NBA Trade Deadline: What this means looking ahead

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NBA Trade Deadline: What this means looking ahead

NBA Trade Deadline graphic

NBA Trade Deadline graphic

Madison Hummer

NBA Trade Deadline graphic

Madison Hummer

Madison Hummer

NBA Trade Deadline graphic

Kevin Singhel, Staff Writer

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Months of rumors and speculation have finally come to an end, as Thursday marked the NBA’s trade deadline. Once the trade deadline has passed, teams can no longer acquire players from other teams, essentially making this each team’s last opportunity to improve their rosters before postseason play. 

This trade deadline was particularly interesting due to the presence of the “super-team” that is the Golden State Warriors and Lebron James leaving the Eastern Conference for the Lakers in the off-season. 

The Warriors have won back-to-back titles, and recently added All-Pro center Demarcus Cousins in the offseason. This made some teams in the West hesitant to pull the trigger on trades, as they felt they couldn’t challenge the Warriors in a seven game series. 

However, with Lebron James out of the Eastern Conference now, his streak of reaching eight straight NBA Finals could be in jeopardy. He now has to go through Golden State to keep his incredible streak alive. 

Anthony Davis was by far the biggest name on the trade block this trade deadline, and while he wasn’t moved to another team, the majority of trade rumors seemed to revolve around him. Davis sent shockwaves through the basketball world when he demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans a few weeks ago, and teams have been scrambling to acquire him ever since.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the frontrunners to acquire Davis, as they were looking to pair him with Lebron James and potentially challenge the dynasty of the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers offered a package that included their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, and draft capital in the form of multiple first round picks. 

However, New Orleans balked at the offer and instead opted to hear what other teams can offer them in the offseason. Teams like the New York Knicks or Boston Celtics may be able to offer similar young talent or draft picks in the offseason that the Pelicans may value more in the long run.

While the Celtics wait for the offseason to make a move for Anthony Davis, their main competitors in the East wasted no time in acquiring deadline talent. The Milwaukee Bucks, owner of the best record in the NBA, got even better as they acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Pelicans in exchange for two role players and four second-round draft picks. Mirotic looks to be a huge boost for the Bucks’ frontcourt, and his 16.7 points per game should pair nicely with MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.  

The Toronto Raptors currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, and they will look to improve on their record with the acquisition of longtime Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol. Gasol was sent to Toronto in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and a 2024 second round draft pick. 

Gasol has been one of the NBA’s top centers this season, and he will slide in perfectly alongside Raptors’ superstars Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry. In addition, Toronto did not give up any major rotation players in the deal, and also didn’t give up any high draft picks that could impact their future. This is a great deal for Toronto as it solidifies their position as title contenders without overly mortgaging their future. 

Other major trades around the league include the 76ers acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers and shipping former number one overall draft pick Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic. 

Harris is a solid pickup for the 76ers, as he led the undermanned Clippers into the thick of the playoff hunt. Fultz has been plagued with shooting problems since his arrival in the NBA, and the Sixers finally had enough of his shooting woes and shipped him out of town. The pieces the 76ers received back from their various trades should allow them to compete with the rest of the East’s elite like the Celtics, Raptors and Bucks.

With the passing of the trade deadline and all deals complete, teams will now prepare to make their final postseason push. With all these trade deals, the NBA postseason looks to be extremely competitive, especially in the Eastern Conference in particular. This season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory.

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