The NBA’s trade market was incredibly active throughout the 2017 offseason, with a total of 40 deals completed between the end of last season and the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Of those 40 trades, several were blockbusters. Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Chris Paul, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Carmelo Anthony all changed teams, as did the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Some of the non-blockbuster deals are having a major impact this season too, with guys like Ricky Rubio, D’Angelo Russell, Brook Lopez, and Avery Bradley all on the move.
There are even a handful of trades made for monetary reasons that have been interesting to monitor — the Nets took on salary dumps like DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe and have turned them into key parts of their rotation, while the Bulls continue to get hammered for selling second-round pick Jordan Bell to the defending-champion Warriors.
We’ve written plenty about most of those trades already, so today we’re taking the opportunity to shine a light on a few deals that have flown somewhat under the radar. These trades seemed like relatively minor moves at the time, but are paying dividends for the teams involved. Let’s dive in…
- Suns acquire Troy Daniels and a 2018 second-round pick from the Grizzlies in exchange for a top-55-protected 2018 second-round pick. With too many guaranteed salaries on their books heading into training camp, the Grizzlies dumped one by attaching a second-round pick to Daniels and sending him to Phoenix in exchange for a pick that won’t convey. The move saved Memphis some money, but the club probably could’ve used Daniels more than some of the players it kept. In his last 19 games for the Suns, Daniels has averaged 10.8 PPG and shot 44.3% on three-pointers. He has been particularly productive in the last couple weeks, scoring a career-high 32 points last Wednesday vs. Toronto, then hitting the game-winning shot to beat his old team last night.
- Pacers acquire Cory Joseph from the Raptors in exchange for the draft rights to Emir Preldzic. Joseph was originally going to head to Indiana in a deal that would have sent C.J. Miles to Toronto. However, the terms of Miles’ contract made him ineligible to be signed-and-traded, so the Raptors signed him outright and sent Joseph to the Pacers in a separate move to dump some salary. Having essentially been traded for nothing, Joseph has been very solid as the Pacers’ backup point guard this season, making a career-best 43.0% of his threes and chipping in 7.7 PPG and 2.9 APG. Joseph isn’t the main reason the Pacers have exceeded expectations, but he has played a role in the club’s early success.
- Hornets acquire Dwayne Bacon and cash ($1.8MM) from the Pelicans in exchange for Frank Jackson. The Pelicans paid Charlotte $1.8MM in order to move up from No. 40 to No. 31 in the draft, having targeted Jackson. It’s unfair to judge Jackson’s NBA career so far, since it hasn’t even started — a broken foot has sidelined him since the start of September. Still, the Hornets have to be happy with how their side of the deal is working out so far. Bacon claimed a rotation role to open the season, and while he’s experiencing some growing pains as of late, he has shown plenty of promise. The extra $1.8MM that Charlotte picked up in the deal is just a bonus.
- Grizzlies acquire Dillon Brooks from the Rockets in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick. Not much has gone right for the Grizzlies this season, but the team has to be pleased with what Brooks has shown so far. The 21-year-old is currently Memphis’ starting small forward, and has held his own with a respectable .460/.368/.778 shooting line. Of the youngsters on the Grizzlies’ roster, Brooks has shown more long-term keeper potential than most. Meanwhile, the Rockets did okay in this deal too — the 2018 second-rounder they’ll receive will be the least favorable of the Grizzlies’, Hornets’, and Heat’s selections. All three of those teams have underperformed so far this season, improving the value of the pick.
- Knicks acquire the rights to Scott Perry from the Kings in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and cash ($400K). No players were involved in this swap, but it was technically a trade, with the Kings allowing the Knicks to poach one of their top front-office executives. It’s another deal that has benefited both sides. The Knicks’ front office appears to have finally stabilized since the arrival of Perry, who put a hold on the Carmelo Anthony trade talks in July, then eventually found a deal that has worked out well for New York. As for the Kings, they can’t complain much about securing cash and a future draft pick in exchange for an exec who worked in their front office for less than three months.