Quick-hit analysis of every trade made before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Clippers acquire: Marcus Morris, Isaiah Thomas
Knicks acquire: Moe Harkless, 2020 1st-round pick, 2023 2nd-round pick (via Detroit)
Wizards acquire: Jerome Robinson
The Clippers are all-in, and this trade makes them better this season, so it's hard to call it anything other than a win. Morris has been lights-out from long range all season, shooting 43.9% on over six attempts per game. He can put the ball on the floor in a pinch, and he's a physical defender who can handle the three or the four. He's not the stopper Harkless is, but the vastly superior floor-spacing he provides means he should be able to play more than the 22.8 minutes Harkless averaged. That means fewer minutes for Patrick Patterson and JaMychal Green.
The Clippers were incentivized to move their 2020 pick for immediate help because, thanks to the Stepien Rule, it's the last first-rounder they can trade until 2028. They retained that pick in the Paul George blockbuster for exactly this purpose. It's championship or bust, and Morris should help them in that pursuit, especially because the deal comes with the added benefit of keeping Morris out of the hands of the Lakers - the Clippers' biggest challenger for Western Conference supremacy.
Still, this is a steep price for a rental, even though the first-rounder is going to land somewhere in the late 20s. As good as Morris can be as a spot-up guy, he can also make some questionable and hubristic decisions with the ball in his hands. The Clippers are extremely light on young talent, and I thought they were already good enough to thread the needle of competing for a title while laying some groundwork for the future. They obviously felt otherwise.
L.A. isn't expected to keep Thomas, but from the Wizards' perspective, flipping Thomas for a semi-interesting post-hype prospect in Robinson is a nice piece of business.
The Knicks, meanwhile, did exactly what they were supposed to do. They stole Morris out from under San Antonio's nose in the offseason, got great production out of him, and flipped him for a first-rounder and a second-rounder a few months before he was set to hit free agency. They took plenty of flak for the summer spending spree that netted them four power forwards after whiffing on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and justifiably so. But the Morris trade ensures that it wasn't totally fruitless, as it earned them a couple of decent future assets. I mean this sincerely: good for them. - Joe Wolfond
Timberwolves acquire: D'Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman
Warriors acquire: Andrew Wiggins, 2021 1st-round pick, 2021 2nd-round pick
The 2020 deadline has its defining blockbuster.
The Timberwolves finally land Russell after thirsting over the star guard since his free agency last summer and move out Wiggins' mammoth contract in the process - though they surrendered a top-three-protected first-round pick to do it. The pick becomes an unprotected 2022 first-rounder if not conveyed in 2021, and that puts some pressure on Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns to elevate Minnesota next season.
Towns' frustration has been evident while the Timberwolves are mired in a 13-game losing streak, and the big man himself hasn't won a game since late November. Russell, one of Towns' closest friends in the league, serves as the star ball-handler Towns and the Wolves have been missing.
Russell emerged as an All-Star in Brooklyn last season and he has actually been a bit more efficient this year while upping his 3-point attempt rate. More than half of the 23-year-old's field-goal attempts now come from behind the arc, which fits perfectly with Ryan Saunders' contemporary vision for the Timberwolves.
There are definitely defensive questions about a team led by Towns and Russell - especially after Minnesota traded Robert Covington earlier this week - but those questions also existed with Wiggins in the fold, and Towns' fit with Russell makes a lot more sense. The Wolves' offensive ceiling is tantalizing, with Towns and his new pick-and-roll maestro teammate both under contract through at least 2023.
The deal makes less sense for Golden State, which dealt Andre Iguodala and a first-round draft pick in a July sign-and-trade for Russell. The thinking at the time was that the Warriors could perhaps turn Russell into something bigger. I'm not sure Wiggins fits that bill.
Talent has never been an issue for the 2014 No. 1 overall pick, and Wiggins' inconsistent game has grown this season, but he's a downgrade from Russell in overall impact. That's a tough pill to swallow for Warriors fans who were already concerned about the package the team originally gave up for Russell.
In theory, facing less pressure in an environment dominated by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (once both stars are healthy and back on the court) should benefit Wiggins, who's never looked all that interested in being - or suited to be - an alpha-type player. But he's a career 33% 3-point shooter who doesn't accomplish much off-ball and whose defensive effort comes and goes.
