Much of the talk prior to the NBA trade deadline centered on Anthony Davis, and rightly so given that he’s one of the best players in the league. The Lakers’ pursuit of Davis proved futile, however, and he’ll remain with the Pelicans through at least the end of the season.
Despite the Davis drama resulting in little action, there was no shortage of consequential moves made with the contenders in the Eastern Conference improving themselves for the coming stretch run and eventual playoff battles.
NBA TRADE DEADLINE: Biggest winners and losers
Looking at the transactions through the lens of “NBA 2K19” shows how those teams have improved significantly. The 76ers and Raptors are the clear winners from the deadline. The Bucks, currently holding the NBA’s best record, also came away having boosted their roster.
Philadelphia pulled off a stunning blockbuster deal and acquired Tobias Harris from the Clippers. Harris, who many believe was an All-Star snub this season, is rated 86 Overall in “NBA 2K19,” giving the 76ers four players rated 86 or higher. Only the Warriors can also boast four players who meet that rating, and they were the heavy favorite to win the title in the “NBA 2K19” preseason predictions.
While Philadelphia gave up a lot of draft capital for Harris, the team didn’t lose any current contributors, making it an ideal “win-now” move.
Toronto showed it is prepared to chase the East crown as well, acquiring former All-Star center Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies. Gasol is rated 84 Overall, giving the Raptors five players rated 82 or higher, and again, that’s another benchmark only matched by the Warriors. The Raptors did have to send away a good player in Jonas Valanciunas, but Gasol is considered to be a better passer and rebounder at the same position.
Milwaukee brought in Nikola Mirotic (81 Overall) from New Orleans. He adds a new dimension to the team as a versatile scorer and spot-up shooter in the frontcourt. The Bucks now have five players rated 80 or higher on the roster. And it doesn’t hurt to still have Giannis Antetokounmpo, who rates out as the best superstar in the East.
Other recent transactions included Kristaps Porzingis (88 Overall) getting moved to Dallas, where he’ll team with rising star Luka Doncic (87 Overall) as the only players on the Mavericks rated above 80. They’ll have an opportunity to sign a max player in the offseason with some cap maneuvering after sending Harrison Barnes (79 Overall) to the Kings.
Former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz (74 Overall) will get a fresh start with the Magic, and Otto Porter Jr. (80 Overall) was moved to the Bulls by the Wizards in exchange for Bobby Portis (78 Overall) and Jabari Parker (77 Overall).
Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, hosts the Press Row Podcast and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.