Photo courtesy of www.clutchpoints.com.
The fight for power in the NBA has been rapidly changing, and the recent transactions at the trade deadline on March 25 just shook up the balance of the NBA even more. Here is The Neersyde’s list of this year’s trade deadline winners and losers, and the predictions for the NBA playoffs.
Winners: The biggest winner of the deadline is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are coming off multiple big wins when it comes to trades. Their first big trade win was when they landed their hands on former NBA MVP shooting guard James Harden to pair with their dynamic duo of point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Kevin Durant. Then they snagged power forward Blake Griffin from the Detroit Pistons before the deadline. The final piece was center Lamarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is a dominant force in the post that should help the Nets. This team is looking dangerous as we head towards the playoffs.
The Miami Heat are another winner on this list. This is a team who has had a down year after making the NBA Finals last season where they eventually fell to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Heat just scored a great addition to their roster in shooting guard Victor Oladipo. He should be able to complement the current trio of center Bam Adebayo, small forward Jimmy Butler, and point guard Tyler Herro.
“I think the addition of Victor Oladipo will really help us down the stretch,” said Miami Heat fan Aidan Brown, a seventh grader. “I think we’ll make the Conference Finals, but then fall to my NBA championship prediction, the Brooklyn Nets, in six games.’’
“I think the winners were the Bulls because of Nikola Vucevic, the Nuggets because of Aaron Gordon, and the Heat because they got Victor Oladipo for basically nobody,” said sixth grader Griffon Alterman. “I also think the losers are the Rockets because they gave away Oladipo, the Magic because they gave away Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon, and the Raptors because they needed to make big moves because they are not that good right now.’’
Losers: The Lakers are an interesting team to be on this list. Although they just signed a dominant big man in center Andre Drummond, the defending champions just lost one of the greatest players of all time to injury as small forward LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain, and we don’t know what level he will be playing at when he returns. The Lakers also missed out on a trade with NBA champion point guard Kyle Lowry which could have helped them a lot while James is injured. How long James will be out remains to be seen, but their championship hopes fully rest on his health.
The Orlando Magic are also on this list as they let go of Point Guard Evan Fournier, Center Nikola Vucevic, and Power Forward Aaron Gordon. The Magic do have a lot of young talent with guys like point guard Cole Anthony and shooting guard RJ Hampton, but they also have many bad contracts like small forward Otto Porters ($28 million) which will cause trouble with star free-agent signings. The team also traded their main focal point of the franchise, Center Nikola Vucevic, for Al-Farouq Aminu, Wendell Carter Jr. , and Otto Porter along with two first round draft picks. As a result, it seems as if they are doing a full rebuild.
The Neersyde’s Conference Final predictions and NBA Final predictions are as follows:
Eastern Conference Finals-76ERS vs NETS (NETS in 6)
Western Conference Finals-Lakers vs Clippers (Lakers in 7)
NBA Finals-Lakers vs Nets (Nets in 6)