A trade deadline day that started out boring ended up being plenty eventful as it came to its conclusion, with multiple teams getting involved in last-minute deals. In case you missed anything, SB Nation has every completed deal indexed for your perusing pleasure, from Goran Dragic to Miami to Michael-Carter Williams to the Bucks.
Of course the Spurs were not involved in any transactions except for signing Reggie Williams for the rest of the season. Yet what happened on Thursday does impact the Spurs' chances, as direct opponents were active in the market. Here are three takeaways from the 2015 NBA trade deadline.
The Thunder finally have a bench
It's debatable if D.J. Augustin is a better player than Reggie Jackson. Both have had stretches in which they've looked great and times when they've been mediocre. Jackson certainly has more upside and is more explosive yet Augustin makes the Thunder better simply because he's a much better fit for their roster.
Jackson was shooting 20 percent from outside on catch and shoot opportunities, one of the worst marks of the league for a rotation player. Last season he was better (33.9 percent) but he will never be a set shooter. Jackson thrives with the ball in his hands. Augustin is averaging 33.9 percent this season but he's had to fill too big an offensive role for his talent because of injuries to Jodie Meeks and Brandon Jennings. Last season in Chicago he shot a stellar 42.4 percent on catch and shoot threes
With Dion Waiters -- another dreadful catch and shoot guy -- already in tow to handle the ball, what the Thunder need is a spot up shooter. If Augustin goes back to normal in that area, he could fill in that role beautifully. They've also added Kyle Singler, who is a great catch and shoot guy (42.3 percent on threes) so now they have three players on the bench -- Augustin, Morrow and Singler -- who can space the floor. Instead of Derek Fisher and Caron Butler, the Thunder will go into the playoffs with the type of role players they've always needed.
Even Enes Kanter, who has largely disappointed during his young career, represents an upgrade over Perkins. Kanter can't protect the rim like Perkins did but the Thunder have Ibaka and Adams to do that. What they needed was someone off their bench with the offensive skillset to punish back up centers and offer a scoring option inside. Kanter is a decent, if turnover-prone, post option, which should allow the bench's half court offense to have options it couldn't dream of when Perkins was there.
The Trail Blazers could be dangerous
The Blazers landed Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee for Thomas Robinson, Will Barton and Victor Claver. The move essentially eliminated their biggest weakness before Thursday: their anemic wing rotation. Nicolas Batum is having a down year and they didn't have anyone who could come off the bench and take some of his minutes when he was not producing. Allen Crabbe, C.J. McCollum and Will Barton are just not the type of players a true contender needs off the bench. General manager Neil Olshey took care of the team's deficiencies at point guard and center in the offseason by signing Steve Blake and Chris Kaman but the hole in the wing remained. Until now.
Arron Afflalo hasn't looked great this season but the Nuggets were a mess, with a coach that thought the way to reach his players was rapping game plans. If he can return to the level he showed in Orlando, he could truly make a huge difference in the Blazers' chances of coming out of the West. Even if he remains in his Nuggets form he would be an upgrade over the players whose minutes he's taking. Gee could give the Blazers solid production off the bench in spurts as well, which could make them a truly deep team. They already have a killer starting five. If the bench proves to be as improved on the court as it does on paper, the Blazers could make it far in the playoffs.
The Rockets are wonderfully opportunistic
I agree with the general public that the Rockets' front office was overrated for a while, thanks to Daryl Morey's high profile. But you just have to tip your hat at a management team that can build a bench out of thin air.
The Rockets started the season with Isaiah Canaan, Kostas Papanikolaou and Joey Dorsey as key bench players. Now they have Pablo Prigioni, Corey Brewer, K.J. McDaniels and Josh Smith and they didn't even have to give up their two best reserves, Jason Terry and Donatas Motiejunas. They landed Brewer for Troy Daniels and two second round picks, Prigioni for Alexey Shved (who also cost a second round pick) and two second round picks, Smith for the minimum after he was waived and McDaniels for Isaiah Canaan and a second round pick. They didn't even trade their first round pick. It's sorcery.
The Rockets won't have a second round pick for a while but those have become overvalued thanks to the success a few teams, the Rockets included, have had finding contributors late in the draft. Yet because of, ironically, McDaniels, they could decrease in value. The cap is about to go up and second round picks have no contract scale determining their salaries, unlike first rounders. It's not hard to imagine players selected early in the second round doing exactly what McDaniels did and signing one-year deals before cashing in on inflated wages in their second season.
It's hard to blame the teams that traded with the Rockets for going for the deals because they are not contending but Houston's front office has to be praised for its ingenuity.