A lot of things happened yesterday; we bring you a short overview of the most critical moments from the last 24 hours. These have championship implications in the short and long run.
Anthony Davis is in New Orleans
There was no AD trade. The last few days indicated the Pelicans had their eyes on the summer and the Lakers didn’t have anything that made them feel they shouldn’t wait for Bostin entering the race. Things to watch till the summer:
1. Will AD play? – His group indicated he has every intention to play. This means nothing for the Pelicans; they still may shut him down, minimize injury risk and improve their draft pick.
2. Draft lottery – if the Knicks get the no.1 pick, they will join the mix. With the no. 1 pick they would have a competitive offer for AD. Circle May 14th on your calendar.
3. Jason Tatum – Will, the Celtics, include Tatum in the deal? His performance until the rest of the season will impact his value.
4. Kyrie’s commitment – The only way the Celtics have to resign AD is if Kyrie stays and next season the pull a Paul George and throw him a Nas party. Without Kyrie committed to the team their chances to convince AD to stay if they trade for him are 0,023%.
Mirotic to the Bucks
The most impactful move in the last 24 hours of the deadline. The Bucks sent out Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith, and a few second rounders. This is a terrific deal for the Bucks as they got another forward that can stretch the floor (over 38% on catch and shoot threes) and contribute on defense.
It also enables them to re-sign Middleton, Bledsoe, and Brogdon this summer without getting into the tax. Essential for the Giannis pre-agency that will start next year (I know, things are getting out of hand).
Marc Gasol to the Raptors
Charlotte was in the lead to get Gasol but then haggling gave an opening to Masai Ujiri, and no surprise he took it. Gasol is at the end of his curve but is still an upgrade over Valanciunas who went back to Memphis alongside CJ Miles, Delon Wright, and a second rounder.
This will create some fit issues as Ibaka has been a very good five next to Siakam at the PF spot. Someone is losing their position to Gasol, and it is up to Nick Nurse to make it all work.
The Raptors went all in their effort to convince Kawhi to stay (who, by the way, recently cashed out $13.3 million for a house in Southern California). The DeRozan trade is a permanent issue between Lowry and Ujiri, but the rumors that Lowry was close to being traded did not come to fruition. If Kawhi doesn’t stay, a tank job is in Raptors future.
Fultz to Orlando
Orlando sent out Johnathan Simmons, a protected first and a second round pick for the former no.1 pick. This was a smart gamble for the Magic as they get a prolonged look at a very talented young player and didn’t sacrifice much in the process.
They didn’t trade anyone of importance so they will stay in mediocrity hell for another season. This summer will tell us a lot if they will continue in their ways or accept changes need to be made.
The rest of the league
Clippers – after sending out Harris the Clips sent Avery Bradley to Memphis. This was a salary dump, clearing more cap space for this summer. They also got a nice return in JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple.
Lakers – Trading Zubac? What? This one got twitter fired up, the young Croat had a few extremely good games and seemed he had a future with the Lakers. Incidentally, they traded him to the Clippers alongside Beasly (who is getting cut) for Mike Muscala. This creates a roster spot – smart move to be in the buyout market. If they sign Carmelo, that means they don’t want to make the playoffs.
Rockets – Everyone expected Morey to pull another rabbit out of his hat and improve the roster. What we got was another two salary dump trades to get them under the tax. The overwhelming narrative around the Rockets was that the new owner, Tilman Fertitta, extended himself to get his hands on the Rockets and can’t afford the tax. The story was that they would pay the tax for a contending team so they must believe this is not one.
They did participate in a three-team trade that got them Wade Baldwin, Iman Shumpert, and Nik Stauskas. Will Shump and Sauce Castillo be the straw that breaks the Warriors back? I guess it’s possible…
76ers, Bucks, and Raptors made win-now moves so if the predictions come through and these three teams and Boston go to the second round of the playoffs in the East we will have one of the best conference semifinals in a long time.
Oh yeah, btw, the Warriors will win the championship