The NBA trade deadline is a time when a team either is a buyer or a seller. A buyer is a team that is ramping up for the playoffs and is trying to improve the roster so that they can be competitive to advance in the playoffs. A seller is a team that has assumed that their season is essentially over. Sellers normally do not view their team as a playoff team and would like to retain future assets to help their franchise in the long run.
Every trade deadline has winners and losers, and some years there are more monumental moves made than others and most of the time a lot of rumored moves are overhyped and never happen. A winner at the deadline strengthens their roster or gets great value that they can use in the future through draft picks. A loser at the deadline makes a move that is very questionable and this can come in the form of giving up too much to acquire something or just not making any moves at all when their teams in desperate need of more players. The 2017 NBA trade deadline has come and gone and it's now time to assess who are the winners and losers. The ones who are now in a position to contend and which teams or players are absolutely screwed.
15 Better: New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans seemingly pulled off a coup when they acquired DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a 2017 first round pick, 2017 second round pick, Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, and Langston Galloway. The Pelicans did not have to give up a whole lot for arguably the best big man in the NBA, and they now sport the most formidable front court tandem in basketball with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The Pelicans just resigned Anthony Davis to a long term deal recently.
14 Screwed: DeMarcus Cousins' Bank Account
DeMarcus Cousins could very well turn out to be a winner if the New Orleans Pelicans achieve a lot of success on the court the rest of this season and next season. There is no denying that Cousins loved the people of Sacramento despite it being a franchise that was in constant turmoil, and his tearful farewell address was evidence of this. Those tears may be a result of him missing out on around $30 million more he could have made if he re-signed with the Kings this summer.
13 Better: Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are not even involved in the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans' big Cousins trade and still managed to come out as winners. Sam Hinkie received a lot of criticism while he was the general manager of the 76ers, but his trade with the Kings in the summer of 2015 looks to be a stroke of genius now. The Sixers traded away the rights to Artūras Gudaitis and Luka Mitrović, and, in return, received an unprotected 2019 first round pick, Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and the right to swap first-round selections in the 2016 and 2017 drafts.
12 Screwed: Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac admitted that he had been offered a better deal in exchange for DeMarcus Cousins when he stated “I had a better deal two days ago. Talk to those agents. I don’t want to go into details. I don’t want to discuss the process. It was a big process for us. This was the best time and the best offer we could get [at] this particular time.” The Kings did not seem to get much in return for an elite player such as Cousins who is averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds per game.
11 Better: Lou Williams
10 Screwed: Orlando Magic
9 Better: Toronto Raptors
8 Screwed: Jahlil Okafor
The Philadelphia 76ers surprisingly traded away Nerlens Noel before the trade deadline. What made this deal so surprising is the fact that Jahlil Okafor had been rumored to be moved for weeks beforehand, and now he is stuck in a difficult situation. Okafor was the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. He had an impressive rookie year where he averaged 17 points and seven rebounds a game, but with Joel Embiid in the mix he has been relegated to the bench.
7 Better: Washington Wizards
6 Screwed: Boston Celtics
5 Better: Dallas Mavericks
4 Screwed: Indiana Pacers
Rumors were swirling whether the Indiana Pacers were going to start building around Paul George or begin rebuilding around Myles Turner. Many believe that they would take a course of action on one of the two aforementioned strategies, but the Pacers ended up not doing much of anything at the deadline. The Pacers did not trade away superstar Paul George to collect assets. They also did not acquire more talent to play with Paul George, and this could have a negative impact as to whether or not George re-signs with the team.
3 Better: Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder before the trade deadline were sitting in the seventh seed in the stacked Western Conference. The team has been garnering a lot of headlines due to Russell Westbrook's outstanding season, and that is due to Russell Westbrook averaging a triple double more than two thirds into the season. Westbrook is carrying this team, and the team needed to put more players around Westbrook so they could compete in the Western Conference playoffs.
2 Screwed: New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been experiencing a whirlwind of drama in recent weeks so it is very surprising that they were relatively quiet during the trade deadline. Many people did not think that superstar Carmelo Anthony would be able to be traded. The Knicks seem destined for another season without the postseason, and it would've been wise of Phil Jackson to accumulate draft assets to better position them for the future. Instead of accumulating assets they held on to players such as Derrick Rose who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
1 Better: Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers didn't really make any moves that were of great significance. They were able to acquire Tyler Ennis from the Houston Rockets. Their biggest move was moving Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Corey Brewer and a first round pick. The first round pick will likely be near the end of the first round, but it's still an impressive hall for somebody who’s a sixth man of the year candidate in Lou Williams.
The most monumental move made by the Los Angeles Lakers was there shake up in the front office. Jeanie Buss finally decided to pull the plug on her brother Jim Buss. Mitch Kupchak was also fired, and Magic Johnson was brought in to be the new man in charge of player personnel. Magic Johnson has no experience in an NBA front office, but the Lakers are hopeful that Magic can bring them back to competitive state from when he was leading the team in the 1980s to multiple championships.
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