The NBA trade deadline rumors have dominated the sports cycle over the past few weeks. The media was talking about players like Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis during Super Bowl.
Winners at the trade deadline:
Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers acquired Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers. Harris was averaging, 20.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in Los Angeles. Philadelphia now has the best starting 5 in the NBA. Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler, Harris and Joel Embiid can all score over 20 points per night. They have 4 players who can create their own shot off the dribble and post-up down low. They also added Jonathan Simmons from Orlando. Simmons can be a very good 2-way player off the bench.
Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks have added another big man who can stretch the floor. Milwaukee has acquired forward Nikola Mirotic from the Pelicans. New Orleans will receive Stanley Johnson and Jason Smith in return. This is a great trade for the Bucks. Mirotic is 27-years old, 6’10 250lbs. He was averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game with the Pelicans. If Milwaukee decides to start him they will have one of the longest, starting 5 in the NBA. Kris Middelton is 6’8, Giannis Antetokounmpo is 6’11 and Brook Lopez is 7’0. Size matters. The Bucks will now have three very good shooters that can just stand out on the wing and allow “The Greek Freak” and Eric Bledsoe “ to drive and kick” to their open shooters.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors are sending Jonas Valančiūnas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick to the the Grizzlies for Marc Gasol. Gasol has a great basketball IQ, He can stretch the floor, set solid screens and get 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban hit a “homerun” in this trade. The Mavericks acquired Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee. In return, the New York Knicks received DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Mathews and two first round picks. With Porzingis, Luka Dončić and Hardaway, they have a young, athletic, good shooting, core of players.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings are 28-26 and right in the playoff hunt. On Wednesday night they traded for veteran scorer Harrison Barnes. The former Golden State Warrior shooting guard, is only 26-years old and is averaging 17.7 points per game. Barnes makes the Kings better in the short-term and if he stays with the team, better in the long-run.
The Lakers traded Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac to Clippers for Mike Muscala. Zubac is a skilled 7’0 center who is 21-years-old. He has tremendous upside. I am shocked LA parted ways with him for a role player in Muscala.LA also added a very good shooter in Reggie Bullock. He is shooting almost 40% from behind the arc this season. A lot of critics are saying LeBron James couldn’t get it done by not acquiring Anthony Davis. I would never bet against James. LeBron may lose the battle but he usually wins the war.
The Clippers have cleared a ton of salary cap space. They are the favorite to land Kawhi Leonard this off-season.
The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t trade Anthony Davis. There is no point in Davis playing the rest of the year. The team is not going to make the playoffs and players will start to resent him in the locker room.
The Eastern Conference was very aggressive at the trade deadline.
I have the top 4 teams in the east as follows:
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