NBA Trade Deadline Winners And Losers

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Thursday saw the movement of 46 players, the highest number ever in a one-day span. Of the NBA’s 30 teams, 23 took part in the action, which delivered 16 trades. Considering the exchange didn’t involve any superstars, the impact wasn’t that profound. But a number of teams really improved their situation.

In this pandemic era, it’s interesting to see any team planning for their future. That, however, is exactly what a number of organizations went for on March 25. 

A couple of All-Stars were traded. For example, Orlando moved Nikola Vucevic to Chicago, and Victor Oladipo wound up in Miami as a rental. The Western Conference wasn’t as busy, but it saw teams like Denver and Dallas unquestionably improve. Below is a rundown of how Thursday went down and who won and is now closer to the NBA Finals and who lost on an extremely busy day. 

NBA Bulls, Celtics, And Nuggets Highlight Winners

Bulls

Chicago likes its backcourt, which is led by All-Star Zach LaVine and productive point men Coby White and Tomas Satoransky. A frontcourt led by oft-injured 7-foot Finnish sniper Lauri Markkanen, promising rookie Patrick Williams, and versatile veteran Thaddeus Young, got a major boost with Vucevic on board.

It cost Chicago Wendell Carter, Jr., the 21-year-old former No. 7 pick. However, a team that now looks likely to make the playoffs has LaVine and Vucevic, two of the top offensive players at their position.

The Bulls also got a valuable piece with vast playoff experience by moving Moe Wagner, acquired earlier in the day, for Boston forward/center Daniel Theis. Vucevic will get the bulk of the minutes inside. But the fact that Theis and Young both remain in place as willing passers and solid defenders means they can really thrive in the postseason. 

LaVine will be the go-to guy, but White and Satoransky can play together. Williams can be in the mix and the newly acquired Al-Farouq Aminu and Troy Brown Jr. can vie for time. Holdovers Garrett Temple and Denzel Valentine stayed put, so Billy Donovan has plenty of options on the wing.

Celtics

The Celtics traded away very little to pry Evan Fournier from Orlando, moving a pair of second-round picks and the rights to Jeff Teague to get the deal done. They didn’t even ask Teague to report to the Magic, who opted to waive him despite the need for a veteran point guard. 

They moved Theis to Chicago and got younger upfront with Wagner replacing Theis. However, Boston is banking that a shortened rotation will pay off and a guy averaging over 19 points per game for Orlando will handle business off the bench. With Marcus Smart and Fournier providing a support system for Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum, Brad Stevens will have plenty of skill players to choose from when “winning time” arrives. 

Nuggets

Denver may have made the best move of all Western Conference teams, prying should-be Slam Dunk champ Aaron Gordon from the Magic, who went into fire sale mode a year too late. More on that later.

The Nuggets now have Gordon, JaMychael Green, and Michael Porter Jr. to throw at teams alongside Nikola Jokic, who is essentially a point center. They moved top defensive guard Gary Harris, but he was injured more often than not. With wings like Will Barton and P.J. Dozier to support point guards Jamal Murray, Monte Morris, and Facundo Campazzo, the Nuggets just became an ‘over’ team. It will destroy teams that aren’t equipped to match its firepower. 

Magic And Raptors Rank Among Losers

Orlando had plenty of suitors for Vucevic, Gordon, and Fournier over the years. They traded them all during a season in which catalyst Markelle Fultz was, again, lost for the season. Top defender Jonathan Issac also got hurt.

Let’s not get it twisted. Unlike what has transpired in the past, this Magic brain trust knows what they’re doing. They put together the current Bucks and did their best to get the Magic up and running without major shake-ups. That went out the window on Thursday.

To be clear, landing Carter was an excellent move since he’s blessed with a long wingspan, a staple in the team’s line of thinking. He is an intelligent guy you can play through. They gave away Gordon and Fournier, though.

They would have gotten more for either one of them last season and now must hope that the oft-injured Harris can turn the page and become a Danny Green-ish type. Quite frankly, they’re an embarrassment. The time to make major moves was last season, and anyone watching knew it and called it out.

Celtics At Bucks Handicapping Notes And Pick

Letting Boston chop into a major deficit almost cost the Bucks dearly on Wednesday night. I don’t see them making the same mistake. Even with limited attendance in play, Milwaukee has proven that Fiserv Forum offers one of the NBA’s top home-court edges. It has a full roster in place to notch a sweep over the Celtics in a more comfortable fashion than the other night.

Sports Betting Pick: Bucks

About the Author
Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia has been a national writer for nearly two decades and has covered NBA and college basketball as a columnist, analyst, handicapper, and bracketologist for CBS Sports, Pro Basketball News, and numerous other sites.

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