NBA Trade Deadline Recap
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February is an eventful time for basketball fans. College teams have entered the final leg on the run towards March Madness, NBA all-star weekend provides a small break for the players in the middle of the marathon that is the NBA season, and lastly, it is the final month for NBA teams to make trades. The weeks leading up to the trade deadline always provides for excitement, as one move can reshape the league as a whole. That is the case once again this year as there are plenty of big names that are rumored to potentially be dealt before February 23.
While the week directly before the deadline is usually the most eventful. The two weeks prior to this produced two trades that dramatically change the outlook for both teams. On February 14 the Toronto Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic for Terrence Ross and a first round draft pick. For a few seasons, the one position that the Raptors were weak at was the power forward. This trade immediately fixes that problem as they go from Patrick Patterson who has 23.6 career win shares, to Ibaka who has a whopping 51.6 win shares in one less season. Ibaka has also earned the well deserved nickname “Iblocka”, as he has averaged three blocks per game twice in his career. This strengthens Toronto’s position as a contender this season and they seemingly have no glaring weaknesses.
The second trade that was recently made was a blockbuster in every sense of the word. Sacramento Kings center Demarcus Cousins, one of the most dominant big men in the NBA, was dealt to New Orleans to be paired with fellow all-star Anthony Davis. Just half an hour following his third all-star game appearance the news was broken that Cousins would be playing the rest of the year for the Pelicans. This trade came as a shock to many NBA fans as just a few days prior, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac released a statement reassuring fans and Cousins himself, that there would be no trade.
This trade changes the outlook for both teams involved. Both teams are currently on the outside looking in on the playoff run, and the Pelicans would need to win almost all of their remaining games to get anywhere above the last playoff spot. On the other hand, Sacramento is now in full rebuilding mode. They have two first round picks this year in a loaded draft so that should give them a good start on their rebuilding.
While those two were the only two impact players moved, there are a few more players moved that should be able to make an impact on their new teams.