Another NBA Trade Deadline passes by, this time with a flurry of activity, but only a few major headlines. Perhaps we look at this deadline as a bit of an inactive one, considering Anthony Davis remains in New Orleans and Mike Conley still runs the point in Memphis. Then again, let us not forget that Kristaps Porzingis is now in Dallas and a number of other players had to pack their bags for a new city, too.
With the dust still settling, which teams do you consider to be the biggest winners of the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline? In no particular order, here are my votes for the kings of the deadline, and in this case, it actually does include the Sacramento Kings.
It’s time for the Sexy Seven – NBA Trade Deadline Winners Edition (Part 1 of 2):
Sexy Seven: 2019 NBA Trade Deadline Winners
1. Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban is always active, vocal and aggressive. This year’s trade deadline was no different. The Mavs were clearly one of the most aggressive teams, well, at least when it came to actual announcements and trades completed. The addition of Kristaps Porzingis makes for an extremely exciting duo for years to come. That is, if KP sticks around with the flashy and talented Slovenian 19 year-old rookie Luka Doncic. Cuban has already openly stated that he plans to have the two in Dallas for a very long time. With Dirk set to walk into the sunset, this is the right time to unleash this duo. In addition, Dallas shipped Dennis Smith Jr. to New York and Harrison Barnes to Sacramento. The newly acquired Z-Bo is likely to be cut loose, as well. But while the loss of draft picks hurt, the Mavericks (25-28) clearly have a plan and an exciting future ahead of them. That alone is a victory.
Key Acquisitions: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph
2. Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are an interesting case and I wonder where they land on many lists. For one, the deal for Tobias Harris is aggressive and clearly showing that Philadelphia is gunning for the NBA Finals. Harris (20.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is having his best statistical season. But was the price worth it? In the end, he is the fourth best player on the team behind Butler, Simmons and Embiid. Then, take the Markelle Fultz trade. This clearly states that the former top pick in the draft was a mistake. On the other hand, the return from Orlando was significant for a project that may never pan out. Overall, the combination of the Harris trade, plus the Fultz deal and overall aggressive nature land Philly on the TWHS winners list.
Acquisitions: Tobias Harris, Malachi Richardson, Rights to Emir Preldzic, 2022 second-round pick, Jonathan Simmons, first round pick (via OKC), second-round pick (via CLE), Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott and James Ennis
Losses: Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, 2 first-round picks, 2 future second-round picks and rights for a 2021 second-round pick
3. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have not been shy when it comes to making major moves and roster shakeups. With the deadline approaching, it was clear that Toronto needed to make a big trade to counter the moves made by the Sixers. Enter Marc Gasol, who despite his age (34), can still be an impactful player. This season, Gasol averages 15.7 ppg, with 8.6 rig and 4.7 apg. On top of that, the Raptors didn’t have to part with any major pieces or first round picks. All in all, this is a win for Toronto.
Key Acquisition: Marc Gasol
4. New York Knicks
Wait, really? But the Knicks are a mess! Yes, that’s true – they very much are. Still, it’s quite obvious that New York have made many mistakes in recent years. This is a proud franchise clearly in need of a major overhaul. Porzingis was not happy and wanted to go. Besides, his injuries are a risk and could hinder his long-term abilities. Dennis Smith Jr. is extremely talented (and fiery) and had lost his rotation spot in Dallas. Clearing all the other dead weight should leave the Knicks with a ton of money to spend. The city of New York can still attract marquee free agents and the Knicks could have the dough for two max deals. The key will be making the right pitch to the right targets. One step at a time.
Key Acquisitions: Dennis Smith Jr., two future first round picks
5. Memphis Grizzlies
This may be another head scratcher for some. Still, it’s not always about acquiring big names (and more victories). A team also needs to know when to let go. For the Grizzlies, this was that time. Marc Gasol is 34 years old. Sure, it was a sad time for the fan base, but still the right time. Conley is 31 and still young enough to build around, especially if the right deal was not available for him. Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright are both 26 years-old and young enough to mold with Conley. Memphis (22-33) is clearly no longer amongst the West’s elite and this was the right time to pull the plug and start clean. That should be considered a win, just in a somewhat backwards way.
Key Acquisitions: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, 2024 second-round pick, Avery Bradley and Tyler Dorsey
6. Sacramento Kings
It’s time to start noticing the Kings. That is, if you haven’t already. This team is fun to watch and filled with a unique combination of young talent and polished veterans. They’re exciting and improving rapidly. Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III are all flourishing for the 28-26 Kings. Add in Harrison Barnes, who adds a steady veteran presence. Former Purdue star Caleb Swanigan did not see many minutes in Portland, but could become a valuable piece off the bench, if given the chance.
Key Acquisitions: Harrison Barnes. Alec Burks, 2020 second-round pick and Caleb Swanigan
7. Boston Celtics
Finally, there’s the Celtics… the only team to land on both lists. Boston is certainly not a winner for moves made, as other top contenders in the East made the flashy acquisitions. Still, the Celtics are winners because the door is still open to land Anthony Davis this summer. That’s all after the Lakers were unable to prior to the trade deadline.
Key Acquisitions: None (but with eyes still on the prize… Anthony Davis)
There you have it, my SEVEN biggest WINNERS of the NBA Trade Deadline. Agree? Agree to disagree (more likely)? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
It’s time to talk hoops! Check out the SEVEN biggest LOSERS (Part 2 of 2), as well.
Oh and as always, thank you for reading and visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Note: All stats via nba.com