Thursday night it was that time again. Until then, the thirty NBA teams had to make transfers with each other on ‘Trade Deadline Day’. In the end, 39 basketters switched teams.
In basketball world it is always looking forward to that last day to realize transfers, just as we know it from football. A few big names were on hot coals. The biggest eventually stayed where it was, namely Kyle Lowry at Toronto, the champion of two years ago. But further fifteen trades were recorded in one evening. We pick out the most striking.
Oladipo to Miami
There are few better guards in the world than Victor Oladipo. He was sent from Indiana to Houston earlier this season, but declined a new contract proposal in Texas. The Rockets didn’t want to lose him for nothing and sent the 28-year-old American to Miami for Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and a draft pick in 2022.
In Florida, Oladipo, who will play for his fifth team, will form a strong duo with Jimmy Butler. With Bam Adebayo among others, the losing finalist is once again armed for the play-offs. The Heat are also linked to NBA star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was bought out from San Antonio and can sign for any club. Although the Lakers, Clippers and Nets are also interested.
The first two teams, in addition to Boston, New York and Charlotte, are also interested in Andre Drummond. The gigantic center, like Aldridge, is a free agent after he was bought out by Cleveland. A decision was expected from both players in the short term.
Vucevic to Chicago
It has been a while since the Chicago Bulls were allowed to participate in the play-offs (2017). But Michael Jordan’s ex-team is gradually getting back on track. Thanks to talents such as Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Coby White. But a piece of experience was missing and it now comes with Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu, for whom the Bulls sent Wendell Carter Jr and Otto Porter to Orlando.
Vucevic was an All-Star in two of the past three seasons, averaging nearly 25 points and 12 rebounds this season. The Bulls then also took the tall Daniel Theis away from Boston, which suddenly made them a lot more muscular. The Celtics in turn also sent Jeff Teague to Orlando and got a good shooter in place with Evan Fournier.
Gordon to Denver
Orlando was particularly active on the last day before the trade deadline and also dealt with Denver. The Nuggets snatched athletic Aaron Gordon from Florida in exchange for Garry Harris, RJ Hampton and two draft picks. In addition, Denver, the team of superstar Nikola Jokic, also brought back the tall JaVale McGee.
The Nuggets made it to the semifinals last season, losing to LeBron James and the LA Lakers. With Gordon, who made himself noticed a few times in the Dunk Contest, and McGee there, they are already slightly better armed.
Powell to Portland
As said before, they decided at Toronto not to say goodbye to star player Kyle Lowry (yet). The Raptors were active on Thursday night. They sent the reliable Norman Powell to Portland in exchange for Gary Trent Jr and Rodney Hood.
Powell, who has scored nearly 20 points per game this season, wants to make a financial move this summer and the 2019 champion wanted to avoid that. Superstar Damian Lillard’s Trail Blazers wanted to give it a go, even though they might see him leave as a free agent.
Rondo for ‘Lou’
The LA Clippers fell short in the playoffs last season and were looking for a playmaker to make it easier to find star players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They found it in the person of Rajon Rondo. The veteran point guard, champion with the Lakers last year, was traded for multiple ‘Sixth Man of the Year’ Lou Williams, who moves to the Atlanta Hawks.
Other Noteworthy Deals:
– Shooter JJ Redick and Italian Nicolo Melli must help Luka Doncic’s Dallas to get a ticket for the play-offs.
Miami will receive the versatile Nemanja Bjelica in exchange for Maurice Harkless and Chris Silva, who will play for Sacramento. Delon Wright now also plays for the Kings.
– Title candidate Philadelphia picks George Hill away from Oklahoma City. The Thunder will be replaced by Tony Bradley, Austin Rivers and two draft picks. As a result, OKC now has 34 (!) Draft choices up to and including 2027. Normally, a team has two per year. New York was also involved in this deal. The Knicks strengthen themselves with, among others, Terrance Ferguson.
– Charlotte buys Brad Wanamaker away from Golden State.