The NBA trade deadline has passed, and it was a crazy day, to say the least. From contenders getting better to very questionable decisions, it’s time to take a look at the winners and losers.
Winners and Losers of the NBA Trade Deadline
The Miami Heat are the biggest winners of the NBA trade deadline. They acquired Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica. What makes this more special is they only lost Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless, and Chris Silva. Adding Oladipo is clearly a steal, and Bjelica is an upgrade over Olynyk.
Miami is a major winner for trading very little for Oladipo. In a relatively quiet year from the guard, he’s averaging roughly 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. His defense also fits perfectly in Miami’s scheme. Not giving up one of Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson is a MAJOR deal.
Bjelica’s numbers are down this season, but he’s an underrated player in the league. He’s a tough forward that can extend the floor. Bjelica is a solid complement to Bam Adebayo.
The Eastern Conference is very top-heavy, but the Heat increased their chances at another Finals run.
The Chicago Bulls are serious about making the playoffs this season. They acquired All-Star Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu in one trade, and defensive anchor Daniel Theis, Troy Brown, and Javonte Green in another. This came at the expense of Wendell Carter, Otto Porter, Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison, and Luke Kornet. Chicago also gave up two first-round picks.
Sure, Chicago lost youth and assets but added talent and experience. This will also surely get rid of future Zach LaVine trade rumors. Vucevic is averaging roughly 25 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists per game. Aminu and Theis bring a strong veteran presence to the team’s defense. Brown is another solid youth asset.
They’ll be a dark horse if they make the playoffs this season. In addition, they improve as a whole for the future and become a more attractive destination for free agents. The new front office is determined to make successful changes which is the biggest message out of all of this.
Portland Trail Blazers
Powell is averaging nearly 20 points per game on 44 percent shooting from deep. In simpler terms, he’s a cold-blooded shooter. Adding into this, center Jusuf Nurkic is making his return at the end of this week. Portland will be healthy and more lethal than ever.
The Denver Nuggets caught fire early today during the NBA trade deadline and became a more serious contender. They acquired both Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee. They gave up Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and Isaiah Hartenstein, in addition to a couple of picks.
Gordon becomes the team’s starting power forward. He’ll form a lethal frontcourt trio with Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter. Perhaps Denver is the place for Gordon to realize his yet-to-be-untapped potential.
McGee is another nice addition off the bench. He’ll be a defensive option off the bench for Jokic, and not force Denver to rely too heavily on Bol Bol. The big win for Denver was increasing their chances as a contender without giving up Porter
The Dallas Mavericks struck a small and quiet deal, but one that definitely improves the team while conserving all of their offseason cap space.
The main piece of this trade, of course, is Redick. He’s older and his numbers are down, but Dallas needed a shooter. The team’s shooting has been down since trading Seth Curry so Redick fills a void. His shooting numbers will also definitely go up with the open looks he’ll have in a Luka Doncic offense. Dallas had an issue and addressed it. The team isn’t a top contender just yet, but they got better and maintain all their flexibility this summer. That’s always a win.
All in all, after their moves today, Houston turned Harden into Bradley, Olynyk, Dante Exum, and Rodions Kurucs. Of course, plenty of picks were involved, but they didn’t get any players in return to help now.
It’s clear Houston is going into tank mode, but their haul for these players is an outright embarrassment.
The Toronto Raptors were rumored to be involved in many trades, specifically with Kyle Lowry, but not much came to fruition. They acquired Trent and Hood for Powell, but Powell has been one of their best players all season. Trent is a nice piece to have, and a promising prospect, but Powell was already there.
It looks likely that Lowry will be gone this offseason, so Toronto should have gotten something in return. Perhaps the offers weren’t all too enticing, but some assets are better than none. They also dealt Terence Davis and Matt Thomas for second-round picks, seemingly clearing space, but nothing happened. It was a mismanaged NBA trade deadline in Toronto.
The Boston Celtics made a solid move in acquiring Evan Fournier. He’s a strong scorer and shooter who they got for relatively cheap. With that being said, they’ve been struggling and didn’t directly need Fournier.
What Boston needed (and still needs) is a tough interior presence. What they did instead was deal their top defensive center for Moritz Wagner. He’s not anywhere near as talented or gritty as Theis and is a very underwhelming rebounder.
Boston could’ve elevated their contender status by acquiring a tough center, like Andre Drummond perhaps. Instead, they went against their needs.
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