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All The Smaller Deals That Happened Ahead Of The NBA’s Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and there were plenty of major deals for fans to get excited over. D’Angelo Russell is going to Minnesota, Andre Drummond was traded to the Cavaliers, Andre Iguodala is heading to Miami, and Marcus Morris is heading out to Los Angeles to join the Clippers. However, those weren’t the only moves that took place this deadline. Plenty of smaller deals fell through the cracks while everyone feverishly discussed the big ones.

The small deals are where the real NBA addicts get their fill. These shape rosters and form benches. Some of them are just meant to clear cap space, get under the luxury tax, or gain some extra cash. It’s fun to dive into these and give them some acknowledgment.

Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, and Minnesota Timberwolves

The Grizzlies were extremely busy on deadline day. Not only did they move Iguodala and bring in Justise Winslow, but they made some really interesting moves to shore up their bench. One of those was sending Bruno Caboclo to Houston for the young Jordan Bell.

Bell some might remember was well known for making an immediate splash in Golden State as a rookie. However, shortly after his rookie explosion, he didn’t make much noise afterward and eventually signed a one-year deal with the Wolves. He was then traded to Houston late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning before finally landing in Memphis before the deadline on Thursday. He’s a no risk high upside trade for the Grizzlies. He’s athletic and should be great at finding his way to the basket from willing passers like Ja Morant and Justise Winslow. If it all doesn’t work out well he’s only on a one-year contract.

The Grizzlies stayed busy Thursday by also bringing in big man Gorgui Dieng from Minnesota. The Wolves were added on to the Iguodala deal, turning it into a 3-team trade, and sending Heat forward James Johnson to Minnesota. Dieng was then moved to Memphis.

Dieng is one of those high energy guys that fans fall in love with, he’s just paid too much for the value he provides. He’s also shown the ability to add a 3-point shot this season. He’ll fit in well with the Grizzlies culture while also providing a veteran presence to a team that hopes to make a playoff run. The Grizzlies made some exciting moves on Thursday.

The Timberwolves move some money off their books for next year by swapping out Dieng’s contract that owes him $17 million next year for Johnson’s expiring. Johnson is a tough defensive minded player that the Wolves can definitely make use of if they want to, but make no mistake this is mostly about the money.

Atlanta Hawks, L.A. Clippers, and Portland Trail Blazers

Long live the Hawks tradition of making moves at the deadline for cash and waivers. Atlanta stayed with tradition by trading cash considerations for Clippers guard Derrick Walton Jr. on Thursday. The Hawks are expected to waive Walton.

The Hawks also traded for Skal Labissierre from Portland. They plan on keeping him however as the Hawks begin a quest to acquire all the unwanted big men from across the land.

This move also helps Portland get closer to being under the luxury tax. A move that is helpful for only Portland’s front office and ownership and no one else.

Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards

During this week’s four team mega-deal, the Nuggets had acquired Shabazz Napier from Minnesota. That stay was shortly lived when Denver flipped Napier to the Wizards on Thursday for Jordan McRae.

McRae had emerged as a fun gunner type in Washington and was thriving offensively. He’s never played more than 37 games in his career though so hopefully his new home in Denver won’t stop the breakout season he was in the middle of. Napier was struggling in Minnesota when his shooting fell off drastically. The high powered Wizards offense should be a chance for him to find his offense again. This move feels like a case of fit more than anything else.

Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers

James Ennis III is going to an injured Magic team desperate for bodies. In theory, he can provide some spacing and outside shooting, but in reality, he’ll fill roster spots where Orlando desperately needs them. The 76ers made this move in response to a trade they made earlier in the week that sent Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks to Philadelphia.

The 76ers also waived Trey Burke to make room for Robinson and Burks.

Those are the minor news and notes from around the league as the trade deadline came and went.

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