2013 NBA Trade Deadline: Grading All 30 Teams

After weeks of rumors and trade talks, the 2013 NBA trade deadline came and went with little in the way of major deals.

With teams more cautious than ever when it comes to cap space and a deep free-agent class coming at season’s end, no teams decided to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal, despite some of the big names that were being thrown around in the media prior to the deadline.

Sometimes, the best move is the one you don’t make and it seems as though many teams are happy with their position leading into the playoffs. We’ll grade every team, whether they made a move or not, on how well they did at the deadline and why.

Atlanta Hawks

Josh Smith was seen as the most likely player to be traded at the deadline. With an expiring contract and little desire to remain in Atlanta, the Hawks were in a position to gain some assets before losing Smith for nothing in the off-season. A large number of teams were said to be interested, including the Bucks, right up until the deadline passed, but general manager Danny Ferry refused to pull the trigger and will be stuck either paying Smith the max in the summer or letting him walk for free. A minor deal of Anthony Morrow for defensive wing Dahntay Jones did little to compensate for the lack of a major move. Grade: D

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics dealt Jason Collins and Leandro Barbosa (who is out for the season with a torn ACL) to the Washington Wizards for shooting guard Jordan Crawford. With the loss of Barbosa and, of course, Rajon Rondo, the Celtics needed depth in the backcourt and found an explosive scorer in Crawford who had fallen out of the rotation in Washington. Based on a pure talent, the Celtics easily got the better end of this deal. While Crawford has some maturity concerns, he is still young and is by far the most talented individual in the deal. However, after weeks of working the phones to either blow the team up for the future or improve in the short term, this is really only a drop in the ocean for general manager Danny Ainge that left fans less than fulfilled. Grade: B-

Brooklyn Nets

Points for trying here for the Brooklyn Nets. They were set on keeping their core intact while trying to improve their power forward situation. Unfortunately for the Nets, the only assets they had to work with were the inflated contract of Kris Humphries and young shooting guard MarShon Brooks. We heard the package offered for nearly every available player on the market–Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Paul Pierce, Ersan Ilyasova and who knows how many more. No one bit on the deal, but general manager Billy King knew what he had to work with and tried just about every team in the league to improve his roster. Unfortunately (and rightfully) no other team bit on the deal and the Nets will continue with what they have. Grade: B

Charlotte Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats traded forward Hakim Warrick for the Orlando Magic’s Josh McRoberts in a minor deal right at the deadline. Warrick had been solid in games he had played for the Bobcats, but had fallen out of the rotation, playing just one of the team’s past 11 games. McRoberts has better size and rebounding ability than Warrick and will likely get a chance to earn minutes in Charlotte in his sixth season. He is also a former Duke teammate of the Bobcats’ Gerald Henderson. They did fail to rid themselves of guard Ben Gordon, who has become a problem recently clashing with coaches and expressing his displeasure with his situation. They desperately needed to rid themselves of Gordon before he influences their crop of young talent with his attitude issues. Grade: C

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are comfortably positioned in the playoffs and by all reports are about to add Derrick Rose to the lineup in the near future. They certainly tried to shed the contracts of Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton; however, they were not willing to trade them for nothing as both can still contribute. No move was a good move on this occasion for the Bulls. Grade: B

Cleveland Cavaliers

The only real asset the Cleveland Cavaliers have that would be worth trading, Anderson Varejao, is out for the season. The rest of the team is young, improving and their chemistry is getting stronger with every game. The Cavaliers did well to remain patient and let their young guns play out the season. Grade: B

Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks will rely on a big second half of the season from Dirk Nowitzki after failing to make a big deal at the deadline. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr.com)

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks traded little-used swingman Dahntay Jones to Atlanta for Anthony Morrow. Morrow, while he has been out of the rotation for the Hawks, is still one of the game’s premier shooters and should find minutes in Dallas. Hard to be critical of the Mavs not making a move when they are primed for a big offseason and did not want to make any deals that could jeopardize that. Grade: B-

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets have a collection of talented young players, are fighting for home-court advantage in the Western Conference and had a major shakeup–bringing Andre Iguodala to the team at the start of the season. It was the right move to stand pat. Grade: B 

Detroit Pistons

We will include the recent Rudy Gay trade in these grades. Just before the All-Star break, the Detroit Pistons were involved in a three-way deal where they sent veteran Tayshaun Prince and little-used forward Austin Daye for point guard Jose Calderon. The team had tried to play Brandon Knight at point guard, but seems set to try and use him as the starting 2 guard going forward. Calderon is the ideal playmaker for the Pistons, who lack passing proficiency and struggle at times to feed their imposing post tandem of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. While on the last year of his contract, Calderon could well be re-signed if things work out over the second half of the season. Grade: B+

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have just added Andrew Bogut back into their lineup for the first time this season and the team is comfortably positioned in the Western Conference playoffs. They have exceeded expectations and allowing the team to integrate their new center without having to deal with further acquisitions is likely the right move at this stage. The Warriors did make two small trades, sending second-year players Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins away for a second-round pick and cash right at the deadline. This move allowed the Warriors to move under the luxury tax limit and is on the positive, smart end of a cash-saving type deal. Grade: B+

