Signs began to pop up yesterday that the Sixers deadline deal was in murky territory, and the worst-case scenario has played out. Detroit is voiding their acquisition of Donatas Motiejunas, which nullifies the Sixers move to acquire a second-round pick at the trade deadline.
Yahoo's Shams Charania was first to the story:
Houston's 3-team trade of Donatas Motiejunas is in process of being voided by Detroit in accordance with the NBA, sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 22, 2016
The aftermath is multi-faceted for Philadelphia; the Sixers lose out on another second-round pick for the war chest in addition to having cut JaKarr Sampson for no reason, with Sampson having subsequently signed in Denver this afternoon. It's far from crippling, but it's a small gut punch to lose a likable, hard-working character to make room for a voided trade.
This brings to mind a question -- if some of the Sixers actions in a chain of events are tossed out the window, why not all of them? The waiver wire is an entity of its own, but there's a clear case to be made that Sampson's cut is inherently tied to their need to absorb Joel Anthony's contract. If Detroit is allowed to back out of the deal thanks to new information, the Sixers shouldn't be locked into corresponding decisions that helped facilitate the dead trade.
With Sampson gone, however, this provides an opportunity for the Sixers to shift gears with the last roster spot. Projects like Sampson symbolized the end-of-bench types they brought in the last few years, but the big-laden core could use as much wing shooting around them as possible, and I'd like to see the open roster spot used to work toward that goal.
One tiny sliver of positivity from all this: Chu Chu Maduabum remains with the Sixers! Now you have an excuse to continue following professional basketball in Finland.