The NBA trade deadline came and went this past week with less than usual fanfare. Normally there are one or two big names that are moved, creating an interesting storyline for the new players team for the rest of the year.
This year however, no all-star caliber players were moved despite the rumors surrounding players such as Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, and Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. When the biggest name player to be traded is J.J. Reddick, you know it is a less than stellar year for trading. So out of the teams that did make moves, who won, and who lost?
The Milwaukee Bucks wanted to trade for Josh Smith, but the Atlanta Hawks pulled out at the last minute. Instead they made the move for guard J.J. Reddick, who they got from the Orlando Magic. They received two other players from the Magic, center Gustavo Ayon and guard Ish Smith, while giving up forward Tobias Harris and guards Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih.
Reddick is the clear focus of this trade. He has proven to be a good perimeter player and bench scorer for the Magic during his time in the league. He averaged 15.1 points per game to go along with 4.4 assists per game for the Magic before being traded.
The question with this team is how much playing time will Reddick get? The Bucks already have Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, two guards who are more talented than Reddick. How much playing time he sees, and when, might help decide if this trade was the right move to help strengthen the Milwaukee Bucks for a possible postseason run.
There was a lot of talk about the Boston Celtics possibly trading away either center Kevin Garnett or point guard Rajon Rondo. Garnett refused to budge on his no trade clause and Rondos ACL injury presumably deterred teams from making a trade for the talented point guard. Instead the Celtics acquired Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford in exchange for guard Leandro Barbosa and center Jason Collins.
Crawford is expected to add scoring depth for the Celtics backcourt. He averaged 13.2 points per game, 3.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 43 games with the Wizards. He is known for having a volatile temper sometimes, a la Rajon Rondo, so it will be up for the veterans on this Celtics team to ensure that Crawford becomes a key piece of Boston, rather than a detriment to a possible playoff run.
The Houston Rockets made one of the more high profile trades on the deadline. They gave up forward Patrick Patterson, guard Toney Douglas and center Cole Aldrich to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward Francisco Garcia, forward Tyler Honeycutt, and forward Thomas Robinson. Robinson was the 5th overall pick in last years NBA draft.
Although Thomas Robinson has struggled in his rookie year, averaging a meager 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, he still has the skill set that allowed him to excel in college at Kansas and be a high draft pick. The Rockets are expecting to help Robinson realize his massive potential and become another building block along with Jeremy Lin and James Harden for a team that wants to compete for a championship in the near future. The question will be how quickly, if at all, he realizes his potential. Unless they can tap this potential, the Houston Rockets may have sacrificed a possible playoff berth this year for contending for multiple years down the road. This trade also freed up enough cap room for the Rockets to go after a veteran top free agent this coming summer.