The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers did not make any moves at the trade deadline and are still both the favorites to win this year's NBA Championship (Nets +280 and Lakers +300). Both teams knew that they didn't need to make any trades since they would be the top 2 destinations for veteran players who get bought out of their contracts. Since Thursday's deadline we have learned that LaMarcus Aldridge will be signing with Brooklyn and it has been reported that Andre Drummond will be signing with Los Angeles, both after being bought out of their contracts.
Projected Playoff Teams that Made Moves
Added: Brad Wanamaker
This move helps Charlotte get some backcourt depth since LaMelo Ball was reported to be out for the season. He might return for the playoffs but first the Hornets need to get there. Wanamaker will make for a good backup for Devonta Graham and Terry Rozier.
Added: Nikola Vucevic, Daniel Theis
Lost: Wendell Carter Jr, Otto Porter Jr, 2 1st round picks
Not necessarily a playoff team, currently sitting in the #10 spot, the Bulls have a chance to move up the standings after adding All-Star forward Nikola Vucevic. The 1-2 punch of Zach Lavine and Vucevic should improve this team. Daniel Theis is a serviceable backup and will help defensively. They are only 4 games back on the #4 seed in the East since there is such a logjam of teams hovering around .500. Don't be surprised to see Chicago separate themselves from these teams as the season moves along.
Los Angeles Clippers
Added: Rajon Rondo
Lost: Lou Williams, 2 2nd round picks
Social media was buzzing about this move. Rondo comes back to LA after winning a championship with the Lakers last season. Williams returns to Atlanta where he played from 2012-14. It is a swap of veteran guards that bring completely different things to the table. Rondo will be a great facilitator for the Clippers when Kawhi and Paul George are struggling offensively. In the huddle and in the locker room he brings one of the highest basketball IQ's in the league and he also isn't afraid to call anyone out. He might be able to crack the code on their superstars and help them reach their maximum potential.
Added: JJ Redick, Nico Melli
Lost: James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, 2nd round pick
Low key the best trade deadline might have been the Mavericks. Giving up 2 players that aren't in the rotation for 2 amazing shooters to put around Luka Doncic. It will give Luka and Porzingis space to create off the dribble while 3 or 4 other players sit around the 3 point line. Johnson had a strong locker room presence but Redick will bring a similar presence. It is a great addition both on and off the court for Dallas.
Added: Aaron Gordon, Javale McGee, Gary Clark
Lost: Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, Isaiah Hartenstein 2025 1st round pick, 2 2nd round picks
After losing Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig in the offseason, Denver tried to replace them with the addition of JaMychal Green but he just isn't the defender those 2 are. Aaron Gordon might not be either, but he has the versatility to guard 1 through 5. His individual defensive rating is 109.2, while he comes to Denver who as a team have a defensive rating 112, ranked 19th in the league. Javale McGee has a defensive rating of 108. Neither of these guys will bring an amazing defensive presence. The Nuggets didn't need more offense. Ranked 3rd in the Western Conference standings, these moves were a bit confusing. Looks like they're going for it all this year. After losing in the Western Conference Finals last year, they are coming for revenge. Their new projected starting lineup will be Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic.
Added: Victor Oladipo, Nemanja Bjelica
Lost: Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, Moe Harkless, Chris Silva, Pick Swap rights
The reigning Eastern Conference champions have had a rough go as of late. Losers of their last 6 games, Pat Riley must have felt pressure to make some sort of change as they sit at 22-24 on the year. Not often can you add a young player with upside like Victor Oladipo. Before injuries he was on his way to becoming a superstar. Miami is hoping he can return to that form alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Nemanja Bjelica will basically slide right in where Olynyk was, bringing offensive skill at the PF position.
Added: George Hill, Iggy Brazdeikis
Lost: Tony Bradley, Terrance Ferguson, 2 2nd round picks
Portland Trail Blazers
Added: Norman Powell
Lost: Gary Trent Jr, Rodney Hood
Norman Powell is averaging almost 20 ppg this year. The Blazers essentially now have 3 go-to scorers, AND Carmelo Anthony. Giving up Trent Jr was tough for Portland but to add a good defensive guard who can also create his own offense, in addition to spotting up off of Dame and CJ is important. He can take away the tough defensive matchups for their superstar guards as well in a 7-game playoff series.
Added: Matt Thomas
Lost: 2nd round pick
As if the best 3-point shooting team needed more shooting, the Jazz took advantage of the Raptors having a garage sale and they acquired Matt Thomas. He might not play a lot but he gives them another shooter they can throw on the floor with Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and co.