Grading the Top Trades from the NBA’s 2018 Trade Deadline

-Alex Fry (‘19)


The 2018 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and- just like every other year- rosters have been completely altered and the league has been left looking much different than before. This article will be focusing on some of the more significant deals that happened throughout the league and which teams got the better end.


Blake Griffin Headed to Detroit

Detroit Pistons (C+):

  • Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

Los Angeles Clippers (B+):

  • Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic  
  • first-round pick (2018), second-round pick (2019)


The Los Angeles Clippers officially ended the “Lob City” era with the trade of their superstar power forward Blake Griffin. It is now clear that the Pistons are committing to a playoff run instead of starting a rebuild after a couple of average seasons. Unfortunately, these efforts are likely to be in vain. Although they acquired their highly sought after superstar, they simply do not have the firepower to match up with the top powers in the NBA, such as the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics. The Clippers, on the other hand, are looking towards the future, acquiring a first-round pick in a loaded 2018 draft. Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley are both fantastic players, but Harris’ contract ends in 2019 while Bradley’s ends this year. The Clippers will have a hard time trying to keep them without dishing out huge contracts.


Cavs and Lakers Pull Off Blockbuster

Cleveland Cavaliers (B+):

  • Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.

Los Angeles Lakers (A):

  • Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye
  • First-round pick (2018)


The Lakers and Cavaliers made deals that benefit both teams and could have a very intriguing role in the future. By losing Jordan Clarkson’s contract and acquiring two expiring contracts with Thomas’ and Frye’s, the Lakers will open up a lot of salary cap space for this year’s free agency. They could potentially sign two max contracts, one of which could be Lebron James, who is rumored to be wanting to move to LA. The Cavaliers, who’ve been slumping as of late, have been looking for ways to change up their team after very apparent chemistry issues thus far this season. Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. are both players who could start on the team and reinvigorate the Cavaliers’ sputtering offense. Most importantly for the Cavs is that they are losing Isaiah Thomas, who has been causing more trouble for the team than good and has made it clear that he is not suited for their system.  


Cavs Continue Their Roster Restructure

Cleveland Cavaliers (A-):

  • Rodney Hood, George Hill

Utah Jazz (B):

  • Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder

Sacramento Kings (B):

  • Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert
  • 2020 second round pick

The Cavaliers made another giant move during this year’s deadline by trading two of their core players in Jae Crowder and Iman Shumpert while also dealing away former MVP Derrick Rose. This is another good move for the Cavs, as Crowder has underperformed significantly with Cleveland and clearly is not suited for their system as well. The Jazz may be taking a risk, but Crowder could play better now that he is on a new team. Derrick Rose was essentially nothing for the Jazz, as they cut him soon after the trade. The Cavs will also receive Rodney Hood, who has been overshadowed by rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell in Utah. Hood could possibly shine with the Cavs if given more opportunity to play, as he is a career 14.5 PPG scorer. The Cavs will also receive George Hill, a veteran presence that will be crucial to them down the stretch. For the Sacramento Kings, letting go of George Hill’s eight million dollar salary will be important for cap flexibility to assemble a more talented team in the future. All in all, their trade was just a salary dump as Joe Johnson was cut from the Kings soon after his acquisition.

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