This week was the last chance for NBA franchises to secure any trades before the end of the season.
An NBA record of 45 trades were completed before Thursday’s deadline, with a lot of movement as the league heads into the last half of the season.
Many of the franchises had some decisions to make to shape the rest of their season – push to challenge for the title, or consolidate for the future.
Here are some of the major talking points following the trade deadline.
Magic Reshape for the Future
Orlando Magic were by far the busiest franchise in the final hours of the trade deadline, gaining five future draft picks, but came at the cost of three of their starting players. Aaron Gordon was sent to the Denver Nuggets, who returned Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a first-round draft pick.
Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic were the two other starters traded away from Orlando, landing in Boston and the Windy City respectively.
Oladipo Gets His Trade
Oladipo only played 20 games for the Houston Rockets, after his feature in the mega-trade of James Harden back in January.
Now, the Rockets have shipped the player to Miami, with Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk heading to Houston. On top of that, a draft pick swap for next season’s draft was also included in the deal.
Kyle Lowry Stays Put in Toronto
After multiple reports and rumours, Kyle Lowry was arguably the most talked about name going into the deadline. With interest from Miami Heat, LA Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers, there was a number of locations available to Lowry.
However, the 76ers dropped out after gaining NBA veteran George Hill in a three-team trade deal on Thursday. Philadelphia also acquired Ignas Brazdeikis, with Terrance Ferguson joining the Knicks, as well as Austin Rivers and Tony Bradley leaving Philly to join the Thunder.
Ultimately, no deal was done for Lowry, with the NBA star remaining with the Toronto Raptors until at least the end of the season, where he will become a free agent.
Guards Swapping Galore
Just half an hour before the official deadline, the LA Clippers got involved with a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, securing veteran point guard Rajon Rondo – an NBA champion with the Lakers in 2019/20. For the Hawks, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams has headed back to Atlanta, along with two future second-round draft picks.
Elsewhere, the Raptors were possibly looking at the loss of Kyle Lowry, so struck a trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire two shooting guards, Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood in exchange for Norman Powell.
The Remainder of the NBA Season
Now past the midpoint of the NBA season, with the NBA All-Star mid-season game held almost a fortnight ago, each team will now look to finish the season strong, and push for the finals.
In the Eastern Conference, the 76ers will be looking to maintain their momentum of a four-game winning streak, leading the conference, with the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks close behind.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz lead the Western Conference, currently with the best record, three wins ahead of the Phoenix Suns. Reigning and defending NBA champions, the LA Lakers, are fourth at this stage of the league, and will be looking to push on in the latter stages of the season.
Jordan Noble is a writer that really enjoys discussing anything in and around the world of sports. He’s in his element when talking about sports, and has an ever-growing portfolio of sports news, features and reviews. When he’s not writing, you’ll find Jordan playing football – American football, that is.
He knows Manchester United are the biggest club in the world. He says that it’s just straight up facts. He loves a fight, whether that’s inside an octagon, or between the ropes, he’ll be interested.