after he was bought out by the Sixers. How is that not the best revenge for Bogut? What are the odds that Bogut gets ejected on a fragrant 2 in Game 1 of the Finals by decking Kevin Durant into the fifth row? 2-to-1? 5-to-1? 10-to-1? Either way, take my money!

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DALLAS MAVERICKS – Current Record (24-35) / Since Last Time (13-9)

On The Move
Traded A. Bogut, J. Anderson & ’17 DAL 1st for N. Noel.
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
Tank like a Panzer III. Succeeded.

2017 So Far
The Mavs started 2017, flirting with the idea of competing for a playoff spot and therefore failing our New Year Resolution challenge terribly. Fast forward just a couple of months and Cuban & Co have come to their senses. Trading for Noel is a great get and the Mavs will get a chance to test his fit with Dirk before committing major money to him in RFA. On top of that, Bogut was moved in the same deal and Deron Williams was let go shortly after not finding a suitable trade at the deadline. Williams was an interesting one, by signing a 1 year deal he effectively had a no trade clause and therefore Dallas’ options for a trade were limited. If the Mavericks can lose enough games on the trot soon, they will gain touch with the worst teams in the NBA again and have a chance to expedite the process. Don’t be fooled by the 1-18 protection they put on the pick they sent for Noel, Dallas are not going for the 8th seed. They will land a good lotto pick, keep it and maybe give Dirk one last decent team to go around with next season. All whilst not forgetting that their is a life after Dirk too.

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DENVER NUGGETS – Current Record (26-33) / Since Last Time (12-10)

On The Move
Traded the Draft Rights to C. Akyol for M. Williams & Cash.
Traded J. Nurkic & MEM ’17 1st for M. Plumlee & POR ’18 2nd.
Traded DEN ’17 2nd for R. Hibbert
Overall Grade: B-

New Year Resolution
 Find a 4 that compliments Nikola Jokic. Failed (For Now). 

2017 So Far
Denver are currently leading the six horse race to the eight seed in the West. They’ve further embedded their belief that Jokic is their future, and as a result, sent a late first 2017 first rounder and now-obsolete Jusuf Nurkic to Portland for Mason Plumlee. Plumlee will likely only ever be a stop gap for the Nuggets however. His athleticism and passing compliment Jokic on paper – especially defensively, but one can’t help but feel there is a better fit out there. Also, if you give up a first rounder and Nurkic, I firmly believe that you can get better than Mason Plumlee. Add to that the fact that Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler should have also been moved and you can’t help but feel that the Nuggets didn’t get what they could have by the deadline.

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DETROIT PISTONS – Current Record (28-31) / Since Last Time (11-10)

On The Move
Detroit made no trades in 2017.
Overall Grade: C-

New Year Resolution
 Find some better shooting. Failed. 

2017 So Far
It would be fair to say Detroit tried. Heading into the deadline for 2017, the Pistons still needed shooting and offensive consistency. They had 2 pretty big (if not necessarily overly enticing) trade chips to dangle in Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. Reports had a potential deal for Jackson around Ricky Rubio, but that A) didn’t happen and B) would not have solved their shooting woes. For a team that returned a large chunk of their roster from last season and added value signing and now starter Jon Leuer and dynamic, poor shooting Ish Smith, Detroit should have a better record. One wonders if they could have made a similar offer for Bogdanovic that Washington made. Alas, they still have the diminished versions of Drummond and Jackson on the roster and relief for the team’s deficiencies will have to wait ’til the off season.

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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS  – Current Record (50-9) / Since Last Time (19-3)

On The Move
Golden State made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
 No injuries! Succeeded (so far). 

2017 So Far
So, injuries have struck the Warriors a little bit. David West and Zaza Pacculia have missed a bit of time. JaVale McGee has taken another hit…to his reputation thanks to Shaq (again). Kevin Durant has been forced to miss the last 2 games due to a hand contusion and sprained left pinkie. Yeah you’re right, these guys are fine. Whilst it’s a little surprising they haven’t (reportedly) made a run at Andrew Bogut, the Dubs understandably feel pretty good about where they are sitting. Steph Curry has been playing better since the calendar switched to 2017, the offence is still clicking along at a frightening rate, and the defence is leading the league. Steve Kerr is now up to the “managing games” point of the year as the team gears up for the real postseason. It’s good to qualify fastest in league history.

