The 76ers have seemed to make themselves even more of a contender over the course of a couple days. Already set with a big-3 that consisted of Butler, Simmons, and Embiid, the 6ers have added another all-star caliber player in Tobias Harris to their lineup that contends with the best in the league on paper. It is a win-now move if I’ve ever seen one, and it may have been one of the best moves of the trade season. On the other hand, Philadelphia also finally moved on from the Markelle Fultz project. It seemed that Philly had finally thrown in the towel on Fultz earlier this year as rumors around the league started buzzing about his inevitable departure from the City of Brotherly Love. The 6ers just couldn’t seem to wait any longer, and had to make a move to brighten their championship window. The addition of Jonathan Simmons will provide good depth to the Philly bench as well. All in all, I think that Philadelphia may be the new favorite to represent the East in the NBA Finals, and I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t.
Boom. The Mavericks seem to have made a franchise altering move, and have traded for the Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis. Reports started swirling about Porzingis wanting out of New York, and almost as quickly as the reports started, he was gone. The Mavs got another franchise cornerstone to pair with Luka Doncic and owner Mark Cuban seems to want to learn from his mistakes and wants to keep Luka and Kristaps together for the rest of their careers. The Mavs unloaded $40 million in expiring contracts from Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan while also trading away Harrison Barnes in a move that clears another $50 million in cap over the next two years. The addition of Tim Hardaway Jr. isn’t all that bad either. He may be little overpaid with his contract set to pay him around an average of $18 million per year over the next three years, with his last year being a player option, but he’s still a legitimate scorer and will be a nice addition to the team. The Mavs also cleared enough cap for another max salary player next year, which brightens the future even more for Cuban and Dallas. Overall, I think the Mavericks made the best moves of the trade deadline this year, and I think they will reap the benefits for years to come.
Los Angeles Clippers
Cap space. That’s all the Clippers were looking to obtain, along with plenty of draft picks for the future. They seemed to accomplish their mission and shed millions in cap space with the departures of Boban, Tobias, and others during the trade scramble. They are only set with around $68 million in total cap next season, which puts them in position for multiple max salary contracts along with plenty of draft picks to use as trade influencers. The Clips also added a serviceable young bing in Zubac who made his presence known when he saw court time with the Lake Show. The Clippers may have not made any big time acquisitions, but they know what they’re doing, and I believe they executed it very well.
Many people believe the departure of Otto Porter was a bad move on the Wizards part. I don’t. He was a substantially overpaid player who has averaged 12 PPG over his career to go along with 5 RPG and 1.4 APG. The Bulls made a bad move, and Bobby Portis will make sure they know it. He never achieved his full potential with the Bulls crowded frontcourt. He showed plenty of flashes over his time with Chicago and in his first game with the Wizards, he put up 30 points. He won’t let the Bulls live this down. As for Jabari Parker, he is still a serviceable player who will be a rotational player for now, and we’ll see if he can’t make a legitimate reemergence.
Los Angeles Lakers
They didn’t get their man. At some point it crossed everybody’s mind that the Pelicans were just trolling them and were trying to get back at the Lakers because they feel that LeBron was “tampering”. Reggie Bullock was a good pick up, especially for how little they gave away for him, but he wasn’t the blockbuster they were looking for. With the final trade package consisting of Lonzo, Kuzma, Ingram, Hart, Zubac, and KCP along with two first round draft picks seemed to be a bit much for most people. It was basically an entire starting lineup with a sixth man for good measure, but it still wasn’t enough to sway the Pelicans into accepting the deal. They believe that they can pry Jayson Tatum away from Boston even though reports have said that the Celtics won’t shop Tatum. The Lakers got played, and they got played hard. Now it’s up to them to see if the team chemistry is still repairable or if they’ll let business get in the way of winning.
They were so close to landing Gasol that they could taste it. Reports throughout the year have gone from trading Kemba, to trading for Kemba’s help. It would’ve been a big acquisition for the Hornet’s if they could’ve gotten their hands on Gasol, albeit maybe not enough to push past the first or second round of the playoffs. The Hornets came away with little to nothing this trade season, but let’s hope they don’t continue to waste Kemba Walker’s prime with a mediocre supporting cast.