Usually, I use the rebound to cover any of the important box scores you may have missed from the weekend. I will be doing something a little different this time. On Thursday, the NBA trade deadline passed so I will be gathering all of the transactions from that day just in case you missed something amongst the flurry of activity. 

My main takeaway was that while several teams made swings, only two teams improved their title chances with any significance. And that’s OK. I like that teams tried to improve even if it doesn’t mean they are going to win the title. Let’s look at the Bulls, for instance. They got an All-Star in Nikola Vucevic. They will probably not win the NBA title this season.

This move is not the same as the Nets getting their All-Star when they got James Harden. What this transaction does do for the Bulls is make them a much better team. Winning games makes your fans happy! They don’t mind paying for stuff when the team is better. It’s great. 

Being a playoff team is a worthy goal and I do not believe it has to be title or bust for a franchise to be a success. The other good news for the Bulls is that wild things happen all the time and they may be in contention in a year or two anyway, with the way the league twists and turns. Thus, I raise my glass to these franchises that pulled the trade lever that I assume exists in every General Manager’s office. Here are the trades. 

The New Aaron Gordon Launching Zone

Magic get:

  • Gary Harris
  • RJ Hampton
  • Future first-round picks

Nuggets get:

  • Aaron Gordon
  • Gary Clark

My Reaction: I like this move for the Nuggets. Despite Aaron Gordon not living up to the hype or the Dunk Contest accolades, he is still a valuable piece. If he’s taking the stiff that used to be Paul Millsap’s minutes, then that’s a big win in my book. I love the frontline of MPJ, Gordon, and Jokic. Playing in the Mile High City, Gordon may take off for a dunk and touch space. Like outer space. 

Oladipo Gets to Prove Himself, Again:

Heat get:

  • Victor Oladipo

Rockets get:

  • Kelly Olynyk
  • Avery Bradley
  • 2022 draft pick swap

My Reaction:  This is a slam dunk for Miami. They gave up nothing to get a guy that could actually make an impact. Is Oladipo the player he was three years ago? Probably not. He can prove us all wrong though. This is a good system where he does not have to be the man. I can’t understand what the Rockets are doing unless their goal was to become insignificant as fast as possible. They are crushing that. 

The Celtics Got Better and Their Fans Got Bitter:

Celtics get:

  • Evan Fournier

Magic get:

  • Jeff Teague (waived)
  • Two future second-round picks

My Reaction: This trade cleans up the Celtics rotation. They get a player that can consistently score points, which their second unit sorely needs. Fournier can also play with their starters if they need him too. They also gave up nothing to get him. It wasn’t the big move that many Celtics fans–myself included–were hoping for. Still, right now anything will help. 

Shooters Gonna Shoot: 

Mavericks get:

  • JJ Redick
  • Nicolo Melli

Pelicans get:

  • James Johnson
  • Wes Iwundu
  • 2021 second-round pick
  • Cash considerations

My Reaction: The Mavericks got some sorely needed shooting to surround Luka Dončić. I have to believe that the Mavericks wish they hadn’t given up Seth Curry. Mark Cuban has not invested in time travel–as far as we know–so he will have to settle for this move. It’s a good audible to call and it makes the Mavericks better for this season. Redick will be able to set up a lawn chair and just rain threes off of Dončić’s action. 

Paging Playoff Rondo, Please Return To The West Coast:

Clippers get:

  • Rajon Rondo

Hawks get:

  • Lou Williams
  • 2023 second-round pick (from Clippers via Portland)
  • 2027 second-round pick (from Clippers)
  • Cash considerations

My Reaction: This trade works out for both sides. The Clippers get a guy who could potentially impact their playoff chances. It was, what six months ago that Rondo was the third option on a title team? If he can still bring two-thirds of that same fire, the Clippers will be improved. Lou Williams can get some wings from some of his favorite locations. Win-win. 

Javale McGee Can Dunk:

Nuggets get:

  • JaVale McGee

Cavaliers get:

  • Isaiah Hartenstein
  • Two future second-round picks

My Reaction: He can and will dunk the ball. He is the opposite of Jokic. That change of pace can be interesting. 

The Casual NBA Fan Has Probably Heard of None Of These Players

Bulls get:

  • Daniel Theis
  • Javonte Green
  • Troy Brown Jr.