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HOUSTON ROCKETS – Current Record (42-19) / Since Last Time (13-10)

On The Move
Traded C. Brewer & HOU ’17 1st for L. Williams.
Traded KJ. McDaniels for Cash.
Traded T. Ennis & the Draft Rights to Brad Newley for M. Huertas
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
 Pray that Clint Capela gets healthy. Succeeded. 

2017 So Far
The Rockets were one of the real winners from the trade deadline, somehow shedding the Brewer contract as well as picking up Lou Williams and clearing up some roster spots. If they can land one or two legitimate buyout candidates, then Daryl Morey has killed it once again. Although I’m sure he’s a little sad about having to give up the draft rights to Brad Newley. Houston are pretty much a lock for third in the West and will have an interesting first up matchup with one of the Clippers, Grizz or perhaps the Jazz. They are also third in the NBA for overall Net Rating, with the 16th best defense in the league. If they can keep things around that mark on that end of the floor, the Rockets will be serious competition. Clint Capela is back healthy now and the Rockets look like they have a solid rotation that goes about 10 deep. It will be interesting if they can add one more legitimate piece on the buyout market. The Rockets are my smokey come playoffs time, as the team who would most likely pounce on an opportunity via injury or other circumstances.

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INDIANA PACERS – Current Record (31-29) / Since Last Time (11-11)

On The Move
Indiana made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: F

New Year Resolution
 Bring Monta Ellis off the bench or trade him. Unresolved. 

2017 So Far
Indy, Indy, Indy…what have you done!?! Much like Boston, it seems the Pacers were too pre-occupied in searching what a Paul George trade might look like that they forgot to explore other options too. So what remains? They didn’t make any upgrades to the roster before deadline and they also pissed off their franchise player in the process. That’s a problem for a team who faces stiff competition in retaining Paul George in the future and also one that has struggled big time around the All Star Break. Nate McMillan was suppose to help this team, particularly on offence, but Indiana’s pieces just don’t click right now and they are simply league average on that end of the floor. Larry Bird missed a real opportunity to try and rectify things there at the deadline and possibly help turn George’s opinion of the team. PG13 has openly stated recently that he wants to win a Championship in Indiana but the clock is ticking. Speaking of a ticking clock, Monta Ellis wasn’t traded but seems rooted to the bench role recently. It’s not working wonders for Indy, so is his time up in the off-season?

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LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS – Current Record (36-23) / Since Last Time (11-9)

On The Move
Clippers made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: D

New Year Resolution
 Trade Blake Griffin. Failed. 

2017 So Far
Not sure the Clippers season is working out how Coach Doc had it planned. Blake got injured, Paul got injured and it has all resulted in a less than desirable record with a handful of games to play. The cherry on top of this shit-cake is GM Doc failed to make a trade and the SF position continues to remain a gaping hole on the roster. All while a guy like PJ Tucker goes to Toronto for nothing but two very late 2nd Round picks. That kind of inactivity gets you a D grade even without a single trade to analyse. It’s also the main reason LAC gets a whopping fail on the lack of a move of Blake Griffin. I know a move like that can’t be taken lightly but this season looks to be the last in a long line of “coulda beens” and the roster is likely headed for a shake up at season’s end. Unlike the Rockets, I’m not sure the Clippers even sit in the “ready to pounce” pack and if any combo of Reddick, Paul & Griffin choose to leave, this team is in serious trouble.

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LOS ANGELES LAKERS- Current Record (19-41) / Since Last Time (5-15)

On The Move
Traded L. Williams for C. Brewer & HOU ’17 1st.
Traded M. Huertas for T. Ennis & the Draft Rights to Brad Newley.
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
 Get D’Angelo Russell going. Unresolved. 

2017 So Far
Well, that was quite the deadline! The Lakers decided to jettison staff as well as players, promoting Magic Johnson from adviser to team President in the blink of an eye. Jeanie Buss did the somewhat unthinkable in firing her brother, as well as longtime GM Mitch Kupchak. Magic wasted no time in moving vets for ‘assets’ and younger, cheaper players. The purpose here is the Lakers giving more time to Russell, Ingram, Clarkson et al and not relying on the flammable Lou Williams – aka tank even harder than before. This is smart on most fronts, although I’d be surprised if the trades were all curated exclusively by Magic in his short time at the helm. But maybe this will be the jolt that Russell needs to really turn the corner. He has shown flashes of improved play, but the consistency is still a ways off.

