NBA Trade Deadline Passes: Alston, Hughes, Thomas Among Those Moving
The 3 PM ET trade deadline in the NBA has come and gone, and while there were plenty of big names rumored to be on the move, few teams actually had the guts to pull the trigger. There were plenty of deals made, however, including one that might have one Eastern Conference team feeling like it's back in the title conversation. A wrap-up of today's events after the jump.
Rafer Alston to the Magic: Orlando was in need of a point guard, and it went out and got a fairly decent one in Rafer Alston. He's no Jameer Nelson, but he does shoot 35 percent from three-point range, and with Dwight Howard down low, he'll get plenty of opportunities. The Rockets get Kyle Lowry from Memphis for their troubles, along with Brian Cook from the Magic. The Grizzlies receive a first-round pick from Orlando for their willing participation.
Larry Hughes for Tim Thomas: The Bulls sent Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Tim Thomas, Jerome James and Anthony Roberson. The deal lands Thomas back in Chicago, where he famously didn't get along with then-head coach Scott Skiles (like anyone did). Thomas knows the Bulls current head coach Vinnie Del Negro from his Suns days, so it might be a better fit this time around. If not, no big deal: his contract expires in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Knicks get Larry Hughes, who, if he sees the court, should put up some decent numbers in D'Antoni's system. (Even I could go for 12 points a night playing for the Knicks -- believe it.) But again, this is more financial than anything else, as Hughes' more-than-$13 million deal comes off the books for next year, too.
Knicks land Chris Wilcox: The Knicks were busy Thursday and, besides the Hughes deal, sent Malik Rose and some cash to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox. The Thunder ended up with some financial relief after all, and the Knicks ended up with a young-ish big who I've thought for a long time could be a very solid player in this league.
Sacramento might have been the busiest of them all: In addition to the multi-player deal involving the Kings Wednesday, they continued their "shuffling of the deck chairs" by making a couple of more moves on deadline day. Sacramento sent Shelden Williams and Bobby Brown to Minnesota in exchange for Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth.
The Kings also were part of a three-way with Boston and Toronto, where they will receive Will Solomon from the Raps, and send a conditional (aren't they all?) second-round pick to the Celtics. The Raptors get Patrick O'Bryant from the Celtics. The biggest part of this deal, though, would seem to be that the Kings are expected to release Mikki Moore, who's one of those inexpensive big dudes that contending teams look for right around this time to strengthen themselves for a run into the playoffs.
One for the road: The Bulls sent Thabo Sefolosha to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a first-round draft pick.