Aside from the Warriors potentially hitting the jackpot with the future first-rounder acquired here, Wiggins will have to become a more consistent 3-and-D threat to make this deal successful for Golden State. It'll be interesting to see if the Warriors eventually give Wiggins a look off the bench as a type of super-sub. - Joseph Casciaro
Cavaliers acquire: Andre Drummond
Pistons acquire: Brandon Knight, John Henson, 2023 2nd-round pick
This is an unquestionable failure for the Pistons, and it must be quite a blow to the ego of two-time All-Star Drummond.
The big man's trade value was clearly nonexistent. It likely didn't help that Drummond owns a player option for next season worth nearly $28.8 million, but Detroit dumping him for what amounts to nothing is staggeringly incompetent asset management.
Knight and Henson are both on expiring contracts, so in the event Drummond plans to opt in for 2020-21, the Pistons saved themselves a ton of cap space by moving the 26-year-old center - but that's no excuse for this ineptitude. Detroit is a non-glamour market that will have cap space in a summer sparsely populated by game-changing free agents, so the Pistons probably won't be able to use the money saved by dumping Drummond to replace him with anyone nearly as good.
And if he did pick up his option, with 2021 cap space at a premium, Drummond could've been a much more attractive trade chip as a large, expiring contract next season.
Drummond's still solid defensively, but his overall impact is often inflated by those who overvalue individual defensive rebounds, and he's an underdeveloped offensive player. His fit in Cleveland seems strange, at least until the Cavs move Tristan Thompson. That said, a lottery-bound team in rebuild mode just sacrificed next to nothing to take a flier on Drummond (who, as noted, could prove a valuable trade chip a year from now).
If the Cavs keep Love through the deadline, it's somewhat intriguing to consider a Love-Drummond frontcourt playing alongside the young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. At least, it's better than nothing. And that may seem like a low bar, but teams like the Pistons can't even clear it. - Casciaro
Heat acquire: Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill
Grizzlies acquire: Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, James Johnson
Iguodala is the headliner, and in finally prying him out of his self-imposed exile, Miami nabs one of the most coveted names on the market. Still, this feels like a lot of eggs to put in a 36-year-old basket. Iguodala hasn't played a game in eight months, and though he had some huge playoff moments last spring, there were also times when he looked like he was running on fumes. Winslow is an imperfect player with a spotty injury history, but he's also a 23-year-old four-position defender with an evolving offensive skill set, and he's in the first season of a team-friendly three-year contract.
The Heat now have a bunch of guys in their rotation who are liable to get exposed at one end of the floor or the other in the playoffs. Given Jimmy Butler's extreme 3-point regression this year, adding two wings in Crowder (who is shooting 29.3% from deep this season and 33.4% for his career) and Iguodala (whose percentages look fine, but whom defenses completely ignore on the perimeter) could be dicey. The players Miami relies on to space the floor - like Duncan Robinson, Meyers Leonard, and Kendrick Nunn - are substandard defenders. Hill, at least, can do a bit of both. But it's going to be a tricky balance.
In fairness to the Heat, Iguodala's brainy, pass-happy brand of basketball should be a great fit for their offensive system. He, Crowder, and Hill are all plus defenders who should bolster the Heat's man-to-man coverages and make them less reliant on the zone. Winslow has struggled to stay healthy his entire career and has played just 11 games this season due to a mysterious back injury. It's understandable that the Heat would get tired of waiting for him to get right. Plus, the deal comes with the added benefit of shedding the combined $28.7 million they owed to Waiters and Johnson next season. This might make Miami better this season, but the upgrade seems marginal to me, and I'm not sure the results will justify the shortsighted approach.
In the immediate future, this may make the Grizzlies' playoff chase tougher. Crowder and Hill were important pieces of their wing rotation, and they're better on balance than Waiters and Johnson. And it's still unclear what they're going to get from Winslow this season. In the big picture, though, this is unquestionably a huge win for Memphis. They agreed to take on Iguodala for half a season and ultimately got a Warriors first-round pick and a tantalizing prospect for their troubles.
