Big-name players stay put at NBA trade deadline, but Raptors and Thunder make deals
By Staff and wire reports
Feb 23, 2017 | 7:25 PM
Big-name stars such as Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler and Paul George remained with their teams as the NBA trade deadline passed Thursday, but according to multiple reports the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors added P.J. Tucker in a trade with the Phoenix Suns.
Oklahoma City, which will also get a second-round draft pick in 2018, parted with Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne in the trade with Chicago.
Gibson adds the athleticism and experience to the front line that the Thunder lost when they traded Serge Ibaka last year. McDermott improves the Thunder's shaky outside shooting.
Payne was a promising backup to Westbrook but had missed much of the season with a foot injury. Morrow, primarily a 3-point shooter, lost playing time to rookie Alex Abrines this season.
The Raptors sent forward Jared Sullinger and second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 to the Suns, who also acquired forward Mike Scott from the Atlanta Hawks for cash.
Tucker was the most competitive of the Suns players, known for his fiery attitude, tough defense and rebounding. He averaged seven points and six rebounds while appearing in 57 games this season.
Meanwhile, the defending-champion Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to add to their backcourt depth by seeking to sign veteran point guard Deron Williams, who was waived by the Dallas Mavericks.
"Obviously we have a great deal of interest, and we've said it for a long time, in a playmaker," Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin said. "I won't speak to specific names just because nobody's free currently that's out there for us to talk about. But, obviously the need for a playmaker still exists and we feel that we'll be competitive in that market for sure."
The Mavericks, meanwhile, acquired Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers for veteran center Andrew Bogut, young swingman Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick.
The backlog of big men in Philadelphia — Noel, Okafor, Joel Embiid, newly acquired Tiago Splitter and No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons presumably at some point — made it seem like moves were going to happen, and Noel wound up being the one to go.
In Denver, the Nuggets added another big man for the stretch run by acquiring Roy Hibbert from the Milwaukee Bucks for a protected second-round pick in 2019. The 30-year-old center figures to spell Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee as the Nuggets try to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, long rumored to be on the trading block but is still with Minnesota, said of the deadline: "We're professionals. But we're human beings, too. We have feelings. But I know this is a business and it has to be like that."
In other NBA moves:
-- The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Terrence Jones and signed shooting guard Hollis Thompson to a 10-day contract. The moves, announced Thursday evening, give New Orleans more depth at shooting guard after the club traded away guards Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway to Sacramento as part of a trade Sunday night that brought All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.
-- The Brooklyn Nets have acquired swingman K.J. McDaniels from the Houston Rockets. The Nets are sending cash to the Rockets. McDaniels has played in just 29 games this season, struggling to find playing time in Mike D'Antoni's first season as coach. The Nets also waived guard Marcus Thornton, acquired Wednesday in a trade with Washington.
-- The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Toney Douglas for the remainder of the season. Douglas, 30, has played 14 games for the Grizzlies this season. The 6-foot-2 guard is averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 17.2 minutes.