New broadcast deal leaves NBA teams cagey on deadline day

©  Mark D. Smith
The NBA's annual trade deadline saw a flurry of activity, but anyone looking for major moves would have been left sorely disappointed.

Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Kevin Love were amongst the big-name players linked with moves elsewhere, but with clubs eyeing a rising salary cap, strong free agency and a new broadcast deal this summer, those trades never materialized.

The Washington Wizards boosted their play-off hopes by acquiring Markieff Morris from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and a protected first-round pick.

Interim Coach Kurt Rambis said the trade deadline was a good opportunity to make some changes ahead of the run-in.

"There's probably, maybe two teams in the league that feel like they don't have to make any improvement or adjustment," he said.

"But everybody else feels like there's areas that we can improve our ballclub, so those are things that we discussed.

"The reality is all of these rumors and all this talk that's gone on, 99 percent of it never is going to happen."

Elsewhere, Jeff Green went from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Clippers for Lance Stephenson and a protected 2019 first-round pick, while the Cleveland Cavaliers brought in Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic.

Clippers boss Doc Rivers said he was delighted to get Green on board: "I really wanted more length. When you look at the teams we have to beat, we need to get longer, more athletic and we need to increase our shooting."

"And I think with Jeff we did all three of those things – I thought of all the things that were offered he was the best available for us."

The Detroit Pistons completed their second deal of the week, taking Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round draft pick.

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The Chicago Bulls traded Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team deal that saw Shelvin Mack join the Utah Jazz, with Justin Holiday heading to the Bulls. They also received a future second-round pick from the Jazz.

The Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers all made minor trades, but with the NBA's new nine-year, $24 billion broadcast deal set to kick in at the start of the 2016/17 season, teams seemed reluctant to acquire players who could be free agents and command huge pay when the salary cap rises to around $90 million in July.

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