Each year, the NBA trade deadline brings all sorts of headlines. Key players have shuffled around as teams attempt to get closer to a championship, dump salary or set themselves up for the future. The 2019 trade deadline was no different and this is going to look at the moves that were the most impactful around the league.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and most important moves that were made.
**This will only cover the deals made in the final 24 hours before the deadline. That means the huge trades involving Tobias Harris and Kristpas Porzingis will not be included.
5. Markelle Fultz to Orlando
Markelle Fultz has unfortunately been the butt of many jokes during his short career. The former No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft has been hampered by injuries and major struggles with his jumper. However, the 76ers continued to make moves by shipping Fultz to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons, a first-round pick and a second round pick.
This opens the door for Fultz to shine without the pressure of being on a team trying to win right now. It’s also huge for the 76ers as they get a proven contributor in Simmons and restock draft picks after giving up several in the Tobias Harris deal.
4. Otto Porter Jr. for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis
Does this move have Playoff implications this season? Not really, but that’s okay. The Washington Wizards have been an enigma all season and are kind of a mess. They began shipping out key players and Otto Porter Jr. was the most important. He goes to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. It feels like both teams win here. Portis is a solid big man who can help the Wizards, while Parker and the Bulls had a rocky relationship this seasons.
Meanwhile, Porter is immensely talented and still just 25 years old. He can be a key part of Chicago’s future.
3. Harrison Barnes for Zach Randolph
This is a move that actually feels like it improves both teams involved. The bottom of the Western Conference Playoff race is wide open. Two of the teams competing for those spots are the Dallas Mavericks and the Sacramento Kings. Dallas shipped forward Harrison Barnes to Sacramento for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson.
For Dallas, they acquire a veteran big man to help some of their young players and give them a presence down low as well as a young wingman who has potential.
Sacramento is a surprise team of the season and adding Barnes, who averaged 18.7 points per game during his stay in Dallas, will only help add the kind of scoring needed to stay competitive.
2. Nikola Mirotic to Milwaukee
It is a case of the rich getting richer. At the trade deadline, the Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the entire NBA at 40-13. That didn’t mean they were going to stand pat. The Bucks made a huge move by acquiring forward Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans. Mirotic was a hot commodity for weeks, but the Bucks played it smart. They waited things out and managed to make the move for less than what most expected.
It was a three-team move also involving the Detroit Pistons, but all Milwaukee gave up was Jason Smith and some second-round picks.
The ability to get a guy like Mirotic and not give up a first round pick is huge.
1. Marc Gasol to Toronto
The domino effect. Philadelphia getting Tobias Harris triggered Milwaukee and Toronto to make major moves. The Raptors responded to the huge Mirotic deal about an hour later by dealing for All-Star center Marc Gasol. In return, they’re sending Jonas Valanciunas, CJ Miles, Delon Wright and a 2024 second round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.
This is massive because as good as Valanciunas is, Gasol has been one of the best and most versatile big men in the league for years. He adds a whole new dimension to an already impressive team.
The combination of Gasol, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyle Lowry can spell trouble for the rest of the league.