NBA: Which Teams Improved Themselves The Most At The Trade Deadline?

The 2016-17 NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone.

Like every year, the rumors that circulated around the NBA were significantly more entertaining than the trades that actually happened. However, unlike most years, there were some big names that got moved.

Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins were the biggest names that were traded since January 1. But they weren’t the only well-known players dealt as veterans Taj Gibson, Lou Williams, and Kyle Kroger along with youngster Bojan Bogdanovic now have new teams.

In all total, there were 16 trades. Several teams were involved in multiple transactions — Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland, Charlotte, Toronto, Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. The Rockets and Hawks made three deals apiece.

Note: Some of the trades occurred prior to February 23.

Ranking the teams that improved their teams via trades.

1. Toronto Raptors

Get: PF Serge Ibaka and F P.J. Tucker

Give up: Jared Sullinger, Terrence Ross, two second rounders and 2017 first rounder.

The Raptors filled their two biggest needs and a who can knock down three-pointers. Ibaka made the Raptors a legitimate challenger to Cleveland as he gives the team one of the best starting lineups in the Eastern Conference. He enhances the Raps rim-protection and rebounding. Ibaka will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

The addition of Tucker, who ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton said Toronto had been after for a while, gives the Raptors versatility.Tucker can play the three and four and is a quality defender. However, he may not be the shooter that they were looking for. He has a true shooting percentage of 51.7 as he has made 46 triples at 33.6 percent clip.

Sullinger only appeared in 11 games for the Raptors due to injuries. The six-foot-nine power forward signed a nearly $6 million contract, one-year contract this offseason. Ross got off to a great start to the season. His production waned slightly over the next two months. Ross had just signed a three-year, $31 million contract this offseason.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Get: Kyle Korver and 2017 second rounder (Top-55 protected).

Give up: Chris Anderson, Mo Williams, Mike Dunleavy and First round draft pick.

[Image by Kevin C. Cox/ Getty Images]

The Cavs needed a wing shooter after J.R. Smith was sidelined with an injury. And Korver has proven to be the right man for the for the job. Korver has topped the 20-point mark four times in 20 games with the Cavs and is averaging 11. 5 points as he is shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 52.3 percent from beyond the arc during that span. His shooting prowess will be even more valuable with Kevin Love out for around another month.

Cleveland brought Dunleavy in to fill the role that Korver is currently filling but he struggled to get anything going. Trading Chris Anderson and Mo Williams were moves to clear cap space and roster room. Anderson is injured and won’t play again this year while Williams is retired.

3. Washington Wizards

Get: Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough

Give Up: Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and 2017 first rounder (protected)

The Wizards biggest need heading in the All-Star break was to improve their bench. Washington couldn’t have hoped to do much better than their haul of Bogdanovic and McCullough. Bogdanovic has good height with his best attribute being that of a scorer. He has improved in each of his first three seasons. McCullough is a young, athletic power forward with upside. Both players are under team control next season, which was reportedly an important part of the deal.

The Wiz really didn’t much up in the trade. Nicholson has played just in five games since January 1 and Thornton has appeared in two games. The 2017 draft pick that the Wiz gave up to Brooklyn is lottery protected.

4. New Orleans Pelicans

Get: DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi

Give Up: Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, 2017 first rounder and Sixers second selection.

The Pelicans are just two-and-a-half games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Getting Cousins doesn’t automatically make them the favorite to make the playoffs as there will be a learning curve for coach Alvin Gentry on how to play DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis together as evidenced by their 129-99 loss to the Rockets on Thursday. Cousins and Davis combined for 56 points, on 19-of-40 shooting, along with 19 rebounds, six assists, six steals, and six blocks.

The Pelicans didn’t give up a lot in the trade. Evans has been injured most of his tenure with the team. Hield was having a decent rookie season though he struggled shooting the ball, a strength coming out of Oklahoma.

5. Houston Rockets

Get: Lou Williams, cap space

Give Up: 2017 first rounder, Corey Brewer, Tyler Ennis, KJ McDaniels

Williams gives the Rockets one of the most dangerous offensive backcourts and benches in the NBA. Williams and Eric Gordon are first and second in scoring off the bench. The cap space that the Rockets got in separate deals for Ennis and McDaniels could be key, depending on who they get on the open market.

