NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Photo Credit: Rick Bowmer/AP

There’s no debate that the NBA trade deadline is the craziest in all of sports. This year was no different. Big names were moved as fans were scrambling to figure out what was happening. Trades were coming at an unforgettable rate, creating a memorable trade deadline for fans and players alike. As teams are trying to get their last key pieces for the playoff push, we take a look at some winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline.

NBA Trade Deadline Winners

Los Angeles Basketball

The Lakers were involved in just two trades Thursday, but came away a solid group of players. Headlining their additions are D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba. That’s a terrific haul considering the biggest pieces they gave up were Russell Westbrook, Thomas Bryant, Patrick Beverley, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and a 2027 1st-round pick (protected 1-4). It gives them better depth and fits for their play style. This puts them as a playoff contender in my eyes.

The Clippers may have had the best day at the NBA trade deadline. They snagged Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon, Mason Plumlee, and three future 2nd-round picks. Those are nice upgrades from what they gave up: three 2nd-round picks, John Wall, Luke Kennard, and Reggie Jackson. It gives them a nice pairing at center and solid back-up guards while simultaneously getting a little bit younger. I believe this puts them in the mix to contend for the West — if they can stay healthy.

Both the Clippers and Lakers knew they needed to make some moves if they wanted to contend, and that’s exactly what they did. Neither team forced a trade and made some amazing moves.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz were only involved in one trade on NBA trade deadline day, but the move they made was terrific. They ended up trading two 2nd-round picks, Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. They received Russel Westbrook, — who is expected to be bought out — Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and the Lakers 2027 1st-round pick (1-4 protected).

The players involved aren’t expected to make a big impact, but there are other factors I love about this trade. They cleared cap for next year with Conley and Vanderbilt. They were due about $16 million next year, but now they’re off the books for the Jazz. That’s huge for them as they’re projected to have around $50 million in cap now next season — possibly more. They also added another first round pick in 2027. This makes 15 first-round picks for them between now and 2029.

With the added players and bevy of draft picks, the Jazz are setting themselves up for a fantastic future. They already have a solid core to build around with Lauri Markkanen breaking out and Collin Sexton still improving. Look out for the Jazz in the upcoming years.

Russell Westbrook

Some may be confused why I have Russell Westbrook on this list after seeing he got traded to the Jazz. As mentioned above, Westbrook is expected to be bought out, changing everything. He’s able to choose where he plays — besides the Lakers — and is (presumably) out of Los Angeles, where the media was tearing him apart.

Westbrook hasn’t been great this season. Though he hasn’t been that bad, either. He still brings some energy to a team, and the fit in LA was bad. Now, he’s out of the pressure of being a Laker, and can choose where he thinks he fits best. He could be more comfortable and play his game. He is expected to choose between the Clippers and Heat. Those two teams could help him find his game more, and worry less about the outside pressure — such as being a Laker.

It’ll be interesting to see where Westbrook goes and if he can restore some of the old Russ magic. He was treated unfairly in many reports during his time in with the Lakers, so a change of scenery could be exactly what he needed.

NBA Trade Deadline Losers

Miami Heat

After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, the Heat have been a little disappointing. They’re 6th in the East, but had higher aspirations. Many thought they would be aggressive and make some moves with Duncan Robinson’s bad contract and Kyle Lowry’s regression and age. They would’ve had to give up picks to get rid of them, but they are hurting the team this year, and will next year as well by standing pat.

Instead of making a move, the Heat sat back and did nothing. Not a single trade. There’s rumors that they’re in the market for potential buy-out candidates, but is that enough? I’m not so sure. They could’ve made a move to cement themselves as a better team, and put them in the conversation of possibly winning the Eastern Conference. The decision to do nothing could hurt them down the road.

Heat fans were angry, and have every right to be. It’s tough to see a team that was one series away from the Finals last year not make a single trade when they’re not living up to expectations. They have a rough offseason coming up, especially if they don’t go far in the playoffs.

Thomas Bryant

In a surprising move, it was reported that Bryant became unhappy with his role on the Lakers, and had requested a trade. That was a bit of a shocker, as Bryant was putting together a solid season in LA backing up Anthony Davis. He was averaging 21.3 minutes per night, putting up 12.1 PPG and 6.8 RPG, while shooting 65.4% from the field and 44% from three.

