NBA Roundtable: Trade Deadline Winners and Losers
NBA Roundtable: Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

This article is part of our NBA Roundtable series.

Welcome to the Week 17 edition of the RotoWire NBA Roundtable. Each week, our NBA staff gets together to answer questions about the biggest topics of the week, both in fantasy basketball and the league overall.

This week, we focus on the trade deadline and what this week's deals mean for fantasy basketball.


Which team made the most impactful addition for this season at the trade deadline?

Nick Whalen: The Sixers may have added the best player in Harris, but the had to give up a ton to get him, so I'll go with Milwaukee. The Bucks already shoot a ton of threes, and they got another marksman to put around Giannis Antetokounmpo in closing lineups. Mirotic doesn't have the same defensive capabilities as Brook Lopez, but he's an even better shooter and adds some much-needed size.

Ken Crites: For this season, it has to be Philly, right? I think Tobias Harris is a better fit with Simmons and Embiid than Jimmy Butler. In fact, I bet this summer Philly is able to re-sign Harris, but Butler walks.

Mike Barner: I think this is a tie between the Sixers acquiring Tobias Harris and the Bucks bringing in Nikola Mirotic. Harris adds much needed shooting for the Sixers and Mirotic provides the Bucks with a scoring punch off of their bench that could be huge in the playoffs.

Alex Barutha: The 76ers. Despite Philly's depth being shot – buyout additions TBD – the ability to have two of Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the court at all times is depth in-and-of itself. I also view the upgrade from a completely washed-up Wilson Chandler to Tobias Harris as bigger than the upgrade from a serviceable Jonas Valanciunas to an aging Marc Gasol.

Jeff Edgerton: Mirotic to the Bucks. He's going to fit in perfectly with their system and it will make them tough to beat in the East. I like that scenario a bit better than the Harris trade.

Alex Rikleen: I want to say Bucks, because getting Mirotic really is gigantic, but the answer has to be the 76ers. While Mirotic is a perfect fit for the Bucks, he's only one player, and he's just not on the same level of talent as Tobias Harris. The rest of the guys the 76ers added are not great, but the bench did improve, and in ways that will allow round-to-round flexi in the playoffs.

Zack Osell: The 76ers made one of the most impactful trades by adding Tobias Harris to their starting five. He's a big upgrade from Mike Muscala. Philly also made much-needed improvements to their bench by adding Jonathon Simmons, James Ennis and Boban Marjanovic prior to the deadline.

Fantasy-wise, who are some players you would consider winners at the deadline?

Whalen: Julius Randle, Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard, Jonas Valanciunas and Wayne Ellington should each benefit. Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be asked to do more offensively for the Clippers with Harris out of the picture.

Crites: Dorian Finney-Smith could get crazy minutes in Dallas. Same for Luke Kennard in Detroit, but I don't like his game as much as DFS. I'm also digging Ivan Rabb in Memphis.

Barner:As far as players traded, I like Otto Porter Jr. going to the Bulls. He has a clear path to significant minutes at small forward. If the Bulls buy out Robin Lopez, he could even see some time at power forward when the Bulls play small and use Lauri Markkanen at center. As far as players who gain value in the aftermath of players being dealt away from their team, Julius Randle receives a boost with Mirotic gone.

Barutha: Cristiano Felicio (ugh), Julius Randle (especially if Anthony Davis is held out), Jonas Valanciunas (maybe he'll finally play 30 minutes?), Ivica Zubac (hopefully a consistent role is in store).

Edgerton: Mirotic will find plenty of minutes for the Bucks, followed by Dennis Smith, who will hopefully thrive in a new situation.

Rikleen: For a busy day, there were disappointingly few fantasy gainers. That said, Ivica Zubac finally has a starting job all to himself, which should be enough to land him a permanent spot on rosters in almost all leagues going forward. Luke Kennard is a player to watch. Ivan Rabb is a deep-league guy to target. There are also a few spots where someone may become valuable, but it's not immediately obvious who will get the minutes: Grizzlies shooting guard and Clippers backcourt come to mind.

Osell: Otto Porter is someone who should benefit by going from Washington to Chicago. He should see more opportunities to prove himself and could emerge as an elite scorer on a young Chicago squad. Tyler Johnson, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are a few other guys who I could see benefitting from a new situation.

Fantasy-wise, who are some players you would consider losers at the deadline?

Whalen: Most of the bigger names on the move will probably see dips in usage. Anthony Davis probably qualifies as a loser, as well. Even though the Pels plan to play him after the All-Star break, he'll likely have his minutes capped and get more days off than he would have had he ended up alongside LeBron James.

Crites: Harrison Barnes usage will go down in Sacramento. Same for Marc Gasol in Toronto. The Raptors will probably let Gasol run the second unit if he doesn't start over Ibaka or Siakam.

