This year brought one of the most chaotic NBA Trade Deadlines in recent memory. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook were among those to change teams. They were also among those to take up the most space in headlines and analysis.
There’s no question that those deals were important and could have an impact on the playoffs, including who comes out of the Western Conference. If Durant or Irving take their teams to the NBA Finals, those trades would have been worth it almost regardless of the cost.
The dust is still settling on deadline deals, but it’s worth taking a look at some of the deals that flew a bit more under the radar. These are the deals that could pay dividends for teams in the long run, either when the postseason rolls around or maybe even years after the trades went down.
With the NBA Trade Deadline behind us, it’s a good time to look at three under-the-radar deals that could pay off down the road.
Maybe a team grabbed a player who doesn’t factor in now, but will push for a key role in the playoffs. Maybe a team grabbed a player who can develop into a starter in a year or two. Or maybe a franchise cleared enough cap space to make a big swing when they’re ready to contend again, or accumulated draft picks that will help them get their next superstar in the future.
Here are three under-the-radar trades to keep an eye on long-term.