With the trade deadline officially behind us, everyone in the basketball world can take a nice deep breath and try to make sense of the over 20 trades made this week. Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks landed the biggest stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, respectively. Almost every team seemed to make a move in one of the busiest trade deadlines in recent memory. However, a few teams were shy during the chaos and, unfortunately, might regret not being more active at the deadline.
The Miami Heat, under Erik Spoelstra, are always in the mix come playoff time and were one shot away from heading to the NBA finals last season. They recently parted ways with backup center Dwayne Dedmon, shipping him to San Antonio, but that was more of a locker-room move as he and Spoelstra weren’t on good terms.
That leaves a void behind Bam, who’s having a career year averaging 21.8 points per game. Additionally, guard Duncan Robinson has been out of the rotation and is sitting on a hefty five-year, 90 million-dollar contract but could help a plethora of teams with his shooting ability.
A move involving him to get some size off the bench makes sense for them, but they couldn’t do so. The Heat are currently the 6th seed but might have a tough time in the playoffs when Bam is off the floor.
The Bulls are in an awkward spot; they just went all-in on Zach Lavine, giving him a massive five-year, 215-million-dollar contract. They have also made long-term commitments to Demar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.
The trio has yet to be able to dominate, and they are struggling a few games under 500. Lonzo Ball is still rehabbing a complex knee injury, leaving them without a true point guard all year as well.
With Lavine and Derozan, they can beat anyone on a given night, but they are 5-5 in their last ten, and it feels as if they are holding on for dear life.
Lavine, Derozan, and Vucevic should have enough trade value to spark a substantial rebuild, which they could explore this summer.
Yet it was interesting that they didn’t attempt to make a move for a guard to improve their roster to make a push for the playoffs or blow it up entirely and get a head start on a rebuild.
The Raptors did acquire Jakob Poetle from the Spurs but were rumored to be shopping Pascal Siakam, Fred Van Fleet, Gary Trent, and OG Anunoby.
They were in serious talks with multiple teams, but nothing came to fruition. Before Irving and Durant were available to be traded, the Raptors had by far the most talented players available on the market. They, like the Bulls, have all-star players but have yet to be able to win games and are currently in the 10th seed.
Annouby and Trent are perfect young three-and-d players who would’ve demanded significant draft capital or solid players in return. Fred Van Fleet is a former all-star and could be another team’s missing piece to make a final run.
Especially for teams in the West that missed out on Durant and Irving. There could have been a play to sell high on those players to a team in the West desperate to keep up.