The trade deadline has come and gone for the NBA and some waves have been made through some teams but not enough to make this season a game changer. I’ll analyze the more important moves throughout the past week that make teams more dangerous and changes the scope of the NBA potentially.
Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans:
How could I not start with this blockbuster trade? Any time a team trades their best player, a once in a lifetime player to another team it has to be talked about through the masses. The Kings traded arguably the best Center in the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins, for what some call a steal, and others say otherwise and feel that NOLA gave up too much. The pelicans received Demarcus Cousins, and in return, the kings received SF/SG Tyreke Evans, PG/SG Buddy Hield, SG/SF Langston Galloway, and their draft picks for this year’s draft.
- PG- Small Forward
- SG- Shooting Guard
- SF- Small Forward
- PF- Power Forward
- C- Center
Now, I believe that this trade was good for both sides, although it does seem as if the pelicans are entering a “win now” mentality because of how they gutted their team for a superstar big men to coincide with their star Anthony Davis to form a devastating frontcourt. This trade does help out the Kings because they get rid of a problem in the locker room, and it gives them the chance to enter a rebuilding stage because they felt they could no longer build around “Boogie” Cousins. HOWEVER, this move does put the Kings a step back because, if they do not hit big with this draft, everyone’s eyes will be on the front office for making that move. The same also could be said for the pelicans, because they potentially got rid of their future for Cousins, with giving up an almost guaranteed lottery pick in this year’s stellar draft (This year’s draft prospects are top notch and will have one the best draft classes since the notorious 03’ draft class). The pelicans are lucky that loyalty and people’s word are key things that Cousins believe in so he may resign with them long term so they can build a future around him and Davis and become a force to be wrecking with in future seasons. To know who got the short end of the stick in this draft, we’ll have to see how each team does in the next 2 seasons because if Cousins resigns, then that means he’s all in and committed to the team, and the Kings organization has to rebuild correctly to legitimize the trade.
Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic:
This trade also shakes up some waves in the Eastern Conference as the Raptors look to enhance their front court as well. The Orlando Magic trade PF/C Serge Ibaka to the Raptors for their SF/SG Terrence Ross and a first round pick in this year’s draft.
Again, I feel as if both teams got a benefit from this deal. The Raptors add another rim protector to their team who can also space the floor with Ibaka’s improving 3-point jumper. The move also helps the Raptors contend against the reigning champion Cavaliers if they meet in the Eastern Conference finals or before. As for the magic, it cleans up their crowded front court that hindered Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic and adds another scorer to the team in Terrance Ross, that can help fill the void that was left when Victor Oladipo made being traded to the Thunder for Ibaka. The first round pick is negligible for the Raptors because their pick would’ve been late in the draft, although a stellar draft, so they felt as if it was a bargaining chip to a more struggling team looking to rebuild through a draft. Plus, the Raptors are in a “win now” mentality, after being handled by the Cavaliers last season in the Eastern Conference Finals, they want to contend and make a Finals appearance of their own. To see who gets the better of the trade, we’ll have to see how well the Raptors do in the playoffs for his contract duration.
Dallas Mavericks and Philly 76ers:
The Dallas Mavericks get more athleticism and youth with this trade where the 76ers are just moving the excess big men they’ve drafted. The Mavericks made a deal with the 76ers for PF/C Nerlens Noel for C Andrew Bogut.
This move impacts the Mavericks because it adds a new athletic and young big to a team that can do damage in the west with newly acquired offseason pickup Harrison Barnes. This gives them a rim protector and a hustle player who will do the dirty work that future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki can no longer do. The 76ers get rid of a crowded front court, with rookie Joel Embiid coming back from injury last season and Jahlil Okafor, it can now allow them to space the floor better and get used of their bigs. The 76ers will plan to release C Andrew Bogut for roster space, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers intend to sign him for a late playoff run, in which bodies will be more important than ever. The Mavs get more of a benefit because they get rid of a player who served them no use, the 76ers can’t really get a win because as an organization they “tank” on purpose to try and build a team through the draft but hasn’t worked over the past seasons.
Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls:
The Oklahoma City Thunder give away, what seems like nothing, for credible players from the Bulls. The Thunder give away G Cameron Payne, C Joffrey Lauvergne, and G Anthony Morrow for PF Taj Gibson and SF Doug McDermott.
This trade makes the Thunder more powerful in the west as it seems that the front office has tried to answer some of star PG Russell Westbrooks prayers and attempted to give him some help. Along with another rim protector and undercover passer/veteran acquiring McDermott adds to their offensive firepower that was lacking since the departure of Durant. The Bulls get younger with players that they can develop and can work with their contracts easier than they could with McDermott and Gibson, and can focus on getting support for Butler and Wade. The winner of this trade, I believe is the Thunder because they receive more of an upside than the Bulls do, those players can provide more of an impact earlier than those now on the bulls.
These were the trades that I found to be the most impactful from the trade deadline, and can actually change the scope for some teams for seasons to come. Let’s see how this season plays out and see if the expected occurs.