My birthday is on December 23rd and growing up it was a magical time. My family always made a big deal out of it and we would have parties and I would get a ton of presents. But, as I got older, people stopped celebrating it. Some may say it is because I no longer have friends, others say because it is so close to Christmas and it is not worth celebrating. Nowadays, there is no more excitement on the day I was born. I feel the same way about the NBA Trading deadline. Growing up, there seemed to always be a blockbuster trade. I remember Mark Aguirre being traded to the Detroit Pistons and winning a championship. I remember Clyde Drexler getting traded to Houston and the Rockets winning a ring as well. It is almost as if the buzz around the NBA trade deadline is a thing of the past, like my birthday, But, there were some winners.
New Orleans Pelicans: When I think of all-time great NBA “Twin Towers” (Center and Power Forward combinations) a few names come to mind. The Boston Celtics had Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, The Los Angeles Lakers had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy and the San Antonio Spurs had David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Everyone listed above won multiple championships and they are all Hall of Famers (Duncan will be there shortly). With that said, I think DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis have THE POTENTIAL to be the greatest “Twin Towers” of all time. They have a long way to go but both Cousins and Davis can lead the league in rebounding and both can stretch the floor and shoot the three. Something the above-mentioned never did effectively (Worthy’s had a 24% career shooting percentage from behind the arc). The Pelicans got arguably the best center in the NBA. Davis is 23 and Cousins, 26. If healthy, they can dominate their division for 7-10 years.
Philadelphia 76ers: When I think of the basketball team that resides in Philadelphia, I think of one song… Mötley Crüe’s “Same Old Situation.” In 2001, Allen Iverson led the 76ers to the NBA finals. But, since that time, they haven’t been a legitimate threat to compete for a title. The days are long gone from Dr. J. Over the previous three season the compiled a record of 19-63, 18-64 and 10-72. But… to quote rock legend, Bob Dylan… The Times They Are A-Changin’. Despite having their two top picks injured during the year (Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons) They have a record of 21-35. They traded away Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks and sent Ersan Ilyasova to Atlanta. On the surface trading, Noel appears to be a bad move. I would have traded Jahlil Okafor. Noel has much more upside, but when you break it down, I can see why they did it. Noel was unhappy with his playing time but there was really no room on this roster for him in the future. The 76ers are very happy with Dario Saric and Ben Simmons should be their point/forward for the next 7 years (when he comes back for injury). Look for Philly to trade Okafor in the off-season and stockpile draft picks. With Joel Embid healthy (20 points and 7.8 rebounds per game) The 76ers have a bright future. When was the last time that was said in the city of brotherly love? Both Dallas and Philadelphia won with this trade.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Oklahoma traded away two players who were not a major part of their team. They traded Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and a second-round pick, to Chicago in exchange for Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott. When healthy Gibson can be a double/double machine. He provides toughness and rebounding. I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy Donovan starts Gibson and brings rookie Domantas Sabonis, off the bench. McDermott should thrive in Oklahoma’s wide open, up- tempo pace. With Russell Westbrook driving to the basket, sharp shooters like McDermott should put up points in bunches.
The Toronto Raptors: Traded for Serge Ibaka. The Power Forward should offer a defensive presence and some scoring punch.
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