Recap: The 2017 NBA Trade Deadline

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Ah yes, the NBA Trade Deadline. Aside from July 1st in a loaded free agency class, the trade deadline is probably the most exciting day of the NBA’s calendar year. The suspense, the surprises, and the rumors of teams making phone calls take center stage just days after the All-Star Game. NBA Twitter is fully engaged and locked in to the accounts of the likes of Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania, Marc Stein, Brian Windhorst, etc., hoping to be hit with huge trade announcements.

Now, the trade deadline isn’t always as exciting as Twitter rumors make it out to be. Sometimes, nothing happens that would shift the NBA landscape or, as was the case last year, stuff doesn’t materialize until after the 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central deadline (trades can still be announced after the deadline, so long as the league is notified before). This year, the madness started with two major moves before the All-Star Break had fully settled down – and no, I’m not talking about the Mason Plumlee/ Jusuf Nurkic trade.

On February 14th, the fans of Toronto got a pretty nice Valentine’s Day gift in the form of Serge Ibaka, a guy who has undoubtedly slipped defensively compared to his role on a monstrous Thunder team a few years ago, but a guy who has improved his shooting range and will definitely help the Raptors in their quest to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers in the east. For a team that sees Kyle Lowry’s free agency on the horizon (he can opt out of his contract at season’s end) and is clearly in “win now” mode, giving up an inconsistent bench player like Terrence Ross and a low first-round pick is not a ton to give up for a guy with the name-value Ibaka has.

Then, on Sunday, February 19th, just hours after the All-Star game ended, the Sacramento Kings dropped a major bombshell when they agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins (and Omri Casspi) to the New Orleans Pelicans for a lackluster package of Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and two picks in this year’s draft. This move pairs Cousins with Anthony Davis and now gives the Pelicans the most formidable backcourt in the NBA. It also allows for the Kings to move on from the controversial Cousins or, perhaps more importantly, it allows for ‘Boogie’ to move on from the highly dysfunctional organization that is the Sacramento Kings. With the addition of a superstar like Boogie, expect the Pelicans to make a major push for the eighth-seed in the Western Conference (they’re only 2.5 games back).

There was a lot of chatter about Paul George and Jimmy Butler potentially being moved with the Boston Celtics and their treasure chest of assets being the likely destination, but, alas, those moves weren’t meant to be.

Here’s a recap of the moves made at the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline (including those mentioned above):

  • Portland Trailblazers traded Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second-round pick, and cash considerations to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick



  • Orlando Magic traded Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick



  • Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and 2017 first- and second-round picks



  • Brooklyn Nets traded Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullogh to the Washington Wizards for Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, and a 2017 first-round pick



  • Philadelphia 76ers traded Ersan Illyasova for the Atlanta Hawks for Tiago Splitter, a protected 2017 first-round pick that has a pick-swap option



  • Los Angeles Lakers traded Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick



  • Philadelphia 76ers traded Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 first-round pick



  • Houston Rockets traded KJ McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets for a heavily protected future second-round pick



  • Chicago Bulls traded Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow



  • Milwaukee Bucks traded Roy Hibbert to the Denver Nuggets for a heavily protected second-round pick



  • Houston Rockets traded Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Marcelo Huertas



  • Atlanta Hawks traded Mike Scott to the Phoenix Suns for cash considerations



  • Phoenix Suns traded P.J. Tucker to the Toronto Raptors for Jared Sullinger and 2017 and 2018 second-round picks


Not a lot off significant moves were made at the actual trade deadline as some of the most impactful moves were made in the days leading up to it. However, there are some clear winners as far as teams improving at this year's deadline goes. First, as mentioned above, both the Pelicans and DeMarcus Cousins are huge winners following the most notable move of this deadline. Also, the Raptors, who have fallen to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings in recent weeks, are big winners with the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker – two pieces that will certainly help the Raptors make a run at the Cavs.

The Houston Rockets, who will always be active at the trade deadline, were also big winners with the addition of Lou Williams – a perennial sixth man of the year candidate (and Eric Gordon’s only competition in that regard this season) and a scorer that is seemingly a perfect fit for what Mike D’Antoni wants to do with that offense. Also, trading K.J. McDaniels and Tyler Ennis away for essentially nothing (Marcelo Huertas is going to be released) gives the Rockets some extra cap space, allowing for the acquisition of players that may be bought out post-deadline (i.e. Andrew Bogut or Deron Williams).

The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the excitement for the rest of this season is just ramping up. With championship contenders looking to sign free agents to bolster roster depth and with roughly 26 games left in the season, the NBA is preparing for the last, most exciting phase of the calendar year – The Playoffs.

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