The NBA's trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon, and for a while it seemed like the day might be fairly quiet.
Then the dam broke. In the last 20 minutes for teams to make trades, a tsunami of activity changed the NBA landscape. Phoenix shipped out half of its roster, including Goran Dragic to Miami and Isaiah Thomas to Boston. Philadelphia decided its 12-40 record was too good, so it unloaded several promising young players in exchange for picks. The Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets made serious upgrades for a playoff run this year, while the Milwaukee Bucks cemented their status as a team with incredible long-term potential.
Here is Yahoo basketball guru Adrian Wojnarowski reacting to all the activity that happened right at the trade deadline:
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2015
So yeah: Things got a bit crazy.
One of the biggest trades of the day has much more to do with legend and legacy than it does with competitive basketball. Kevin Garnett wasn't on a serious playoff contender with the Brooklyn Nets, but he's fine being traded to one of the league's worst teams because it means going home. Per his agent:
— ASM SPORTS (@ASM_SPORTS) February 19, 2015
Meanwhile, Wolves starting point guard Ricky Rubio is curled up somewhere with a bowl of popcorn, geeking out on his Twitter updates -- and new teammate:
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) February 19, 2015
Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins was another of the names moved just minutes before the deadline. He was traded to the Utah Jazz, where he's expected to be waived, allowing him to join another playoff contender:
We are going to miss this wonderful place and all of you guys hold a special place in ours hearts! ThunderUp for life
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 19, 2015
Perkins wasn't the only player Oklahoma City moved at the deadline. Fellow Thunder teammate Reggie Jackson proved himself to be a strong NBA player, but the Thunder's current financial obligations mean it can't afford to keep him when his current deal expires after this season. So the team flipped him to Detroit -- all while Jackson was out cold.
— Reggie Jackson (@rjOKCson_15) February 19, 2015
In Philadelphia, Michael Carter-Williams was seen as the closest thing the Sixers had to a star. The second-year player and former rookie of the year was seen as a cornerstone of the franchise's future -- at least until he was unceremoniously shipped to Milwaukee. And poor MCW was completely blindsided:
I can't lie I'm shocked. I love this city thank you for everything. I can honestly say I gave it my all. I wish Philly nothing but the best
— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) February 19, 2015
MCW's teammate, meanwhile, doesn't even understand enough of what's transpired to have an opinion:
Someone tell me what's going on please help
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 19, 2015
Embiid's confusion is understandable, given by all of the Sixers' movement. But that hasn't stopped him from quickly being turned into a meme:
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 19, 2015
Finally, with the dust settling on one of the more furious trading deadlines in NBA history, it looks like a lot of talent has been either unloaded on rebuilding teams in the East or sent to title contenders trying to increase their weapons ahead of the playoffs. Jazz center Rudy Gobert on all the change:
The NBA gonna look totally different.Crazy
— rudy gobert (@rudygobert15) February 19, 2015
Pretty spot-on assessment, Rudy. Now if you'll excuse us, we need to figure out if there's still anyone left to play basketball in Philly.