After Bryant made his request, the Lakers decided to move him to the Denver Nuggets for Davon Reed and two 2nd-round picks. This put Bryant in a very similar position, as he is now the back-up to Nikola Jokic. He does go to the #1 seed in the West, but his role remains almost the exact same. Now, he’ll be hoping to prove himself for his next contract in Denver.

It might be nice for Bryant to play for the #1 seed, but he loses this deadline for one reason: his role stays the same. If anything, he could lose more minutes considering the Nuggets have the best center in the league, Nikola Jokic. He got the trade, but not his wish.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets were rumored to trade multiple players at the deadline, and they ended up making just two trades. They didn’t involve players rumored to be moved such as Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and Kelly Oubre Jr. Their first trade was moving Mason Plumlee to the Clippers for Reggie Jackson — who was bought out — and a 2028 2nd-round pick. Their other trade was moving a 2024 2nd-round pick and Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia for a 2023 (from Philadelphia) and 2027 (from Portland) 2nd-round pick, and Svi Mykhailiuk.

The main issue with these trades is that they don’t do anything for the Hornets. They essentially gained two 2nd-round picks and Svi Mykhailiuk for Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels. That is not a good return for those two players. It is apparent that Charlotte is in full tank mode to hopefully win the lottery for Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson.

The Hornets have been a mess for a while, and trades like these are why. They need to start making moves that will help, instead of hurting or not doing anything thing for them. It was another poor deadline for this Charlotte franchise.

Dolphins vs Bills: Week 15 Preview

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa and Bills QB Josh Allen
Photo Credit: Cooper Neill and Rob Carr/Getty Images

It’s been 12 weeks since the Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills in Miami to take the lead in the AFC East. Now, in Week 15, the Bills are back on top. Two straight losses from the Dolphins have opened the door for the Bills to take a three game lead in the AFC East. Both teams will be battling more than each other this Saturday night. What will affect these two squads and how will it play out? Let’s dive into what to expect in this rivalry game: Dolphins vs Bills, part 2.

Dolphins vs Bills Game Information

  • Date: Saturday, December 17
  • Time: 20:15 ET
  • Venue: Highmark Stadium; Orchard Park, NY
  • TV: NFL Network and NFL+
  • Records: Dolphins (8-5) Bills (10-3)
  • DraftKings Sportsbook line: Bills -7

Key Factors

1. Battling the Winter Weather

In Week 3, the heat in Miami proved to be a factor. Players were dropping like flies. More than a handful of players needed to head to the locker room for IV’s and to cool off. It was a close game in Week 3, and if it wasn’t as warm, maybe the outcome is different.

The snow won’t be as bad as Week 11 in Buffalo, where they had to move the game. However, it will still be a major factor. The forecast predicts up to six inches of snow by gametime, with a chance for more. With a severe weather alert of lake effect snow for Saturday, it could come down heavy.

On top of the snow, the temperature is expected to be a low of 26 degrees, with the wind chill in the low teens. The cold temperature, gusts of wind, and snow falling will make this game tougher for most players and could affect them in a big way.

2. Playing through Injuries

This Week 15 matchup will be a little bit kinder to both teams in regard to injuries than in their Week 3 matchup. For the Dolphins, they will be without safeties Elijah Campbell (concussion) and Eric Rowe (hamstring). Miami also has QB Teddy Bridewater (knee), RB Jeff Wilson (hip), and OL Terron Armstead (toe/pec/knee) listed as questionable. The Buffalo Bills will be without OL Ryan Bates (ankle) and DT Jordan Phillips (shoulder).

Both teams have some key players who are playing through injuries. For Miami, they will have LB Elandon Roberts (ribs), TE Durham Smythe (quad/knee), WR Tyreek Hill (ankle), CB Kader Kohou (thumb/neck), and DT Justin Zimmer (back). For Buffalo, they will have FB Reggie Gilliam (ankle), DT Ed Oliver (pec), LB Matt Milano (knee), QB Josh Allen (elbow), CB Cam Lewis (forearm), and OL Mitch Morse (elbow) playing through the pain.

Those are some big names playing through injuries to try to help their teams get the win in a big game.

