Good afternoon, folks. The 3 P.M. deadline for all NBA trades has officially come and gone without any movement from Anthony Davis. Here’s a quick recap of what all has gone down in the previous 48 hours.
AD remains a Pelican… For now
Starting with Davis, who was not traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers in order to team up with LeBron James.
The Lakers threw every conceivable offer they could (that didn’t include LeBron) at the Pelicans, who outright refused to do business with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka – the Lakers top two decision makers. It even got to the point where some believe that the Pelicans are actually reverse-tampering with the Lakers and purposefully going out of their way to make sure that Davis didn’t end up in L.A. by Thursday’s deadline. And there is a serious argument in favor of it. The Pelicans pettiness apparently knows no bounds and I don’t blame them one bit. For some reason, the Lakers came across this entire situation as if they were entitled to Davis all along. Which is… not how this works.
Yes, players are becoming more self-aware and are taking advantage of more power, but they can’t just force their way to an opposing team because the other team wants them. No matter how powerful Davis’ agent Rich Paul is, he can’t force the Pelicans to make a deal. And as the deadline came and went, the Lakers didn’t even have a conversation with the Pelicans front office in the hours leading up to 3 P.M.
What we have now are two semi-awkward situations. First, the entire core of young Lakers prospects is now under the impression that they are not going to be around for the long-term future as every single offer the Lakers threw at the Pellies included most of them and immediately made public. Second, the Pelicans now have to go the rest of the season knowing that Davis wanted to get traded but didn’t, that Davis wants to play but likely won’t, and that the team will not be good enough to make the playoffs while Davis sits on the bench in street clothes.
So what next? Well, now that the deadline has passed, the Boston Celtics can now get in on the action and offer whatever they feel is appropriate for Davis. Whether or not that potential deal could include Jayson Tatum is yet to be determined. If you didn’t get enough of your Davis-to-LA fix over the last couple weeks, you’ll get to experience it all over again with an even mightier force in the summer. There is going to be a Davis-to-? rumor every 30 seconds once we hit July 1.
Brandon Knight traded to Cavaliers
As someone who personally cheers on the Cavaliers and has for over a decade now, I am ecstatic that Brandon Knight is being traded to Cleveland. But really I’m only happy about it because it means that Knight comes along with a future first-round pick.
Because here’s the reality of Knight’s situation: his knee is still an issue. After sitting out for nearly two full calendar years with a brutal ACL injury, Knight is clearly still not back to being 100 percent or even anywhere close to that. After making his season debut in the middle of December, he played only six games before sitting out another three. He would play in six more games after that but since then has yet to play a single minute since Jan. 11.
In the 12 games Knight has played in this season, he topped at least eight points only once and shot 23.4 percent from the field overall. The biggest issue in unloading Knight for the Rockets was his contract and the two-years, $30 million he has left. The only way any team would be willing to take that on is if that team was tanking, has the cap space, and needs first-round picks. The Cavaliers – those damned Cavaliers – hit all three of those unfortunate boxes.
I’m not sure what Knight’s role in Cleveland will be, but if he’s healthy, I expect it to be larger than it was in Houston. Knight wasn’t performing up to the standards of a playoff team and Chris Paul has returned from injury. They had no need for Knight anymore. The Cavaliers just suck, so they won’t mind how good or bad Knight plays. They got the pick and that’s all they really wanted.
New York Knicks waive Enes Kanter
In news that should shock absolutely no one, the New York Knicks have decided to move on from center Enes Kanter. The Knicks have been trying to find a suitable trade partner for Kanter, but the $18.6 million left on his deal was too much for another team to swallow. Instead, he’ll be waived and should be a popular figure on the buyout market.
If you aren’t familiar with Kanter’s situation in New York, let me quickly recap. He had hopes of making an All-Star team this season (lofty goals to begin with on a predictably terrible Knicks team) but was soon moved to the bench. Not because he was playing poorly – although he wasn’t playing well – rather due to the Knicks embracing a youth movement. Management slide Kevin Knox into the starting rotation which eventually led to Kanter being stuck to the sidelines. His frustrations quickly boiled over into the media and he all but asked out of New York. Now he has his wish.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) February 7, 2019
The Boston Celtics have already been listed as the top team to snag Kanter of his service once he clears waivers. In 44 appearances this season, Kanter has averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting over 53 percent from the field. Someone looking to make a playoff run is going to pick him up.
Skal Labissiere traded to Trail Blazers
The Sacramento Kings traded Skal Labissiere to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Caleb Swanigan. My reaction is as follows.
This trade is ultimately meaningless for both teams. Labissiere, who is in his third NBA season, had his fourth-year team option
declined *correction: his team option was picked up* by the Kings as they brought in Marvin Bagley III through the draft and finally received a healthy Harry Giles. After playing rotational minutes through his first two seasons, Labissiere was relegated to the bench this year.
Labissiere averaged 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game during his rookie and sophomore campaign with the Kings but has hardly gotten off the bench in 2018-19. He has appeared in only 13 games this season, averaging fewer than nine minutes per game. He turns 23 shortly, so it’s not like he’s a dead asset. There may a team out there can revitalize him, but right now, there really isn’t any other way to describe Labissiere as a basketball besides ‘not good’.
Honestly, I was more surprised the Kings didn’t make a more concerted effort to trade Willie Cauley-Stein, but after they traded for Harrison Barnes, it’s become clear that they’re gunning for a playoff spot. They need Cauley-Stein to do make a run. Labissiere? Not so much.
The trade deadline was wild and filled with several unexpected deals, but nothing too special happened in the world of the BBNBA. However, I would like to take this time to quickly shoutout everyone who has been following and reading about the NBA along with me this season. We still have roughly 30 games remaining, plus the playoffs, and I can’t wait to continue to bring you all my basketball “knowledge” throughout the summer.
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan