After The Dust Settles

G/F Andrew Wiggins, during his Warriors debut vs. the Lakers.

Hello everyone! With this piece, I’ll be discussing the biggest moves from the 2020 NBA trade deadline, as well as the top storylines for the remainder of the regular season. Enjoy, and please, share it with your friends!


Random question. What’s your favorite holiday? An average person will probably answer with Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even New Years. Not me. Weird, I know. My favorite has always been the NBA trading deadline.

This past year, the deadline was on February 6th, at 3 pm EST. During that time, it was my world history class. Similar to a child leaving his presents under the tree until he wakes up Christmas morning, I left my cellphone in my dorm during class.

When I returned at 4 pm, an hour after the deadline, I ran to my cellphone, went straight to the ESPN app, and read all the updating news.


My assessment on this year’s deadline: should’ve been more moves. The ones that did transpire, were strange nonetheless.

New Minnesota PG D’Angelo Russell, warming up before matchup vs. L.A. Clippers. He did not play.

The first domino: the 4-team blockbuster that sent Clint Capela to Atlanta, & forward Robert Covington to Houston. The largest trade in 20 years, this transaction was fascinating due to it’s moving parts.

First, Denver acquired a first-round pick for the expiring contracts of Malik Beasley & Juancho Hernangomez, two serviceable role players that were buried on a deep Denver bench. Malik Beasley will thrive in Minnesota. He’s the perfect two-way shooting guard, that compliments D-Lo and KAT.

As mentioned before, Houston received Robert Covington in the deal, doubling down on coach Mike D’Antoni’s idea of small-ball. Similar to popular opinion, this move will come back to bite them, unless they acquire a big in the buyout market. Going up against the likes of Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert & Kristaps Porzingis, could spell trouble for them come playoff time.

Also, outside of their backcourt, is their roster skilled enough to attack the mismatches they’ll have against bigger opponents? Maybe. They could prove us all wrong.

Rockets F Robert Covington (#33) during his Rockets debut vs. the Lakers.

The last piece of the transaction: the Hawks getting their guy. Seeking reinforcements at center for years, Atlanta has found it in Clint Capela. A double-double machine, his fit alongside John Collins is a bit murky, given their roles as a rim runners. However, he’s a perfect fit alongside Trae Young. Expect an extensive alley-oop connection between the two.


On to one of the sadder transactions: Detroit moving Andre Drummond to Cleveland for spare parts. There was a common consensus around the league whether Andre would be traded, due to his declining value and upcoming player option. To see him dealt, to Cleveland of all places, was interesting.

I like this move for the Cavs. Many forget that Dre is just 26 years old. Picking up a semi-young center for practically nothing, can help further this team’s rebuild. As we’ve seen this season, Drummond is an All-Star caliber player. Just don’t resign him to a max deal, Cleveland.

For Detroit: this move signals a rebuild, but they held on to veterans Markieff Morris & Derrick Rose. Sparking some buzz around the league, the Pistons failed to capitalize on the trade value of two solid contributors.

C Andre Drummond during his Cavs debut vs. the Clippers.

From one Andre to another, what about Andre Igoudala? The Heat’s newest addition has a chance to make a significant dent in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

After an unforgettable stint in Memphis, Iggy brings defense, playmaking, and valuable championship experience to a Miami squad that’s strong, but full of youth. Jae Crowder is a sneaky-good throw in as well. The trade could result in a deep playoff run for the Heat.

Heat G/F Andre Igoudala during his Heat debut vs. Portland.

On the other side of the spectrum, Justise Winslow is another addition to a spectacular young Memphis core. He’s on a good contract, fills a position of need, and removes some of the ball-handling burdens from rookie sensation Ja Morant. Love the trade for both sides.


Arguably the most surprising move at the deadline: the Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell swap between Minnesota & Golden State.

Given the size of Andrew Wiggins’s contract, I doubted anyone would take on his money. This move made me wonder about the motives of Golden State. I assume Minnesota’s 2021 top-three protected pick makes up for things. They should’ve waited, and may have received a more favorable offer for Russell during the summer.

G D’Angelo Russell during his Timberwolves debut vs. Toronto.

For the Wolves, this deal is tremendous for them. They acquired their franchise point guard, & find themselves with two cornerstones to build around (Russell, Towns). Due to their defensive deficiencies, surrounding the duo with low usage 3-&-D players will help Minnesota return to the postseason.


Other trades across the league that caught my attention:

F Marcus Morris (#31) during his Clippers debut vs. Cavaliers.

If you made it to the end, thank you so much for reading. Leave a comment if you agree, or disagree with this piece. And please, share this with your friends.

Blessings,

Andy

(Originally posted February 12, 2020 on Medium. Edited May 22, 2020 on WordPress.)

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