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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

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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.

Winners

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.

Losers

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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