It’s finally over. The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone and for months it was nothing but non-stop rumors. With the dust settled and players either moved or staying put we can look at the winners and losers. There was speculation of star players moving, management trying their best to force players to leave, teams looking to shed cap space and teams looking to stockpile draft picks. In the end, it was rather embarrassing to a majority of the NBA teams.
Here are the Winners and Losers of the 2016-17 NBA Trade Deadline.
New Orleans Pelicans
Like there would be someone else at the top of this list. The Pelicans pulled off a steal that only the Los Angles Lakers and Pau Gasol could rival. The Sacramento Kings traded away their best player since Chris Webber for a returnee in Tyreke Evans, a throwaway in Langston Galloway, a hopeful in Buddy Hield and two draft picks that may or may not be worth anything. The Pelicans walked away with DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi. What the trade does is give the Pelicans the best PF/C tandem in the NBA. Then you add in Casspi and his ability to hit from the perimeter and rebound and the Pelicans have all but claimed the 8th seed in the West.
Wow. The Los Angeles Lakers sent 6th Man of the Year candidate, Lou Williams to the 40-18 Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer. I can see that the Lakers were in desperate need of a draft pick, but really? How does this trade make any sense? Both players are making the same amount of money but one adds production to their team. Brewer averages of four point in 16 minutes compared to Williams and his 19 points in 24 is as lopsided as you will get in a trade. In regards to the Lakers, that better be one heck of a first round pick. Way to go Lakers for giving James Harden and the Rockets another weapon.
Oklahoma City Thunder
I have no idea what the Chicago Bulls were thinking as they traded away their best power player and perimeter player in Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott. What this trade does is provide the Thunder with a perimeter shooter and a banger in the low post. The Thunder just added depth to their bench and got rid of players that had no use for anyway.
With the Dallas Maverick not being able to trade Deron Williams they were forced to buy him out of his contract. With Williams being free, it sets up the possibility of him teaming up with the defending champs. To makes things worse (depending on your team), the Cavs will sign him for chump change and now will have Kyrie Irving and Williams as his backup. There may be times when the Cavs can play both in the backcourt that will give opposing teams issues. No trade made here, but because of it, the Cavs just got stronger. And, there is talk of the 76ers and Andrew Bogut working on a buyout and the Cavs are expected to be one of his top choices.
Serge Ibaka was a great move but adding P.J. Tucker of the Phoenix Suns was just as important. Ibaka gives the Raptors post defense to pair with the scoring of Jonas Valanciunas and adding Tucker gives them another scoring option from the bench or Tucker can take over for DeMarre Carroll. The Raptors got stronger over the deadline and that should put fear in the hearts of the Boston Celtics and the Cavaliers.