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MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES – Current Record (35-25) / Since Last Time (12-9)

On The Move
Memphis made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: N/A.

New Year Resolution
 Get healthy for the Playoffs. Succeeded.  (so far!). 

2017 So Far
Somehow, through Chandler Parsons’ knees and Mike Conley’s injury woes, the Grizz keep on gritting and grinding out wins, including an impressive 2-1 series lead thus far against the Warriors. Their prime goal has been to stay healthy, and whilst as a veteran team they’re expected to have injuries (and they have), they haven’t had any that will impede them into the upcoming playoff series. Here’s to hoping that they won’t. A Grizz series against the Rockets would be one of the more pleasurable Playoff match-ups for a basketball purist like myself. Unbelievable offence versus gritty defence.

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MIAMI HEAT – Current Record (27-33) / Since Last Time (16-6)

On The Move
Miami made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: C+

New Year Resolution
 Deal Goran Dragic, tank it out. Failed. 

2017 So Far
As a Miami fan, it’s been a tough and strange year. Playoff hopes faded pretty early on and most fans moved the focus to development and tanking for assets. Then Winslow was ruled out for the year, which was another low blow. My resolution for the Heat going into the new year was to deal Dragic and tank for as many lottery balls as we could get. This year will be one of the last where the Heat keep their first round pick, so it’s pretty important. Instead of that all happening, Miami decided to go on a 13 game win streak beginning in mid January and place themselves just one game outside the playoffs. Not sure clinching the 8th seed and being swept by the Cavaliers was quite in Riley’s plan. The Heat failed to make a trade at the deadline, largely due to a lack of assets and it seems they chose not to explore any options for dealing Dragic. This means that also for now, the Heat are failing on their resolution. As close as they are to a playoff berth, they could also easily come back to the lotto pack too. They would have to start right away though and if they don’t, the Heat remain in limbo land with minimal future assets and a tough summer ahead.

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MILWAUKEE BUCKS – Current Record (26-32) / Since Last Time (8-15)

On The Move
Traded M.Plumlee & POR ’18 2nd for S. Hawes & R. Hibbert.
Traded R. Hibbert for DEN ’17 2nd.
Overall Grade: C

New Year Resolution
Give the keys to the Rook (Malcolm Brogdon)! Failed. 

2017 So Far
Despite a slight hope to still make the playoffs, things just go from bad to worse for the Bucks. The Parker injury is perhaps the worst story of the season so far (one we will have an article on later this week) and was probably the catalyst for the Bucks season becoming almost unsalvageable. Coach Kidd has had to get creative with his lineups and is proving to not be very reliable at doing so. Rookies Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker are two bright spots but even the management of the former is a little bewildering. The new year resolution started off well with Brogdon starting a dozen games as we moved into 2017, however he is now back to the bench and playing considerably less minutes. Whilst I don’t blame them, Milwaukee’s deadline moves were a little uninspiring and mostly around shedding the bad Plumlee contract more than anything else. Although their pre-2017 trade for Tony Snell looks like a serious win that shouldn’t be overlooked. It would be nice to see this team make the playoffs for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is we shouldn’t be robbed of seeing Giannis in the April-June months. As with most previous years though, it’s going to be about next year again for the Bucks.

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MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES – Current Record (24-36) / Since Last Time (13-10)

On The Move
Minnesota made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
 Focus on defense. Unresolved. 

2017 So Far
Thank the lord, Tom Thibodeau didn’t trade for Derrick Rose. It was rumoured heavily and hardly a surprise but a deal sending out Ricky Rubio for Rose would have been disastrous. Although it seems Rubio has little future in Minny, there was no reason to rush things and adding Rose to this team would just stunt development. The remainder of season 16/17 is all about development. Whilst still unresolved, the defense seems to be picking up in patches. January was a record month for the Wolves, keeping opponents to a season low in points (102.7) allowed before it rising again in February (111.3) to an astronomically poor total. The loss of Zach LaVine was really tough but I am glad the Wolves resisted the urge for any quick changes and look as though they will ride the season out. And ride they shall. Still only a few games out of the 8th seed that seemingly nobody wants, the Wolves should continue to focus on D&D. Defense and Development.

