The trade deadline kicked off in earnest yesterday with a few trades that shook up the NBA landscape. The Orlando Magic were in the middle of the most consequential trades, dealing off a few substantial efforts and clearing some cap space, but the Hornets, Grizzlies, Heat, and Clippers also appear to be positioning themselves for runs at different types of players.
The big news from yesterday was Orlando's trade with Detroit, in which they sent out Tobias Harris to Detroit in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova. While it's not terribly surprising to see the Magic move on from Harris, it does seem like they could have gotten more value for him than two expiring veterans with middling ability.
The Magic weren't done. Yesterday evening, Woj broke news of a tentative agreement between the Clippers and the Magic that would send Channing Fry to LA in exchange for Lance Stephenson's corpse, CJ Wilcox, and a potential second rounder. Orlando would likely waive Stephenson, clearing more money off of their future cap and opening up a roster spot in the process.
While the two teams have agreed to terms for this deal, the Clippers are reportedly working on an even bigger deal that would cancel this one if it goes through. However, it is purported that this deal (Blake Griffin?!?) is a long shot, making the most likely scenario an agreement for Frye. For my money, Frye is a great fit for that Clippers team, and almost makes too much sense as a third big next to Griffin and DeAndre Jordan?
Sources: Clippers are working on a bigger deal using Stephenson's contract, but that is a longshot. Most likely scenario still Orlando deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 17, 2016
It seems that these few moves may be the product of a change in approach from Magic management. After displeasure with last season's finish, ownership has apparently declared a mandate to reach the playoffs this year. It doesn't seem to me as if these moves have expedited that process, but it's more likely that these are precursors to some bigger moves in the next few days.
In non-Magic news, the Charlotte Hornets have continued their complete makeover from the last few seasons. After disappointing last year, they've remade themselves in the image of a 3-point shooting, run and gun team, and yesterday's trade continued that trend. In a three-team trade, the Hornets shipped out Brian Roberts and PJ Hairston, while securing Courtney Lee from the Grizzlies. Memphis secured four second round picks from the Miami Heat and the Hornets, while the Heat shipped out Chris Andersen's contract in exchange for Roberts.
There has been speculation that the Hornets are interested in a potential Dwight Howard trade with Houston. They've positioned themselves as clear buyers this year, and Howard would allow them to be competitive in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
What does this mean for the Sixers? It's changed the positions of a couple teams around the league, allowing more flexibility for Sixers' trades. The Pistons are likely done maneuvering, but the Magic suddenly seem a lot more likely to deal some of their younger players, and more open to different types of players than we may have previously expected. More importantly, the Magic and Hornets both turning themselves into clear buyers allows two extra opportunities for the Sixers' to join trades as a third party to grease the wheels. With all of Wednesday and Thursday left until the deadline, this trade season has already gotten a lot more interesting.