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NBA PM: Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

A look at the 2014 NBA trade deadline’s winners and losers … A recap of all of the day’s trades, including a shocking move by the Indiana Pacers

Yannis Koutroupis



There was no shortage of movement in the final hours of the 2014 NBA trade deadline, but overall the activity really lacked substance.

That was until the Indiana Pacers unleashed their latest power play in their quest to win the 2014 championship. Already equipped with one of the best teams in the league and a certified championship contender, the Pacers pulled off the biggest move of the deadline to put themselves in the winners category. We take a look at who joins them in that class, along with who didn’t do so well at the deadline.


Indiana Pacers – By all accounts it looked like the Pacers were going to rest on their laurels, go into the second half of the season with what they already had. They made a big splash a couple of weeks ago by signing Andrew Bynum and they were openly shopping Danny Granger, but they had a really specific criteria of what they were looking for in return. And everything lined up perfectly for them to get just what they wanted from the Philadelphia 76ers in Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. The Pacers also gave up a second-round pick in the deal.

The Pacers are heading into the summer with lots of uncertainty surrounding their ability to retain Lance Stephenson. By acquiring Turner, who they can make a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer, the Pacers position themselves to not be left with a gaping hole at the shooting guard position in the case of his departure.

In Turner, they also add an effective scorer and playmaker to help solidify their second unit. He has the motivation of playing for a new contract and should continue to play inspired basketball for the Pacers as he was with the 76ers, although his role will change somewhat drastically. Not only did the Pacers liven up what was a pretty underwhelming deadline, they also improved their chances at the championship.

Washington Wizards – The Wizards were hurting at the backup point guard position and had their eyes set on Miller for weeks. After multiple attempts to pry him away from Denver, thanks to the help of the Philadelphia 76ers, they were finally able to land their target in a three-team deal. It only cost them a second-round pick, Eric Maynor and Jan Vesely as well – a small price when you factor in that the Wizards were unlikely to be his top choice had he been waived by the Nuggets as expected after the deadline if they couldn’t find a deal. Miller will provide some much needed stability when Wall needs a rest, and even be able to play with him for stretches. Where he’ll help the most, though, is when he’s running the show with the second unit, where he’ll elevate everyone’s level of play with his ability to create.

Golden State Warriors – The Warriors made no secrets about their desire to improve their second unit in the weeks leading up to the deadline and last night they were able to acquire a piece in Steve Blake who will really help improve their bench. Blake is a steal for the Warriors as he’ll come in and provide three-point shooting, experience and toughness. He’s spent the majority of the time playing off the ball this season, making him a good fit next to Jordan Crawford when they come in for Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. MarShon Brooks was never in their plans and Kent Bazemore, although a fan favorite, was expendable, especially for a proven veteran like Blake. At least with the Lakers, he’ll have the opportunity to prove himself a bit more than he was able to with the Warriors.


New York Knicks – The Knicks worked the phone as hard as anyone during the trade deadline, desperately trying to land an upgrade at the point guard position. Ultimately, they were unable to do anything. For a moment it looked like they were going to be able to acquire Jordan Hamilton from the Nuggets in exchange for Beno Udrih, but ultimately the Houston Rockets intervened by giving up Aaron Brooks, who the Nuggets liked more than Udrih, for Hamilton. The Knicks will now play out the final months of Carmelo Anthony’s contract with the same team they’ve had throughout this tumultuous season. Anthony wants to stay, but the trade deadline was another instance where the Knicks gave him reason to consider otherwise.

Los Angeles Lakers – When it looked like Steve Blake was the first shoe to drop in a series of moves to help the Lakers get under the luxury tax threshold and avoid the repeater tax, it was an understandable move. It still is, but the fact that the Lakers didn’t follow it up by actually getting under the tax makes them one of the clear cut losers. Holding onto Pau Gasol was the right move, especially since it doesn’t appear that there was anything significant being offered in exchange for him. He’ll be a valuable chip in potential sign-and-trade moves this offseason, but the Lakers had the opportunity to get under the tax threshold or at least within $2 million of it just by shipping off Jordan Hill to a team with a disabled players exception and they passed on it because they also wanted a second-round pick. When they’re paying the repeater tax, they’ll likely wonder why they bothered holding onto Hill and Kaman in this season that’s already lost.