6. Orlando Magic

Get: Terrence Ross and 2017 draft pick

Give Up: Serge Ibaka

The Magic are not making the playoffs and there was a chance that Ibaka would not re-sign with the team in the offseason. Given those two facts, Orlando had no choice than to deal the big man. They got a scorer in Ross, who was shooting the ball the best of his career, and a first-round selection in the upcoming draft.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder

Get: Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and 2018 second round selection

Give Up: Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow, and Joffrey Lauvergne

Gibson strengthens the Thunder’s starting lineup as he will move in the power forward position. He will make the Thunder more efficient and a tougher team. McDermott gives OKC a wing shooter — whether he starts or comes off the bench.

8. Atlanta Hawks

Get: Protected second rounder, Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams, first round pick (protected), draft considerations and Ersan Ilyasova

Give Up: Kyle Korver and Mike Scott

The Hawks essentially traded a veteran sharpshooter (Korver) for a versatile veteran (Dunleavy). Ilyasova gives them a stretch-4 and significantly improves their three-point shooting. Ilyasova performed extremely well with the Sixers.

9. Los Angeles Lakers

Get: 2017 first rounder, Corey Brewer, and Tyler Ennis

Give Up: Lou Williams

The 2017 first rounder is key especially if the Lakers lose their own draft pick (top-three protected) to the 76ers. Also, it was good that the Lakers didn’t make any drastic moves –thus keeping their youngsters (D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle).

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Get: Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, 2017 Top-18 protected first rounder, Tiago Splitter, second rounder, right to swap for a second-round choice.

Give Up: Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova

The 76ers had a logjam in the frontcourt though they might have traded the wrong big. The Sixers were trying to desperately trade Jahlil Okafor but found no takers so they dealt Noel. Philadelphia is still a year away from competing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Anderson adds to the 76ers conglomerate of talented youngsters though his best attribute right now is on the defensive end. The 2017 first round draft pick that they picked up from Dallas is another asset though it turns into a 2017 second rounder in 2017 and 2018 if the Mavs don’t make the playoffs.

Bogut and Splitter are candidates to be bought out.

11. Portland Trail Blazers

Get: Jusuf Nurkic and 2017 first rounder (top-five protected)

Give Up: Mason Plumlee and 2018 second rounder

Plumlee was not in the Blazers future plans with him likely getting a huge bump in salary. Portland will have three first round selections in 2017 if the Nuggets don’t receive a top-five pick.

12. Chicago Bulls

Get: Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow

Give Up: Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and 2018 second round selection

The Bulls are seventh in the Eastern Conference but they needed to do something. Payne’s development is key to the deal as Gibson will be a free agent at the end of the year and may not re-sign with the Thunder.

13. Sacramento Kings

Get: Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, and Langston Galloway, 2017 First Round pick

Give Up: DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi

The Kings didn’t get a lot for Cousins though it could be addition by subtraction. They now have a logjam in the backcourt. Hield could develop into an outstanding scorer if he gets his shot right. Evans will be a free agent at the end of the year. The key will be the first round pick as it could be a lottery pick if the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs.

14. Dallas Mavericks

Get: Nerlens Noel

Give Up: 2017 first round draft pick (Top-18 protected), Justin Anderson and Andrew Bogut.

[Image by Mitchell Leff/ Getty Images]

The Mavs are 12th in the Western Conference, two-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot. So, if they are able to make the playoffs, the deal looks better for them. Noel gives the Mavericks an athletic rim-protector who is an excellent rebounder.

15. Brooklyn Nets

Get: 2017 first round draft (lottery protected), Andrew Nicholson, and Marcus Thornton

Give Up: Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough

The Nets need as many assets as they can get. With the trade with the Wizards, the Nets have four picks in the upcoming draft, including two first rounders, though none are in the lottery as they are forced to swap picks with Boston due to an earlier trade.

16. Phoenix Suns

Get: Jared Sullinger, Mike Scott, 2017 and 2018 second rounders

Give Up: Cash, Protected second rounder, and P.J. Tucker

It is all about the rebuilding process. The draft picks are assets.

17. Denver Nuggets

Get: Roy Hibbert, Mason Plumlee, 2018 second draft pick and cash

Give Up: Protected second rounder, Jusuf Nurkic, 2017 first round draft pick (top-five protected)

Plumlee gives the Nuggets a big man off the bench who can score.

18. Milwaukee Bucks

Get: Protected future second round draft pick, Roy Hibbert, Spencer Hawes

Give Up: Roy Hibbert, Miles Plumlee

The Bucks received Hibbert from the Hornets and then traded him to Denver on trade deadline day.

19. Charlotte Hornets

Get: Chris Anderson, cash considerations, and Miles Plumlee

Give Up: 2017 second round pick (top-55 protected), Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes

[Featured Image Lynne Sladky/AP Images]

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