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NEW ORLEANS PELICANS – Current Record (23-37) / Since Last Time (9-13)

On The Move
Traded T. Evans, B. Hield, L. Galloway, NOP ’17 1st & PHI ’18 2nd for D. Cousins & O. Casspi
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
Find the Brow a decent front court partner. Succeeded. 

2017 So Far
Player A: 27 ppg, 11rb, 5as, 1.4st, 1.3bl, 27 PER. Player B: 28ppg, 12rb, 2as, 1.3st, 2.4bl, 27.5 PER. Player A just joined Player B on the same freaking team. When you ask for help, sometimes you get it. And sure, the Pels haven’t won a game with DeMarcus Cousins yet. And sure, he just got a tech which may or may not be his 18th (which means 1 game suspension). And sure, Omri Casspi just got waived after being an important addition to the trade as he is injured for the rest of the year…after 1 game. But shit, you just got BOOGIE for an underwhelming (and oft injured) Tyreke Evans, a definitely-not-Steph-Curry Buddy Hield, and a 1st round pick that may have ended up being another underachieving player. Congrats to Dell Demps on saving his job!

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NEW YORK KNICKS – Current Record (24-36) / Since Last Time (7-16)

On The Move
New York made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: C

Resolution
 Don’t kill the Unicorn. Successful. 

2017 So Far
The Unicorn isn’t dead but he is a little wounded. Missing some games recently with an apparent achilles injury, isn’t great news for Kristaps Porzingis. What is good news for this though, is the Knicks didn’t make any more short sighted moves to compete now. New York sits in 12th spot on the Eastern leaderboard, with little shot at the playoffs and more Melo-drama likely coming in the off-season. For now, they need to focus on keeping Porzi both happy and healthy whilst seeing what else they might have on this roster. Hernangomez has been a nice surprise and there are various other interesting bits on the roster, such as Kuzminkas, Baker and O’Quinn. Rose will hopefully be left to walk in the Summer but unfortunately Noah won’t be going anywhere fast. And then there is Carmelo Anthony. Perhaps with the dust settled on the season and more time to digest things, the Knicks and Melo might finally call it quits.

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OKC THUNDER – Current Record (34-25) / Since Last Time (12-9)

On The Move
Traded C. Payne, J. Lauvergne & A. Morrow for D. McDermott, T. Gibson & CHI ’18 2nd.
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
 Get Russell Westbrook some more help. Succeeded. 

2017 So Far
Russ needed help, Russ got help. Sam Presti wasn’t really loaded with a ton of assets at the deadline but just as I’d pleaded, he knew had to do SOMETHING. Enter Cameron Payne. He had timed his recovery very nicely and became the centre of a deal to get Russ some more help in this playoff run. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doug McDermott becomes Kyle Korver 2.0 being setup with Westbrook and as far as playoff rentals go, it doesn’t get much better than Taj Gibson. Particularly at the PF position where OKC were basically accepting L’s every night within Sabonis’ individual matchup. Westbrook has been incredible this season but will need a really strong end to the season to win the MVP (more on that next week) but remember, he’s not worried about that. He wants to make the playoffs and make some noise and with this new and improved team, he has a much better chance at being heard.

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 ORLANDO MAGIC – Current Record (22-38) / Since Last Time (6-16)

On The Move
Traded S. Ibaka for T. Ross & TOR ’17 1st.
Overall Grade: D+

New Year Resolution
Balance out the roster with trades. Succeeded. 

2017 So Far
If, at the start of the season, someone had offered you $1,000,000 if you chose correctly who out of Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka, Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon and Bismak Biyombo would be traded by the deadline, would anyone have gotten that money? Whilst the deal isn’t utterly horrible in a vacuum, it’s hard to look at it as a singular entity. Orlando turned Tobais Harris into Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova. They turned Ilyasova, Victor Olidipo and Domantas Sabonis into Serge. And now, they have T-Ross and a late 2017 fist left. Sure, they unclogged a front court that needed a decent rejig, but they didn’t need to be in this mess in the first place. At least Aaron Gordon is back at the 4, and Terence Ross is looking good next to Fournier on the wing.

