The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and one of the two Los Angeles based teams made a major move, while the other stood pat.
After days of being mentioned in multiple trade rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers decided not to make any moves at the 3:00PM EST Thursday deadline. The team will now look at free agents and the buyout market to make improvements.
The rival LA Clippers did however make some major moves to improve their team as the trade deadline came to a frantic frenzy in the final moments.
The Clippers acquired forward Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks in a trade that sent Moe Harkless back to the Big Apple.
The deal was part of a three-team trade that included the Clippers, Knicks and Washington Wizards. Morris, the centerpiece of the trade heads to Hollywood, along with point guard Isaiah Thomas. Harkless went to the Knicks along with a 2020 first-round pick from the Clippers. Jerome Robinson, the Clippers No. 13 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft went to Washington.
The Clippers are expected to waive Thomas according to sources.
In a separate move, the Clippers acquired a future, conditional second-round draft pick from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guard Derrick Walton Jr.
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The Clippers acquisition of Morris is not only an upgrade to the already stacked roster, but it keeps the 3-and-D player from the Lakers who were also engaged in talks with the Knicks.
Morris adds even more toughness to the Clippers already tenacious team, and a 43.9 percent three-point shooter that will help spread the floor.
Morris has thus far had his best offensive season of his career with the Knicks, averaging career-highs of 19.6 points per game. He's not expected to continue that output on a Clippers team that features Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Lou Williams, but he goes from one of the worst teams in the league, to arguably the favorite to win the NBA Title.
The Lakers definitely could have used Morris and were linked to him in recent days. In addition to Morris, the Lakers were reportedly interested in Andre Iguodala who was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Miami Heat, and Derrick Rose, who remained with the Detroit Pistons.
Now that the NBA trade deadline has passed, the Lakers will have to wait to see which players get bought out or waived in order to bolster their roster, or can even dip into the free agency market for improvements.
Veteran point guard Darren Collison, who retired before the season, is interested in returning to the NBA after the All-Star Break, and reportedly desires to play for either the Lakers or Clippers. Another free agent the Lakers might bring in for a tryout is former LeBron James teammate in Cleveland, J.R. Smith.
A number of other teams also made moves at the deadline, with the biggest move of the day going to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors who swapped former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins for former No. 2 overall pick D'Angelo Russell.
As previously mentioned, three-time NBA champion Iguodala went to the Heat along with Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Miami sent back three players including Dion Waiters, and Justise Winslow to Memphis.
Current NBA rebounding leader Andre Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers who surprisingly were buyers at the deadline, and did not part ways with Tristan Thompson or Kevin Love, as previously expected.
“If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty,” Drummond wrote on Twitter after the announcement of the trade. “I’ve given my heart and soul to the Pistons, and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realize even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit...”
Finally, in addition to the Lakers, the top three teams in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics, all did not make any moves before the deadline.