The NBA trade deadline is always an exciting time across the NBA. Whether it’s a potential contender adding firepower to their already talent-laden lineup or a struggling team shipping out a star player to start a rebuild, blockbuster trades tend to always occur around deadline day.
Today’s trade deadline deals were no different. In fact, this was one of the more exciting trade deadline frenzies in recent memory, starting with Andre Iguodala being shipped to Miami, and continuing with the swap of Andrew Wiggins and D’Angelo Russell and the unexpected deal that sent Andre Drummond to Cleveland for almost nothing.
Fortunately, NBA fans had Paul Pierce, Rachel Nichols and Brian Windhorst on The Jump to break down all things NBA during the madness as they described what all these deals mean in the grand scheme of things in the NBA.
Starting with Miami and Memphis, Adrian Wojnarowski had all the players of those two teams checking Twitter to stay current on this multiple player deal that sent Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to the Heat in exchange for Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson.
The Miami Heat have been one of the league’s biggest surprises this season, playing physical basketball and lingering at the top of the East at the season’s midway point. Adding Iggy and Crowder points to Miami aiming for a shot at a championship, and Paul Pierce believes this trade elevates Miami to true contender status in the Eastern Conference.
“This puts them in the mix in the Eastern Conference because you get two defensive minded guys who have lots of playoff experience,” Pierce said. “Miami has been tinkering around the two spot and the four spot pretty much all year, so i really like this move because with the East, it’s pretty wide open outside of the Milwaukee Bucks, who i think can be vulnerable.”
During the trade deadline special on The Jump, Woj is constantly providing updates, and during the show, Paul and the rest of The Jump received perhaps the biggest deadline news of the day. The Minnesota Timberwolves swapped Andrew Wiggins for Warriors’ guard D’Angelo Russell, perhaps in an effort to appease young star center Karl-Anthony Towns as he and Russell are close friends off the court.
While this move doesn’t impact contenders for this season, these two young players will get a fresh start with new teams, which could be just what they need to break through. The trade could also have long-term implications that will be felt in future years, with Wiggins joining a Warriors team that should have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back next season, hungry to pursue another title. And Russell’s addition in Minnesota could be the start of a solid young core between him and Towns, with the possibility of adding more young talent in the future.
“When you get a trade, obviously it gives you new life, none for them this year but maybe in the future,” Pierce said.
One of the biggest storylines that came out of the trade deadline was that the Los Angeles Lakers did not make any big moves. Perhaps, they can add by signing a player like Darren Collison, but Paul is concerned about the impact a player like Collison can have after taking so much time off at his age.
“This guy’s sitting out eight or nine months, so I don’t know how much he’ll really help,” Pierce said.
Every trade deadline seems to feature a couple of moves that come out of nowhere, and Andre Drummond being shipped off to the Cleveland Cavaliers fits that description. The Cavs have been trying to offload Kevin Love seemingly all season, but instead they add Drummond to a team that is nowhere near the playoffs. However, this move could potentially soften the blow if they allow Love to leave for nothing.
However, this move could also lead to a Tristan Thompson buyout, which could lead to him joining Paul’s Boston Celtics and elevate them in the Eastern Conference playoff race.