- First of all, the Hawks (and Danny Ferry specifically) decided to hang on to Josh Smith. I wrote up a full post on this (seen here), but there are pros and cons to this "move". Obviously, I wanted Josh Smith to be shipped out, and I felt like there almost had to be a package out there that was worthy of taking. With that said, if there literally wasn't one deal that provided a) expiring contracts and a pick, or b) a young, quality asset combined with expirings, then holding onto Smith (and subsequently, next year's flexibility) is the right move. The two "publicized" trade offers came from Milwaukee and Brooklyn, and while both deals weren't complete disasters, they both featured the Hawks taking on some serious money past this season, and that was something that Ferry was adamantly against. Letting him go in the off-season or getting a small haul in a sign-and-trade is just fine, but the real choice comes in July.
- The "biggest" deadline deal surrounded JJ Redick and his move to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks acquired Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ish Smith in exchange for Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb, and expiring contract Beno Udrih. On the Milwaukee side, they obviously get the best player in the deal in Redick, but with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings still manning the backcourt, it's unclear what the plan was. Also, this is a pure rental for Redick, as his contract expires, and I'm not sure what this deal really does for their playoff hopes other than ensuring that they make the playoffs as the 8th seed. I'd love to see Milwaukee let Ellis go (they should be praying that he waives his player option) and re-sign Redick to pair with Jennings going forward. For Orlando, they moved an expiring in Redick (he wasn't re-signing there) for some small value. Tobias Harris is the "prize" for them, as a 20-year-old who is already an active contributor in the league. Otherwise, business as usual for the woeful Magic.
- The Hawks made two trades! First, Atlanta dealt Anthony Morrow to the Mavs for Dahntay Jones. On the surface, this was a "huh?" trade, but in the end, it's basically a pure salary dump. Both guys have expiring contracts, but Atlanta will save about $400,000 in real cash for the rest of the season, and that's the reason for the deal. Apparently, Larry Drew had decided that Morrow wouldn't be returning to the rotation, and they moved him for a cheaper piece with a different skillset. There was certainly an argument that Morrow's skills overlapped with Korver and Jenkins, so Jones provides a defense-first, athletic wing to pair with the oft-injured Stevenson. The second deal is even smaller, as the Warriors send young big man Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta for a conditional 2nd-round pick. Tyler has the distinction of being the first guy to leave high school early to turn pro, but the 20-year-old is really raw, and has only played 63 minutes in his career. It's a flier.
- There were also three "peripheral deals" that could, at least mildly, affect things in the league this year. Jordan Crawford is bound for Boston in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins. Crawford could provide some scoring punch for a Boston team that needed a guard, and while I hate his game, he's very talented. They also dealt absolutely nothing for him, and I have no idea why Washington would do this, even if we're assuming that Crawford wanted out. Eric Maynor has finally been dealt by OKC. He lands in Portland and immediately becomes their best bench player, and OKC gets the rights to a European player, but the prize is a trade exception that lasts until next year's deadline. Finally, OKC made another deal and acquired Ronnie Brewer from the Knicks for a 2014 2nd-round pick. Brewer seems semi-redundant with Thabo Sefolosha, but he's a little bigger, and provides another body to throw at Lebron in the Finals should they get that far. They got him for nothing, and this is a nice depth move.
In the end, this was a let-down of a trade deadline, but it provided endless hours of chatter and it's the best. Enjoy the festivities.