As expected, there were plenty of transactions throughout the league on Draft Night 2014. Here’s a recap of every deal, including those completed prior to the draft that impacted the order.
Miami HEAT Acquire: Shabazz Napier
Charlotte Hornets Acquire: P.J. Hairston, Semaj Christon and a future second round pick.
Analysis: The biggest priority for the Miami HEAT this offseason is keeping LeBron James in South Beach and by acquiring Napier, who he’s voiced an admiration for publicly on several occasions, they didn’t hurt their chances. Shortly after acquiring Napier, James sent out a celebratory tweet calling the UCONN point guard his favorite player in the draft. Napier is a tough, gritty point guard who should be able to step in and play right away in place of Mario Chalmers, assuming the unrestricted free agent signs elsewhere this offseason after falling out of the rotation in the Finals. Hairston provides the Hornets with the shooting threat that they were looking to add on the perimeter, while Christon will have the opportunity to earn a spot in their thin backcourt during summer league.
Chicago Bulls Acquire: Doug McDermott and Anthony Randolph
Denver Nuggets Acquire: Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris and 2015 second round pick.
Analysis: This deal impacted the draft order more than any other trade on draft night. It’s hard not to feel like the Nuggets didn’t win this transaction as Nurkic at 16 and Harris at 19 were two of the best value picks of the night. However, this is not a bad deal for the Bulls as they get one of the best scorers in this draft, who should complement their star players very well with his spot up shooting ability. Chicago really struggled from three-point range last season, and McDermott is one of the best shooters in the class. With aspirations of signing Carmelo Anthony this summer, they needed to get rid of one of those picks for salary cap concerns.
Philadelphia 76ers Acquire: Dario Saric, 2015 second round pick and a 2017 first round pick.
Orlando Magic Acquire: Elfrid Payton
Analysis: In another testament to just how little they care about trying to win anytime soon, the 76ers traded away one of the top point guard prospects in the draft for a player who isn’t going to come to the NBA for two years – at least. Saric is a fine prospect and is adamant that he will come over in two years, but a lot can happen in that kind of time. It’s another risky draft pick at a spot where they could have gotten someone capable of making an impact soon. The Magic had to get a point guard in the draft. Giving up a future first along with Saric and a second round pick wasn’t ideal, but Payton should be well worth it, especially if he can step into the starting role next season.
Washington Wizards Acquire: Cash considerations
Los Angeles Lakers Acquire: Jordan Clarkson
Analysis: The Lakers were rumored to be interested in taking a point guard at seven but couldn’t pass up on the NBA-ready Julius Randle, understandably so. To land Clarkson, who had some first-round buzz surrounding him late in the process, for cash is a quality move. He has a very good chance to make their team next season, especially if they end up stretching Steve Nash’s contract or trading him. The Wizards didn’t have much of a need for Clarkson with reports that Andre Miller is now expected back next season.
Memphis Grizzlies Acquire: Jarnell Stokes
Utah Jazz Acquire: 2015 second round pick
Analysis: With Zach Randolph’s contract negotiations off to a rocky start, the Grizzlies made a strong insurance play in preparation for his potential departure. Stokes is from Memphis and is a favorite in the state after helping lead the University of Tennessee back to prominence this past season. He’s the prototypical Grizzlies big man with his toughness and strength. Without much room in the rotation for him or a need for another young player, the Jazz justifiably passed on this selection for a second rounder.
Philadelphia 76ers Acquire: Pierre Jackson
New Orleans Pelicans Acquire: Russ Smith
Analysis: This is one of those trades where the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both players are undersized for their position and more scorers than true point guards, but are serious threats offensively and capable of providing fire power off the bench. Summer league will determine whether they stick.
Minnesota Timberwolves Acquire: Cash considerations
Brooklyn Nets Acquire: Markel Brown
Analysis: The Nets wanted to trade into the draft after dealing away their picks last year. Brown is an athletic combo guard who is confident in his ability to transition over to the point guard position. If he can help them at that spot, he may have a future there. The Timberwolves basically drafted the same kind of player as him but with better size and more upside in Zach LaVine at 13, making the cash more important to them.
Toronto Raptors Acquire: Cash considerations
Brooklyn Nets Acquire: Xavier Thames
Analysis: Thames provides the Nets with another backcourt option to evaluate this summer. He’s known more for his scoring ability, but has gone on the record saying that the differences in the NBA game will help him showcase his playmaking skills more.
