The NBA trade deadline has just concluded, and there were some pretty big deals that were made. Some contenders improved their roster, while some losing teams sent some of their players away to build for the future. It was an eventful trade deadline, and there are teams that have managed to hit some of their goals for the future.
Every trade deadline has winners and losers: that much is inevitable. Every trade or non-trade carries weight in the NBA, and could drastically affect a franchise's future. With that being said, here are 5 winners and losers after the trade deadline.
5. San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs haven't made any significant moves at the deadline, and couldn't find a suitable trade partner for their two big-name players on expiring contracts: DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. It seems like they could have at least tried to get a deal for DeRozan: he is still a capable shot-creator, and that is a valuable player in the league.
San Antonio has a solid young core, but they could have maximized the assets for their rebuild, and gotten some picks in return for their contracts. They didn't do that, so, therefore, they're in the losers bracket for this trade deadline.
4. Boston Celtics
While getting Evan Fournier was a solid pickup, acquiring him doesn't fix their problem of not having an elite big man. After being linked with players such as Jerami Grant and Nikola Vucevic, it definitely seemed like they would at least attempt to acquire a player who provides them with some size and defense.
While the Boston Celtics added more firepower, it seemed that they missed out on their goal of getting a big man who can space the floor. Evan Fournier could also leave at the end of the season, meaning that he could end up being a half-season rental. Overall, it seems like the Boston Celtics could have done more with their young assets, and packaged them for an impactful player.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
George Hill is a great player: but knowing the fact that the 76ers could have acquired Kyle Lowry makes this trade a losing trade. The 76ers look like contenders for the title. Often, contenders make risky trades to help them win. Kyle Lowry would have given the 76ers championship experience as well as a great playmaker.
The trade by itself isn't bad: but what makes the 76ers losers this deadline is the unwillingness to risk it all in order to beat the Brooklyn Nets. Missing on Lowry is a huge wasted opportunity for the 76ers, as he could have helped them rival the top contenders in the Eastern Conference.
2. Golden State Warriors
Kelly Oubre Jr. was an expiring contract for the Golden State Warriors, and perhaps he could have been traded for a piece that would help Stephen Curry and the Warriors climb up the standings. While Oubre is a good player, he could easily walk at the end of the season, leaving the Warriors with nothing.
The fact that the Golden State Warriors stayed put, means that a year of Stephen Curry's prime could be wasted. The Golden State Warriors didn't really improve during the trade deadline, putting them in the losers section, as they didn't get Stephen Curry more support for the season.
1. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors dealt Norman Powell and kept Kyle Lowry. The Powell trade was good value, but now the Raptors still have the same problem as what they've had all season: too many guards, and no elite big men. Kyle Lowry not being traded could be good for sentimental reasons, but it could also be bad for their future: Lowry turned 35 today, and the Raptors didn't get any young assets in return for his expiring contract.
The Toronto Raptors are losers during this deadline because they didn't manage to fix the biggest problem on their roster while bungling the Kyle Lowry trade talks. They could have gotten future prospects via deals with Miami or Philadelphia: but they didn't, so they are losers this trade deadline.
5. Dallas Mavericks
JJ Redick going to the Dallas Mavericks could be a solid move, considering he is one of the best shooters in the league. The Mavericks could use the spacing around Luka Doncic, and JJ Redick would give them a player who can knock down a clutch shot if given the ball.
JJ Redick was one of the top buyout candidates for this year, but the Mavericks managed to snag him before he hit free agency. They also managed to get Nicolo Melli who had a solid season last year. The acquisition of Redick doesn't move the needle in a huge way, but he is a good fit around Luka Doncic, meaning that this trade was a win.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
While the Los Angeles Clippers didn't manage to get a huge star during the trade deadline, they addressed one of their biggest needs. They acquired Rajon Rondo, who will potentially fill the playmaking void that they've had all season.
Rajon Rondo will take a lot of playmaking pressure off of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He is a savvy veteran, who can distribute the ball as well as any point guard in the league. The Los Angeles Clippers managed to get an upgrade at the guard position, meaning that they are winners this deadline.
3. Denver Nuggets
Aaron Gordon was a big name this trade deadline: the Nuggets managed to acquire him, and he is a perfect fit on their roster. The Nuggets lost an elite defender and floor spacer in Jerami Grant during the offseason. With this trade, it seems like they could fill that defensive void.
Aaron Gordon is a top-tier defender, and he is also an athletic finisher who can space the floor. That is what the Denver Nuggets needed ahead of the trade-deadline: a solid defensive player who can also capitalize off of Nikola Jokic's passing. Aaron Gordon ticks all of their boxes, so the Denver Nuggets come out as winners.
2. Miami Heat
Victor Oladipo has been linked to the Miami Heat for quite some time now. Well, they finally got him, and not for a ridiculous price either. Oladipo was rumored to want to sign with the Miami Heat during the offseason: the Miami Heat just accelerated the timeline.
Trading for Oladipo allows the Miami Heat to get a boost to their guard position and gives them a player who can score well next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Adding another star to the roster is almost never a bad proposition, meaning that the Miami Heat have managed to make a winning trade this deadline.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are easily the biggest winners this trade deadline. Nikola Vucevic is one of the best centers in the league, and they managed to acquire him for a reasonable price. Now, they have two All-Stars on the roster who can lead their promising young core.
There were more trades that the Chicago Bulls could have done: but they acquired the best player who was traded during the deadline, and managed to get Zach LaVine some help on the roster. There is no world where this trade is a loss, and it seems like the Chicago Bulls are gearing up for a great playoffs run.