Finally, the trade deadline is done and dusted. As expected, there was plenty of movement on deadline day with teams striking very important deals for their own objectives.
While some contenders got a lot better, up and coming teams have managed to quicken their own rebuild process. Not to mention, there are some teams who may have set themselves up for failure by trading away valuable assets or by not making any moves at all!
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the NBA trade deadline.
Acquiring Clint Capela and Waiving Chandler Parsons
When it comes to pure winners since the NBA trade deadline, the Atlanta Hawks headline the league. They managed to acquire defensive star Clint Capela to fortify a very poor defensive unit. Capela is a big-time defensive player who is a double-double machine and can be a key cog to the Hawks lineup now and in the future.
Capela will be there to defend the paint and clean up any of Trae Young’s misses. Not to mention, Young lobs to Capela will replicate much of Houston’s offense in year’s past.
Another key move was moving on from Chandler Parsons. He has had unbelievably bad luck with injuries and just doesn’t seem to be an NBA caliber player anymore. Finding a way to move him was another great move by Atlanta.
Golden State Warriors
Andre Wiggins and Draft Picks
Losing Kevin Durant was a major loss this season for the Warriors, and it effectively ended their season as they have pretty much shut down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But they finally managed to acquire their small forward of the future in the ultra-athletic Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins is a perfect fit with Golden State, who will utilize his quickness and athleticism to score on the break and possibly get defensive stops. A lineup with Curry, Klay, Wiggins, and Draymond Green is good enough to contend for a title once again next year when everyone is healthy.
In a nutshell, Wiggins is by far the better fit with the Golden State Warriors than Russell ever dreamed of being. Acquiring some important draft considerations doesn’t hurt them either, and they look primed for a title run next year.
Acquire Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, move on from Waiters and Johnson
Once again, Miami made big-money moves to boost their title chances in the East. While they are not the favorites just yet, acquiring former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and defensive stalwart Jae Crowder makes them tougher and just better. Iggy is well-rested and motivated and wants to be in the playoffs once again. Crowder is a 3-and-D guy who can help Butler and Iggy on the defensive end.
Perhaps most importantly, they finally got rid of both Dion Waiters and James Johnson. Waiters have been a problem in the locker room and seem to be on the complete opposite page of head coach Eric Spoelstra. Johnson also has been left out of many games this year for being out of shape, which he didn’t like either. Needless to say, both are gone and two locker room guys are added to make the Heat a better team.
Los Angeles Clippers
Acquiring key role player in Marcus Morris
Marcus Morris is truly an amazing role player, and he has found his new home with the Los Angeles Clippers. While he isn’t an All-Star, Morris does everything on the court to help you win games including hit the three, play tough defense, provide energy on the court, and hustle for loose balls.
Morris is a clear upgrade for the Clippers, who have added another key defensive player who plays hard similar to Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell.
Morris would’ve helped the Spurs if he joined them this offseason, before reneging to join the Knicks, but now he has a chance to help the Clippers win an NBA title. Clearly a smart move by Morris.
Finally pairing D’Angelo Russell with KAT
Finally, the Minnesota Timberwolves got their man. After Wiggins looked clearly misplaced on the roster, he is gone to be replaced by All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell and KAT are very close friends, and playing with each other will surely motivate them to play hard and be great on the floor.
Russell is a 20-PPG scorer and will help this team immediately, who did not benefit from the inconsistent outside shooting and lackadaisical defense played by Andrew Wiggins.
Russell is clearly an upgrade, and the Timberwolves roster is finally looking like it could be a factor in the near future. Keeping KAT happy is the ultimate priority, and they may have found a way to keep him motivated in Minnesota in the long-run. This was a great move by Minnesota.
Giving Andre Drummond away for nothing
No doubt the biggest loser in the trading deadline was the Detroit Pistons. They simply gave up their only All-Sar talent for basically nothing.
John Henson and Brandon Knight are two after-thoughts, and they did not even receive any worthy draft considerations. While it was very likely that Drummond was going to sign elsewhere this offseason (although he had pledged his allegiance to the Pistons), they surely could have got a better deal from any team even if it was a short-term rental. At the very least, keep Drummond until the end of the season if there aren’t any reasonable packages out there.
Anyways, the rebuild of Detroit is finally underway and it seems that they want to tank this season starting from now. If they manage to fall to the bottom of the East, this might turn out to be a decent movie. But as of now, they are the biggest losers.
New York Knicks
Not acquiring D’Lo or Kyle Kuzma
As usual, the Knicks fail to make any noteworthy moves before the trade deadline. Their reputation is just completely damaged, and not a single player wants to play there anymore. Failing to acquire the likes of Kyle Kuzma or D’Angelo Russell was a big failure, as they were clearly available, and they are stuck with an even worse roster after the departure of Marcus Morris.
There doesn’t seem to be a way out for the struggling Knicks unless they manage to change ownership, because their reputation is just too poor for any player to consider.
Failing to land the available Andre Drummond or Kevin Love
Lastly, the Celtics have failed to take a risk and acquire an All-Star player once again. This seems to be a trend by Danny Ainge, who seems to be waiting for the perfect moment to strike. If the Celtics were able to acquire Andre Drummond, they would have a much better roster suited to the playoffs. Drummond is an All-Star defensive player who is the best rebounder in the league.
Kevin Love was also available, with his ability to stretch the floor and rebound at a high level. The Celtics are a very good team, but they lack depth at the four and five spots. Acquiring one of the available stars would have certainly help. Instead, they are forced to continue with Daniel Theis as their center.