Winners and losers from the 2017 NBA trade deadline

Written By: Dennis Vilimek – Staff Writing Intern (@DVilimek25 ) & Brad Stonebraker – Staff Writing Intern (@bradbraker97 )

| Sacramento Kings Receive:  Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, 2017 1st-round pick, 2017 2nd-round pick for Demarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi

Dennis: The Pelicans’ trade for DeMarcus Cousins was an absolute steal and immediately makes them a scary team. This is obviously the biggest trade of the deadline and there is not much more to say about it other than the Kings are in full tank mode and the Pelicans can become contenders in the next few years. Aside from this trade, there were a few other ones that have an immediate impact on the league.

Brad: By far my favorite trade of the year.  Demarcus going to the Pelicans gives them a virtually unstoppable frontcourt of him and Anthony Davis, a duo that I don’t see being slowed down very often.  I think the best part of this deal for them is how little they gave up to obtain one of the best big men in the league.

Sure, Buddy Hield has a bright future and Evans and Galloway are solid bench players, but it’s safe to say that NO isn’t all too worried.  With this trade, they have become a contender and a favorite to climb up to that 8th seed in the Western Conference with a run that is very likely to happen.

I used to love Denver in the 8th seed so I could watch my man Nikola Jokic make magic happen on national TV, but I can’t just ignore the fact that the Pelicans are much more likely to snatch the spot than the Nuggets.  I love the squad that the Pelicans have now, and a Golden State vs. New Orleans first round playoff matchup would be a whole lot of fun.

The Warriors won’t be able to contain the DeManthony Dousins duo, and the Pelicans may have some trouble containing the other warriors that shoot three-pointers.  Also, although Omri Casspi isn’t often mentioned when the trade is being discussed, I truly do think he could be a great small forward on a team that has lacked one all season.  I like his chances on a new team as well, despite the fact that most people don’t even know he got traded.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Kings.  Buddy could be let loose post-All Star Break and the picks are nice, but they are a pretty awful team at the moment.  Let’s hope that changes in the years to come and the rebuild process goes as smoothly as possible.


| Toronto Raptors send Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka. The Raptors also sent two second-round picks and Jared Sullinger to the Phoenix Suns for P.J. Tucker.

Dennis: The Raptors definitely improved during the All-Star break by adding Serge Ibaka. He is a big upgrade from Patrick Patterson and gives them a very strong starting lineup of Lowry, DeRozan, Carroll, Ibaka, and Valanciunas. Ibaka is not only a good defender that the Raptors need, but he has improved his shooting enough to become a stretch four. Terrence Ross was playing fairly well off the bench for the Raptors, but he was worth giving up to help with the Raptors needs of a rim protector and reliable power forward.

Toronto was not getting any use out of Jared Sullinger, so acquiring P.J. Tucker was a solid move. He will pretty much step into the role of Terrence Ross and he brings a nice veteran presence to the Raptors. He is another player with good defensive ability that has the flexibility to guard multiple positions. This was an under the radar big move for a team trying to dethrone the Cavs.

Brad: This one isn’t all too interesting, excluding the fact that that P.J. will be seeing a lot of LeBron James in the playoffs, and I think his defense was a big reason the Raptors completed this trade.  On top of that, they got a great deal out of it, and with Serge Ibaka also in town, they are legitimate contenders in the East.


| Houston Rockets trade Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams

Dennis: Houston got the better end of this trade at the moment. The Rockets shoot three-pointers more than any team in the league, so adding another good shooter makes sense. It will be interesting to see how two similar players (Lou and Eric Gordon), also both sixth man of the year contenders, will play together. They both had good performances against the Pelicans in their first game together, and the Rocket’s offense was on fire scoring 129 points. This move just makes the Rockets even harder to defend.

The Lakers get a pretty late first-round pick for Lou Williams, but in reality he just isn’t what they need for now or the future. Getting rid of him allows the Lakers to tank more and get a higher pick while also letting younger guys to get more playing time. The only problem with this move for the Lakers is that they could have gotten more for him.

Brad: I honestly think the Rockets got a steal in Lou Williams here.  Having a shot at sixth man of the year, he joins Eric Gordon (another contender) on a deep and just overall really good Houston team.  Lou is now going to be the seventh man, but I don’t think he or the Rockets will be complaining about such a label.

This provides a ton of added depth and another great shooter and shot-creator on the roster.  He won’t be nearly as good as he was on the Lakers simply due to the presence of talent (no offense LA), but he’ll see a good amount of run in an up-tempo offense that has been so successful this season.  In addition, they gave up an almost useless Corey Brewer and a pick, which, considering their solid bench and lineup currently, won’t be needed next year.  Look out Golden State.

The Lakers, on the other hand, didn’t really benefit a whole lot from this and I can’t help but question the decision.  The pick is nice, yes, but we traded a veteran leader and scorer for another young guy that will have to be developed before effective.