Houston Rockets

General manager Daryl Morey was at it again this trade deadline with the Houston ockets continuing their yearly tradition of stockpiling assets with one eye on a superstar deal in the future. The Rockets traded Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt and 2012 No. 5 overall draft pick Thomas Robinson. Getting a recent top-five pick for such a package is unheard of and the Rockets seem to have hit the jackpot with the Kings simply trying to save a small amount of money in the deal. Robinson has yet to shine in the NBA, but has rarely been given a chance. The Rockets will play him big minutes for the rest of the season in hopes they have either found their power forward of the future or that he can be showcased for a major deal in the offseason. Grade: A

Indiana Pacers

There is no faulting the Indiana Pacers for not making a move at the trade deadline considering the position they are in. The Pacers are about to have former All-Star Danny Granger join them for the first time this season and are already comfortably in the top four in the East. The Pacers will add an immensely talented player to their roster who has a familiarity with the rest of the team without having to give up anything in the process, far better than any deal they could have made. Grade: B+

Eric Bledsoe

After pulling out of talks to send Eric Bledsoe in a deal for Kevin Garnett, pressure will be on the Los Angeles Clippers to perform. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr.com)

Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are in great shape heading into the home stretch of the NBA season. They are third in the West and look to be a real threat in the playoffs. They did, however, have an opportunity to improve their team if they had pushed harder for Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. The Clippers pulled out of negotiations that included Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan for the former league MVP, with many believing Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul could convince Garnett to approve the deal. We will soon see how those two respond in the playoffs and whether not pursuing the deal further will prove costly for the Clippers. Grade: B-

Los Angeles Lakers

The most likely candidate to be traded out of Los Angeles had been Pau Gasol prior to his injury. With the Lakers making no moves at the deadline, it signifies that they are now committed to retaining Dwight Howard and making a push to the playoffs with the team they have. They had the opportunity to deal Howard if they chose to, but will instead bank on the star center re-signing with the team in free agency. Still lacking depth and athleticism, the Lakers will continue to rely on their stars and hope that talent can drag them back into the playoff picture. Grade: C+

Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies traded away Rudy Gay just prior to the All-Star break for veteran Tayshaun Prince and young big man Ed Davis. In a move that was inspired both by cash savings and on-court performance, the Grizzlies decided that they would prefer to rely on their star frontcourt offensively and that Prince was a better fit for the team overall than the higher-usage player in Gay. The team has struggled some since the deal, but is looking to turn it around and Prince’s experience in the playoffs is not to be understated. The Miami Heat traded big man Dexter Pittman to the Grizzlies in order to open up a roster position, Pittman is unlikely to contribute, but is still young and could learn from the experienced front court in Memphis. Grade: B+

Miami Heat

Not much to see here. The Heat traded away Dexter Pittman in order to open up a roster position and will likely sign a bought-out, ring-chasing veteran. The Heat sit atop the East and are again favorites for the title. There was no reason to make a deal at this stage and management did well to avoid getting sucked into trade talks. Grade: A

Milwaukee Bucks

In what could be the biggest deal of the trade deadline, which says more about the deadline itself than anything, the Bucks sent out Tobias Harris, Deron Lamb and Beno Udrih for J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith from Orlando. Redick is one of the best shooters in the league, but is in the last year of his contract and recently stated he will be looking for a big payday come the offseason. The Bucks gave up some potentially good young pieces to get Redick, who will be coming off the bench for Monta Ellis. It remains to be seen if the Bucks can keep Redick around for a reasonable rate or if they traded away young players for a three-month rental. Grade: B-

Derrick Williams Ricky Rubio

Derrick Williams, left,  is still in Minnesota after the deadline, despite interest around the league for the Timberwolves’ forward. (Photo Credit to AP, Creative Commons)

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves decided to stand pat at the deadline despite a disappointing season and having some potentially valuable young pieces to trade. Derrick Williams, who has been starting for injured big man Kevin Love, has shown flashes of his potential and could have netted the Wolves the young wing scorer they have sorely needed for a number of seasons now. While injuries were a major part in the disappointing season thus far, general manager David Kahn wasted an opportunity to balance his roster. Grade: C-

New Orleans Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets have undergone a great deal of roster turnover in the past year, adding numerous draft picks, including top pick Anthony Davis, signing Ryan Anderson and then just getting back guard Eric Gordon from injury. The Hornets have become a solid team as of late and decided to play out the season to truly assess what they have before making any more changes. Grade: B+

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks did not make any additions via trade, but on deadline day decided to sign veteran big man Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract. With Rasheed Wallace out due to injury, the Knicks could use another defender in the post and if Martin is able to produce to his usual levels, he will be a cost-effective, low-risk addition to the team for the playoffs. The team did trade away little-used swingman Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a second-round draft pick in order to make room on the roster for Martin. Grade: B

