NBA Trades Deadline Roundup

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NBA Trades Deadline Roundup

Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis is now a Maverick

Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis is now a Maverick

Courtesy of NBC Sports

Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis is now a Maverick

Courtesy of NBC Sports

Courtesy of NBC Sports

Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis is now a Maverick

Grant Blumberg, Reporter

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In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, football is usually the sport that dominates the headlines. However, this year was different, when several huge stories broke on Twitter by ESPN’s National Basketball Association (NBA) correspondent Adrian ‘Woj’ Wojnarowski in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, eclipsing almost all football-related news. As NBA teams scattered to make trades and get a lineup they are happy with before the trade deadline closed, a number of top tier players and prospects moved on to pastures new.

The biggest story from the past few weeks was New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar Anthony Davis’s trade request. Although his current contract does not expire until the end of the 2019-2020 season, it was heavily rumored that he wanted to move to a bigger market and a more ambitious franchise. His preferred destination was rumored to be the Los Angeles Lakers where he could join forces with fellow all-star Lebron James, but other potential landing spots for Davis included the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers were ready to go all out for Davis, willing to trade away two first round draft picks as well as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and other young players. However, after the trade failed to materialize, reports began to emerge that the Pelicans never intended to listen to offers for Davis, and just pretended to be interested in pursuing a deal in an effort to disrupt the Lakers’ team chemistry for the latter part of the season.

In a trade that broke the internet when it was first reported, Latvian superstar Kristaps Porzingis’s joined the Dallas Mavericks from the New York Knicks. The seven foot three Porzingis had a difficult relationship with Knicks fans from the moment he was drafted, where Knicks fans’ booed the Eastern European before he even put on the jersey. After a successful second season which included being named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve before tearing his ACL in early 2018. Porzingis insists that the lack of ambition from the Knicks ownership was the major factor in requesting a trade. Once he recovers from his injury, he will join fellow European youngster Luka Doncic in Dallas, a partnership that may shape the Western Conference for years to come.

In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers made moves suggesting they are all-in on earning that number one seed this year, acquiring Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic from the Los Angeles Clippers, which has given them arguably the best starting five in the east. The Washington Wizards acquired Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis from the Bulls, with Otto Porter Jr. going the other way. This move opens them up financially, creating room for All-Star caliber players to join John Wall and Bradley Beal in the nation’s capital. The Celtics were quiet during this trading period, but they are expected to be in the race for Anthony Davis either this upcoming Summer or sometime in 2020. Other big trades that will affect the playoff race in the East include Nikola Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks and Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors.

Teams in the playoff race in the West also made sure to strengthen their rosters before the deadline. The Houston Rockets’ acquisition of Iman Shumpert, an NBA Champion in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was hailed as a smart, cheap way to improve the team and add playoff experience. In California, the Sacramento Kings added forward Harrison Barnes to the roster, aiding their playoff push this season, and in the years to come as well.

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