The Mavs win the deadline
David Thorpe breaks down a frenzy of trades
BY DAVID THORPE
Today’s trade deadline saw a flurry of moves, but no stars switched homes. That’s probably because the league’s three most meaningful trades had already taken place.
Though he had a terrible start, James Harden is cruising with the Clippers, blending perfectly with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers are 31-15 since acquiring Harden.
According to Cleaning the Glass, Pascal Siakam’s on-court/off-court differential since becoming a Pacer leads the NBA. Literally, that has to be an executive’s dream.
Since they traded RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley for OG Anunoby, the Knicks lead the NBA in wins—that stat is hard to beat.
I would respectively rank these trades first, second, and third overall this season. However, the Mavericks’ moves today for Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington would fill out the top five.
Most of today’s moves consisted of contenders plugging leaks in their dams; some were savvier than others, others were money focused. For instance, I like how the Knicks shored up their second unit and the Celtics helped alleviate pressure on Kristaps Porziņģis and Al Horford, but did the Wolves and Suns do enough?
Let’s examine today’s more meaningful, and confusing, moves—beginning with the deft decisions made in Dallas.
The Mavs might now have the league’s best offense
The Mavs double their number of quality centers with Daniel Gafford, who’s better than Dereck Lively II and gives Dallas a second lob threat to pair with Luka Dončić. Gafford is a good finisher at the rim who never takes bad shots. He knows what he can and cannot do, and now when Lively II returns the Mavs will have 48 solid minutes at the five.