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded away point guard Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exemption to the Portland Trailblazers. Reggie Jackson had taken Maynor’s place in the rotation and this move seems partially in good faith to get Maynor back on the court while also saving the team money. General manager Sam Presti then sent a second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks for defensive swingman Ronnie Brewer, who should help the team against small lineups in the playoffs. Grade: B

J.J. Redick, Orlando Magic

J.J. Redick, shown in a March 5, 2012, game for the Orlando Magic against the Toronto Raptors, was traded Thursday, Feb. 21, to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a six-player deal. (Photo by Paul Gorbould/Flickr.com)

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have looked far better than most expected them to post-Dwight Howard. The young additions to the team have played well and they look to be ahead of the curve in their rebuild. They further improved their position by dealing away free-agent-to-be J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith to the Bucks for Deron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih. Udrih is an expiring contract while Lamb and Harris both show flashes of being solid NBA role players. With Redick likely on his way out in the offseason, the Magic did well to get multiple young assets for him before they were left with nothing. Grade: A-

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers’ only move was to trade a protected second-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors for young guard Charles Jenkins. The 76ers have had a disappointing season thus far, with star center Andrew Bynum yet to play a game for the team. It seems they will wait until Bynum is able to return to the lineup and see what they have before making any further moves. Grade: C+

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns chose not to make major changes but had two small, solid deals just prior to the deadline. First, they dealt a second-round pick for Marcus Morris of the Houston Rockets, which will reunite Morris with his twin Markieff in Phoenix. They then traded Sebastian Telfair, who had fallen out of the rotation in favor of rookie Kendall Marshall, to the Toronto Raptors for center Hamed Haddadi and a second-round draft pick. Grade: B+

Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers could not find a deal worthy of trading away starting center J.J. Hickson, but instead bolstered their bench with the addition of Oklahoma City point guard Eric Maynor. It is no secret that outside of the starting five, Portland has had major bench issues and Maynor should be able to at least provide one player capable of setting up teammates and looking for his own shot. Maynor has failed to regain his backup position in OKC after returning from injury, but he had been a key weapon for the team in the past and should be a terrific addition for the Blazers bench, considering they only traded an exemption for him. Grade: A

Sacramento Kings

The whole league scratched its head as they watched the Sacramento Kings deal away 2012 No. 5 overall draft pick Thomas Robinson to the Houston Rockets in a package for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas. The Kings had rarely given Robinson the chance to show his potential and after taking him so high in the last draft, one would assume he would be given an opportunity before being moved. The deal is primarily to save money for the Kings, but it will only be a minor $1.2 million that they save for the sake of giving up a high lottery pick. One saving grace for the Kings may be the addition of Patterson, who played with DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky and may be a steadying influence on the often hot-headed young star. Grade: F

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs have little reason to make a trade. They have the best record in the league, great chemistry and an ideal mix of veterans and young talent. The one blemish at the deadline is once again failing to move disgruntled big man DeJuan Blair. A number of teams were willing to take on Blair, who is unhappy with his role in San Antonio, but the Spurs will instead wait til the offseason and allow Blair to sign elsewhere. Grade: B

Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay has been outstanding since his trade to the Toronto Raptors. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr.com)

Toronto Raptors

Not everyone loves the addition of Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors, but it is hard to argue with the results. Since joining Toronto, Gay has been outstanding as the No. 1 option and has hit two game winners in his short Raptor tenure. The team also added backup point guard Sebastian Telfair at the deadline to fill in for Jose Calderon, whom they traded to the Pistons. Regardless of opinions of Gay as a player, the results speak for themselves and the Raptors appear to be a much better team post-deadline. Grade: A-

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz decided against making any trades, which may be the most puzzling move of the entire deadline. Utah has four frontcourt players, all capable and deserving of big minutes, and seemingly were certain to move at least one to balance out their roster. Veteran big men Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are both in the last year of their contracts and with young lottery picks Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors currently on the bench waiting for their opportunity, it is unlikely that either, let alone both, will be in Utah beyond this season. The Jazz wasted a golden opportunity to gain assets for their expiring contracts before they are lost for nothing in the offseason. Grade: D-

Washington Wizards

The lone deal the Washington Wizards made was to trade away Jordan Crawford to the Celtics for veteran big man Jason Collins and injured guard Leandro Barbosa. With Crawford falling out of the rotation and some maturity issues, it would appear the goal was simply to get him off the team; however, gaining no young talent or even late second-round picks in return would appear to be a failure. Barbosa will not play this season and Collins is more likely to be bought out or sit on the bench in a suit than contribute in Washington. Grade: C

Tags: 76ers Al Jefferson Bobcats Bucks Bulls Celtics Clippers Cole Aldrich Deron Lamb Eric Maynor Grizzlies Hawks Heat Jazz Jj Reddick Jordan Crawford Josh Smith Kings Thomas Robinson Knicks Lakers Magic Marcus Morris Mavericks Mavs Nuggets Pacers Patrick Patterson Paul Millsap Pistons Raptors Rockets Rudy Gay Spurs Suns Tayshaun Prince Thunder Timberwolves Trail Blazers Warriors Wizards

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