NBA Trade Deadline Analysis: Winners, Losers & More

Donatas Motiejunas and Channing Frye are two of the players who are changing addresses on deadline day. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Check out analysis on all the reported deals from Thursday’s NBA trade deadline:

The Chicago Bulls trade PG Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks for a 2nd round pick

Why Chicago Did It: This is a bit of a head scratcher. Hinrich was Chicago’s insurance for Derrick Rose, and an expiring contract, and losing that for a relatively worthless 2nd rounder doesn’t exactly seem necessary.

Why Atlanta Did It: Hinrich brings playoff experience? That’s the only solid explanation, given Atlanta already didn’t have enough minutes in their rotation for talented young backup Dennis Schroeder.

The Phoenix Suns trade PF Markieff Morris to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kris Humphris, DeJaun Blair and a future 1st round pick

Why Washington Did It: Morris is a talented stretch four on an attractive deal. He’s a risk, sure, but he’s also a nice fit alongside Marcin Gortat and a clear upgrade over the forwards being sent to the Suns. Morris helps the struggling Wizards get better right away.

Why Phoenix Did It: Because as talented as Morris may be, he was also the source of numerous problems with the Suns which have escalated this season after he was reportedly upset the team traded his twin brother to Detroit this past summer. The latest incident appears to have been the final nail in the coffin:

The Miami Heat trade G Brian Roberts to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for a 2nd round pick

Why Miami Did It: Another salary dump (see: Jarnell Stokes deal below).

Why Portland Did It: The Trailblazers were under the salary threshold heading into today, so they needed to add salary. Acquiring Roberts, who makes $5 million, along with Varaejo (see below) help accomplish that.

The Denver Nuggets trade G Randy Foye to the Oklahoma City Thunder for PG D.J. Augustin, F Steve Novak, and two 2nd round picks

Why Oklahoma City Did It: Given how well Kevin Durant has looked this season after foot injuries sidelined him for most of last year, plus the continued brilliance of Russell Westbrook has made the Thunder legitimate contenders in the West. After nearly beating Golden State in Oakland just before the All-Star break, they surely feel the same way, and adding Foye, a streaky shooter with a knack for hitting shots in big moments, gives them another weapon in their backcourt and will allow them to rely even less on Dion Waiters. Which is a good thing.

Why Denver Did It: Foye, 32, wanted no part of playing on a lottery team in rebuilding mode. So his wish is now granted, while the Nuggets get more than $6 million in expiring contracts in return.

The Atlanta Hawks trade PG Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz for a 2nd round pick

Why Atlanta Did It: After reports surfaced that the Hawks have decided to keep their current group intact, despite rumours suggesting otherwise in the days leading up to the deadline, it meant that with both Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroeder around, there simply wasn’t enough minutes to go around. By moving Mack they shed his salary and at least get something back in return.

Why Utah Did It: Both of their point guards, Trey Burke and Dante Exum (who has missed the whole season with a knee injury) are out of the lineup, and the Jazz were active on the market looking for a serviceable veteran guard. Enter: Mack.

The Orlando Magic trade PF Channing Frye to the Cleveland Cavaliers for SG Jared Cunningham; C Anderson Varaejo and a 2018 first round pick goes from the Cavs to the Portland Trailblazers

Why Orlando Did It: Frye never matched his production from his Phoenix days while with the Magic, and with two more years left in his deal that will see him earn more than $14 million, the 31 year-old just wasn’t a part of Orlando’s plan moving forward.

Why Cleveland Did It: Frye’s an effective stretch four who, when in the right system and paired with a point guard like Kyrie Irving who can run an effective pick and pop, should prove to be a reliable source of scoring off the bench—something that’s been relatively hard to come by in the Cavs frontcourt rotation. While earlier rumours had linked . The Cavs also leveraged one of their assets—Varejao’s contract (which is reduced from 10 million next season to just 4.5 if he is waived) into a player who makes them instantly better.

Why Portland Did It: The Trailblazers are right on the line of ‘rebuilding’ and competing, in the playoff race despite losing LaMarcus Aldridge this past summer. They don’t have a bevy of picks at their disposal, so by acquiring—and waiving—Varaejo they’ve essentially purchased a first-round pick for 4.5 million. A relatively harmless risk/reward scenario.

The Houston Rockets trade PF Donatas Motiejunas and SG Marcus Thornton to the Detroit Pistons for a 2016 1st round pick & C Joel Anthony

Why Houston Did It: Motiejunas has only played a handful of games this season while recovering from a significant back injury, while Thornton has cooled since his hot start in the first month of the season. Still, they’re decent players and Houston, currently on the outside of the playoff picture and dealing with reported mutiny issues between their stars, James Harden and Dwight Howard, appear to be looking ahead past this season. The first rounder from Detroit is top-8 protected.

Why Detroit Did It: After shipping Brandon Jennings and his expiring contract to Orlando for Tobias Harris two days ago, the Magic are adding to their bounty by picking up two good role players. Motiejunas, if he can return to the double-digit scoring form of last season, when he started 67 games for Houston and shot at a respectable rate from behind the three-point line, could be a dangerous fit alongside Andre Drummond.

The Miami Heat trade PF Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2nd round pick

Why Miami Did It: The Heat were close to five million dollars over the luxury tax, and so this is a simple cost-saving measure.

Why New Orleans Did It: It’s a low-cost flyer for a 22 year-old with a knack for rebounding.

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