Thomas Robinson, Jordan Crawford and J.J. Redick. (AP)
So the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline came and went without much fanfare, with the biggest fish – Josh Smith – not being dealt. For the first time in a while, no big names were dealt but a lot of young players were moved around without actually tilting the balance of power in either conference.
We pick the five best moves of the trade season:
1. Houston acquiring Thomas Robinson
HOU got: Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt
SAC got: Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas, Cole Aldrich
Daryl Morey and crew scored another coup by landing fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson in his rookie year in exchange for (except for Patrick Patterson, maybe) not-so-important pieces to Houston's future.
The trade allows Robinson, the former Kansas forward, to move from a volatile situation in Sacramento to a starting spot in a team contending for a playoff berth in the tough Western Conference. Joining him are serviceable wingmen Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt, the latter of whom comes extremely cheap at less than $1 million a year.
On the other hand, it baffles us how the Kings quickly gave up on Robinson, who averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 boards in his last season as a Jayhawk. It was reported that the move was made to save the Maloofs around $3 million, but this dumb trade would further darken an already bleak near-future for Sacramento.
2. Boston acquiring Jordan Crawford
BOS got: Jordan Crawford
WAS got: Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins
Surprise, surprise! Danny Ainge transformed nothing into something, nabbing trigger-happy (doesn't) guard Jordan Crawford for free-agents to be Jason Collins and (injured) Leandro Barbosa.
Barbosa is out for the season following an ACL tear just a few weeks ago while Collins has been, well, Jason Collins – meaning, someone whose main role is to foul, foul and foul.
Doc Rivers would have his work cut out for him in trying to transform Crawford from being Jamal Crawford lite to someone who actually plays hard-nosed defense, a Celtic hallmark in the Rivers era. Nevertheless, an injury-riddled Boston group gets an additional scoring option who can also fill in both guard positions.
3. Cavaliers taking on Memphis' salary dump
CLE got: Wayne Ellington, Marreese Speights, Josh Selby, protected 2015 pick
MEM got: Jon Leuer
This move came a month before the deadline, but was nonetheless a good one by the Cavaliers, who, with immense cap space, were able to take in a salary dump by over-the-tax Memphis.
Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington have turned out to be solid backups for Cleveland, scoring in double-figures eight and six times, respectively, in the 11 games they've played for the Cavaliers.
Meanwhile, Jon Leuer has struggled to find a role in the Grizzlies' loaded front court, averaging just 1.25 points in four games, and has been simply the salary dump filler that he is.
4. Orlando gets Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih
ORL got: Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih
MIL got: J.J. Redick, Ish Smith, Gustavo Ayon
Most sides give Milwaukee the advantage in this deal, but we believe that Orlando actually got the better value, locking up young studs Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris while also providing Jameer Nelson a solid backup in Beno Udrih.
Like Udrih, Redick's deal is expiring after this season and with the former Duke sharpshooter's brilliant performance so far in 2012-13, his price tag is expected to go beyond what the Magic can afford to give him. Thus, Rob Hennigan decided to ship him up north.
But the biggest gems in this trade remain to be Harris and Lamb, who rode the pine in the Bucks' crowded wing positions but will surely see more time with Orlando, with Harris backing up (or even surpassing) Moe Harkless and Lamb giving Arron Afflalo some rest time.
5. Portland lands Eric Maynor
POR got: Eric Maynor
OKC got: $2.2-million trade exception
Eric Maynor finally will be able to get the playing time he deserves with this transfer to Portland. The 20th overall pick of the 2009 draft has been mired in a talented Oklahoma City backcourt and has played in only 10 games in 2013.
This move, which cost the Trail Blazers just a trade exception, gives the skilled playmaker the chance to showcase his wares and run Portland's second unit, of which he will be one of the primary options on offense.