WINNERS:

Miami Heat- They definitely take a risk in trading two first round picks for the Dragic Brothers, mainly because Goran is an unrestricted free agent expecting a max contract this summer, but adding Dragic to a starting lineup that includes Dwayne Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and the breakout Hassan Whiteside could be among the best in the Eastern Conference (health permitting). Depth will be a problem down the stretch, relying on the elder Udonis Haslem and Chris “Birdman” Anderson once again for meaningful minutes in the front court, but for a team in win-now mode to add a veteran floor leader in Dragic (who will most likely resign this off-season) for draft picks that won’t be a factor for a minimum of two years, it adds an immediate impact to a team that has relied on Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Shabazz Napier at the point this season.

Milwaukee Bucks- They weren’t going to resign Brandon Knight this summer, so to turn him into an arguably better player (one under team control for two more years)i n Michael Carter Williams and two quality young rotation players (Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee) without trading a draft pick is a major coup. The Bucks now have one of the better stable of talented prospects in the league, with Jabari Parker hoping to return next season to go with the emerging star Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton. In the weak Eastern Conference, they could be a hard first round exit if MCW can stay healthy and improve his shooting in his new home, and should be a perennial playoff staple over the next few years.

Boston Celtics- Experts have criticized trading a first round pick for Isaiah Thomas when they already have committed to Avery Bradley and rookie Marcus Smart in their back court for the next few years, but adding a proven playmaker who is signed for less than $7 million for the next three seasons is the kind of move that a shrewd general manager Danny Ainge hoards picks for- the ability to take a small risk if the reward seems worth it. With a solid frontcourt in Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Tyler Zeller, along with the defensive-minded Bradley; who plays better off the ball anyway, Thomas will be able to flourish as he fills the weaknesses of the Celtics current guards, while they fill in for his lack of defensive ability. Plus the pick isn’t until next year, and with it being from the Cavaliers it figures to be a mid-to-late round pick anyway.

NO BETTER OR WORSE:

Phoenix Suns- They might be in trouble after this season, but Brandon Knight should be a decent complement to Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt and is a solid add considering both the point guards they traded are arguably more talented than Knight. Overall they did a good job of fixing the mistake they made by adding Thomas this past off-season while remaining competitive this season, even if it does come at the risk off losing Dragic, Thomas, and Knight in the span of six months and leaving Bledsoe as the lone play maker in what was once a deep back court, with Gerald Green also hitting free agency this season. The reason I can’t say they are in worse shape is because they still have the Morris Twins and Alex Len in the front court, plus they still have young swingmen in Archie Goodwin, TJ Warren and PJ Tucker who could surprise if given extended minutes.

LOSERS:

Minnesota Timberwolves- They gave up Thaddeus Young (who they acquired instead of a first round draft pick in the Kevin Love deal) for Kevin Garnett….. and that’s it. Having KG retire where he began his career is nice, but they chose sentimentality over the on-court results here, as a rebuilding team like the Wolves should have gotten a useable future asset if they were going to trade someone they basically gave up a first round pick to get.

Philadelphia 76ers- I, like everyone else can merely just scratch my head when it comes to the 76ers. They traded a solid defender in rookie KJ McDaniel so they wouldn’t have to pay him this summer, while trading away MCW for a future draft pick….which they might trade away later. But at least they added another first rounder when they took on Javale McGee’s $40 million contract. Oye.

Denver Nuggets- And speaking of the Nuggets, they are currently in rebuilding mode, and while they did need to get rid of McGee’s contract (seeing as how he never plays due to lingering injuries), it came at the expense of part of their future, and while they did add an extra pick for 2016 in the Aaron Afflalo trade, it just means they are preparing for a long rebuild.

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