Phoenix Suns – The Suns had the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor and four first-round picks to shop around for a piece that could help solidify their spot in the playoffs, yet they decided to stand pat at the deadline. First-year GM Ryan McDonough’s every move has been questioned so far and he deserves some credit and respect because up to this point the team has far and away exceeded expectations. This was an opportunity for him to make a splash and instead they stood pat. Okafor’s contract will simply expire now and they’ll likely end up moving at least one of their draft picks on draft night. Have to wonder, why weren’t they willing to give up at least one for Gasol? Not only was he a piece that could help them make some noise in the playoffs this year, he’s a quality pending free agent they actually could have re-signed at a decent rate.

Memphis Grizzlies – At one point it looked like the Grizzlies had a deal in place with the Minnesota Timberwolves that was going to send them Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen , but it ultimately fell apart prior to the deadline. Not only were the Grizzlies unable to upgrade at small forward like they reportedly wanted to, but they have two players who know that they were almost dealt returning to the team. It’s going to be interesting to see if first-year head coach Dave Joerger can prevent that near trade from becoming an issue post-deadline. The Grizzlies are on the verge of cracking the Western Conference’s top eight, but will have to ride out the rest of the regular season with the squad that put them behind the pack.

Here’s a recap of all of the action from today’s trade deadline:

  • Sacramento Kings trade Marcus Thornton to the Brooklyn Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans.
  • Los Angeles Lakers trade Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.
  • Philadelphia 76ers trade Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Earl Clark, Henry Sims and two second-round picks.
  • Denver Nuggets trade Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards. Wizards trade Eric Maynor and a second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers and Jan Vesely to the Nuggets.
  • Miami HEAT trade Roger Mason Jr. and cash to the Sacramento Kings for a heavily protected second-round pick.
  • Charlotte Bobcats trade Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien to the Milwaukee Bucks for Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal.
  • Houston Rockets trade Aaron Brooks to the Denver Nuggets for Jordan Hamilton.
  • San Antonio Spurs trade Nande De Colo to the Toronto Raptors for Austin Daye.
  • Los Angeles Clippers trade Antawn Jamison to the Atlanta Hawks for the draft rights of Cenk Akyol.
  • Indiana Pacers trade Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.




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NBA Daily: Jonathan Isaac Proving to be Key Part of Orlando’s Future

Basketball Insiders spoke with Jonathan Isaac about his rookie season, injuries, areas to improve on, his faith and more.

James Blancarte



On January 13, the Orlando Magic were eliminated from playoff contention. This date served as a formality as the team has known for quite some time that any postseason hopes had long since sailed. The Magic started the year off on a winning note and held an 8-4 record in early November. However, the team lost their next nine games and never really recovered.

Many factors play a role in a young but talented team like the Magic having another season end like this. Injuries to franchise cornerstone Aaron Gordon as well as forward Evan Fournier and forward Jonathan Isaac magnified the team’s issues.

Isaac, a rookie selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, started the season off reasonably well. On November 10, in 21 minutes of action, he registered an 11-point, six-rebound, one-assist, one-steal, two-block all-around effort against the Phoenix Suns to help the Magic get to that 8-4 record. Isaac then suffered an ankle injury midway through his next game and wouldn’t play again until December 17, by which time the team was already 11-20 with athe season quickly going sideways. From November until March, Isaac would only play in three games until finally returning to consistent action in the month of March with the season all but decided.

Basketball Insiders spoke to Isaac recently to discuss how he has pushed through this season, staying healthy, his impressive skill set and more.

“I’ve had a lot of time off from being injured so, I think my body is holding up fine along with how much I’ve played. I haven’t played a full season,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders “I feel good. I feel good.”

Isaac talked about what part of his game he feels strongly about and has improved on.

“I think defensively,” Isaac said. “I didn’t expect myself to make strides defensively like I have. I’ve been able to just be able to just do different things and help this team defensively and I didn’t expect that coming in so, that would be the one thing.”

Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel was effusive in his praise of Isaac’s defense and also focused on the rookie’s great defensive potential.

“His defense is out of this world. I mean it’s really something else,” Vogel said. “Just watch him play and everybody’s getting a taste of it right now. They haven’t seen him a whole lot but he’s an elite defender right now at 20-years old and the sky’s the limit for what he can be on that end of the floor.

