Point guards on the move on NBA trade deadline day
Point guards Goran Dragic, Michael Carter-Williams, Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight all were dealt Thursday in the final hours that NBA trades were allowed.
Kevin Garnett also has a new address — his original NBA one. The Timberwolves brought him back to Minnesota by sending Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn.
There were so many players on the move in deals agreed to shortly before the 3 p.m. EST deadline that most of the transactions were still awaiting NBA approval hours later.
Dragic and Jackson were two players to watch on deadline day, because neither was expected to remain with his team after this season. Both their teams opted to move them rather than risk losing them for nothing.
Phoenix sent Dragic to Miami, getting two first-round picks and a package of players for the Slovenian, a third-team All-NBA selection last season. The Suns filled his spot by acquiring Knight from Milwaukee in a three-team deal with Philadelphia, which sent Carter-Williams to the Bucks.
“I did feel it was time to find a better fit,” Dragic wrote on Twitter, adding “NOW it’s #heatnation time and I’m excited to bring the Dragon’s fire to Miami!!”
Zoran Dragic, Goran’s brother, also went from Phoenix to Miami.
Jackson, who began the season replacing an injured Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma City, will now step in for the sidelined Brandon Jennings in Detroit. The Thunder sent Jackson to the Pistons in a three-way trade that included Utah.
Even backup point guards seemed in demand, with players such as Isaiah Thomas (Boston), Ramon Sessions (Washington), Andre Miller (Sacramento), D.J. Augustin (Oklahoma City), Norris Cole (New Orleans) and Pablo Prigioni (Houston) getting new homes.
Some big guys were also in demands, with Enes Kanter getting his wish to leave Utah when he ended up in Oklahoma City as Kendrick Perkins’ replacement.
Portland did the first completed deal of the day when it acquired Arron Afflalo from Denver.
Among the items of note from deadline day:
A ROUND-TRIP BIG TICKET: The 38-year-old Garnett spent his first 12 seasons in Minnesota, where he was nicknamed the Big Ticket. He guided the Timberwolves to the only eight playoff appearances in franchise history and won the MVP while leading them to the Western Conference finals in 2004. He waived his no-trade clause to return, and the Wolves will try to get him to stick around past his 20th season by offering him a two-year extension in the offseason, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said.
DEPARTING DENVER: The Nuggets have been one of those teams where good individual talent added up to a collective mess, so they broke it apart Thursday. Portland acquired Afflalo in a five-player deal, upgrading its bench with a player averaging 14.5 points, while Denver also sent JaVale McGee and a first-round pick to Philadelphia
RACE FOR EIGHTH: The teams battling for the final playoff spots in each conference were among the busiest. Miami, the current No. 8 in the East, picked up Dragic, while Brooklyn (Young) and Boston (Thomas) are close behind and may have upgraded. Phoenix will count on Knight to help them try to hold off Oklahoma City and New Orleans, which added point guard help in Jackson and Cole, respectively.
OLD RELIABLE: Just starting as Sacramento coach, George Karl was reunited with one of his favorites from his Denver days. Miller played for Karl from 2003-07 and 2011-13 at Denver.