The NBA Trade Deadline always seems to be filled with fireworks. With contenders gearing up for the playoffs, underachievers blowing it up, and rebuilding teams acquiring more draft picks, the deadline is always a fun time. However, this year’s trade deadline was a bit underwhelming.
While there were a lot of trades that went down on Thursday, there were no blockbuster trades that involved All-Stars and a big haul of draft picks. Contenders were just looking to improve their depth and keep team chemistry strong, while rebuilding teams acquired assets for players that were not in their future plans. However, there were a couple of head scratching trades. Here are my grades for the five most important trades from Thursday’s trade deadline.
Another shrewd move for the Hornets. Hayward was on an expiring contract and has not been healthy at all throughout his tenure in Charlotte. In return, they receive draft compensation and an intriguing young player in Tre Mann. Mann has shown that he has potential when given opportunity and he was not getting that with the bevy of guards the Thunder have. A fresh start with the Hornets should allow him to flourish.
As for the Thunder, they needed an upgrade at forward and a veteran presence for their potential playoff rotation. Hayward accomplishes that. Hayward also gives them efficient offense with his 14 PPG, 46 percent shooting, and 36 percent from three-point range.
His playstyle fits in perfectly with the current core the Thunder have. The knock-on Hayward though is that he cannot stay healthy. If the injury bug were to bite again, the Thunder can move on in the offseason when he becomes a free agent.
This was a win-win for both teams that got what they needed. The Thunder added to their frontcourt and the Hornets got assets for a player that was not in their future plans.