By Nathaniel Lastrapes |Staff Writer|
The 2015 NBA trade deadline was the most active it had been in years, drastically changing the state of the league.
The most sought-after player on the trading block was point guard Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns. Dragic is set to become a free agent after the 2014-15 season, where he will be a hot commodity while seeking a maximum contract from a team.
The Slovenian point guard is averaging 16.3 points and 4.1 assists per game and he brings a plethora of intangible assets to his team.
The evening prior to the deadline, Dragic made his intentions of leaving the Suns during free agency clear, forcing the organization’s hand to trade him for assets instead of losing him for nothing this summer. Dragic also provided the Suns with a “wish list” of three teams he would like to be traded to, a trend that has become popular among superstars recently.
The list included the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, and the New York Knicks.
With only 15 minutes remaining before the deadline, the trade festivities began as 44 players were traded for one another.
Dragic was granted his demands by the Phoenix organization and was traded to the Heat. The Suns acquired two veteran forwards, Danny Granger and John Salmons, along with future first-round draft picks from the Heat.
Dragic was excited with the trade to Miami as he tweeted, “excited to bring the Dragon’s fire to Miami.”
Dragic was not the only player to demand a trade short of the deadline. Reserve point guard Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder demanded a trade just a few hours before the trade deadline.
Jackson is also a sought-after point guard who expressed his sentiment to be traded away from the Thunder due to a poor relationship with his teammates.
Jackson was traded to the Detroit Pistons, and upon hearing the news he took to twitter and stated “crying tears of joy #GodIsGood.”
This trade was not only good for an unhappy Jackson, but the Thunder’s acquisition of center Enes Kanter and guard D.J. Augustin potentially will thrust them into championship contention.
There were many other trades involving many young unknown players, but the most surprising trade was the least expected: veteran forward Kevin Garnett was traded from the Brooklyn Nets back to where he started his professional career, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Garnett, 38, is near the end of his NBA career but a homecoming to Minnesota feels right. Garnett was drafted straight out of high school to the Timberwolves and played with them for 12 years before he was traded to the Boston Celtics where he won his first and only NBA championship.
Garnett spent six years with the Celtics before he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, where he has spent the last year and a half, but the young Minnesota Timberwolves need a veteran voice in the locker room. In his introductory press conference, Garnett said, “I figure if Lebron went home…why can’t I?”
The 2015 NBA trade deadline made for very interesting storylines and has significantly effected the league as the second half of the season is coming to a close.