By: Rossy Pasternak
The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone pretty quietly. As with any transaction between two entities, every trade must have a winner and loser. Here is SportsNak’s take on the winners and losers of the deadline.
Winner: The New Orleans Pelicans and DeMarcus Cousins
Well, this one is obvious. The New Orleans Pelicans managed to get the best centre in the game, to pair with the best power forward in the game, for cents on the dollar. You can debate forever about how and why this deal happened, but one thing is for sure: that front-court is going to be scary. For the Pelicans, getting Cousins for a player in Heild who was doing barely adding anything of value to the team, as well as spare parts and picks. A front-court pick and roll will be impossible for teams to stop, and the Pelicans are going to be a potential scary matchup for the Warriors in the first round.
Loser: The Sacramento Kings
The Kings being losers, who woulda thunk it! Vlade Divac will take a lot of blame for this trade, but I genuinely think the blame should fall on owner Vivek Ranadive. Since taking over the reigns for the Kings, he has brought turmoil, instability, and craziness to the organization – not that the Kings were a model organization to begin with. His fixations on shooters – Stauskas! – and his determination to win now has drove the team to new depths of the abyss. The Kings will get to rebuild now, however little they have to work with. Expect Rudy Gay and others to follow Boogie’s departure from Sacramento.
Winner: Toronto Raptors
Masai(ah) Ujiri worked his fucking magic once again. First, he gets Serge Ibaka for a cheap price of Terrance Ross and a 1st round pick. Then, he beats out the many other rumoured bidders for P.J. Tucker. What can’t this man do! Tucker was the premier defensive wing on the trade block, and the former Raptors 2nd round pick will fit right in. The Raptors were obviously focused on improving their team defensively, and did just that. These trades give them a huge boost towards competing with LeBron James and the Cavs come playoff time.
Losers: Boston Celtics
Paul George. Jimmy Butler. Jahlil Okafor. Andre Drummond. What do these players have in common? All of them were rumoured interests of Celtics (President???) Danny Ainge, and all of them remained on their respective teams today. The Celtics have a cupboard full of assets, but could not find a way to convert them into a superstar. This Celtics team is built to win now, and probably is one of the only teams capable of stoping the dynamic offensive attacks of the Warriors and Cavaliers. Imagine if they added one of those players listed above? There would now be three superteams in the NBA. Yet, Danny Ainge kept his assets. As a long-term move, this may have been smart, as the Brooklyn pick that may end up being #1 overall would have had to been moved to acquire George or Butler. The Celtics are in a position to win now though, with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford anchoring a deep and lethal rotation. Waiting for a rookie to develop, even a potential star like Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, probably isn’t in the best interest for a roster that is built to win now.
In a time where social media goes crazy because of a player tweeting emoji’s, and when seemingly every superstar is on the block, sanity won out. All of these rumours amounted to nothing in the end, just empty tweets and comments. I love playing armchair GM as much as the next guy, using the ESPN Trade Machine to conjure up ridiculous trade proposals and see if they would work. But if those trades became a reality, the league would be turned upside down. I would feel bad for the fans of the Pacers, Pistons, and Bulls. I know how it feels to lose a star – I am a Raptors fan after all. That feeling is nothing I wish upon a fanbase. I’m happy sanity won out this trade deadline, as if any of these blockbuster trades happened, the landscape of the league would be changed forever.
What were your thoughts on the deadline? Would you have liked to see more blockbuster trades? Let us know in the comments section, and don’t forget to like/follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!