NBA Trade Deadline, Who Came Out On Top?
EASTERN CONFERENCE WINNERS
It’s hard to argue that the Toronto Raptors weren’t the biggest winners from by the time the NBA’s trade deadline yesterday. Leading up to the 3PM EST deadline, the Raptors already made a deal which landed them Serge Ibaka for the inconsistent Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round draft pick. On Thursday, they acquired forward P.J. Tucker and gave up only Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks to Phoenix.
The Raptors are trying to repeat their postseason success from a year ago, and many have said that it’s about ‘all-in’ time, the Raptors got better without selling the farm. They got to keep the exciting Norman Powell and the LA Clippers’ first round pick, which is better than the one they traded for Ibaka. But as it stands now, they’re looking at a second round meeting with the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. With their new roster on hand, their goal will be to avoid that scenario, which should be attainable. Aside from the Cavs, the other two teams ahead of the Raps are the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards.
The Washington Wizards added (F) Chris McCullough and (SG) Bojan Bogdanovic by sending the Brooklyn Nets a 2017 first-round pick, (G) Marcus Thornton and (F) Andrew Nicholson. This deal definitely helps the Wizards’ bench which currently sits at 29th place in terms of scoring. Bogdanovic currently averages 14ppg and should fit in nicely when playing alongside Bradley Beal and John Wall.
EASTERN CONFERENCE LOSERS
The Celtics sit at second spot in the Eastern Conference, which may or may not have affected their willingness to make a deal. At the end of the day, they did nothing. No Paul George, and no Jimmy Butler. While they watched the Raptors and Wizards add pieces for their playoff push, the Celtics did nothing – which isn’t a good thing.
They’re in the playoff picture, but they’re not a championship calibre team. To make matters worse, Paul George isn’t happy about how things transpired around the deadline.
Paul George to reporters in Indianapolis ? pic.twitter.com/zjPHGhOYpD
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 24, 2017
George becomes a free agent in 2018, and if he’s not traded before that time, you can expect him to sign with the Lakers. Expect his value to diminish from here on out.
I repeat: Paul George – barring a title chance in Indy – is hell-bent on heading for Laker Land. This message has been sent throughout NBA.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2017
With assets like Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel, the 76ers unloaded one of them, and that was Noel. Unfortunately, what they received in return was less than stellar. The Dallas Mavericks got Noel and it only needed Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a protected (top 18) first round pick.
NEW YORK KNICKS
In the playoff picture, they’re on the outside looking in, again. The Derrick Rose experiment hasn’t panned out the way they wanted to, and now at the trade deadline, they did nothing about it. Well, maybe they couldn’t. They tried to send him to the Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio, but according to Marc Stein from ESPN, they declined the deal. So now Rose’s contract is almost up, and the Knicks risk losing him for nothing.
At the finish line, league sources say, New York was prepared to trade Derrick Rose for Ricky Rubio straight up. But the Wolves balked.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
The Bulls are currently sitting in the playoff picture, but that could change after their deadline day deal. The Bulls can’t shoot, so what did they do? Trade away their best 3pt shooter in Doug McDermott. Okay. They sent him, Taj Gibson, and a 2018 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Cameron Payne. Payne is projected to fight for point guard duties since Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant haven’t done much with Rajon Rondo’s limited playing time.
WESTERN CONFERENCE WINNERS
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Over the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, the Pelicans made the biggest splash by landing highly coveted center (and often disgruntled) DeMarcus Cousins. They traded away Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a first- and second-round draft pick for Cousins and Omri Casspi. Not bad, not bad at all.
The Mavs were able to land a blossoming center and they didn’t need to give up a whole lot to do it. This experiment to see if Noel can fill the void that was left by Tyson Chandler has more reward than risk at this point in time. While Dirk Nowitzki’s career slowly winds down, blowing up the team for a rebuild was never in the cards. Now they add a young piece that can hopefully turn into the player that many thought he could be coming out of Kentucky.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
To some, the Thunder are losers because they broke up the best dance duo in the league.
Aside from that, OKC added much needed shooting talent in the way of Doug McDermott while adding experience, rebounding tenacity and hard-nosed defense with Taj Gibson.
The Rockets added Lou Williams, a man not shy about taking shots, so he’ll fit in nicely with a group that features James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson. Oh, let’s not forget their coach is Mike D’Antoni.
WESTERN CONFERENCE LOSERS
They traded away the best center in the league to play with the best big man in the league for peanuts. Oh, and they apparently had a better deal on the table before they made the trade that they did. That pretty much sums it up.
Kings GM Vlade Divac said he had A BETTER OFFER for Boogie two days ago.
But that you know, that's not the deal he made. pic.twitter.com/ZSnUSixZCo
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 20, 2017