Another NBA trade deadline is in the books, and though many thought it might be a quiet day, there were more than a few Woj Bombs dropped on the timeline. D'Angelo Russell is on the Timberwolves and Andrew Wiggins is heading to the Bay Area. The Rockets managed to pickup Robert Covington while the Heat swung big and made a move for Iggy, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill.
Of course, the big move by a contender today was by the Clippers, who managed to pull off a deal for Marcus Morris to bolster their roster for the strech run. On the otherhand, the Lakers decided not to make a move after being rumored to dangle Kyle Kuzma for an upgrade at guard. For whatever reason, that never materalized and the Lakers will likely be looking at the buyout market to improve their team. The Battle for Los Angeles only got more intense on Thursday, with both the Clippers and Lakers vying for the top spot in the conference.
While we won't fully know how these trades will work out in the long run, it's always fun to do some initial speculating in the moment, which brings us to our official "Winners & Losers" post for the 2020 NBA trade deadline. Let's get to it.
Winner: Andre Iguodala
Let's face it, Iggy may have been the biggest winner of the entire deadline. He not only forced his way out of Memphis after not playing one game there, but he got traded to Miami and got a contract extension. That's elite finessing by him and his agent. Now he gets to join a Miami Heat team that is on the brink of contention in the East. Talk about a win-win situation for Iggy.
Loser: Kevin Love & Tristan Thompson
Even though the Cavs shocked everyone by trading for Andre Drummond, you have to imagine Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson would have liked to have been moved to contenders at the deadline. Sadly for them, no deals came to be and they'll likely finish out the season with the Cavs. In Love's case, after months of speculation that a deal would happen, you'd imagine that he's a bit bummed about not landing on a contender. Pretty sure Love won't be in Cleveland long however, as they'll likely look to move him this summer when he's owed less money on his deal. As for Tristan, he's a free agent this summer and will likely get a pretty nice contract from someone. There's been some rumors of him potentially being a buyout candidate, but as Joe Vardon tweeted, Klutch clients don't usually give money back. We'll see.
Winner: Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis got the young and versatile Justise Winslow from Miami who at one point was considered the future of the Heat franchise. Injuries have prevented him from reaching those vaunted levels, but give the Grizzlies credit for flipping a guy in Andre Iguodala—who was never going to suit up for them—for a valuable piece they can control through the 2021-22 season for only $13 million a pop. Pairing him with Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Dillon Brooks (who the Grizzlies just signed to an extension) means Memphis has one of the most exciting young cores in the league. And considering the Grizzlies are already exceeding expectations (shockingly, Memphis is a game over .500, good for eighth place in the West), the future looks very bright.
Loser: Golden State Warriors
Man, what exactly were the Warriors thinking with this DLo trade? Yes, they got a top-3 protected pick back in 2021, but they also picked up Andrew Wiggins in the deal. Was that really all they could swing for D'Angelo Russell? Also, with DLo and KAT in Minnesota, how bad is that pick going to be after next season? This seems like a heavy bet on Wiggins' potential, but man, that's a tough bet to place with the amount of money he's owed over the next few years. Especially when the Warriors are already paying Draymond Green, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. There's not a lot of flexibilty for them going forward and if Wiggins doesn't improve then they're going to be really stuck. Just a really odd move for them to make right now.
Winner: Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota went hard after D’Angelo Russell this past summer in free agency, but lost out to Golden State. They finally got their man and in the process got rid of the enigmatic, but highly athletic former No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins (along with a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick). The combo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins never worked in 5.5 seasons. Russell, an All-Star last season, is inarguably a superior offensive player compared to Wiggins and instantly makes the duo of him and KAT one of the better 1-2 offensive punches in the NBA. The move doesn’t elevate the Wolves this season because they’re already a lost cause. But it appeases Towns, the franchise player, who had grown increasingly frustrated with Minnesota’s path to relevancy by pairing him with his friend who just happens to be a highly skilled playmaker signed through the 2022-23 season.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
This is a bit of a tricky one because it's hard to put the team with the best record in the West as a loser at the deadline. However, when you look at what the Clippers did in comparison, you can make the case that the Lakers lost the arms race with this crosstown rivals. It's looking like the Lakers will be adding Darren Collison to the lineup soon, but even son, their reluctancy to move on from Kyle Kuzma might end up hurting them later, especially with the Clippers getting Marcus Morris. So yes, it feels weird putting the Lakers as losers here, but we gotta do it.
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
You didn’t think the Clippers were going to remain idle at the trade deadline did you? Making arguably the day’s most significant move, the Clippers acquired versatile forward Marcus Morris from the Knicks for Moe Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The Clippers were looking to add a rugged veteran who can rebound, defend, and knock down threes—and in the end, LA didn’t have to give up the highly coveted young wing Landry Shamet to get their man. Most importantly, the Clippers’ acquisition of Morris kept him from going to the Lakers who were also linked to one of the best 3-point shooters in the league this season. The Clippers already had one of the deepest rosters in the league. It got a whole lot deeper Thursday.
Loser: Philadelphia 76ers
Philly fans can get mad at us all they want, but fact is, the 76ers are underachieving and only adding Alec Burks and Glen Robinsion III isn't going to change that. Yes, those are solid pieces, but when you have Al Horford not fitting in and Joel Embiid talking publicly about the team's identity, you might need to look closer on how to fix the problems at hand. It's not like they're sitting pretty in the East either. We're talking about the sixth seed. They obviously didn't have a ton of assets to play with, but as currently constructed, this roster doesn't seem to be going anywhere at the moment.
Winner: Miami Heat
Out of nowhere, Miami landed one of the top prizes of the trade market in Andre Iguodala (and other pieces, most notably Jae Crowder) from Memphis in exchange for Justise Winslow (and other pieces, most notably Dion Waiters). This caught many NBA observers off guard since there weren’t many rumors linking the Heat to Iguodala over the past few weeks, but Miami acquired the versatile veteran with a championship pedigree who has a history of hitting big shots and defending. Yes, Iguodala is 36, but he hasn’t played all season long while waiting for the Grizzlies to send him packing. Miami, surprisingly only 2.5 games behind the Raptors for second place in the East, is making a run at the Eastern Conference Finals this season while Jimmy Butler is cooking, Bam Adebayo is inarguably one of the best young forwards in the league, and they only really had to give up Wislow whose future may be bright, but can’t stay healthy. It should be noted the Heat cleared major salary in the deal that can be used this summer or in 2021 when Giannis is a free agent.