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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

2018-19 NBA Trade Deadline: Biggest Winners and Losers

With the deadline over, we can finally leave our Woj bomb bunkers and see how the league looks after the smoke clears from another Shams-Woj trade deadline battle. For the NBA’s cream of the crop, some made the necessary moves to catapult themselves into contention, while others stood pat. Here are the league’s biggest winners and losers.


Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks addition of Nikola Mirotic will almost certainly go down as one of the most important, impactful moves on a day filled with chaotic roster changes. Flipping Jason Smith (acquired in the deal sending John Henson to Cleveland) and Stanley Johnson (acquired through the Thon Maker trade) along with a few future second rounders was an incredible personnel upgrade for the lengthy Bucks. One of the league’s most talented stretch 4s, the Bucks are now in position to trot out a 5 man lineup that can surround Giannis with knock down shooters without sacrificing any size. Mirotic essentially functions as an oversized JJ Reddick, lifting the ceiling even higher on the Bucks’ playoff potential.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia now had two homegrown, future MVP caliber players who have already won a playoff series, and have now officially added two more all-star level players this season to play with them. Jimmy Butler may have proved to be a slightly awkward fit, but the Sixers are highly unlikely to run into that problem with newly acquired Tobias Harris. Harris, shooting 43% from the 3, sures up Philly’s shooting woes behind JJ Redick and adds a whole new weapon in Philly’s offensive arsenal. Harris’ size, 6’9”, gives the Sixers added versatility on both ends of the floor as well.

Los Angeles Clippers

Moving Tobias Harris, their only all-star caliber player, may have actually paid dividends for a Clippers team with no chance of making it out the Western Conference playoffs. With their first round pick being lottery protected and belonging to Boston, LAC needed to miss the playoffs in order for their first rounder to stay with them. So, moving Harris almost ensures that the Clippers miss the playoffs, as well as gaining a valuable pick in the form of a 2021 unprotected Miami Heat first rounder. Also, not having Harris, who could contend for a max contract, allows the Clippers to clear space for two max salaries this offseason, should any stars (cough-cough Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant cough-cough) choose to take their talents to the west coast and not have to share the court with LeBron James. The Clippers have successfully set themselves up for the future brilliantly with savvy moves this deadline. Cudos to Jerry West.

Toronto Raptors

With Kawhi Leonard’s future in Toronto on the line, the Raptors knew they had to go big or go home to convince him to stay by making a big push in the postseason. In an NBA finals or bust move, they sent Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright to Memphis in exchange for Marc Gasol. Gasol will immediately make this already lethal Toronto team even more versatile. Though he is not quite the rebounder Valanciunas can be, Gasol has an offensive bag of tricks miles deeper then Jonas and has a DPOY award already on the mantle. With Gasol’s shooting touch, they can keep him on the perimeter and let Leonard eat inside the paint, forcing defenses into some real difficult choices. Gasol could be the piece that puts the Raptors just out of reach with some of their competitors in the East.

Dallas Mavericks

There were a lot of teams who really made out at the deadline this year. Dallas is unequivocally one of them. Like the Clippers, they weren’t getting past the first round even if they made the playoffs. With their pick top 5 protected and owned by Atlanta, they had to get bad, fast, if they have any hope at having that convey. By sending DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews to New York, two great contributors for Dallas, they get worse in the short term and happened to add what could amount to be a generational talent in Kristaps Porzingis. With Doncic and Porzingis in place, and Dallas officially in the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, Dallas is sitting pretty moving forward.

Biggest Losers

Boston Celtics

While Boston still has a team capable of slicing through all competition in the Eastern Conference playoffs, through moves out of their control, almost all of their assets have seemed to get worse at the deadline. The Grizzlies pick, which is top 8 protected, is essentially gone. Without Gasol, Memphis has no shot at finishing anywhere near the playoffs and will certainly get their pick. Dealing Harris means LAC has thrown the towel on this season, kissing any playoff hopes goodbye the Celtics had by owning their lottery protected first. The overachieving Sacramento Kings even got better, who owe their first to Boston. Gaining Harrison Barnes could push them firmly into the Western Conference’s top 8 teams, meaning Boston’s best pick will probably be in mid-teens. Through sheer tough luck, all of Boston’s draft assets depreciated in value at the deadline, which could seriously hurt any moves they intend on making this summer.

Los Angeles Lakers

What felt almost certain to be a time of celebration for Lakers fans has turned into their own personal nightmare this deadline. When Anthony Davis officially hit the trade market, they made no secret about their interest in the All-NBA forward/center. By putting all their young players in an offer, the Lakers essentially moved all their chips to the middle, and the gamble failed. New Orleans did not show much interest in negotiating with them, and now the Lakers locker room is stuck with guys who know that LeBron and the front office had attempted to force them out for the rest of the season. After getting shellacked by the Pacers on Feb. 5, things have been better for the historic franchise. With Lavar Ball now saying Lonzo needs out and everything feeling like it’s falling apart by the seams, the Lakers and LeBron have some serious work to do to bounce back from this disastrous trade deadline.

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