The 2021 NBA trade deadline was a relatively quiet one.
Although there were no blockbuster trades, there were still some teams that came out of the deadline as big winners.
One of the teams made one trade that may seem minor now but will have major ramifications later in the season.
The second team made the biggest trade that happened at the deadline and established themselves as real contenders.
The final team finally began their rebuilding process.
Los Angeles Clippers
The first team that is a big winner of the trade deadline is the Los Angeles Clippers.
This may come as a shock to many.
The Clippers were only involved in two trades at the deadline.
First, the Clippers traded Mfiondu Kabengele, a conditional second round pick, and cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings in return for a future second round pick.
This gave Los Angeles an open roster spot that they will likely fill with a buyout candidate.
With Demarcus Cousins still floating around in the buyout market, it is possible that the Clippers could use their roster spot on him.
BREAKING NEWS: Rajon Rondo is being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Lou Williams and two 2nd-round picks.
Lou Williams is coming back to Atlanta to play for the Hawks. 🔥💸 pic.twitter.com/5RGNKPZV5O
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) March 25, 2021
Although this may seem like a very minor move, it could lead to the Clippers winning the Western Conference.
Clippers fans should not lose hope in Rondo throughout the regular season.
It is likely he will coast through the regular season, however, Clippers fans will see firsthand that playoff Rondo is a real thing.
Along with this, he solves one of the major problems that the Clippers have run into during the Kawhi Leonard era.
That problem being their lack of leadership.
The Clippers two best players are not vocal leaders by any means.
As a result of this, the team had locker room issues.
Rondo will come in and be the veteran leader that the Clippers desperately need.
He will also take some of the weight of being a playmaker off of the shoulders of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Along with this, losing Lou Will may be a good thing for the Clips.
Although he is a great player and walking bucket, he is almost unplayable in the playoffs.
His style of play does not result in winning basketball in the playoffs.
Despite being a great offensive player, Williams is such a liability on the defensive end he is forced to stay on the bench during the playoffs.
The Miami Heat are the second big winners of the 2021 trade deadline.
The Heat made the closest thing to a blockbuster trade we saw at the deadline.
Along with this, they improved their roster with two other trades.
This was great for the Heat for two reasons.
The first being that it got Leonard who was apart of a major controversy off of the roster.
Along with this, they added Ariza who is a great veteran 3-and-D player.
This was a very low-risk high reward deal for the Heat.
This was another great move for the Heat that snuck under the radar.
They opened up a roster spot that was expected to be used on LaMarcus Aldridge.
However, after Aldridge signed with the Brooklyn Nets, the Heat are also in the Demarcus Cousins sweepstakes.
With this trade, they also got back the shooting ability from a big man that they lost in trading Meyers Leonard.
This was an amazing trade for the Heat.
They got a player with a very high potential in Oladipo if he can stay healthy.
Along with this, he fits in perfectly to the “Heat Culture”.
The Heat with this addition will be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
The final part of this trade that was amazing for the Heat was the 2022 pick swap.
The Rockets are likely going into a major rebuild that will take years to complete.
As a result of this, unless things go south for the Heat very quickly they will end up with the better pick from the swap.
The Miami Heat get to keep Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, didn’t give up a first rounder, and got Victor Oladipo
What a move by Pat Riley pic.twitter.com/K4pn8Xy8bL
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) March 25, 2021
The Orlando Magic are the final team that came out of the trade deadline as big winners.
They were able to trade their aging players in return for youth and draft picks.
The Magic finally decided that they were sick of being the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference every season and blew up the roster.
As a result of this, they were one of the most active teams during the deadline.
Depending on the protections and how far in the future the picks are, this could be major for the Magic.
It was going to take a lot for them to move on from Vucevic.
He is the only Magic player that has made the All-Star game since Dwight Howard in 2011.
Along with the draft capital, Carter Jr. has huge potential in the league.
The Magic will have to continue to develop him, however, coming into the league it was said the sky could be the limit for Carter Jr.
Lastly, Otto Porter Jr. is on an expiring contract meaning it will free up money for the Magic if he is not resigned.
The second trade sent Evan Founier to the Boston Celtics in return for Jeff Teague and two second round picks.
Teague was waived immediately and signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
This is a great trade for a rebuilding team like the Magic.
They moved on from a bigger contract in Fournier and waived Teague which will free up millions in cap for them.
The final trade was the biggest of the deadline for the Magic.
This falls under the same categories as the previous trades.
That being the Magic moving on from expensive players for young talent and draft capital.
Although they had to blow up their roster this season, they are set up well for a quick and effective rebuild.
Can’t wait to see RJ Hampton and Gary Harris tear it up in Orlando pic.twitter.com/ETGhEwLyrE
— Orlando Magic 2030 NBA Champions (@Hampton4MVP) March 27, 2021
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