While you were busy picking pieces of your brain off the floor as a result of yesterday's chaotic deadline finish, reactions started pouring in from all across the web from both players and the media. Let's take you through what we've gathered so far.
Bradford Doolittle's Grade: B+
While trading Knight is a shocker to many Bucks fans, the move is defensible even in a vacuum. When you look at the actual deal in terms of the assets the Bucks got in return, it was a nice bit of dealing. There might be a short-term hit, but they are better positioned in the big picture.
Now Milwaukee has a strong, deep collection of quality prospects: Ennis, Carter-Williams, Middleton, John Henson, Plumlee, Antetokounmpo and Parker, and if the buyout with Sanders is completed, the Bucks will have an uncomplicated cap future. The probable short-term, offensive downgrade in losing Knight is the only thing keeping this move from being an A for Milwaukee.
Carter-Williams is better at getting his teammates involved, posting higher ratings than Knight in both True Facilitation and Assist+ per 100 Chances. Take into account the teammates Carter-Williams has had and the numbers are even more impressive. Playing alongside Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jared Dudley should help Carter-Williams raise his passing numbers even more.
One weakness for the Bucks this season has been turnovers. The Bucks have the third-most turnovers in the NBA on the season, and while the stats show MCW turns the ball over more per game than Knight, when put on the level playing field of Turnovers per 100 Touches, it's Knight at 6.3 who commits more turnovers than Carter-Williams at 5.5.
Vantage Sports' comparison of Knight vs. MCW, offering further insight into things we'd expect (MCW is the better playmaker and defender, Knight the better shooter) while also disproving some conventional raw-stat "wisdom" (MCW's turnover rate is actually lower despite his raw turnover number being higher). Be sure to check out the entire analysis.
Plumlee is a solid center when given limited minutes and small responsibilities. Ennis could develop into a high-quality point guard, though he's still quite young and inexperienced.
But the confusing part of this trade is how the Milwaukee management could possibly have thought Michael Carter-Williams was superior to Knight.
He's not. Unequivocally.
Carter-Williams may be the reigning Rookie of the Year, but he'll have trouble helping the Milwaukee defense remain one of the best in the league, and he can't shoot from anywhere but right around the basket. Plus, he's been playing a turnover-happy brand of basketball on the uptempo Sixers.
The ridiculous wingspan combination of Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be fun. And maybe the reigning ROY will have a huge breakthrough in the near future. Plus, he's operating on a rookie contract, while Knight is going to be a free agent this summer and would have commanded a hefty price, so there are certainly positives to the move.
But a team that was a playoff lock in the East and had emerged as one of the most overlooked squads in the whole NBA just took a serious step back in the present."
Well that's one way to look at it -- and statistically unsupported based on the numbers mentioned earlier.
At this point in their careers, MCW is probably a step or two below Knight . That's a fair assessment. But viewing the deal with such a narrow scope ignores the long-term impact of the deal. But whatever.
"Out of left field comes this swap of intriguing picks and prospects, most of which had kept out of the pre-deadline rumor mill. Knight is the best player involved and could be had largely for what he will eventually cost. This is Knight's last year under the rookie scale, after which teams around the league will be forced to price his contributions.
Steady development has made Knight a fringe All-Star and a stable leader for the sixth-seeded Bucks, though in a league overflowing with quality point guards he isn't the hottest commodity. Milwaukee passed on the dilemma of offering him a new deal this summer and in return landed Carter-Williams who is a cheaper prospect with the size and athleticism to fit its strategy on both ends. Carter-Williams has a lot to prove in terms of becoming as helpful an offensive player as Knight, though one can trace the logic in Milwaukee's acquisition."
Sports Illustrated (again)
"Their bet is that Knight is a good, but not great point guard who would have been overvalued by unique market conditions and his career-year performance. That's a reasonable bet. By taking on Carter-Williams, the Bucks will enjoy paying him just $2.4 million next year and $3.2 million in 2016-17. It's possible Knight earns something like five or six times that money over the next two seasons, and not even his biggest fans would argue he's five or six times better than Carter-Williams.
Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd will add the long, tall Carter-Williams to a lineup that's already overwhelming with its wingspan. Kidd will look to narrow Carter-Williams' role, as he simply was asked to do too much with too little help in Philadelphia. Carter-Williams' size and versatility should appeal to Kidd, even if Knight has been a much better perimeter shooter and a more polished player this season. A season-ending knee injury to 2014 No. 2 pick Jabari Parker gives Milwaukee some time to work these things out, and perhaps it decided that Carter-Williams' contract scale was better aligned with Parker's and Giannis Antetokounmpo's."
I think it's safe to say that anyone's opinion on this deal depends on what lens you view it through. If you were worried that Knight wasn't a great fit and were hoping to sell high, you're probably pretty happy right now. If you felt the opposite, you're probably scratching your head a bit more. As usual--and say it with me, audience--WE! WILL! SEE!
The Bucks just acquired the next Jason Kidd in Michael Carter-Williams.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 20, 2015
What I can say is I am excited to be a Buck! Time to work!— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) February 19, 2015
I'm also really excited to get to Milwaukee and continue the playoff push. Can't wait to learn from one of the greatest PGs of all time.— Tyler Ennis (@tdot_ennis) February 19, 2015