NBA trade deadline: Winners and losers
Danny Granger: Get ready to hear Danny Granger say “It’s a business” about two million times during interviews over the next few months. After spending his entire nine-year career with the Pacers and working his way back from injuries in recent seasons, Granger finds himself shipped out at the very moment the Pacers are reaching the highest peak of his tenure. Of course, that’s only half the story: He’s headed to Philadelphia, where, barring a buyout, he’ll have to pointlessly go through the motions for the next two months before watching his old mates go up against the Heat in the playoffs. It’s a cold world.
Roger Mason: Much like Granger, but not quite as drastic. Roger Mason, 33, has bounced around over the last decade and he landed where any minimum-salary player would want to land these days: South Beach. Instead of going along for the ride and having a chance to win the first title of his career, Mason was traded to the Kings and promptly released on Thursday. Rough day.
Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens: The Clippers might not be as close to a title as the Pacers and Heat, but their decision to move Jamison (to Atlanta] and Mullens (to Philadelphia) in cash-dumping deals to save on luxury taxes surely hurts. “Lob City” looks like one of the league’s most entertaining places to play, and the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin combo will be disappointed with anything less than a conference semifinals appearance. Jamison and Mullens are now on the wrong side of the velvet rope.
Jason Terry: What is the point of a 36-year-old Terry playing for the going-nowhere Kings? He is stuck in limbo until they can figure out what to do with the $5.9 million owed to him next season.
Lance Stephenson: It’s probably smart not to overreact here, but the addition of Turner certainly complicates Stephenson’s impending free agency. The Point Forward noted in January that Stephenson is likely headed for a monster payday, and Turner’s arrival potentially gives Indiana a little leverage in its negotiations. By all accounts, Stephenson is interested in remaining with the Pacers if possible, but he now has direct competition for those free agency dollars, even if he’s a clearly superior player to Turner. This will be an intriguing situation to watch unfold, particularly if Indiana makes a deep playoff run as expected.