Cleveland Cavaliers Acquire: Brendan Haywood and Dwight Powell
Charlotte Hornets Acquire: Alonzo Gee
Analysis: After investing in Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick, Gee became expendable in Cleveland. Haywood and Powell are capable of providing some depth up front, should the Cavaliers look to address that need with minimal investing.
San Antonio Spurs Acquire: Nemanja Dangubic
Philadelphia 76ers Acquire: Cory Jefferson and Jordan McRae
Analysis: It just wouldn’t be a draft if the Spurs didn’t go take an international player. Dangubic will likely be monitored by them for a year or two overseas before seriously being considered as a candidate to join the team. With the 76ers being in a rebuilding phase, McRae could hang around with them. There wasn’t really any room for him on the Spurs. Jefferson was traded again in a separate deal to the Brooklyn.
Philadelphia 76ers Acquire: Cash considerations
Brooklyn Nets Acquire: Cory Jefferson
Analysis: We’ve seen several instances where Mr. Irrelevant finds a home for himself in the league and Jefferson, a long, athletic big man who is still developing, can join the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Robert Sacre as well. From Philadelphia’s standpoint, at some point you have to put a cap on how many rookies you bring in.
Atlanta Hawks Acquire: Lamar Patterson
Milwaukee Bucks Acquire: 2015 second-round pick
Analysis: The Bucks are pretty set at the shooting guard position right now, leaving little need for Patterson. He has a better chance of making the Hawks’ roster. Patterson’s lack of NBA speed and athleticism worked against him in this process, but he has one of the highest basketball IQs in the draft and is very well-rounded.
Oklahoma City Thunder Acquire: Semaj Christon
Charlotte Hornets Acquire: Cash considerations
Analysis: The Thunder were looking to boost their defense in the backcourt in the draft and got two of the better perimeter defenders in Josh Huestis, their 29th pick, and Christon. With Thabo Sefolosha heading to free agency and Reggie Jackson not far behind him, there may be room for Christon. The combo guard was regarded as a potential first round pick by many late in the college basketball season.
New York Knicks Acquire: Louis Labeyrie
Indiana Pacers Acquire: Cash considerations
Analysis: Of the three players, the Knicks walked away with on draft night, Labeyrie will probably end up joining the team last, if he ever does. There’s some nice size and potential there, but the Knicks drafted him primarily to monitor his progress and consider bringing him over down the line. The Pacers traded out of this draft completely, needing every dollar they have under the luxury tax threshold to try and keep this team together.
Denver Nuggets Acquire: Arron Afflalo
Orlando Magic Acquire: Evan Fournier and Devyn Marble
Analysis: Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan has proven to have a keen eye for young talent his first couple of years on the job and clearly sees a lot of potential in Fournier to give up Afflalo for him. There were rumors of the Magic receiving better offers for Afflalo prior to the deadline and they were trying to use him as a centerpiece in a deal for the No. 1 pick, so settling was a bit surprising to say the least, especially considering how his stock has only increased
New Orleans Pelicans Acquire: Omer Asik and cash considerations
Houston Rockets Acquire: 2015 first round pick
Analysis: The Houston Rockets have been trying to deal Asik since they signed Dwight Howard last summer. They were unable to find any offers to their liking and tried to play the two together. The experiment never took off, even though they went back to it in the playoffs out of necessity. This summer their goal is to sign another star alongside Howard and James Harden, so getting rid of Asik for pennies on the dollar was an absolute necessity. The pick is reportedly 1-3 and 20-30 protected, so they at least got a valuable pick in exchange for a starting-caliber center they had to get rid of in order to be players in free agency. This is a bargain deal for the Hornets, who now have a strong, defensive-minded center to pair alongside Anthony Davis in the interior.
Dallas Mavericks Acquire: Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton
New York Knicks Acquire: Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert, Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokoumnpo
Analysis: Bill Ingram and Tommy Beer covered this trade in depth, but all of the pieces are known now that the draft is completed. The Knicks were unable to get into the first round like they wanted to, but got a first round-caliber talent in Early. Antetokounmpo has come a long way in a short amount of time and will likely continue to work on his game with the Knicks D-League affiliate.
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