Winners: New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder
With the addition of DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, the Pelicans are eyeing the eighth seed in the Western Conference as they currently sit 2.5 games out of the spot. Cousins will be paired with all-star big man Anthony Davis along with guard Jrue Holiday. If Cousins re-signs with New Orleans, look for them to be a contender for the 2017-2018 season.
The Toronto Raptors were able to acquire more with less at the deadline. They shipped Terrence Ross to Orlando for Serge Ibaka and acquired P.J Tucker from the Phoenix Suns. Both Ibaka and Tucker defend and spread the floor well, adding to the all-star duo of Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. As they look to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers from Eastern Conference supremacy, the Raptors improved greatly.
Oklahoma City finally got Russell Westbrook some help. By dumping off backup point guard Cameron Payne and Joffrey Lauvergne, the Thunder were able to add Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from Chicago. With Enes Kanter injured, Gibson can pick up the load defensively as he averages 7 rebounds per game. McDermott is a sharpshooter and can provide quality bench minutes, as he’s shooting 38% from 3-point land. The key was to get Westbrook some help, OKC achieved that at the deadline.
Losers: Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks
The Kings failed miserably at the trade deadline to say the least. DeMarcus Cousins was bargained to New Orleans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and a draft pick. May sound like a lot, but giving up a top-10 player for a jumper and bad knees, not smart.
The Boston Celtics currently hold the second seed in the Eastern Conference, but failed to make any moves at the deadline. With hopes to land Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls, the potential deal fell off the market once Chicago claimed Butler was unavailable. The Celtics are very solid and willcompete in the East undoubtedly. But without any positive additions, other teams improved as the Celtics remained stagnant.
Aside from the Carmelo Anthony fiasco, the New York Knicks had the opportunity to swap Derrick Rose for Ricky Rubio. Ultimately, the deal fell through once New York wanted too much in return for the former league MVP. With moving Rose, the Knicks would’ve gotten his large contract off the books, but he will stay put. The Knicks can only get better from here, and they did not at the trade deadline.