By: Nick Galle
With the NBA trade deadline having come and gone, some teams clearly bolstered up their rosters looking to make a deep playoff run. This year’s deadline was not as crazy as the NBA community thought it could have been, but there were still some crucial trades made that have allowed some teams to now become true contenders for a title this season.
Here are three of the biggest winners of the 2018-2019 NBA trade deadline:
TOR receives: Marc Gasol
MEM receives: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, 2024 second-round draft pick
Toronto is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, just one game behind Milwaukee. After adding the big man who is averaging 15.6 points and 8.5 rebounds in his 10th NBA season, look for Toronto to battle Milwaukee down the stretch. The Raptors do lose Delon Wright in the trade, a 26-year-old guard with a good upside, but it is evident that the Raptors want to win sooner as opposed to later. Losing Wright won’t be a huge issue this season with Fred VanVleet and Danny Green providing quality minutes off of the bench. Losing Jonas Valanciunas might have been tough if this trade happened a couple years ago when the former starter was playing at a high level, but here in 2019, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam have taken over the reigns in the front court for the Raptors. Adding Gasol is essentially just bringing in an upgraded Valanciunas. At 31-years-old, CJ Miles is on the latter half of his NBA career, so he will likely end his career with Memphis. We will just have to wait until 2024 to see how the draft pick turns out, but that could obviously go either way. Throw in Marc Gasol to a lineup with Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Ibaka, and Siakam and you might just have a team that faces off in the NBA Finals this June.
Trade rating: B+
PHI receives: Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott
LAC receives: Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-round draft pick, 2021 first-round draft pick (via Miami), 2021 second-round draft pick, 2023 second-round draft pick
The Philadelphia 76ers went all in at this year’s deadline in order to put together a starting five that might just be the best in the Eastern Conference. Tobias Harris was the focal point of the Clippers so far this season, averaging 20.8 points and 7.8 rebounds, while shooting 50% from the field and 44% from the three. Harris is an excellent addition to a team already loaded with talent. As one of the most underrated talents in the NBA, look for the veteran to make a huge impact late in the season and in the playoffs. Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott also look to add quality minutes off of the bench especially with the absence of Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler.
As for the Clippers, they have added pieces that could very well set them up for an extremely successful future. Landry Shamet has the potential to develop into quite the player and become an essential piece for Los Angeles. Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala will likely just be role players for the next couple of years, but with the picks that the Clippers received, look for them to be a force in the West in the next five to seven years. By parting ways with Harris, it appears that the Clippers are starting to aim towards a rebuild, and this trade has set them up for just that.
Trade rating: A-
MIL receives: Nikola Mirotic
NO receives: Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson, four second-round picks
Milwaukee might have just made the best trade that we saw at this year’s deadline. When healthy, Mirotic has been great this season, averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, while shooting 45% from the field. Milwaukee basically stole Mirotic from New Orleans. Stanley Johnson had been with the team for less than 24 hours, and Jason Smith had not even played since January 16th. Sitting atop the Eastern Conference, the Bucks have added yet another talented role player and shooter to have on their bench. Look for Milwaukee to put up a strong series in the Eastern Conference Finals, and possibly even contend for an NBA championship this season.
Trade rating: A+
Cover photo via: RealGM
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