Dolphins vs Bills: Keys to Success

Miami Dolphins – Don’t make Tua do too much

In the past two losses for the Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has struggled. He’s averaged 220 passing yards per game, thrown for three touchdowns and turned the ball over three times while having a 45.9% completion percentage. Head coach Mike McDaniels should look to take some pressure off of Tua to get him going again.

His recent struggles aren’t the only reason Miami should look to ease the pressure off Tua. Tagovailoa has struggled in his young career in cold weather. This could be the coldest game Tua has played in his football career. In games below 50 degrees, Tua has thrown two touchdowns while turning it over four times. He has had a combined QBR of 14, and is 0-3 in those games.

This weather could be the worst he’s ever seen, so it’s crucial for the Dolphins to make it easier for him.

Buffalo Bills – Win the Turnover Battle

In all three losses for the Bills this season, they have had more yards than their opponent. That’s the positive of their losses. On the flip side, they have also lost the turnover battle in each of those games. They have lost by 3 or less in each loss. If they win or tie the turnover battle, who knows, they could be undefeated right now.

With a top defense on the other side, turning the ball over might not seem like that big of a deal. But going into a game expected to have bad weather, turnovers could be more costly. Every possession will be crucial as both teams could struggle to move the ball down the field. If the Bills can take care of the ball, they should win this game. Especially considering the Bills are 3-0 in games where Josh Allen doesn’t have a turnover.

Final Thoughts

This could be an ugly offensive game, due to the weather. Miami will be looking to increase their chances at the AFC East. We could see them open up the playbook more than usual. On the other side, the Bills are looking to clinch a playoff berth and put themselves one win away from the division crown.

I expect a low scoring, close game that will come down to who can put the ball in the endzone last. Regardless of the outcome, the Bills vs Dolphins rivalry is clearly back.

Best NFL Bets For Week 8

Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

We’re back with some more picks for this week’s slate of NFL games. Last week was rough, but this week’s picks will get us back in the black. Here are five great bets for this Sunday’s Week 8 NFL action. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday morning.

Broncos vs Jaguars: UNDER 40.5 (-110)

Most London games are bad, but yikes. Both of these teams reek of desperation. Between the fact that both teams need this game and the weirdness of playing across the pond, it’s a tough one to pick. One thing is for sure, there won’t be a lot of points scored.

Denver has only played in one game all season where the point total went over 35. Their defense is great, and their offense is inept. Jacksonville’s games have been a little higher scoring than their counterpart, but that’s not important. What is important is that the Jags are mediocre on both sides of the ball. That means that this matchup shouldn’t provide an outlier from the trend that Broncos games have followed this season.

In simple terms, the Jaguars aren’t good enough on offense to score much on Denver, and their defense isn’t bad enough to give up too many points to this terrible offense. Gambling country, let’s ride… the UNDER. This game should allow us to start Week 8 off on the right foot with our NFL bets.

Cardinals at Vikings: Cardinals Moneyline (+160)

I love the value on this pick. Arizona is getting ‘plus odds’ in what should be a toss-up. Don’t let the records fool you, there is very little separating these two teams. The Cardinals may be 3-4, but the return of DeAndre Hopkins has them trending in the right direction.

The Vikings, on the other hand, boast a deceiving 5-1 record, including a four-game winning streak. A closer look reveals that almost all of their wins have come against losing teams. The Cardinals may fit the bill, but most of their losses came without ‘Nuk’. The Vikings are the same team they are every year in the Kirk Cousins era — good, but not great. They are bound to come back down to Earth at some point, and this is as good of a time as any.

Raiders at Saints: Raiders -1 (-110)

Again, don’t let the records fool you. These are two very different two-win teams. The Saints are falling apart at the seams. Injuries will leave them without Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Oh, and Jameis Winston is still out leaving Andy Dalton at the helm.

Meanwhile, the Raiders are essentially three plays away from being 5-1. Also, they seem to have found their offensive identity by feeding Josh Jacobs. Expect that to continue against a Saints team that has struggled against the run this year. Take advantage of what appears to be one of the most generous lines on the Week 8 bets board in the NFL.

Titans at Texans: Titans -3 (-110)

This is another generous line. The Titans seem to be rolling on their four-game winning streak. Derrick Henry is back to his old, unstoppable self once again. The Texans just got mauled by the Josh Jacobs last week. This is the last team they want to see.

