Well, a lot happened before the NBA's Thursday 3 PM Eastern trade deadline, including the Warriors making two more moves in effort to improve their draft status in this upcoming June draft, which is said to be one of the deepest classes in recent years.
The Warriors first move of the day came in the morning, as they did what many NBA pundits were expecting they'd do and traded Stephen Jackson before he even got a chance to put on a Warriors jersey for his second stint with the team. Now, Richard Jefferson is hardly going to make any Warrior fan jump for joy, as the W's will be on the hook for this guy for the next couple of seasons for around $10M per season. Where the Warriors did win in this deal, was that they obtained San Antonio's first rounder. I'm not sure what the stipulations are yet, as the pick is protected, but I'm assuming it's a pretty sure thing that it's something the Warriors should easily reach. It's probably protected if the Spurs make the top-15 or some ridiculous mark like that, cause they're one of the premiere teams in the NBA this season and won't likely pick until very late in the first round. Regardless, it gets the Warriors into the first round of a very deep draft, I don't care if winds up being a 25th or 26th pick (which is what it'd be if the season ended today, I believe). Now, if the Warriors can magically fall into that bottom-7, which the Monta Ellis deal certainly helped, then they'll be sitting extremely pretty come draft time. Their second move of the day was a deal with the Hawks, landing them their 2nd rounder for cash considerations.
So the Warriors entered the day Thursday with potentially one draft pick in this upcoming, loaded with NBA-caliber talent, draft. And now they walk out of it with three certain picks, and the glimmer of hope still out there that they could land in the bottom-7 of the NBA lottery. The Warriors aren't the only team that was busy on deadline day though. As we have a list of the three most notable and impacting deals below, with some thoughts on each:
Gerald Wallace to New Jersey for their protected first-rounder: This was probably the 2nd biggest deal of the day, as it was one of many moves made by Portland Thursday. The Blazers went through a mini fire-sale before the deadline, dealing away Wallace and starting center Marcus Camby, who was dealt to Houston. They then axed long-time head coach Nate McMillan, in a somewhat surprising move. I know Portland had been struggling this season, but I was surprised they didn't wait until after the year to dismiss McMillan. Anyway, as long as the Blazers end up with the Nets first rounder, which is protected through pick 3 (their likely pick would be 5 if the season ended today), then they make out just fine in this deal, especially as they're obviously moving towards rebuilding. At the same time, although he's had somewhat of an off-year, the 29 year-old Wallace is a rare talent on both ends of the court and may help the Nets chances of resigning Deron Williams over the summer. A potential lineup of Williams, impressive rookie MarShon Brooks, Wallace, Kris Humprhies and Brook Lopez, with Anthony Morrow and Gerald Green coming off the bench for 2012-13, isn't a bad look.
Ramon Sessions to Lakers for first round pick: The Lakers got something they really haven't had in years, and that's a young, explosive point guard who can put up some points and is one of the more underrated players in the NBA. Sessions assists-per-minute ratio is the best in the NBA and he didn't have much of a spot in Cleveland behind star rookie Kyrie Irving. For that, I like this deal for both squads. The Lakers were also trying hard to acquire T-Wolves forward Michael Beasley, and would have been even better off had that gone through, but they have to be happy with their shiny new point guard, who should make everyone on that team better, including Andrew Bynum, and that's scary to think! The Lakers, in response, shipped their long-time PG, Derek Fisher, to Houston.
Three-Way Trade- Clippers acquire Nick Young, Nuggets acquire JaValle McGee, and Wizards end up with Nene: Now, this was the last, but the biggest deal to go down on before the deadline Thursday, and it's a deal that makes a lot of sense for all parties involved. The Clippers get former USC guard Nick Young, bringing him back to SoCal, where they really need some scoring help at the off-guard and small forward position. He's a young perimeter player who should mesh well with CP3 and Blake Griffin and when he's one, he'll even make Clipper fans forget about Eric Gordon. Also, JaValle McGee, who's one of the most talented big men in the game, got the change of scenery he so badly needed, as he was dealt to Denver with Nene heading back to Washington. Nene will give the Wizards a solid veteran front-court influence and should play well with Andre Blatche. However, I think the winner of this deal, if I had to pick one, are the Nuggets. They get a star, 23 year-old center who should fit in well with Denver. George Karl has has the leadership skills and Denver has enough veteran influence that McGee should be on his best behavior. When this guy plays 30+ minutes a night, it's rare if he doesn't wind up with 15 points, 12-15 boards and 3-4 blocks. That's dominance on both ends.