Barner: Tobias Harris stands out as one of the biggest losers of the deadline. He goes from being the main man with the Clippers to arguably the fourth best option on the Sixers. Serge Ibaka is likely to see a decline in production with the Raptors acquiring Marc Gasol.

Barutha: Tobias Harris (decreased usage), Alec Burks (was a go-to option for the Cavs), Nemanja Bjelica (Harrison Barnes will probably take most of his wing minutes), Serge Ibaka (Marc Gasol expected to play a sizeable role)

Edgerton: Avery Bradley moves from a possible bump in production without Harris to a less favorable.situation. I'd also worry about Harrison Barnes and his viability moving forward.

Rikleen: Kings' wings and non-stars on the Trail Blazers. The addition of Harrison Barnes is likely to cut into the minutes and usage for guys like Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Blazers added Rodney Hood and Skal Labissiere. Outside of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, Hood and Labissiere have overlapping use-cases with everyone else on the roster, though it's unclear if Labissiere will even be in the rotation.

Osell: While I like the Tobias Harris trade, I don't think it helps his fantasy value. He'll be surrounded by talent within that starting lineup and I see his production taking a hit as a result. I also think Iman Shumpert's fantasy value will decline after joining the Rockets and likely slotting into a bench role.

In terms of "real" basketball, which team was the biggest winner at the deadline?

Whalen: In one sense, the Celtics. In another, both Milwaukee and Philadelphia loaded up for what should be a really fun and hotly contested stretch run in the East. Given the price Philly paid to get Harris, though, I think the Bucks are the biggest winners.

Crites: I love the Bucks getting Mirotic without giving up a first-round pick. We saw last year what a big boost Mirotic gave the Pelicans for their playoff run. He'll do the same for Milwaukee, a team that has always needed more outside shooting. I know I'm supposed to say Boston, but trading Jayson Tatum for a one year rental of Anthony Davis scares me.

Barner: I really like what the Sixers did. I don't think Butler is going to re-sign there, but they have a great shot at retaining Harris, who might be a better sit to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, anyway. They also scored big by trading Markelle Fultz to the Magic. They received a useful bench player in Jonathan Simmons and brought back two draft picks, which was key after the Harris deal.

Barutha: In terms of how little each team had to give up, I think it's between the Bucks and the Clippers. The Bucks essentially traded Thon Maker for Nikola Mirotic, and the Clippers traded an expiring contract for Landry Shamet, the 76ers' lottery-protected first and an extremely valuable, unprotected 2021 first from the Heat.

Edgerton: It's close between the Sixers and the Bucks. But if we're talking dollars and cents, I think the Clippers set themselves up to get two marquee free agents in the offseason, so they may end up with the last laugh in the end.

Rikleen: The Nets! Ok, actually the answer is the Bucks/76ers, but I already talked about them in question one. The Nets didn't make a trade, but they announced that Caris LeVert (foot) will return Friday. He was their leading scorer when he suffered what was, at the time, considered potentially season-ending. This team is probably going to the playoffs, and they're about to get back the guy who was their best player.

Osell: I really think the 76ers are the biggest winners with the addition of Harris and a few key role players. They're currently sitting in fifth place in the East at 34-20 but these acquisitions could be just what they need to get back into the mix for one of the top spots.

With the Bucks, Raptors and Sixers all making moves at the deadline and the Celtics standing pat, which team do you now consider the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference?

Whalen: I think it has to be Milwaukee, right? The Bucks have the best record and net rating in the league, still haven't lost back-to-back games and just upgraded at forward without giving up a rotation player or a first-round pick. Boston has the depth, Philly has the big names, and Toronto has Kawhi, but other than they lack experience, it's tough to form a strong argument against the Bucks right now.

Crites: The Celtics. We are asking a lot of that Philly roster to instantly gel, and they still lack a bench. Gasol is on the way down – he doesn't help Toronto as much as the name would imply. We'll see if the inexperienced Bucks can win in the clutch.

Barner: It's hard to make a call on this yet considering there are some very good players still available after buyouts. With that being said, I like the Bucks' chances if they finish as the top seed with home court advantage throughout.

Barutha: The Bucks. They were already the best team in the East, and I don't think the moves Toronto and Philly made were enough to definitively claim either team is better than Milwaukee.

Edgerton: If the Sixers can find some synergy with their new lineup, they're an obvious favorite. I think Mirotic and Giannis will be a formidable combo and the Bucks will also contend.

Rikleen: The Bucks. This race is so close, and any of the four could win the East. But the Bucks have the best player (or, at worst, tie for best player with Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors), a top-two Eastern Conference coach (roughly a tie with Brad Stevens) and the most roster flexibility.

Osell: I still like the Bucks out of the East, they have such a talented starting lineup and lots of depth (both veteran experience and young guys) coming off the bench.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and award winning host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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