NBA: 3 teams that improved the most at the trade deadline

Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Taking a closer look at the three teams that improved the most at the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline. 

Now that the NBA Trade Deadline is officially in the books, we explore the three teams that improved the most.

Denver Nuggets – Adding the final piece to a star-studded starting 5

The Orlando Magic have had a less than stellar season thus far, opting to blow the team up and commit to a rebuild once the deadline approached. This meant there was a fire sale for all of the Magic’s most valuable players.

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The Denver Nuggets wasted no time in grabbing young star power forward Aaron Gordon from his lackluster Magic team. In a trade that sent Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, and first-round pick down to Orlando, the Nuggets added a crucial piece to their already elite starting lineup. The Nuggets are on a huge come-up since the start of the 2020-21 NBA regular season, slowly climbing to the top of the west thanks to now frontrunner MVP candidate Nikola Jokic.

Jokic is the centerpiece to his immensely deep Nuggets team dropping a whopping 27, 11, and 8.5 night-in and night-out whilst shooting just under 60 percent from the field and solidifying himself as the best passing center in the league. He is near unstoppable on offense and his weapons surrounding him have no shortage of talent.

Jamal Murray is as electric of a point guard as they come, Michael Porter Jr. is one of the most promising young forwards in the league, and now with Aaron Gordon at the 4 there’s no telling who will go off during a game.

This trade cements Denver as a legitimate real contender for both this season and for seasons to come. With such a powerful roster with such young talent means the Nuggets are going to be tearing up the league for a long while.

Chicago Bulls – Getting the help Zach Lavine’s been waiting for

The Nuggets certainly were no the only team to reap the benefits of Orlando’s decision to blow it up. The Chicago Bulls arguably grabbed the biggest prize the Magic could offer in All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. The 30-year-old Swiss native spent a large majority of his career down in Orlando, and during his time there he became the No. 1 option for both scoring and rebounds for about nine seasons.

He was as intricate to the Magic as a player could’ve possibly been and the Bulls have just now acquired both him and defensive veteran Al-Farouq Aminu via trade after giving up a young promising big man in Wendell Carter Jr. as well as Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks. it was a hefty price to pay but certainly worth it. Chicago already has a franchise cornerstone in Zach LaVine, who’s been averaging 28 points on the season.

However, the Bulls have still been struggling due to how hollow of a roster they once had. The Vucevic trade gives LaVine the help he needs inside the paint and someone he and the Bulls can rely on to score if need be. Chicago’s been trying to slip into the last playoff spot in the East, and if all goes to plan they certainly have a much greater chance of doing so with their new additions.

Miami Heat – A brand new big three

The Miami Heat has one of the most versatile rosters in the NBA with a multitude of players who can carry the team to a win in their teammates’ absences. All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo pave the way for this dynamic leading the team in most of its stat categories. Young stud Tyler Herro is quickly developing into an elusive and quick option to take tough shots and blast by defenders. Duncan Robinson continues to put up incredible numbers from beyond the arc.

There were many who were surprised to see this team make it out of the east to the NBA Finals just last August, but the way this team continues to handle themselves since their appearance leaves little room for questioning or doubt of this Miami Heat’s prowess. And just when it couldn’t get any better, Victor Oladipo arrives. The All-Star shooting guard will finally put to rest who is truly making up the big three in Miami.

Oladipo paired with Butler and Adebayo is enough to unsettle any of the league’s most dominant teams, and that’s not even including the remaining roster. The Heat is putting the rest of the league on notice, making sure everybody knows that they are on a redemption tour after their Finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Very exciting times ahead in Miami as we draw closer to the postseason where the Heat will certainly be a force to reckon with.

Next. NBA Trade Deadline: Grading the 4 biggest deals from deadline day. dark

These new-look rosters just might have what it takes to make a deep run come playoff time, but it’ll be no easy journey to pull off. With just under two months of the regular season left to go, it’ll be both interesting and exciting to see how these teams adjust to their new additions.