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PHILADELPHIA 76ERS- Current Record (22-37) / Since Last Time (13-12)

On The Move
Traded E. Ilyasova & GSW ’17 2nd for T.Splitter, MIA ’17 2nd & ATL ’17 2nd.
Traded N. Noel for A. Bogut, J. Anderson & ’17 DAL 1st.
Overall Grade: C-

New Year Resolution
Get Embiid to the All Star Game. Failed. 

2017 So Far
Forget Embiid to the All Star game. Philly couldn’t get him out of the break healthy, let alone into it. All Star seems so long ago for a team that just announced #1 pick Ben Simmons will miss the remainder of the season. And adding to that is the bizarre choice to trade Noel for the waived corpse of Andrew Bogut and a future 1st that will definitely become 2 future 2nds. Either Noel or Okafor had to go, and Okafor offers more offence and a cheaper contract. But considering how hard he was shopped it was a shock to see Noel’s name in a Woj tweet. Now the Sixers are left with a non communicative GM (sound familiar), it’s best players in streets (sound familiar) and everyone is once again looking ahead to June for the draft.

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PHOENIX SUNS – Current Record (18-41) / Since Last Time (6-16)

On The Move
Traded PHX ’17 2nd for M. Scott, Cash & the Draft Rights to C. Akyol.
Traded PJ. Tucker for J. Sullinger, TOR ’17 2nd & TOR ’18 2nd.
Overall Grade: C+

New Year Resolution
 Trade some Vets to free up time for Rooks. Failed (but there’s hope!). 

2017 So Far
Most Phoenix fans (myself included) hoped GM, Ryan McDonough, had another surprise up his sleeve at the trade deadline. Let’s be honest, when your team continues to miss the playoffs it’s only matters like the trade deadline that get you excited. One would have to imagine the Suns kicked the tyres on Cousins, Butler and perhaps George but no deals were made. Instead, they finally shipped PJ Tucker off somewhere that his effort would matter and made some extra moves to hit the salary floor. Pretty uninspiring really. However, if the few games post deadline are anything to read into then the remainder of the season might be okay for Suns fans. On top of Tucker being traded, it seems as though the Suns are at least pretending as though they have done the same to Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler for now. Both guys have received multiple DNP’s, resulting in a lot more playing time for Alex Len, Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams and even Derrick Jones Jnr. That’s good for development and also picking up the least amount of wins as possible!

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PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – Current Record (24-34) / Since Last Time (8-12)

On The Move
Traded CLE ’18 1st for CLE ’17 1st.
Traded  M. Plumlee & POR ’18 2nd for J. Nurkic & MEM ’17 1st.
Overall Grade: B+

New Year Resolution
Get out of the basement on D. Succeeded. 

2017 So Far
The good news: Portlan are allowed their D back as they aren’t the worst defence in the league anymore – congrats to Denver! The better news is they flipped the potentially expensive Mason Plumlee for the potential and low contract of Jusuf Nurkic PLUS and 1st rounder. Couple that with the Cleveland swap and the Blazers have 3 picks in the very deep 2017 draft. The bad news is Portland still rank only 26th on D, still have no cap space next season, and will only get a lottery pick if their own 2017 first is in the lottery; meaning they missed the playoffs and failed to meet expectations. Big Bosnia looks like he has more game than he has shown so far, but the time is getting late to make a run.

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SACRAMENTO KINGS – Current Record (25-35) / Since Last Time (10-14)

On The Move
Traded D. Cousins & O. Casspi for T. Evans, B. Hield, L. Galloway, NOP ’17 1st & PHI ’18 2nd
Overall Grade: C

New Year Resolution
 Trade Boogie Cousins. Succeeded (Kind Of).

2017 So Far
Welcome to ‘Tank-a-palooza 10: We’re Actually Tanking!’ There is too little space to really go through the nitty-gritty that is the Sacramento King 16/17 season and the Boogie trade. But my highlights thus far: DMac’s 17 techs, DMac playing 2 whole minutes in the All Star Game, Tyreke Evans’ return and every article related to Vivek Ranadive. Trading Boogie makes sense for the Kings when they realised that they were about to invest $290 million for a fragile franchise guy who racked up techs like they were rare collectables. But they panicked when they realised that Boogie reps were telling every team he wouldn’t re-sign with them, eventually trading Boogie for 25 cents on the dollar (as I went through in my How (Not) To Build a Roster – Part 1) three days before the trade deadline for a deal that they openly admitted wasn’t the best they received. Also, apparently they think that Buddy Hield is the next Steph Curry. Now, Kings’ fans are counting the losses to ensure they fall within pick 10 of the 2017 draft, allowing them to keep their pick and not have to flick it to the Bulls.

