Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 2.82
Indiana Pacers Receive: Lance Stephenson & Terrence Ross
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Nikola Vucevic & Doug McDermott
Utah Jazz Receive: Tyreke Evans & DJ Augustin
Orlando Magic Receive: Ricky Rubio, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Edmond Sumner & Indiana’s 2020 First Round Pick & Los Angeles Lakers 2020 First Round Pick
This trade came together over the span of three hours last night. At first this was merely the Pacers going after and acquiring Lance Stephenson, again. Then it began to spiral into a Charlie Kelly moment of how many teams could benefit from one trade.
Breaking down this trade,
The Indiana Pacers have taken another step forward this season. With Myles Turner & Domantas Sabonis both taking major leaps the Pacers are sitting third in the East and are pieces away from being even tougher. Fact is the Pacers have taken this leap without much help from any of their free agent signings. Tyreke Evans and Doug McDermott have been more or less flops so far in Indiana. So, the Pacers deal both and regain Lance Stephenson the spark plug of the team who is no worse than Evans. Along with this the addition of Terrence Ross is made to fill the spot for McDermott. Ross is more athletic and with his shooting ability he’s a piece the Pacers lack off the bench. Big benefit of this as well is the Pacers get the final two years of McDermott's ($7 million a year) contract off of the books.
The Lakers see there’s an opportunity to make a run in the playoffs so they strengthen their roster without losing youth. They acquire Vucevic because quite frankly despite how well JaVale McGee has played to this point the All-Star caliber season Vucevic is having could lift the Lakers. Not to mention, the Lakers don’t have a center going into the future, perhaps Vucevic plays his way into the future. McDermott is slightly expensive for what he is, yet he’s still a very young, good three point shooter something the Lakers lack. Not to mention LeBron James is known to elevate the numbers of shooters.
It’s been a turbulent season for the Utah Jazz to this point as they sit 10th in the West (20-21). Biggest issue with the Jazz is the lack of offense and players who can create their own offense. Donovan Mitchell hasn’t played with a definite number two scorer or someone who can go out and get a bucket. For this purpose the Jazz sell on Ricky Rubio who has had a terrible shooting season. The Jazz in return get Tyreke Evans from the Pacers and DJ Augustin from the Magic. The Jazz get a second ball handling shot creator in Evans who likely would see his usage increase. While DJ Augustin is having one of his best years in efficiency and scoring, he’d be an instant offensive boost over Rubio.
Lastly, the Orlando Magic. Although the Magic are still very much alive in the playoff race, I don’t see the benefit of chasing that with a vet loaded roster. The young guys in Orlando are in need of run time. For that purpose and looking at the future the Magic begin a fire sale. They dish off Vucevic for the purpose they shouldn’t and likely wouldn’t re-sign him. For Vucevic the Magic receive Kentavious Caldwell-Pope & the Lakers 2020 First Round Pick. Furthermore the Magic get two point guards in this deal, a position where the Magic have desperately been in search of a long term answer. Ricky Rubio is the proven true playmaking point guard who they’d have the cap space to bring back long term, his shooting is the one question mark. Edmond Sumner is a very young raw guard who could develop into an offensive weapon. Along with Sumner, the Pacers tag on their likely late first-round draft pick in 2020.