Two words: this league! No league is more dramatic than the NBA. If you need drama, look no further than today’s trade deadline. The drama is continuing on TNT as we speak!
You couldn’t script funnier moments. Back to the trade deadline, here are my winners and losers.
Winner: Brian Windhorst
The MVP of the trade deadline is Brian “Windy” Windhorst. Make no mistake about it, Windhorst pulled his sword out and defeated the dragon that is Adrian “Woj” Wojnarowski. Yesterday, Windhorst firmly planted his flag on “James Harden Island,” saying the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers were “absolutely engaged in trade discussions.” He said it with conviction, and never waivered.
Naturally, most people waited for Woj to report on the issue, and Mr. Bomb essentially refuted Windy’s report on NBA Countdown.
In the Battle of the Network Reporters, Windhorst pulled the upset after Woj adjusted his story this morning. Good for Windhorst. It’s nice to see a reporter other than Woj and Shams break a big scoop.
Shams also defeated Woj in the number of trades broken. I expect Woj to head back into the lab and go on a revenge tour come free agency.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
In my best Randy Newman voice, “I (don’t) love LA.” The Los Angeles Lakers have LeBron James, who is averaging 29 ppg, 7 rpb, and 6 apg, and Anthony Davis, a top 15 player in the NBA, and yet, the team sits in 9th place in the Western Conference at 26-30. The Russell Westbrook experience has been a disaster. Signing Talen Horton-Tucker and Trevor Ariza over Alex Caruso is the definition of basketball malpractice. The Lakers have a horrible cap situation, but with some creativity, trades could happen.
Spoiler alert: The Lakers made zero trades at the deadline. I’m sure they can secure a buyout player, but I would be shocked if L.A. makes it out of the first round especially if their opponent is Phoenix or Golden State.
Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Today, the saying reads “winners never quit, and quitters can also win.” Ben Simmons refused to play for the Sixers this season after Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid called him out for his poor play against Hawks in last year’s playoffs. James Harden didn’t like Brooklyn so he mailed it in this past week and wanted out.
Kids, if you play in the NBA, refusing to play and mailing it in on the court will get you your way because that’s exactly what happened today. Simmons heads to a good situation in Brooklyn while Harden teams up with Embiid. Both of these players should thrive in their new situations. However, what’s to stop them from asking out if things don’t go haywire a few years down the line?
Loser: New York Knicks
I could spend forever on how the Knicks screwed this up so I’ll keep it brief. Today was a colossal failure for Leon Rose and the entire front office. The Knicks made z-e-r-o trades on a day where they had to make m-u-l-t-i-p-l-e moves. The De’Aaron Fox dream died when the Kings traded Tyrese Haliburton*. Ben Simmons was a long shot. Russell Westbrook was a possibility, but it never materialized.
At that point, all I wanted for the Knicks to do was to trade veterans like Burks, Noel, and Kemba for waivable players and 2nd round picks to clear up rotation spots for the young players. Did that happen? No. My guess is the front office believed the team had tradeable contracts on the roster. As it turns out, the league wouldn’t budge, and that’s an indictment on Leon’s poor off-season where he spent money on the three aforementioned players above as well as Evan Fournier. This is absolutely the worst-case scenario, and I’m very upset.
*If the Knicks did not contact the Kings about Haliburton, I’ll scream.
- Whenever I think the Knicks are hopeless, I always say to myself, “It could be worse. We could be the Kings.”
- The Dallas Mavericks trading Kristaps Porzingis to Washington Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans is puzzling. I understand why the Wizards make that move, but for Dallas, I’m struggling to come up with answers. Dinwiddie and Bertans are not on team-friendly contracts. Perhaps Dallas believes Brunson will leave in the offseason so therefore, Dinwiddie is guard insurance.
- The San Antonio Spurs made multiple trades This ain’t your Duncan Spurs anymore, Pop.
- Goran Dragic will be the best buyout option for contenders. Dallas is the frontrunner to sign the Dragon, but after the Dinwiddie trade, that might have changed. The Milwaukee Bucks should make an aggressive play for the Dragon.
Tell us your winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline in the comments below or tweet us at,@unafraidshow.