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SAN ANTONIO SPURS – Current Record (45-13) / Since Last Time (15-6)

On The Move
San Antonio made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
 Find a ring chasing Vet. Unresolved. 

2017 So Far
San Antonio rarely make in season trades. Partly due to their franchise philosophy and mostly to do with the fact they hardly ever need to. So they didn’t find a ring chasing veteran at the deadline but they may still before the buy-out deadline approaches. In order to be a serious threat in June, help at either end of the food chain could help. The PG and C positions are where they are still the most vulnerable but unfortunately for them, their competitors are eating up those markets. Deron, Bogut and Calderon all look likely to be Cleveland or Golden State bound but would all fit nicely in Spurs-land. Pau is back from injury but coming off the bench in what could prove a good longer term move, with Dedmon starting at the 5. Parker continues to struggle at PG, although Pop is reluctant to lose Patty Mills’ punch from the bench. Fact is, if they go into the playoffs without any more additions then the Spurs could still surprise. Continuity and stability is always key in San Antonio.

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TORONTO RAPTORS – Current Record (36-24) / Since Last Time (12-12)

On The Move
Traded T. Ross & TOR ’17 1st for S. Ibaka.
Traded  J. Sullinger, TOR ’17 2nd & TOR ’18 2nd for PJ. Tucker.
Overall Grade: A

New Year Resolution
 Find a Power Forward. Succeeded.  

2017 So Far
The Raptors of late have struggled, resulting in a negative record over the last 23 games. The Raps’ roller coaster like season keeps going on. After landing Serge Ibaka (the high), they crashed down, losing star Kyle Lowry till the playoffs with a wrist injury (obviously the low). But still, the Raps will make the playoffs (in large part because the East kind of, you know, sucks past the top 5 teams) and Ibaka will be settled. The Ibaka trade was a thing of beauty. The Raps turned Terrance Ross (bench guy) and a pick in the 20’s to Serge Ibaka, getting the power forward they needed AND a third banana in the process. Ross was the Raptors’ best bench asset, and shrewdly covered his loss by flipping are rarely-used and expendable Jarod Sullinger and two second round picks for PJ Tucker. Adding flexibility t their line-up and a guy who can guard elite wings. Apparently this LeBron James guy takes some stopping.

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UTAH JAZZ – Current Record (37-22) / Since Last Time (14-7)

On The Move
Utah made no trades in 2017. 
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
Get healthy! Succeeded (So Far).

2017 So Far
The Utah Jazz seem to have their heart set on a strong playoff run this season, which will hopefully help in their quest to keep Gordon Hayward around. They are finally getting healthy (Yay!) and stood pat at the deadline despite a number of options being available. The team this year is STACKED, with Coach Snyder going to find it difficult to cut what is arguably a 12 man rotation down when the playoffs hit. Hill, Hayward and Favors all look to finally be healthy and the Jazz are fighting to keep that home court advantage for the playoffs which could be crucial if they do want to make a splash. A recent good stretch over the last 10 has their noses in front and Utah could be the team that everyone wants to avoid in the first round when the shuffle at the end of the regular season takes place.

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WASHINGTON WIZARDS – Current Record (34-23) / Since Last Time (17-5)

On The Move
Traded A. Nicholson, M. Thornton & WAS ’17 1st for B. Bogdanovic & C. McCullough.
Overall Grade: B

New Year Resolution
Improve the bench. Succeeded (mostly). 

2017 So Far
It is classic Washington that trading for a player that should improve their bench has coincided with 2 straight losses coming out of the break. Nabbing Bogdanovic for the wasted roster spots devoted to Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton was a shrewd move by the Wiz brass, although it didn’t really address their most urgent need – a real back-up point guard not named Trey Burke (keep your eye on Brandon Jennings for this). Still, Bogdanovic should provide needed stability and scoring for a second unit that was living and dying by Kelly Oubre Jr. Now the Wizards have a 7 man playoff rotation set with Ian Mahinmi finally back from injury. The roster is still ill-equipped to deal with an injury to a starter, but they might be able to let Wall and Beal rest for 10 minutes each.


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