It has been a very busy trade deadline day in the NBA, as a record 37 players changed their teams! This is arguably the wildest and most interesting of deadline days in whole history of the league. In this article we will discuss the trades that happened and which teams are thought to be the biggest winners or losers.
Miami Heat – Pat Riley has once again outdone himself, by getting Goran Dragic, while not losing any important players. The Heat acquired the Dragic brothers from the Phoenix Suns, while sending Danny Granger, a 2017 first round draft pick and a 2021 first round draft pick to the Suns and Norris Cole, Shawne Williams and Justin Hamilton to the New Orleans Pelicans. This is maybe the best example of addition by subtraction. The Miami Heat retained their core of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside and added to their roster one of the best point-guard in the NBA. It will be very interesting to see whether Goran Dragic will resign with the Heat in the summer, but for now there is no reason he wouldn’t.
Oklahoma City Thunder – the bench was one of the biggest problems of OKC last season, but now it looks like they made quite an improvement. The Thunder send Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons and Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett and 2017 first round draft pick to the Utah Jazz, but were able to acquire Enes Kanter, Steve Novak, D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler and a 2019 second round draft pick. Reggie Jackson made a lot of comments in which he requested a trade, so he shouldn’t be even counted as a loss. The players that the Thunder acquired are very good role players and would definitely help them a lot in the playoffs – D.J. Augustin played great for the Bulls in last season’s playoffs, Steve Novak has the veteran experience and three-point touch, while Enes Kanter is no doubt an upgrade over Kendrick Perkins.
Milwaukee Bucks – there were rumors that Michael Carter-Williams could be moved on deadline day, but nobody really believed that the 76ers would trade the former Rookie of the Year. Nevertheless, they did and the Milwaukee Bucks are the lucky team that acquired him. The Bucks lost Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall in the process, as they were sent to the Phoenix Suns, but getting MCW, Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis is definitely a bargain deal. I expect MCW to be a great player under Jason Kidd and he will surely help them a lot in the future.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett is back to where it all began. The Timberwolves were able to pull a very nice deal, as they sent Thaddeus Young to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Garnett. Minnesota got a player, that is not going to help them a lot by posting great statistical numbers, but he will definitely help their youngsters to grow. Garnett is born leader and he will be able to show everybody on the team how things are supposed to be done. Furthermore, it is widely known that Garnett has ownership aspirations so Minnesota would be the perfect place for him to continue his post-player career.
Phoenix Suns – I can’t imagine a team that lost more than the Suns. Not only that they traded the Dragic brothers, they also sent Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics. It’s very hard to see them stay competitive this season, as they didn’t get such quality players in return. For these two deals, Phoenix got in return Danny Granger, John Salmons, a 2017 first round draft pick, a 2021 first round draft pick, Brandon Knight, Kendall Marshall and Marcus Thornton. The Suns got a lot of players in return, but not even Brandon Knight is in the same league as Goran Dragic or Isaiah Thomas. I expect them to sink fast in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks – both teams share the same fate, they tried to make a significant trade, but they lacked the pieces to do it. The Lakers and Knicks were in the list of teams that Goran Dragic stated he would like to play, however they couldn’t get him to choose either of them. The Lakers front office couldn’t execute a single move, while the Knicks sent Pablo Prigioni to the Rockets and acquired Alexey Shved, a 2017 second round pick and a 2019 second round pick.
Denver Nuggets – the Nuggets were expected to be one of the biggest players on trade deadline day, however they couldn’t manage to do what they had planned. Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee were sent to the Portland Trail Blazers, but the players that Denver got in return weren’t what they really wanted. Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton and a 1 2016 first round pick were acquired by the Nuggets – a little bit less from the real price of Afflalo. The other deal that the Nuggets executed was the one in which they sent Javale McGee, a 2015 first round pick and the rights Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the 76ers in exchange for acquiring the rights to Cenk Akyol, which was more of a financial deal than anything else.