4 Biggest Losers Of 2023 NBA Trade Deadline

4 Biggest Losers Of 2023 NBA Trade Deadline

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The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline had a little bit of everything. Some blockbuster trades grabbed headlines and some smaller upgrades were made by teams looking to improve for the stretch run of the season. Second-round picks became a hot commodity on the market, something that was certainly unexpected.

There were talks of some more big trades, but nothing came to fruition. There weren’t any true sellers ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline as the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors kept their cores. The Bulls are one of only two teams, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, that didn’t make a trade this season and the Raptors acquired Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs.

While plenty of teams have come away feeling good about their rest-of-the-season outlook, there are a few that don’t feel great following the deadline. Which teams would fall into that category? Here are four of the biggest losers from the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.

4. Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are in a great spot atop the Western Conference with a record of 38-18, four games clear of the Memphis Grizzlies. But, following the 2023 NBA trade deadline, they indeed weren’t winners.

That isn’t to bash the moves that the team made. Adding Thomas Bryant is a nice upgrade for the frontcourt and they will be a popular destination on the buyout market to fill the holes on the roster. But, the return for Bones Hyland was certainly underwhelming, which is one knock against them.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Denver Nuggets Updates

Another, which was out of their control, was how much other teams in the Western Conference improved. The Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks added superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Los Angeles Clippers filled all of their needs and the Los Angeles Lakers have essentially a new rotation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

They didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but it was a tough deadline for the Nuggets.

3. Brooklyn Nets

Some people would call the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline a win for the Nets. There is certainly an argument that could be made as they deserve some credit for ripping off the bandaid by trading Durant and Irving. But, when a superteam fails to the level that the one in Brooklyn did, it can be called a loss.

That era is filled with disappointment as the Nets won one playoff series since the duo joined the franchise. When taking into account what they received in exchange for them, it is fair to say that the return was underwhelming as well.

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Five draft picks, Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson were the final tally as Jae Crowder was flipped to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal. The draft picks provide flexibility in the future, but the Suns and Mavericks look like they will contend for years with the cores they have in place.

Brooklyn made the most of a tough situation, but a lot of work needs to be done for them to reach contender status again.

2. Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons were one of the teams that looked like they would make multiple moves ahead of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. They don’t have playoff aspirations and had a few veterans on the roster that could return some real value. Detroit ended up making one trade, but it didn’t include who you’d have thought it would.

The Pistons took part in a four-team deal with the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks. They parted ways with Saddiq Bey and brought back James Wiseman. They are taking a shot on the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, but what does that mean for Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren, the big men they are currently developing?

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Detroit Pistons Updates

Also, holding onto Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic was a peculiar decision. Head coach Dwane Casey noted how important the veterans were to the team and the asking price was reportedly high. With contracts for next season, there is a lot of value in retaining them.

However, keeping them could also hurt them in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. Burks and Bogdanovic are good enough to help the Pistons win a few games, which they likely aren’t looking to do often. One or two games could be the difference between selecting first and fourth in the 2023 NBA Draft.

1. Miami Heat

The Miami Heat were involved in some trade rumors leading up to the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. They were looking to shake things up on their roster as they could use a jolt offensively to match their top-tier defense. Unfortunately, that deal never materialized, leaving them atop this list.

Their chances to contend are capped because of how ineffective Kyle Lowry has been this season. He is having the least productive season of his career since becoming a starter in 2010 and there aren’t any signs of things turning around.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Miami Heat Updates

Miami also put themselves in a tough spot with the contract they re-signed Duncan Robinson to. His impact on the court is virtually zero with his shooting falling off a cliff and it would have required multiple first-round picks to move him.

Capped out and without much wiggle room, the Heat are in a tough spot. Two of the teams behind them in the standings, the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors, improved at the deadline and could challenge Miami for a spot outside of the Play-In Tournament.

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