While Isaac hasn’t logged a huge number of minutes on the floor this season, he has impressed in his limited action. As Coach Vogel stated, anyone who has taken the time to watch Isaac play this season has noticed his ability to guard other big men and his overall defensive impact.

“I think I’ve been able to do a good job on most of the people that I’ve had to guard,” Isaac said.

Missing Isaac’s defense impact and overall contributions partially explains why the Magic cooled off after their hot start. However, with the playoffs no longer an option, younger players like Isaac now have the opportunity to play with less attention and pressure. While it can be argued that the Magic aren’t really playing for anything, the truth is these late-season games can be an opportunity to develop these younger players and determine what to work on during the offseason.

There is more to Isaac than just basketball, however. Isaac discussed other parts of his life that are important to him, including religion and his faith.

“[M]y faith in Jesus is something that I put a lot of emphasis on,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders. “It’s a part of me.”

Isaac did not hesitate to credit his faith when asked if it helped him push through his injuries.

“I would say definitely,” Isaac said. “Especially with getting injured so early in the season and being out for 40 games. That’s a lot on somebody’s mental capacity and then just staying positive, staying joyful in times where joy doesn’t seem like it’s the right emotion to have. And I definitely [attribute] that to my faith.”

Looking forward, both Vogel and Isaac discussed the future and what the young big man can improve on.

“Offensively, he’s grown in confidence, he’s gained so he’s going to give us a big lift and our future’s bright with him,” Vogel stated.

Isaac gave a hint of his offseason training plans when asked what he looks forward to working on.

“I would say consistency with my jump shot. Really working on my three-ball and I would say ball-handling,” Isaac stated.

When asked if there was anything more he wanted to add, Isaac simply smiled and said, “Oh no, I think I got to get to church right now,” as the team prepared to play later that evening.

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Tyronn Lue’s Health Concerns Latest Bump In The Road For Cavaliers

Spencer Davies outlines Tyronn Lue’s decision to take a leave of absence to deal with health issues and covers the reaction around the NBA.

Spencer Davies



The win-loss record is not where they want it to be.

The performances have not been up to par with what they expect.

With that said, one thing is for certain: There is no other team that will have been more battle tested going into the playoffs than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Day after day and week after week, there’s always something going on with the team. Between in-house arguments, on-court miscommunication, roster turnover, and more, it has been one giant roller coaster of a season.

Monday morning, another twist was added to the ride. In a statement released by the Cavaliers organization, Tyronn Lue and general manager Koby Altman announced that the head coach would be taking a leave of absence to address his health:

“After many conversations with our doctors and Koby and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.

“I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is. While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team.

“I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards. I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization’s support throughout.”

There were multiple instances where Lue either missed part of a half or an entire game this season. The symptoms are definitely not to be taken lightly. According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, Lue attempted to return to the bench Saturday night in Chicago but the team didn’t allow him to. Evidently, Lue was “coughing up blood” some nights.

Seeing it first hand after postgame press conferences, Lue was visibly exhausted and stress could likely be playing a part. He’s been fighting through the tough times the team has been going through and avoided stepping away twice this season.

Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford had his own battle with health problems earlier this season and temporarily left the team for those reasons. He has attempted to reach out to Lue, a friend and former player of his.

Other head coaches around the league—Joe Prunty, Steve Kerr, and Luke Walton—have all gone to bat for Lue when discussing the rigors of an NBA schedule and the toll it takes.

Altman supports the decision for Lue to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

“We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues,” he said.

LeBron James is glad that Lue is going to take some time to get better.

“Obviously, health is the most important with everything in life,” James said Monday after shootaround. “Not surprised by it at all. I knew he was struggling, but he was never not himself. He was just dealing with it the best way he could, but he was never not himself when he was around.

“It doesn’t matter what’s going on here. We play a great sport, our coaches get to coach a great sport, and you guys get to cover a great sports. But health is most important right now and that’s what our coach is doing right now and we’re all in favor for it.”

The latest piece of news is a blow to the already injury-ridden Cleveland group. Assistant coach Larry Drew will take over duties until Lue returns.

The good news for the Cavaliers is that Kevin Love can potentially return to the mix as soon as Monday night against Milwaukee.

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NBA Daily: Calderón’s Late NBA Start

Jose Calderón might be the only player in the league who didn’t grow up dreaming of playing in the NBA.

