Oltmanns: Winners, losers at NBA trade deadline

By Alex Oltmanns

The NBA trade deadline came and went this past week, and the landscape of the entire league… The NBA trade deadline came and went this past week, and the landscape of the entire league changed.

In fact, it’s being touted as one of the most active and exciting NBA trade deadlines in recent memory.

Star players like Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams were shipped from Western Conference teams to their Eastern counterparts, all but cementing the Eastern Conference as the premier one.

Some teams got better at the deadline, whereas others made some head-scratching moves that made one wonder what they were thinking when they pulled the trigger on the deal.

That being said, here are the winners and losers from the NBA trade deadline:


New York Knicks: At the conclusion of what had been the biggest storyline in the NBA for the past few weeks, the Knicks finally landed Brooklyn native Anthony in a trade with the Denver Nuggets.

Anthony, one of the premier scorers in the league, averaging just over 25 points per game, and newly acquired Chauncey Billups will make the Knicks a real contender. To make things even better for New York, the team didn’t give up any elite players to get ’Melo and Billups.

New Jersey Nets: Their owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, failed to land LeBron James this summer. Then he lost out on the Carmelo sweepstakes. But he finally got his guy when the Nets acquired point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz.

Arguably the best point guard in the league, Williams is averaging over 21 points and almost 10 assists per game. He brings star power to a team set to move to Brooklyn in two seasons. While the Nets traded away draft picks and a couple good players to get “DWill,” they got one of the best players in the league in return. And in today’s game where stars want to play with other stars, that matters.

Honorable mentions: Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers


Boston Celtics: Just when Boston looked to be the front-runner to emerge from the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, it traded away its best big man, Kendrick Perkins, to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Celtics received Jeff Green in return.

Green’s a good player in his own right, but he doesn’t provide the formidable inside presence that Perkins does.

Now the Celtics have to rely on the O’Neals — Shaq and Jermaine — who are both on the last leg of their NBA careers and are nowhere near the imposing presence they used to be — even when they’re healthy enough to be in the lineup. On the other end of the spectrum, the Thunder got the big man the team desperately needed and could make a serious run at a Western Conference title.

Baron Davis: Just a little over a week ago, Davis could be seen grinning while throwing Los Angeles Clippers teammate Blake Griffin an alley-oop in the slam dunk contest. Davis seemed to be happy playing for the Clippers.

A Los Angeles native, Davis seemed to relish his role as a mentor for some of the best young players in the game. But then he got the news that no NBA player wants to hear: He had been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the Cavaliers lacking LeBron James and now the worst team in the league, no one wants to hear he’s been traded to the team in the Mistake by the Lake.

Honorable mention: Utah Jazz