I don’t see Corey Brewer doing much, especially given that Luke Walton is most likely planning on handing the reins to the young core for the last portion of the season.  The only reason that this would be an intelligent move is if the Lakers are already planning on tanking the season and getting yet another top-3 pick in next year’s draft.  I think this may be the case and it does make sense, but Lou’s scoring will definitely be missed.

| Philadelphia 76ers trade Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 top-18 protected first-round pick.

Dennis: Nerlens Noel is already a good basketball player, but also has a very high ceiling. He’s a young player that never got a chance to be the featured starting center on a team, but he should now. He is a good defensive option and his offensive ability has shown improvements. The problem for Dallas is that they gave up what might be a pretty high first-round draft pick at a time that they should be trying to rebuild.

The 76ers get a relatively good first-round pick for a guy that they didn’t really plan on playing too much with Embiid and Okafor still on the roster. This was a little questionable for the Sixers considering they could have gotten much more for Noel and they don’t seem to have a long-term plan to keep Okafor. Considering Embiid doesn’t have the best history of staying healthy, getting rid of depth at center is risky.

Brad: The Mavericks replaced a fragile old man with a great young center, which is great.  However, additionally giving up Anderson and a high pick could hurt them later on, especially considering has yet to truly show what he is capable of.


| Chicago Bulls trade Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, 2018 second-round pick to the Thunder for Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow, and Cameron Payne

Dennis: I’m really not sure what Chicago was trying to do with this one, but it is just a bad trade. I can understand dealing Taj Gibson as he is getting old, but Doug McDermott is a young piece that has only been getting better. They got rid of a good three-point shooter and replaced him with an older and poorly performing shooter in Morrow.

They added another point guard to their already strange combination of guards, and Joffrey Lauvergne might get a chance to play a little with Taj gone. The good part of this trade is that the Bulls might actually free Bobby Portis for the rest of the season and see if he can perform better. The fact that the Bulls also got rid of a pick, even if it is a second-rounder, makes this move even more confusing.

The Thunder get a good veteran in Gibson to play alongside Kanter and Adams in the frontcourt. While he might not get a ton of minutes, he brings a good veteran presence and energy to the bench for the Thunder. McDermott is a great fit for this team, as they struggle to produce points when Westbrook isn’t on the floor.

McDermott has shown signs of being able to create offense for himself, and he is also a good catch and shoot player for Westbrook to kick it out to on drives. The Thunder got rid of three guys that didn’t play much for them and came out with two possible impact players.

Brad: This trade didn’t have any studs or star players involved, but I really like what OKC did here.  Sure, they lost a decent backup point guard, a great 3-point specialist, and a young big, but nothing that they’re going to miss and no one they really gave consistent minutes to anyway.

I definitely see Taj Gibson leap-frogging rookie Domantas Sabonis on the depth chart and snatching the starting power forward position fairly easily.  This will give Oklahoma some strength and energy in their starting five in someone not named Russell or Steven.  McDermott will probably come off the bench behind Andre Roberson, but I think he can have an impact regardless and should get more touches in OKC than he did in Chicago.

The one thing I find interesting is that Roberson himself wasn’t involved in this deal.  If he was, McDermott would’ve also been starting and given them more scoring in their starting unit (which is also needed).  However, Roberson is a great player to have due to his tenacious and consistent defense, but his offense is usually a rare sighting.  Oklahoma kept him for a reason though, and I still think McDermott will be able to find minutes even with Roberson still in town.

For Chicago, I couldn’t tell you what their motive was here.  I find McDermott better than Morrow and Taj better than Lauvergne, just generally speaking.  I understand the Cameron Payne logic due to the lack of guard depth on their roster (or the lack of talent of their guards; sorry Rondo), so I’m hoping for good things from him.  I’d expect both Morrow and Lauvergne to come off the bench, with Payne competing for and most likely earning a starting role.


| Denver Nuggets trade Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick to the Trail Blazers for Mason Plumlee.

Dennis: This trade didn’t take place as close to the deadline as most of the other ones, but it is still an important one. The Blazers definitely won this trade. Nurkic is already starting for Portland  and has been very efficient in his first two games.

He will get plenty of minutes on a team that is lacking depth at the center position, so we will finally see what the 22 year old Bosnian can do with consistent playing time. The Blazers not only got a capable center to replace Mason Plumlee, but they added a third first-round draft pick for this years talented draft class.

The Nuggets were not playing Nurkic at all, so getting rid of him was not a big deal for them. Even though they gave up a first-round pick in the deal, they didn’t totally lose the trade. Mason Plumlee is an established center with improving offensive ability that could add some depth alongside their rising star Nikola Jokic. Even with the Pelican’s acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins, the Nuggets are going to compete for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs with the help of Plumlee.


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