Point guards moving quickly made the NBA trade deadline a transition game.
Goran Dragic, Michael Carter-Williams, Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight all were dealt Thursday in the final hours that trades were allowed, as a number of teams handed their keys to different drivers.
There were so many players on the move in deals agreed to shortly before the noon PST deadline that most of the transactions were still awaiting NBA approval hours later.
Dragic and Jackson were two players to watch on deadline day, because neither was expected to remain with his team after this season. Both their teams opted to move them rather than risk losing them for nothing.
Phoenix sent Dragic to Miami, getting two first-round picks and a package of players for the Slovenian, a third-team All-NBA selection last season. The Suns filled his spot by acquiring Knight from Milwaukee in a three-team deal with Philadelphia, which sent Carter-Williams to the Bucks.
"I did feel it was time to find a better fit," Dragic wrote on Twitter, adding "NOW it's #heatnation time and I'm excited to bring the Dragon's fire to Miami!!"
Zoran Dragic, Goran's brother, also went from Phoenix to Miami.
Jackson, who began the season replacing an injured Russell Westbrook, now will step in for the sidelined Brandon Jennings. The Oklahoma City Thunder sent Jackson to Detroit in a three-way trade that included Utah.
Even backup point guards seemed in demand, with players such as Isaiah Thomas (Boston), Ramon Sessions (Washington), Andre Miller (Sacramento), D.J. Augustin (Oklahoma City), Norris Cole (New Orleans) and Pablo Prigioni (Houston) getting new homes.
The flurry of moves ended a busy season of swaps in which contenders such as Cleveland, Memphis and Dallas refused to wait for the last minute to get their dealing done, having upgraded long ago.
Other teams had their chance Thursday, and Portland may have done it with the first completed deal of the day when it acquired Arron Afflalo from Denver.
"Arron is a proven winner with playoff experience who will be easily integrated into our culture," Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey said. "He possesses a skill set that complements our style of play on both ends of the floor and will make an immediate impact as we continue our playoff push."
Carter-Williams was the 11th overall pick in 2013 for the 76ers. He was averaging 15 points, 7.4 assists and 6.2 rebounds this season.
"I can't lie I'm shocked. I love this city thank you for everything," Carter-Williams posted on Twitter. "I can honestly say I gave it my all. I wish Philly nothing but the best."
Knight, drafted eighth overall in 2011 by Detroit, was traded to Milwaukee before the 2013-14 season for Jennings. Knight was averaging 17.8 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds with the Bucks.
Garnett back to Timberwolves
Garnett's return to Minnesota won't be for just one final victory lap.
The Timberwolves also want to sign the 38-year-old Garnett to a new two-year deal this summer after his current deal expires, according to one of the people. That ensures Minnesota will have him on the court as a veteran mentor for a young roster that includes point guard Ricky Rubio, No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad.
A person familiar with the situation said the Utah Jazz traded Enes Kanter to the Oklahoma City Thunder for fellow center Kendrick Perkins. Kanter, 22, is averaging 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He is eligible for restricted free agency after the season.
Amare Stoudemire's debut with the Dallas Mavericks will have to wait a few days. President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said the newly signed forward probably would play Sunday against Charlotte. Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle said that he wanted to give Stoudemire more time to get acclimated.