Winners and Losers from NBA Trade Deadline

Ryan Doyle gives his thoughts on the NBA trade deadline.


The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. The landscape of the NBA has changed as a superstar tandem has been created in New Orleans. While a top team in the eastern conference stood pat and decided to not acquire a superstar.

Here are the winners and losers from the 2017 NBA trade deadline.

Winner: New Orleans Pelicans

Every Pelicans fan on planet Earth should be thanking the Sacramento Kings front office. The Pelicans were able to land arguably the best center in the NBA for next to nothing.

Now, the Pelicans have the best front court in over a decade. DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis both average over 27 points per game and over 10 rebounds per game. In an NBA that has been going smaller, the Pelicans are doing the opposite. The rest of the roster is pretty bare and it will take some time for the Pelicans to become a true contender.

Sitting just outside the 8th seed, the Pelicans have become the favorites to snag that final playoff spot in the West. Obviously, the Golden State Warriors aren’t going to have a problem beating the new duo in the first round, but the future is bright in New Orleans.

Loser: Sacramento Kings

The Sacremento Kings got fleeced.

In another tremendous display of ineptitude, the Kings managed to lose an NBA superstar for next to nothing.

The Kings have now entered tank mode and don’t even have the rights to their pick this season. In all likelihood, that pick will be swapped with the Philadelphia 76ers pick. A team still in the playoff picture in the eastern conference.

It’s hard for me to blame general Vlade Divac in this situation. Owner Vivek Ranadivé had his say in this trade. Ranadivé has had a crush on Buddy Hield for a long time now and although he has made bad decision after bad decision, the owner can’t be fired. Sorry Sac Town, you can ask the Brooklyn Nets fans about how they cope.

Winner: Toronto Raptors

After sending Terrence Ross and their first-round pick to the Magic, the Raptors brought in a player who they believe will allow them to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ibaka is going to help protect the paint and give Jonas Valanciunas some help down low. Ibaka isn’t the athlete he once was, but he can stretch the floor and play solid defense. Thankfully for the Raptors, they were able to keep some of their young bigs in Lucas Nogueira and Jakob Poeltl.

There still is no guarantee that the Raptors have made up their minds about Ibaka long term as he is going to be a free agent during the summer. If Ibaka can produce and help the Raptors in the postseason, he may be in Toronto for a long time.

Loser: Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers fan base should be screaming for the return of Sam Hinkie. Current general manager Bryan Colangelo shipped Nerlens Noel to Dallas for next to nothing. Justin Anderson is nothing more than a rotational player and the pick they received is so heavily protected, that the Sixers probably won’t have the rights to it.

It is clear that the 76ers needed to move Noel and nobody should have had a problem with that. However, to get so little return for a 22-year-old defensvie monster? That’s crazy.

Oh, the 76ers were also unable to move Jahlil Okafor who has been on the trading block for weeks now. This was a bad deadline for a team with a bright future. When will it be time to stop “trusting the process”?

Loser: Boston Celtics

The Celtics had their chance to land a superstar. They didn’t.

If the Celtics were able to get either Paul George or Jimmy Butler, they would have automatically become true championship contenders. Now, they are a minor threat to the Cavaliers.

Yes, the Celtics are still a very good basketball team, but you aren’t going to beat the Cavs by hoarding every single pick, Danny Ainge.

The Celtics have now decided to take a chance with the unknown that is the NBA draft instead of acquiring a sure-fire superstar. When you can land a superstar, get one.

There were rumblings that George was only going to sign long-term in Indiana or Los Angeles, but if he was able to taste championship success with Boston, it would be a hard sell from other teams. The Celtics will now try to draft a superstar, but who knows how that will turn out.