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Winners and losers from the NBA trade deadline

D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins play “Parent Trap” while the Cavaliers continue to be a headless chicken.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and while maybe it wasn’t as Earth shattering as I had hoped it would be, you still can’t say it was boring. You also can’t say it went by quickly, looking right at you Grizzlies-Heat. I’ve never seen a trade take 24+ hours to come together but now we can say history has been made.

With the deadline passed, let’s take a look at who came out winners on Thursday, and who came out not so much winners.

Winner: Andre Iguodala’s life choices

There might not have been a bigger winner this deadline than Andre Iguodala. The man got paid for not playing all year for the Grizzlies, gets traded to the second best team in the East, gets to move to Miami, and instantly signs a two year, $30 million deal. I don’t know about you, but that seems like good living.

The Heat are all in on a Championship run this season and adding Iguodala is a great step if he can channel some vintage Iggy one last time. Whether or not he can remains to be seen but he offers a lot to the Heat, and fantasy teams out there. Iggy goes from having literal zero fantasy value to now having a really solid role on a really good team. Pick him up and see what he does.

Loser: Andre Drummond and Cleveland’s team building strategy

Let’s start here:

We all know basketball is a business and players get traded, but getting traded when you had no prior knowledge of the deal is a very low blow. Especially when that trades moving you from Detroit, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio. At least Iguodala got shipped to the sunny beaches of Miami. Now I have to think Drummond knew he was going to get traded (he does have a phone after all) but maybe he wasn’t told where or how until after the deal broke. That sucks and I feel for the guy.

It also sucks that he’s joining a Cleveland team that already has Kevin Love and Tristian Thompson in the front court and they don’t seem to be in any rush to buyout Thompson. Maybe they plan on making the same “sit out and still get paid” deal with Love that Memphis made with Iggy. If so, chalk Love up as a winner. I have no idea how this move will work or how Drummond, Thompson and Love will play together. This certainly caps the effectiveness of Thompson and Drummond to a certain extent on the boards fantasy-wise. There are only so many missed shots to go around.

Loser: The Pistons

You trade away your franchise leader in rebounds with seemingly no heads up and you get back John Henson, Brandon Knight, and a second-round pick. Wow. Well done. I understand maybe you didn’t have much leverage, but that trade makes the Mookie Betts deal look good. And that’s saying something.

Winner: Getting your guy

The Timberwolves didn’t hide the fact they were vying to get D’Angelo Russell all year long and their persistence payed off as they were able to finally get him for Andrew Wiggins and some picks. Russell is a great young player and more importantly, is bros with Karl-Anthony Towns meaning hopefully the T’wolves just made a trade that keeps their megastar happy long enough for him to waste the majority of his career in Minnesota. I kid, I would love to see the Wolves good and Towns and Russell to lead this team to at least mild competence but let’s be honest, that likely won’t happen. Still, Russell and Towns on the court together will be fun to watch so another win for the fans.

Winner: The Steve Kerr Reclamation Academy

I’m counting the flip side of this deal also a win. We know there’s a whole bundle of potential locked up in Wiggins and honestly, do you trust any other coach/team/locker room to mine that potential out? Wiggins under the tutelage of Kerr, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson could be just what he needs to finally get his career on the right track. We saw flashes early this season of what he could be and I trust that if that level of play can be consistent, the Warriors will get it out of him.

Fantasy wise, hold onto Wiggins just a little while longer. I have some nagging faith in the back of my head that this is going to work out for him, and if it does, you’ll want him on your fantasy team.

Loser: Poor P.J. Tucker

Houston went all in on the small ball lineup this deadline, trading away center Clint Capela in a blockbuster four team, 12 player deal that involved the Nuggets, Hawks, and Timberwolves. The Rockets traded away Capela and Nene in favor of Robert Covington and Jordan Bell—who they instantly traded away for Bruno Caboclo and a second-round pick. The Rockets starting lineup: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Gordon, Covington, and P.J. Tucker at the five.

P.J Tucker is 6-foot-5.

He’s also 34-years-old.

The West features big men such as Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, Steven Adams, Zion Williamson, etc.

Pour some out for P.J. Tucker.

Winner: The Clippers reminding the Lakers who’s boss

Both LA teams were reportedly vying for New York Knicks’ legend Marcus Morris, with the Clippers ultimately coming away with him, sending back Moe Harkless and their 2020 first round pick (there was other stuff in the deal because the Wizards were also involved). Morris brings size and toughness, something the Clippers were looking to add at the deadline. That being said, I don’t consider the trade itself to be a winner. Morris may add size and strength, but he also comes with the belief that he deserves the final shot with the game on the line which is great when you’re on the Knicks, not so much when you’re sharing the court with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.