Celtics get:

  • Luke Kornet
  • Moe Wagner

Wizards get:

  • Daniel Gafford
  • Chandler Hutchison

My Reaction: I like Daniel Gafford. When he has gotten minutes, he is an effective shot-blocker and rebounder. He can make a rotation. I think the Celtics are going to miss Theis. He will be one of the best backup centers in the league for the Bulls. The Celtics get under the luxury tax. Cool. The on-court benefit is that Robert Williams can play big minutes now. 

Keep Reading:

Warriors get:

  • 2025 second-round pick from Hornets (top 55 protected)

Hornets get:

  • Brad Wanamaker
  • 2022 second-round pick (from Toronto via Philadelphia)
  • Cash considerations

It Gets Better Again, I Promise:

Kings get:

  • Terence Davis

Raptors get:

  • 2021 second-round pick

This is a Sneaky Move:

Jazz get:

  • Matt Thomas

Raptors get:

  • Future second-round pick

My Reaction:  Matt Thomas can shoot. I also mentioned in a piece at the beginning of the season that he plays super hard. The Jazz are contenders. Adding another shooter and hustle role player matters in the playoffs. These guys step up in weird spots or fill in for injuries. 

On Wednesday, We Wear Our Rings:

Spurs get:

  • Marquese Chriss
  • Cash considerations

Warriors get:

  • Draft rights to Cady Lalanne

My Reaction: I’m pretty sure Cady Lalanne is Lindsay Lohan’s character from Mean Girls. 

The Kings are Deflecting:

Kings get:

  • Delon Wright

Pistons get:

  • Cory Joseph
  • 2021 second-round pick
  • 2024 second-round pick

My Reaction: Cory Joseph didn’t really fit with the Haliburton and Fox backcourt. Wright fits a little better and can be a solid defensive pairing. He is one of the better defenders in the league when it comes to deflections. That explains the pun in the title. 

The Heat Get Rich Again:

Heat get:

  • Nemanja Bjelica

Kings get:

  • Moe Harkless
  • Chris Silva
  • (waived Jabari Parker)

My Reaction: Remember when the Heat traded Kelly Olynyk? Well, Bjelica is a better player than Olynyk. They just keep swiping these guys. I’ve always been a fan of Bjelica. I even learned how to say his name. 

Hill Could Help The 76ers Climb The Mountain:

76ers get:

  • George Hill
  • Ignas Brazdeikis

Knicks get:

  • Terrance Ferguson
  • Vincent Poirier
  • Rights to Emir Prldzic
  • 2021 second-round pick
  • 2024 second-round pick (protected Nos. 31-55)

Thunder get:

  • Austin Rivers
  • Tony Bradley
  • 2025 second-round pick (from 76ers)
  • 2026 second-round pick (from 76ers)

My Reaction:  George Hill can help a playoff team. I even wrote about this a couple of months ago. This solidifies some bench depth for the 76ers, especially in the games when Maxey doesn’t have it. Both the Knicks and Thunder get some picks. The Knicks also get a decent wing in Ferguson. I think his shooting will help spread the floor for Randle. I have never heard of Emir Prldzic. So many consonants. 

Offense Wins Championships

Blazers get:

  • Norman Powell

Raptors get:

  • Gary Trent Jr.
  • Rodney Hood

My Reaction: I suppose the Blazers figured that one player wouldn’t fix their defensive problems. One player can get more buckets, though. Norman Powell has shown he can get buckets, scoring around 20 points a game this year. Adding him to their backcourt of Lillard and McCollum is a nightmare for other teams to guard. On the other side, Trent is another piece for the Raptors. 

Burying The Lede: 

Bulls get:

  • Nikola Vucevic
  • Al-Farouq Aminu

Magic get:

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
  • Otto Porter Jr.
  • Two future first-round picks

My Reaction: I pretty much outlined my thoughts in the opening on this one. I think it is fun to try. The Magic are trying in a different way. They are admitting that their previous strategy was not working and they are going to try a different rebuild. 

Pre-Deadline Note:

The Bucks did trade for P.J. Tucker before the deadline. I do believe that move adds some toughness and some flexibility for their team, depending on what he has left in the tank. 

Alright, that just about sums up all the action. Have a great week.