Joel Brigham



There are a lot of different ways to get to the NBA, but most of them involve lifelong scouting and an unceasing dream to play in the world’s premier basketball league.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard José Calderón didn’t really have either of those things.

“I never even thought of the NBA when I was a kid,” Calderón told Basketball Insiders. “I grew up in a small town in Spain, and I played basketball because my dad played and I loved it. I was having fun, always playing with the older guys because I was good at that age, but I never really even thought about playing any sort of professional basketball.”

Having grown up in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain, Calderón watched his father play for Doncel La Serena, which was his hometown team as a child. He was something of a prodigy, having attended practices and games with his father from a young age, and as burgeoning teenager he left home to play professionally for the lower-level Vitoria-Gasteiz team.

“They wanted to sign me at 13 years old, and we didn’t even know that they could sign people that young,” Calderón remembers. “So I did that, and I tried to get better. I tried to advance into the older clubs, but I never really did think about the NBA at all, honestly.”

That changed as he got older, though, especially after Spain finished 5th in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and Calderón started to get some stateside recognition.

“After that summer, [my agent and I] got a call from Milwaukee asking about my situation, and asked would I think about coming to play over here. It was sort of a let’s-see-what-happens sort of situation, but I couldn’t at that time because I was under contract. That was the first time I was really approached.”

As his teammates from the Spanish National Team made their way to the NBA, Calderón grew increasingly intrigued.

“Pau Gasol obviously opened a lot of doors for us,” he said. “Raul Lopez came, too. I was just playing basketball, though. I didn’t know anything about scouts. Later, when we started to get the calls from Toronto, I started to realize how possible it really was. That’s when I thought, ‘Hey, why not?’”

Despite being eligible for a few drafts in a row, Calderón never did get drafted, which was fine by him. Growing up the way he did, Calderón never had any dreams of his hearing his name called by Commissioner Stern, so playing his way through most of his deal with TAU Vitoria was no big deal for him. He could take or leave the NBA.

“Not getting drafted was the perfect situation for me,” he said. “In my satiation, coming from Europe, I was already playing professionally for a good team and making some good money. That was perfect for me at the time, and I was happy to be a free agent at 23, choosing where I was going to sign instead of going in the second round and having to play for one team.”

He signed with the Raptors in 2005 since they were the most aggressive in recruiting him to the NBA. As a 23-year-old rookie, he wasn’t overwhelmed physically the way a lot of rookies are, but he did find his new league challenging in other ways.

“The hardest part was just having to start over,” he said. “You start over from zero. It doesn’t matter if the other players know you or don’t, you have to prove yourself all over again. You could be the MVP of Europe, but to get respect in the NBA you have to gain it on the court.”

The talent differential was immediately noticeable, as well.

“There are so many guys out there that are better than you. It’s not just like a guy or two; there are six, seven guys on the floor any given time that are better than you.”

That meant making some changes in the way that Calderón played. He was asked to do a lot more offensively for his EuroLeague team. Playing with so many talented scorers completely changed his approach.

“I went from taking 20 shots a game to doing something else, and as a point guard in the NBA I had to approach that point guard role even more, to make those guys respect my game, to make them want to play with me. I had to be able to pass the ball, to do something different from all the other players, so I became a fast-first point guard to make sure we always played as a team. That’s how I get to where I am as a professional.”

Now 36 years old, Calderón is one of the league’s oldest players, making it easy for him to look back at where he came from to transform into the player he is today.

“I’ve grown so much, but I was lucky to be given the opportunity,” he said. “When you arrive from Europe, whether you’re good or bad, it doesn’t always matter if you don’t have the opportunity. Toronto gave me the opportunity to play 20 minutes a night, and that’s a lot. I made a lot of mistakes, but they let me play through those mistakes. All those little things added up for me, and I learned a lot.”

He owns two silver medals and a bronze in the three Olympics he’s participated in over the course of his career, as well as gold medals in FIBA World Cup and EuroBasket, but he’s never won an NBA championship. Joining up with LeBron James improves those odds, but that’s the thing that would really put an exclamation point on an excellent career.

Calderón could have stayed in Spain and been fine. He jokes that while the NBA has been very good to him, he and his family could have stayed in Europe and he could have made good money playing basketball there. He’s been happy with his career, though, however unorthodox his journey here, and he hopes his most prestigious accolades are yet to come.

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