In an era when many basketball fans find NCAA March Madness more entertaining than the NBA season, the NBA trade deadline is a fleeting moment in the spotlight for the professionals before all thoughts turn to Braketology. With the exception of a Billion Dollar Bracket, there are very few people who get paid to analyze the best college players, but the shuffle of prominent draft picks during the trade deadline proves that the NBA front office GMs have a lot riding on the potential pros making a name for themselves in the NCAA. In honor of the national obsession with college hoops, here are some NBA trades that made the deadline as told by draft picks…
The Phoenix Suns took first round picks in 2017 and 2019 from the Miami Heat in a three-team trade that landed Goran Dragic with the Heat.
The Utah Jazz won a 2017 second-round draft pick from the Pistons and a future first-round pick from the Thunder in a trade that puts Reggie Jackson in a Detroit Pistons jersey to make room for Enes Kanter in Oklahoma City.
The Philadelphia 76ers add to their hopes for future winning seasons with the Laker’s 2015 first-round draft pick. As for teams focused on the here and now, the Phoenix Suns got Brandon Knight and the Milwaukee Bucks added Michael Carter-Williams to the team.
The Sixers also grabbed a second-round pick in 2015 and Isaiah Canaan in a trade that puts K.J. McDaniels on the Houston Rockets bench.
Philadelphia kept rolling by picking up a lottery protected 2015 first-round pick and JaVale McGee from the Denver Nuggets in a deal that can be called a salary dump.
The Houston Rockets surrendered second-round picks in 2017 and 2019 to the New York Knicks in a deal that brings Pablo Prigioni to Houston.
The Denver Nuggets secured a lottery protected first-round pick in 2016 in a five-player trade starring Arron Afflalo’s move to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Phoenix Suns got a 2016 first-round pick courtesy of the Cavaliers as part of a trade that sends Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics.
The Atlanta Hawks got a future first-round pick from the Timberwolves for rookie Adreian Payne.
A 2019 second-round pick went with two guards to the Minnesota Timberwolves so that Mo Williams could wear a Charlotte Hornets jersey.
And finally, like collectors swapping trading cards, there were a couple straight-up, old-fashioned, one-for-one trades before the deadline. Most notably, Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett is heading back to Minnesota from Brooklyn in return for Thaddeus Young.