Winslow fits their timeline and should be a perfect fit alongside the young core of Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson, De'Anthony Melton, and Jonas Valanciunas. He'll give them tremendous lineup flexibility on both sides of the ball. He's still an inefficient scorer overall, but he shot at least 37.5% from 3-point range in the two seasons prior to this one. Last year, the Heat nudged him toward a point forward role that he took to with gusto, flashing plenty of playmaking chops.
Waiters' and Johnson's salaries eat up most of the cap space the Grizzlies would've had this summer, but Winslow is a more impactful piece than they were likely to land using that space. This team's new front office, led by Zachary Kleiman, has done a remarkable job of getting this rebuild off the ground in the blink of an eye. - Wolfond
Grizzlies acquire: Gorgui Dieng
Timberwolves acquire: James Johnson
The Grizzlies roped the Wolves into their deal with the Heat to make it a three-teamer, and it gets Memphis a solid backup big man who can competently defend and stretch the floor. It gives the Grizzlies a bit of a crowded frontcourt with Dieng, Jaren Jackson, Jonas Valanciunas, and Brandon Clarke while leaving them a tad thin on the wing, but ultimately, they get the better player in the deal. Memphis likes playing two bigs together and has thrived by doing so; now, the team can upsize even more frequently.
For the Wolves, who just shipped out Robert Covington, bringing in another big wing to guard threes and fours makes sense. They also seem to want to give more reps to undrafted rookie center Naz Reid, which may have made them more inclined to deal Dieng. - Wolfond
Magic acquire: James Ennis
76ers acquire: 2020 2nd-round pick (via Lakers)
The Sixers needed to drop two players from their roster to make room for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, but it's a little strange that they decided on Ennis, a useful rotation guy who helped them in the playoffs last year.
The Lakers' pick coming from the Magic is projected to land 59th overall. The difference between using that pick and just signing an undrafted free agent is negligible to nonexistent. I get that Philadelphia just added two wings, which may have made Ennis a bit redundant, but this still strikes me as a baffling move from a team that needs all the depth it can get. The 76ers will reportedly waive Trey Burke to open up the second roster spot, by the way.
Ennis doesn't do much to address the Magic's lack of off-the-dribble playmaking, but he fortifies their bench and helps patch a hole in their banged-up frontcourt as they look to hold onto an Eastern Conference playoff spot. If nothing else, he's better than Gary Clark. And, again, the acquisition cost was basically zilch. - Joe Wolfond
Nuggets acquire: Jordan McRae
Wizards acquire: Shabazz Napier
The Nuggets acquired Napier and a first-round pick in Tuesday's four-team trade with the Timberwolves, Rockets, and Hawks before flipping him to Washington for McRae just before Thursday's deadline. The only real rotation player Denver lost in that earlier deal was Malik Beasley. Though Beasley has some upside, his regression this season - and Houston's 2020 first-rounder - makes it a lot easier to stomach giving up on him and acquiring a marginal upgrade in McRae.
With more than a third of the season remaining, McRae has already logged nearly double the minutes than he has in any full season of his four-year career. The 28-year-old is shooting 37.7 percent from long range and should slide in as a deep-bench option with some off-the-bounce juice for Mike Malone and the Nuggets. - Casciaro
Hawks acquire: Skal Labissiere, cash
Trail Blazers acquire: Protected 2nd-round pick in 2024
Labissiere has been sidelined since late December due to a left knee injury and hasn't really been able to find solid footing in the league since being drafted 28th overall four years ago. The 23-year-old still has some upside, though, and is an intriguing buy-low candidate for a rebuilding team with an eye to the future. The Hawks are that team and have been operating as such all week.
For Portland, which enters deadline day three games back of the eighth and final playoff spot out West, this move opens up a roster spot and slightly reduces their luxury tax bill. - Casciaro
Grizzlies acquire: Jordan Bell, 2023 2nd-round pick swap
Rockets acquire: Bruno Caboclo
It's unclear if the Rockets intend to keep Caboclo, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, but he could be an interesting addition to their grand small-ball experiment.
Houston is familiar with Caboclo; he was on their training-camp roster and played in four preseason games for them in 2018. He stands 6-foot-9 with an insane 7-foot-7 wingspan, and last year with the Grizzlies, he shot 37% from deep on 3.8 attempts per game. Can Houston find a use for him as a 10-minute-per-game small-ball center?
