NBA Trade Deadline: 3 Winners and 3 Losers

3 Winners & 3 Losers

Winners

Heat – Kevin Reyes

The main thing for Pat Riley and the Miami Heat come this date was to improve without wasting the cap flexibility they had for the 2021 offseason, and old man Pat did it again — the Heat traded an often-injured Justise Winslow, a player who had been suspended multiple times this season in Dion Waiters and James Johnson for Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Crowder and Hill’s contracts expire this season, and Iggy agreed to a two-year, $30 million with the second year being a team option. They added versatile wing defenders to compete in the East, and are still set to be major players in the summer of ‘21. 

Timberwolves – Rex Eastwood

Minnesota rejoice! Andrew Wiggins is finally off the roster. The former #1 overall pick and #TankForWiggins never lived up to the hype. He and Karl Anthony Towns led the Wolves to the playoffs once, and that was the only winning season he had in the middle of his sixth NBA season. Wiggins’ volume shooting never became efficient enough. With shooting clips for his career of 44.1 percent FG and 33.2 percent 3P that amassed into 19.7 PPG was not game changing enough. He was an iron man and missed less than 15 games in his career. D’Angelo Russell is a solid return as the pick and roll with KAT could be a promising duo. Omari Spellman is a nice piece for the future as well. 

Andrew Wiggins – Kevin Reyes

Think what you want about Wiggins, but the talent is definitely there. He was playing the best basketball of his career this season, but has fallen off along with the Timberwolves, who have been losers of 13 straight games. Now, however, he was traded to the Warriors in the deal mentioned above and will be the focal point of the second half of the season. He’s still on a team that won’t win many games this season, and the only thing they’ll be competing for is the #1 pick in the draft. But, he’ll be in Steve Kerr’s system, where I believe he will find consistency and improve his overall game. Not only that, but with whatever they do with their draft pick, the returns of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and the improvement of some of their young players, Golden State will be a dangerous team next season. Andrew Wiggins will be a key part of that, with his play vastly improving by having less of a load to carry. Wiggins is only 24, and the Warriors rebuild might not last that long. 

Losers

Knicks – Brendan Welshoff

It’s almost impressive how terrible this organization is throughout. I’ve tried my best to always look at things as an optimist, but every now and then you just have to ask yourself; why? New York has not been a good team in a long time dating back to the late 90’s when James Dolan took the keys to the castle that is the New York Knicks. Every year, the Knicks are in trade rumors for the wrong reasons; selling. Rest in peace Steve Mills because apparently it was Mills’ insistence to not trade New York’s only trade chip that finally cost him his job. 

This past off-season, the Knicks lost out on Zion, Kyrie, and of course KD and instead pivoted towards a bunch of power forwards and settled on a one-year deal for Marcus Morris. The Morris signing was simply a deal to help provide some offense as RJ Barrett got his feet wet. No one, except Mills, envisioned Morris to be around past the trade deadline, which makes it all the more laughable when you consider that the Knicks of all teams were trying to play hardball in trading Morris. Marcus Morris is a good player — with career highs in PPG and shooting average in 2020 — but they moved too slow on trading him and in the end, the return for Morris is Moe Harkless. 

This deal is as mediocre as the team Harkless now plays for. The first round pick they are receiving is nice on the surface, but the Clippers’ pick they receive won’t amount to much in the end when you consider how good the Clippers are going to finish. Forget for a second as well that the Knicks have seven first round picks in the next four years — they have proven almost every year they don’t know how to evaluate top-talent. The Knicks had to trade Morris, but they settled at the last minute due to Mills’ interference, and in the end, took a deal they never should have. Continue to ignore New York until Dolan sells this toxic team. Oh, and Dolan hired Leon Rose to take over the departed Mills because super-agents always make the transition to the front office well. Just ask the Mets.  

Andre Drummond – Rex Eastwood

The return for Andre Drummond was absolutely nothing but cap space for the Pistons. John Henson, Brandon Knight and a second round pick for the NBA leader in rebounds and the former ninth-overall pick. The confusing part of this trade was his mesh with the current roster. Is he the long term solution at center for the Cavs? Drummond joins a packed frontcourt with Tristian Thompson, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. Interestingly, none of those players were traded, so it will be worth monitoring who falls out of the rotation. Any trade for a big man could have been included this deadline, still the roster fit and the return was by far the worst. Drummond wasn’t too pleased with how the Pistons handled the situation in the midst of his eighth season with them. 

Sixers – Rex Eastwood

Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks for 2nd round picks are solid depth additions in the backcourt for Philly. However, these moves will not be enough to get them past the second round in the playoffs. Fans were craving a big move, but the cupboard is bare for the Sixers. They were not willing to move any of their five starters and none of their bench players carry much value. Matisse Thybulle was not on the trade block and Zhaire Smith would not bring the return the Sixers are hoping for. Additionally, they do not possess any noteworthy draft capital to pair a low value player with. The previous trades for Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and others have seen the value go out the door. Once again, the Sixers will deploy a maximum eight-man rotation come the playoffs. 


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