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) /
7 of 7
Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Trade Deadline biggest winner: Miami Heat

Let me preface this by saying that I do not think that the Miami Heat are now the favorites to come out of the East. Nor that they are now necessarily better than any of the top three seeds in the East. But anyone in the conference should fear them.

Let us not forget who it was that butchered team after team in the bubble this past summer. Who got good coaches fired (isn’t it funny that the Heat are directly responsible for the Hawks making the playoffs this season? Oh Nate McMillan you beautiful coach you) and hushed MVPs?

Well, they still have seven of their top eight minute earners from the playoffs last season (Jae Crowder being the only missing, signed with the Suns before the season). And they made two impact trades today while retaining them.

The first: getting Nemanja Bjelica from the Kings, sending out Moe Harkless and Chris Silva. Two guys that weren’t in the rotation for a big man who shoots 38 percent from 3 for his career. I personally am excited to see some lineups with him and Bam Adebayo.

The second, and bigger: Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and a pick swap for Victor Oladipo. I get it. Dipo has looked really bad this season for the Rockets. The athleticism has vanished for portions and the scoring has been really inefficient. Buuuuuuut the Heat shouldn’t really care about that.

In my last article, I said that Oladipo could be had for CHEAP, and if you believed in him you should go for it for the price alone. The Heat just got him for two moderately important players in their rotation. And while he does not bring the same defensive impact as Kelly, Bjelica is going to soak up those minutes and switch up some of Miami’s looks.

This means Dipo essentially takes Bradley’s spot. Their only jobs were to hit some 3’s and defend on the perimeter. Dipo may not be shooting well, but that could change when he’s taking more open looks from Bam and Butler. And he will buy in on defense. Which is important to the Heat.

Best case? His shot returns and he’s the third-best player on the Heat. Acquired for nearly nothing. At worst? He’s overqualified for the Avery Bradley role in their scheme. That’s why they’re the big winners for me. They significantly increased the potential ceiling for their squad without losing much of anything floor-wise.

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

Today was a good day for NBA fans. Unless uh, well, yeah unless you were mentioned in the losers section. Sorry? At least Magic fans have a little energy! They’ve always made me sad.