As for the Grizzlies' side, Bell doesn't seem likely to meaningfully factor into their rotation, but they earned the right to swap the less favorable of the 2023 second-round picks they own via Dallas and Miami for Houston's second-rounder that year, as long as the Rockets' pick isn't No. 31 or 32, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Sure. - Wolfond
Hawks acquire: Derrick Walton Jr.
Clippers acquire: Cash, top-55 protected 2020 2nd-round pick
It's not inspiring, but this understated deal could be a precursor to something bigger for one of the league's top contenders.
Los Angeles opened up a roster spot and a small trade exception with the move, so keep an eye on the Clippers over the next couple hours. They could use a big man to shore up their frontcourt depth. - Casciaro
This is a solid if unsexy deal for both sides.
Yes, it's at best a Band-Aid for Philadelphia, but there were and are no easy fixes for this mismatched 76ers roster; Al Horford and Tobias Harris are probably close to neutral-value assets given their mammoth long-term contracts, and the front office rightly won't consider trading Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid until the coming offseason at the very earliest. Nor does the team have any intention of parting with rookie defensive menace Matisse Thybulle. This is about as well as the Sixers could do on the margins: a pair of 6-foot-6 wings who will help them spread the floor and can play either the two or the three.
Burks is having the best season of his career, averaging 20 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per 36 minutes on league-average true shooting. He can shoot the three, handle the ball, create a bit of his own offense, get to the free-throw line, and passably defend his position. Robinson is a bit more limited, but he's a useful spot-up guy who attacks closeouts, finishes well around the basket, and is currently shooting 40% from 3-point range on 3.5 attempts per game.
The two will give Philly's bench a much-needed boost, and acquiring them with the least valuable of the team's second-round draft assets is a big win, even if the deal doesn't significantly move the needle for a team with far bigger structural problems.
Philadelphia may not be done dealing, either. For one thing, the Sixers have to shed two players to make room for Burks and Robinson on the roster. Though the most likely course of action is simply waiving two guys (the scantly used Jonah Bolden being at least one good candidate), they could also try to bundle three players - including the much-rumored Zhaire Smith/Mike Scott package - to get a useful individual in return. They can still chase Derrick Rose, a guy who'd undoubtedly make them better and solve some of their offensive fit issues. But after already inviting far too much win-now urgency relative to the tender ages of its two franchise players, this Philly team should be wary of dealing a first-rounder for a 31-year-old with a checkered injury history who doesn't do much off the ball.
For the Warriors, there's not much to think about here. They signed Burks and Robinson in the offseason as minimum-salary stopgaps while Klay Thompson convalesced. Getting three picks out of those transactions during a lost season - even if those picks project as back-half second-rounders - is a nice piece of business for a team that was starved for draft capital. - Wolfond
The Kings wanted to move Dedmon's contract, and in a vacuum, giving up a couple of second-round picks and taking on only $6.5 million in 2020-21 salary to do so isn't egregious. But when you zoom out and look at this deal from a wider perspective, it's clear Sacramento mismanaged its money and assets.
Signing Dedmon to a three-year, $40-million contract last summer never made much sense to begin with. Less than seven months later, a Kings team on track to miss the playoffs for a 14th straight season - the second-longest postseason drought in NBA history - is giving up draft picks to dump that contract, rather than hoarding picks as rebuilding teams normally would.
The fact that Sacramento is trying to slash salary in order to retain pending restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic is another reminder of the team's decision to hand Harrison Barnes an $85-million deal this past offseason. It seems the Kings' surprising success last season was merely an example of a misguided organization taking one step forward before taking another two steps back.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, the Hawks' busy deadline week continues. A day after landing Clint Capela, the young squad nabbed a couple of second-rounders - from a lottery-bound team that should be picking early - in exchange for taking on Dedmon's contract.
Having $29.3 million committed to Capela and Dedmon next season looks rough on paper, but the Hawks are still in the early-to-middle stages of a rebuild, still have a ton of cap flexibility this summer, and got better in the short term.
With only a partial guarantee on the 2021-22 season in Dedmon's contract, the veteran big man could also provide the Hawks with value as a trade chip next season, when he could be viewed as somewhat of an expiring contract. - Casciaro