Recapping an eventful NBA trade deadline

Blake Bailey

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Kristaps Porzingis attempts a floater versus the Washington Wizards. Porzingis was traded to the Wizards at the deadline with the Wizards hoping to give Bradley Beal a star counterpart.

The NBA Trade Deadline is a staple in the sports world, bringing with it fresh narratives and a significant reshuffling of rosters. Teams had till February 10, at 3:00 PM (ET) to make their final moves, making the hours precluding a chaotic time for NBA fans and players alike. The madness began with the Portland Trail Blazers, who dealt starters Norman Powell and Robert Convington to the LA Clippers. Longtime star Portland guard CJ McCollum was next joining forces with the likes of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson in New Orleans. In return, the Trailblazers received a handful of steady role players, namely Silver Spring native Josh Hart and prospect Keon Johnson, as they try to retool their roster around Damian Lillard.

The Indiana Pacers officially transitioned into a “rebuilding” phase, as All-Star big Domantas Sabonis was shipped out west to Sacramento in exchange for promising young guard Tyrese Haliburton and 2016 Naismith College Player Of The Year Buddy Hield. The local team, the Washington Wizards, got in on the action too, trading newly acquired point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans to the Dallas Mavericks for former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis.

“I thought the Wizards deal was pretty good considering how bad Dinwiddie and Bertans have been this season. Even though Porzingis is always injured, he’s still one of the tallest players in the league and can shoot the lights out… I’m excited to see him at Capital One arena,” freshman Alp Torumtay said.

The headlining deal occurred just hours before the official deadline as two disgruntled superstars in Brooklyn’s James Harden and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons had their wishes fulfilled. At 1:16 PM ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the “Woj bomb”, announcing the deal via Twitter and setting the NBA world ablaze. The full deal dealt James Harden and veteran Paul Millsap in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, as well as two first-round picks. Following the deal, the Sixers championship odds jumped dramatically with the potential winnings of a successful championship bet being cut in half.

“I think the trade was pretty interesting and could be huge for both sides. Both should be contenders come April… I could see either of them going all the way. Harden and Joel Embiid form a formidable offensive duo in Philly, while Simmons gives the Nets an elite defender,” senior Adam Jbara said.

For some fanbases, the deadline was quiet – perhaps too quiet. The Lebron-led Lakers, despite their struggles, remained stagnant during the festivities. In New York, the Knicks did the same, retaining the same disappointing roster that has led them to a losing record.

“I definitely see the [New York] Knicks trade deadline as a failure… New York had multiple opportunities to get rid of players who aren’t benefiting us in exchange for players who would. Our trade deadline was just missed opportunities,” junior Knicks fanatic Kru Corke said.

While speculation is fun, the actual winners and losers of the deadline can only be distinguished with time, and with ample talent reshuffled about the league, it will certainly be interesting to watch.