NBA: The 6 big winners and losers of the trade deadline

Nikola Vucevic (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Nikola Vucevic (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /
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Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Deadline winner No. 2: Denver Nuggets

They took a swing! I’ll always respect that, man. The Denver Nuggets made two moves on deadline day. The first, more minor one, saw Isaiah Hartenstein and two second-rounders (2023 and 2027) shipped to the Cavaliers in exchange for Javale McGee. McGee has been a solid contributor this season and has started for a couple of title teams. Don’t see any harm in bringing him in to soak up the non-Jokic minutes.

The bigger deal of the day involved the already mentioned Orlando Magic. They sent Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a first-rounder (2025) to them in return for Aaron Gordon. Is AG better than Jerami Grant, who left in free agency for a bigger role as opposed to money? I wouldn’t say so, but they’re the same tier of player for sure. And they got off Harris’ contract at the same time.

A lineup consisting of Jamal Murray/Michael Porter Jr./AG/Jokic and either Paul Milsap or Will Barton is fun and scary to think about.

The West is brutal this season (what’s new) and the Nuggets are trying to take advantage of the Lakers’ injury woes right now. They’re winners in that regard.