Three points should be an easy cover in this matchup. You have a one team with serious postseason aspirations taking on a team chasing the number one overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. This is a no-brainer. Lay a field goal for some easy money.

Packers at Bills: Bills -11 (-110)

I would lay a billion in this game. Buffalo is far and away the best team in the league. They have looked dominant while posting a 5-1 record against a gauntlet of a schedule. Half of their games have resulted in wins by at least three scores.

The Packers just stink. Plain and simple. Their three-game losing streak is a big reason why we think that the Jets and Giants might might be good (spoiler alert, they’re not). Is Aaron Rodgers washed? He certainly looks like he was relying on Davante Adams a whole lot. Expect the Bills to drop 30 on Green Bay and to hold the Packers under 20. Lay the points.

2022 NBA Finals Preview

Who will win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2022 NBA Finals?

The 2022 NBA Finals are set, and fans everywhere are waiting with bated breath to see this matchup. The Celtics have just gone through the gauntlet in the Eastern Conference making their way through Kevin Durant and the Nets, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks, and Jimmy Butler and the Heat in a grueling 18 games. Most view the road the Warriors took out West as an easier route, but they’ve had a great opportunity to round into top form, sharpening their variety of tools against Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, and Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP. Let’s dive into what each team brings to the table as the series tips off.

Golden State Warriors

“You don’t wanna see us next year.”

Stephen Curry

Once the 2020-2021 campaign ended, Stephen Curry put the league on notice with this iconic quote. So far this season, he’s delivered. Before the season started, most NBA experts had the Warriors finishing on the play-in game border. However, they proved all of the doubters wrong, earning the third seed in the West and an NBA Finals appearance.

The Warriors head into the Finals with the highest rated offense in the playoffs scoring 117.8 points per 100 possessions according to Cleaning the Glass. Stephen Curry remains one of the biggest game-breakers in the league, regularly bending defenses to his will these playoffs. Although Steph has been having a slower playoff (by his standards) shooting 52% FG/ 38% 3PT/ 82% FT, fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson appears to be back.

The key for the Warriors in this series will be to keep up their varied offensive approach. If they let the Celtics slow them down and turn them into a basic isolation/pick and roll team in the half-court they could be in trouble. They have the lowest percentage of Self-Created Field Goal Attempts in the playoffs this year according to PBP Stats, keeping that number low will be crucial against the Celtics who have multiple elite on-ball defenders.

Boston Celtics

On January 1, 2022, the Boston Celtics were 2 games below .500 with a 17-19 record. The national discussion around the team was centered around breaking up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown because it seemed like the two players could not co-exist.

Furthermore, the first year of Ime Udoka’s coaching career was not looking great. Once 2022 began, the Celtics went 31-11 and ended the season with the NBA’s second-best efficiency differential at +7.4. For reference, only the Phoenix Suns are ahead of them according to Cleaning the Glass. Few teams have turnarounds like this mid-season, and even fewer of them end up getting to the NBA Finals.

The Celtics get things done on the defensive end, led by Defensive Player of the Year winner Marcus Smart. They have the second-best defense in the playoffs this year according to Cleaning the Glass, only allowing a stifling 106 points per 100 possessions. The only team with a better defensive rating in the playoffs? The Milwaukee Bucks, who got a nice boost due to their first-round matchup with the hobbled Chicago Bulls.

The key for the Celtics is to disharmonize the Warriors’ beautiful offense as much as they can. They have the ideal personnel for the job; the Celtics should be able to switch every screen effectively when they play small with Al Horford at the 5 to counter the Warriors’ current iteration of the “Death Lineup.” The Warriors are no slouches on the defensive side of the ball, so Boston will need to continue looking for transition opportunities to bolster their half-court offense which can become sluggish at times. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics have been one of the best transition teams in the playoffs adding 4.2 points per 100 possessions through transition opportunities.


Boston and Golden State are very closely matched in terms of team composition. There is not a massive talent differential – I believe Jayson Tatum will be the best player by a slim margin. In the comparison between each roster’s offensive efficiency below there is no clear outlier on either team.

In a tightly contested series, the teams match up well and the series should be very fun to watch. I believe the old saying “styles make fights” applies here.

Officially, I’m leaning towards the Warriors winning in 7 games. I think their experience and home-court advantage will make the difference in the end.