The 2018 NBA Trade Deadline saw the Cavaliers completely revamp their roster, both improving their prospects for this season and getting younger at the same time, setting them up a little better for LeBron James’ potential departure this offseason.
While a number of prized trade targets remained where they are — including DeAndre Jordan and Tyreke Evans — several other teams joined the Cavs in making significant additions (and subtractions).
The trades have unquestionably altered the futures landscape for the 2018 NBA title. Our last set of title odds had the Warriors and Rockets. Below, we set out the new title odds for all 30 teams (with the previous odds in parentheses). Note that the changes are motivated by a trio of factors: (1) recent trades; (2) recent injuries; and (3) recent performance.
The Cavaliers understandably make a big jump. They parted ways with a host of players that were not working (including Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder) while bringing in the likes of Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. The result is a younger team that should be able to defend a little better. They can’t possibly get worse.
The Nuggets also get a little bump after, effectively, swapping Emmanuel Mudiay for veteran point guard Devin Harris in a three-team deal. He gives their talented-but-young backcourt the dedicated, experienced ball-handler it was lacking.
The Jazz look significantly different today, and not necessarily for the better. Rodney Hood and (much less importantly) Joe Johnson are out. Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose (briefly) are in. (Rose will be bought out.) But the team has won seven straight and the combination of electric rookie Donovan Mitchell and reserve Alec Burke justifies the Jazz moving way up since our last iteration.
In terms of teams who went down due to trades, the Clippers are the big loser after trading Blake Griffin. The fact that they re-upped Lou Williams and held onto DeAndre Jordan makes them a double-loser. Now they’re stuck somewhere in between a complete rebuild and second-rate contender.
The movement at the very top (Warriors, Rockets) isn’t trade-based. The Warriors are simply playing their worst basketball in about three years, while the Rockets — when fully intact — look unbeatable. Playoff track-record justifies the continued discrepancy between the two — Steph Curry and co. have multiple rings, while James Harden and Chris Paul have only multiple postseason disappointments.
Elsewhere, the Pelicans’ odds are cut in half after Demarcus Cousins was lost for the year. Same goes for the Knicks in the wake of Kristaps Porzingis going down.
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