If the 2016 NBA trade deadline was a motion picture, it’d be “Waterworld.”
This site predicted a few things … that if moving parts happened on a contender, they’d be minor and likely be with Cleveland. Check. There would be a few fringe playoff teams burning up the phones trying to get in so they could take their 4 to 5 game flogging but excite the fan base. We even named them as the Pistons and Kings. Check.
And we said not much would happen because this is a season shaping up as not overly dramatic as to who the main players are, so there was no point stretching your luck by mortgaging the future out of the hope that something magical happens.
So, most teams wisely stayed put, other than rearranging furniture down in the basement just for something to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
The move with probably the most sizzle going forward was Markieff Morris going to the Wizards from the valley of the (exhausted) Suns. The sun is supposed to burn out in about 6 billion years. Morris at least took off a few hundred thousand of those with his attitude when his brother Marcus was traded to Detroit.
Markieff still has a few years left on a four-year deal signed in 2014, so this isn’t just a rental for a desperate Wizards team to get back into the playoff hunt (hunch is, they will). If he fits, he’ll be a key cog for a few years to come. The Suns were able to heist a first rounder out of it too, making something of this otherwise lost season.
Most of the day was spent looking out the window waiting on the pizza delivery guy to arrive before eventually finding out they never got the online order. The requisite big names were bandied about as possibly on the move, guys like Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol, and half the Atlanta Hawks.
In the end, none of them left and teams mostly scoffed that there was ever any talk of it, because of course that’s what they did.
Look, if we’re being honest with ourselves as the teams are, you may as well dance with who you brought and try to get better. It’s clear that the chasm is large between Golden State and San Antonio and the remainder of the West. In the East, there’s Cleveland, and then there’s Toronto behind them at a distance, and then there’s everyone else.
It would be something of an utter shock if the NBA Finals was anything other than the Cavs versus the winner of the Spurs and Warriors, with the Cavs likely having to get over the Raptors to get there. Utter. Shock.
So even though the NBA is the professional league that does these sorts of things better than anyone else … free agency, trade deadlines, and the draft … because of how one player can totally change the fortunes of a team, there was nothing going on barring injury that was going to make that chasm any less wide.
Oklahoma City could have been forgiven for making a giant leap at the deadline, what with Kevin Durant’s pending free agency and their relative remote possibility of hanging with the Warriors and Spurs, but it would have needed to be something ground breaking to get there. It ended up being Randy Foye, a nice player, but not ground breaking.
What we saw was a very measured NBA contingency, settled on sticking where they are rather than rocking the boat. The only mild surprise was that, with so many teams that aren’t playoff fixtures with a shot in the dark at getting a 7 or 8 seed, none of them really tried to make a splash.
In the long run, that’s a good thing. In the short term, everyone knows who the pretty girls at the ball are. The proper response is just getting to the gym and trying to catch them with what you’ve got now. No supplements to try for a quick fix that might harm you down the road.