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On the final day of what has already been a busy trade season in the NBA, dozens of players were swapped as teams made the final moves that they hope will either guide them to a championship or help them rebuild their beleaguered clubs. In one of the first moves that went public today, the lottery-bound Nuggets sent Aaron Afflalo to Portland along with Alonzo Gee. In the return, the Trailblazers sent Denver Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver and a future first-round pick.
The Nuggets made another deal on deadline day, sending center JaVale McGee and one of the draft picks they acquired from Cleveland in the Timofey Mozgov trade for the draft rights to Turkish player Cenk Akyol.
In the first move of the George Karl era, the Sacramento Kings traded Ramon Sessions to the Wizards for Andre Miller, who previously played for Karl in Denver.
The Houston Rockets, who have already added Corey Brewer and Josh Smith during the season, traded guard Alexey Shved and two second round picks to the Knicks for Argentine point guard Pablo Prigioni. The Rockets also traded point guard Isaiah Canaan and a second round pick to Philadelphia for rookie guard K.J. McDaniels.
The Phoenix Suns were another team that was quite busy on deadline day. In a three-team trade, the Suns acquired Marcus Thorton from the Celtics and a 2016 first-round pick. As part of the deal, Suns' guard Isaiah Thomas goes to the Celtics along with Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome, who come to Boston by way of the Pistons. Detroit acquires former Piston Tayshaun Prince, who played his first 11 seasons in Detroit, and was part of the 2004 Championship team.
But Tayshaun Prince wasn't the only veteran player traded to his original team today. Kevin Garnett waived his no-trade clause, allowing him to be dealt to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young. KG played his first 12 seasons with Timberwolves, where he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for 9 straight seasons.
Back to the Suns, who traded the malcontent Goran Dragic to Miami along with his brother Zoran. In exchange for the Dragic Brothers, the Heat sent Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two future first-round picks to Phoenix. The Suns promptly replaced Dragic by acquiring Brandon Knight from the Bucks in a three-team deal. As part of the trade, last season's rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams goes from Philly to Milwaukee, and Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis also join the Bucks by way of Phoenix.
Finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently battling to make the Western Conference Playoffs, came into deadline day determined to bolster their front line. There were reports that they were pursuing a deal with Brooklyn for center Brook Lopez, but nothing came to fruition. Instead, OKC went after Utah's Enes Kanter. In what ultimately became a three-team deal, the Thunder traded Reggie Jackson to Detroit and Kedrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, and a package of draft picks to Utah. In return, the Thunder acquired Kanter, along with Steve Novak from the Jazz, and D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from the Pistons.
It is likely the Jazz will waive Kendrick Perkins, and if that were to happen, a playoff contender such as the Cavaliers or the Clippers could look to bring him in as an enforcer for their front line.
All in all, 37 players and no fewer than 12 draft picks changed hands in what was the busiest deadline day in recent memory. It will be interesting to watch all these new pieces try to fit in their new surroundings during the final 30 games of the NBA season.