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The deadline came and went, and while some teams improved on the court, other teams helped or hurt themselves in a different way: the lottery standings.
We’re getting close…
For two and a half seasons now, every conversation about an NBA player or team has ended with “…yeah, but it doesn’t matter, because the Warriors are going to win it all anyway.”
Nothing that happened on or leading up Thursday’s trade deadline changed that. Yes, some East contenders beefed up for the gauntlet that figures to be the last two rounds of the Eastern Conference Playoffs (when’s the last time we could say that?), but did any of those moves really put a scare into Golden State? With all due respect to the Greek Freak and his Merry Band of Shooters, not really.
It remains true: the only thing that’s going to beat the Warriors is the Warriors, and Kevin Durant’s “get off my lawn” rant aside, that doesn’t appear to be happening this season.
There were, however, several moves that transpired over the last week that could matter quite a bit moving forward in a different way. Since there’s more than enough articles out there grading the trades in terms of how much they’ll help teams win this season, we thought we’d try a different tact: which trades involving lottery teams could have league-altering potential moving forward based on how it affected their draft position?
Specifically, we looked at how this lottery figured to shake out before the trade deadline and after it, and ranked the top five deals by how much they altered the likely position of a team’s pick, whether a team keeps the pick altogether, and how far-reaching the effects of that might be.
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