With the NBA trade deadline coming and going, the rosters are just about set in stone. Sure, there will be some injuries and minor signings, but the GM’s job is just about done. Some teams were actively shopping and others ferociously buying. Then there were teams who believed they were ready for a deep playoff run. No matter what approach the team took, deals were just not getting done. There were talks and rumors about big-name players on the move, but at the end of the day there was as uneventful of a trade deadline as ever.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from this year’s NBA trade Deadline:
The Orlando Magic isn’t looking to make a deep run in this year’s playoffs, but the team certainly gained more talent at the trade deadline. They added a very talented Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, who are two relatively young guys that could be solid starters on most playoff teams. They had to give up 23-year-old Tobias Harris, but it was still a great trade for a team looking to be a future contender.
The Boston Celtics are a clear example of the “less is more” philosophy. Boston was a front runner to land superstar Dwight Howard, and the reason they won this trade deadline was because they stayed away. Sure, Howard would have given them an improved lineup, but the price they would have to pay is too high for a rental like Howard. The Celtics are extremely young and have a lottery pick in this year’s draft, so there is no ceiling for how good this team could be in the next few years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers brought in a veteran, Channing Frye, a physical and emotional player who certainly can make a few plays. But they didn’t bring in a player who would make a significant difference in the playoffs. Cleveland was outmanned in last year’s playoffs and didn’t improve enough to give anybody a reason to think they won’t again. It’s not common to see the best team in the conference make a big splash at the trade deadline, but if Cleveland wanted to dethrone the Warriors, that was what they needed to do. And they failed.
Houston Rockets went into this deadline with hopes of moving Dwight Howard. With only one year left on his contract, Howard will be looking to test free agency, leaving the Rockets with nothing to show for his departure. By understanding that their championship chances have all but evaporated, they were looking to blow it up and start fresh. They had potential suitors, but asking prices were too high and now the Rockets are stuck with Howard until he decides whether he wants to stay or go.
– Michael Hersey