NBA trades: Biggest winners and losers thus far

By Vincent Frank
Mar 8, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Juan Hernangomez (41) in action at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

NBA trades have come fast and furious around the Association over the past week-plus. It started out with the Chris Paul trade to the Phoenix Suns and has continued recently.

In between, the Portland Trail Blazers might have overspent in a trade for Robert Covington. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors found a talented young three-and-D wing on the cheap.

It’s in this that we look at recent NBA trades and provide you with the biggest winners and losers.

Related: Winners and losers from 2020 NBA Draft

NBA trades winner: Philadelphia 76ers pull off the impossible

It was a nagging thing for new 76ers front office head Daryl Morey as he took on his role in Philadelphia. What would the team be able to do with Al Horford’s bloated contract? He answered that in relatively short fashion, trading Horford and a future first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In return, the Sixers were able to nab veteran wing Danny Green. It’s an amazing thing to look at. Not only was Philadelphia able to rid itself of the remaining cash ($81 million) on Horford’s deal, it picked up a sharpshooting wing that’s a career 40% three-point shooter.

Related: If you’re a fan of the 76ers, check out #PhilaUnite rumors, rankings, and news here.

Philadelphia was then able to move Josh Richardson for one of the best three-point shooters in the game in the form of Seth Curry. We all know just how much the Sixers struggled from the perimeter under recently-fired former head coach Brett Brown recently. Picking up Green and Curry in separate deals pretty much changes the narrative. Daryl Morey equals swindle god.

NBA trades loser: Milwaukee Bucks overpay massively

It was earlier this month that Bucks general manager Jon Horst figured he had pulled off a coup, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic in separate trades. While the Holiday trade is official, the deal for the former Sacramento Kings sharpshooting wing fell through. Meanwhile, Milwaukee dealt away the likes of Eric Bledsoe, three first-round picks and two pick swaps for Holiday.

Related: Winners/losers from Jrue Holiday trade

Let’s be real for a second. Holiday is a good player. He’ll be a solid third option for the Bucks. However, this was an example of the franchise having to cater to impending free agent Giannis Antetokounmpo. That’s why the Pelicans were able to take them behind the woodshed in the Holiday trade.

Milwaukee did extremely well to move on from the Bogdanovic by targeting free agents. The team added solid rotational players in that of D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig and Bobby Portis. However, we’re looking at trades here. And they are a loser for giving up too much for Holiday. It’s that simple.

NBA trades winner: New Orleans Pelicans add draft assets

New Orleans was able to acquire a first-round pick in the trade that sent Dennis Schroder to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was then able to turn around and use the other asset it acquired in said trade, Danny Green, to pick up another first from the above-mentioned Sixers.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Pelicans, check out #WontBowDown rumors, rankings, and news here.

All the while, Pelicans front office head David Griffin was able to turn Jrue Holiday into three first-round picks and two pick swaps. That’s just crazy value for the upstart Pelicans. If this weren’t enough, New Orleans picked up a stud big man in Steven Adams and a starter-capable point guard in Eric Bledsoe to go with its talented young core. What a series of trades for New Orleans.

NBA trades loser: Portland Trail Blazers’ trade for Robert Covington

Portland is another team that has had a pretty good offseason as it relates to free agency. The team also pulled off a solid trade for backup center Enes Kanter.

However, the deal to acquire forward Robert Covington from the Houston Rockets came at a pretty expensive cost. This included Portland trading away the 16th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft (Isaiah Stewart) and a protected 2021 first-round selection. This isn’t to say Covington can’t be an important component in the Pacific Northwest. He’s one of the better three-and-D players in the NBA and is shooting a career 36% from three-point range. Rather, it’s all about exhausting two first-round picks for a likely fourth scoring option who is making north of $12 million annually.

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey did good work elsewhere. That included re-signing Carmelo Anthony while bringing in the likes of Derrick Jones, Harry Giles and the above-mentioned Kanter. I am just not a huge fan of this one specific trade. Time will tell on that front.

NBA trades winner: Golden State Warriors buy on the cheap

NBA trades: Warriors deal for Kelly Oubre
Jan 20, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) warms up prior to facing the San Antonio Spurs at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mere hours before the 2020 NBA Draft last Wednesday, the Warriors received news that star shooting guard Klay Thompson suffered a lower-leg injury in a workout in Southern California. What ended up being a torn Achilles did not impact the Warriors’ draft plans. Rather, they went with stud center James Wiseman.

It’s what the team did one day later that will likely have it in playoff contention during the 2020-21 season. Golden State acquired 24-year-old wing Kelly Oubre from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a top-20 protected 2021 NBA Draft pick. If the Warriors pick outside of the top 20, they’ll send a second-round pick to Oklahoma City in the trade.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Warriors, check out #DubNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

Oubre can’t replace Thompson. He won’t be asked to. Rather, the former 15th pick is going to do his own thing for the Warriors. He averaged nearly 19 points and 6.4 rebounds on 35% shooting from three-point range with the Phoenix Suns. He’s one of the better perimeter defenders from the wing position in the NBA. Getting him for what might be a second-round pick was an absolute steal.

Quick winners and losers from NBA trades

  • Winner: The Minnesota Timberwolves’ ability to acquire former lottery pick Ricky Rubio and veteran big man Ed Davis for pretty much nothing gives this young team more depth to work with moving forward. The cost? A trade down just eight spots in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, the expiring contract of James Johnson and two deep bench options.
  • Loser: We’re not sure what the Cleveland Cavaliers were doing when they traded for JaVale McGee over the weekend. He’s in no way going to make this team a playoff contender. In the process, Cleveland dealt away Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell while acquiring a second-round pick more than a half-decade down the road. What?