The 2019 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and there were plenty of deals that went down. Now, it’s time to start working through them to see what they mean for each team.
One of the busiest teams this season was the Los Angeles Clippers. After moving Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers in a blockbuster trade earlier in the week, they got in on the deadline day action as well. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers agreed to a deal that will send Mike Muscala to the Lakers in exchange for Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley.
This is a relatively minor deal, but it’s still one worth taking a look at. Here are the grades for each team.
Los Angeles Clippers: B+
Los Angeles receives:
- Ivica Zubac
- Michael Beasley (to be waived)
Earlier this week, the Clippers made one of the biggest moves of the season when they shipped a package centered around Tobias Harris to the Sixers for Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler and a number of interesting picks. Now, they’ve continued their wheeling and dealing by immediately rerouting Muscala.
Muscala won’t have to go very far, however, as this is a rare hallway trade between the two Staples Center roommates. In exchange for the reserve big man, the Clippers got Beasley, who they’ll immediately waive, and Zubac.
This is another nice bit of business for the Clips. Muscala meant nothing to their team, and it’s already pretty clear that he’s at best a role player in the league. Meanwhile, Zubac has shown some flashes of real potential and is still just 21 years old. They’ll get a few months to really evaluate him down the stretch here, and if they like what they see, they can re-sign him once he hits restricted free agency in the summer. If not, they can let him walk and free up another roster spot and more cap space. And it didn’t cost them anything.
Los Angeles Lakers: C-
Los Angeles receives:
- Mike Muscala
The Lakers didn’t make the one trade they were hoping for, as the Pelicans decided to hold on to Anthony Davis. However, they did make a few minor moves around the deadline. The first of which, acquiring Reggie Bullock for Svi Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick, was a nice move.
This one isn’t as much of a win for the Lake Show. It will likely just be a reshuffling of the decks, but there’s some danger it could turn into a big loss. They’ve had a few seasons now to evaluate Zubac, and while the big man has flashed some potential, they clearly aren’t interested in his second contract. Meanwhile, according to reports, Beasley was recently involved in the heated altercation with head coach Luke Walton, and this seems like just an excuse to get him out of the locker room. He wasn’t playing much, and they have too many distractions already.
In return, they’ll get Muscala, who spent the first half of the season with the Sixers. Theoretically, Muscala is a floor-spacing big man who can improve the team’s shooting and help open up the offense. However, Muscala is shooting just 34 percent on 3s this season and has proven to be pretty inconsistent. It seems unlikely he’ll make much of an impact over the rest of the season, and is set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Additionally, the trade allows the Lakers to open up a roster spot for buyout season. Hello, Carmelo Anthony?
Most likely, this is a trade no one remembers in a few years, though there is certainly a bit of risk for the Lakers that they’ll look foolish for giving up on Zubac so soon.