Top 5 Biggest Storylines of the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline

Big Time Trades Change the Landscape of the NBA

With half of the NBA season almost over, NBA fans have a lot to look forward to. With All Star Weekend around the corner and the playoffs in the coming months, it is an exciting time for basketball fans. The NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday, Feb. 7th, is probably one of the most exciting times in the NBA season. The Trade Deadline represents the end of trading players and draft picks between teams until the offseason. Usually, big time trades occur, including star players that change the landscape of the NBA. Star players such as Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis have had some of the most compelling stories these past few months, and it all came down to the last week of the deadline for the moves to be made.

5. Raptors Acquire Veteran Marc Gasol

The Raptors were one of the many Eastern Conference contenders making moves during the trade deadline. The most significant trade they made included acquiring veteran center Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valancinuas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick. This was a great trade for both sides, as the Grizzlies get young assets for the aging Gasol and the Raptors get a much needed and quality center that will provide veteran leadership in the locker room. Getting a player of Gasol’s talent at the deadline was a big move for the Raptors and their push for a title this season, and will help them greatly during the playoffs.

4. Bucks Add Much Needed Shooter

The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the most surprising teams this season, as they have consistently been in the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference. With one of the best players in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are serious contenders for the title this year. One thing that they desperately need however is a shooter, and they got a great one at the deadline. The Bucks traded Jason Smith, Thon Maker, and four second-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nikola Mirotic and Stanley Johnson. Nikola has been one of the few bright spots for the Pelicans this season, as the stretch 4 has averaged 17 points, shooting 44.7% from the field. He will be a great addition for the Bucks this season and is the perfect player to pair with the Greek Freak.  

3. Sixers Go All In For This Year

On February 6th, the day before the deadline, the Clippers traded Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott, for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick from the Miami Heat via the Sixers and two future second picks. This trade put the Eastern Conference on notice, as the Sixers sacrificed future picks and prospects for another star on their already great roster. Tobias Harris was already having a career year, averaging 18 PPG with seven rebounds and 4.5 assists on a terrible Clippers roster. With the help of All Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Tobias should help the Sixers be a top team in the East and compete for a championship.

This was not the only move the Sixers made on the deadline, as they also made another huge trade, getting rid of their 2017 number one pick Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons, their 2020 first-round and 2019 second round picks.  This trade ultimately gave the Sixers some assets and a solid role player on their bench in exchange for the 20 year old PG. After a disastrous first two years in the league, it was clear that Fultz needed to restart in a new team. It will be interesting to see whether Markelle will be able to get back to playing like the great player he was in college, or whether his shoulder issues will make his already dreadful career a short one as well. Both of these moves at the deadline demonstrate the Sixers determination to push for a championship this season and in the coming years. It will be entertaining to see whether these moves will put the Sixers in title contention.

2. Knicks and Mavericks Make Blockbuster Trade

One of the most shocking developments before the deadline came a week beforehand, when news came out that Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis had requested a trade. Within hours of these allegations, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. This deal included Tim Hardaway jr. and Courtney Lee for salary reasons, with the Knicks receiving Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first round picks (2020 & 2021). This deal seemingly came out of nowhere, as there was no news leading up to this big time trade. Although this deal seems to be one sided in favor of the Mavericks, the future implications could make this deal a great decision for the Knicks franchise. With the acquisition of expiring contracts (Jordan and Matthews), along with the disposal of their two worst contracts, the Knicks have the most cap space in the NBA with $74 million to spend in free agency. As most fans know, this is shaping out to be one of the most dramatic NBA off-seasons, with players such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving potentially leaving for new teams. If the Knicks could land two of these stars and land the number one pick, New York could be an immediate title contender. For the Mavericks, they have paired their young superstar, Luka Doncic, with another young great player in Porzingis. Coming off an ACL tear, it will be intriguing to see whether Kristaps will come back to full form. If he does, the Mavericks could be looking at a future dynasty.

1. Anthony Davis Sweepstakes Continue

The biggest story line of the NBA Trade Deadline was the rumors around Anthony Davis and whether he would be traded from the New Orleans Pelicans. It all began on January 28th, when Davis requested a trade. The Pelicans are 25-33 and have no hopes of making a championship run this season. This has been the story for the past six years of Davis’ career, as the six time All Star has never made it past the first round of the playoffs. A top five player in the league, Davis finally had enough of the consistent losing and was hoping to be traded to a contender. Various rumors surfaced of potential trade offers for the big man, but the trade deadline passed with no offers accepted. The Lakers made an offer than included Ingram, Kuzma, Ball, and multiple first round picks, an amazing offer. However, the Pelicans refused to do business with them. For now, Davis remains a Pelican until the NBA offseason, where teams like the Celtics and Lakers will be the favorites to get the star.