We've had an early start to the NBA's midseason swap meet this year, as Rudy Gay went to the Raptors as part of a three-team deal in a rare January trade of significance. Before we get wrapped up in this year's movement, let's look back at the activity that took place in the days before last year's March 15th trade deadline. With the advantage of a year (or almost 11 months, to be precise) of hindsight, we'll judge the deals accordingly. Feel free to give your own take on the trades by leaving a comment.
The Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.
- This one can't really be judged until Andrew Bogut is back on the floor at full health, though he notched 12 points and eight rebounds in less than 24 minutes during his first game back this week. The Bucks' new backcourt hasn't been a rousing success, and coach Scott Skiles is gone, but the deal was apparently sufficient enough for GM John Hammond and assistant GM Jeff Weltman to receive three-year extensions. The Warriors flipped Jackson to the Spurs, and have gotten only four games out of Bogut. First-year winner: Bucks
The Warriors traded Jackson to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson, T.J. Ford and a first-round pick.
- Jackson experienced a renaissance in San Antonio, while Ford had retired before the trade and was included merely to make the salaries match. The Warriors turned the first-rounder into Festus Ezeli, who was starting in place of Bogut, and Jefferson has re-entered the rotation of late. Jackson's numbers are down this season, with a PER of 9.0 that nearly matches the number from his forgettable stint in Milwaukee. Two contributors are better than one. First-year winner: Warriors
The Grizzlies traded Sam Young to the 76ers for the rights to former second-round draft pick Ricky Sanchez.
- One of many salary dumps the Grizzlies have participated in over the past year. Young played only 135 total minutes for the Sixers before leaving in free agency, while Sanchez doesn't seem likely to land in the States anytime soon. Since it saved the Grizzlies from paying the tax and Young probably couldn't have helped them get any farther in the playoffs, the move was worth it. First-year winner: Grizzlies
The Raptors traded Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers for a second-round pick and cash.
- Toronto was well under the cap and didn't really need the short-term financial help. The Pacers had plenty of cap room to accomodate Barbosa's expiring contract, but he didn't play particularly well with Indiana. The Brazilian Blur recorded a 13.4 PER, which would have been his lowest since 2004/05 if it were a full-season figure. That might explain why it took so long for him to find a home in free agency this season. The Raptors used the pick on Tomislav Zubcic, who's playing overseas. First-year winner: Push
The Blazers traded Gerald Wallace to the Nets for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a first-round draft pick.
- The pick turned out to be Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard, making this move a steal for Portland. There's no telling if the Nets would have taken Lillard in the draft, and perhaps doing so would have led to the departure of Deron Williams. The trade might not have hurt Brooklyn as much in the short term as it's helped the Blazers, who wound up with a quality point guard on a rookie contract and opened up the small forward spot for Nicolas Batum, who's having his best season. First-year winner: Blazers
The Blazers traded Marcus Camby to the Rockets for Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, and a second-round pick.
- This deal was of significantly less importance than Portland's other move. Camby was remarkably efficient for Houston in his stint there last season, posting a 19.6 PER, but he couldn't get them into the playoffs, and the Rockets flipped him to the Knicks for a pair of second-round draft picks and players who are no longer on the roster. The Blazers let Flynn and Thabeet go and used the draft pick on Will Barton, on whom the jury's still out. First-year winner: Rockets
The Lakers traded Derek Fisher and a first-round draft pick to the Rockets for Jordan Hill.
- This one looked like a wash for both teams for much of last season. The Rockets bought out Fisher, allowing him to go to the Thunder, while Hill languished on the bench for the Lakers. That changed when Hill emerged in a huge Lakers comeback against the Thunder, and he became L.A.'s first big man off the bench for the playoffs. Hill re-signed with the Lakers in the summer, but he's out for the season with a hip injury. The Rockets used that draft pick as part of the James Harden trade. First-year winner: Rockets (but only because Hill is hurt)
The Lakers traded Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a 2012 first-round pick to the Cavs, along with the ability for the Cavs to switch first-round picks in 2013, for Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga.
- This trade was all about an upgrade at point guard for L.A., and cap space and future considerations for Cleveland. Sessions' shortcomings were exposed in the playoffs against the Thunder, leading the Lakers to pursue Steve Nash in the summer. The Cavs parlayed the Lakers' 2012 first-rounder in a deal for 17th pick Tyler Zeller, and with L.A.'s surprising struggles this year, they could be in line for another draft choice in the middle of the first round. This deadline swap did get Walton's $6.1MM salary for this season of L.A.'s books, and Eyenga was used as fodder in the Dwight Howard blockbuster, but Cleveland got more of what it wanted. First-year winner: Cavs
In a three-team trade, the Nuggets sent Nene to the Wizards for JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. The Wizards sent Nick Young to the Clippers for Brian Cook and a 2015 second-round pick.
- This essentially was a pair of two-team deals, the most notable of which was Denver's surprising reversal of course on Nene, who had just signed a five-year, $65MM deal with the Nuggets before the season began. Though McGee, whom Denver signed to another costly deal this summer, averages only 18.8 minutes per game, he's still played more total minutes this season than the oft-injured Nene. None of the other players involved in the transaction remain with the teams that acquired them last year, including Young, whose 9.9 PER during his stint with the Clippers was well below his 12.8 career average. First-year winner: Nuggets