Winner: Boston Celtics
Like Philadelphia and Houston, the Boston Celtics were particularly active at the NBA Trade Deadline, taking advantage of Phoenix’ point guard mess by stealing Isaiah Thomas. They also moved Tayshaun Prince back to Detroit for Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome.
Boston’s backcourt was already in good hands defensively with Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Adding Thomas for relatively little in return will help the unit offensively. Similar to fellow Washingtonians Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson, Thomas provides instant offense. In five games with Boston he’s scored 21.8 points per contest. This is nothing new for the Tacoma native, who averaged 20.3 points per game in Sacramento last season.
A backcourt rotation of Thomas, fellow Tacoma native Bradley and Smart is a pretty solid foundation for the future (all are 26-years-old or younger) and the present.
What did Boston mortgage to acquire Thomas? Cleveland’s 2016 first-round pick and Marcus Thornton.
The Cavs’ pick is top-ten protected and will likely fall at the end of the first round should the Cavs continue to evolve into the championship contender everyone thinks they will. Thornton is a useful bench scorer, but his contract expires after the season, and he likely wasn’t part of the long-term outlook in Boston anyway.
Adding a long-term piece in Thomas for an expiring contract and a first-round pick likely in the late 20’s make this an easy win for the Celtics.
In addition to Thomas, the team also brought in Jerebko and Datome. Both have expiring contracts and will be auditioning to see if it’s worth Boston’s time to keep them beyond this season. At his best, Jerebko is a floor-spacing power forward who can rebound while Datome is a three-point marksman.
All stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.