All along, it seemed as if Orlando had to either trade Dwight Howard prior to the deadline, or more than likely lose him this summer and get nothing in return. Instead, Howard pulled somewhat of a shocker by announcing he wanted to not only stay with the Magic for the remainder of the season, but also opted in on the final year of his contract for 2012-13. Kudos to general manager Otis Smith for hanging onto Howard and not panicking at any point in the offseason or past few months by dealing his star player. Now comes the challenge of trying to find some better talent to surround Howard with this summer.
Los Angeles Clippers
Brian Cook and a second-round pick in 2015 for Nick Young? Yes, please. An injury to Chauncey Billups has left the Clips a little short-handed at the two so they were looking for a true shooting guard. Young knows how to score the basketball and should benefit playing alongside Chris Paul. He is a free agent after the season so this is more than likely just a rental, but since it cost so little, it absolutely was a steal.
Leandro Barbosa for a second-round pick? Sign me up. Indiana had some free cap space meaning it could acquire a player without having to give anybody up in return. Barbosa gives them some added scoring punch off the bench and will be an asset in the postseason. Plus, he is a free agent at the end of the season so giving up a second-rounder for a three-month rental of Barbosa is a great bargain.
Daryl Morey is always one of the most active general managers at the trade deadline, and this year was no different. Houston ultimately gave up three younger players in Jordan Hill, Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn, all of whom have team options for next season and likely weren't going to be part of the Rockets' long-term future, for a pair of veterans in Marcus Camby and Derek Fisher. They will give Houston some valuable leadership and postseason experience as the team looks to improve its playoff standing. Houston also picked an additional first-round pick, meaning it now has three first-rounders in the 2012 NBA Draft. Camby is a free agent after this season and Fisher has a player option for next year, meaning the Rockets were able to make these moves without hurting their future cap space.