Trade Deadline Winners

With the NBA's trade deadline behind us there are a handful of teams who really improved their rosters, but did any truly move the needle in terms of NBA supremacy?

Pelicans Act Early - I touched on the DeMarcus Cousins heist pulled off by the Pelicans earlier this week. A Cousins-Davis front court has the potential to be lights-out, but the best they can hope for this season is the 8th seed out West. Essentially earning the right to get annihilated by Golden State. The future looks bright in the Big Easy, but only time will tell.

Raptors Make Waves - Trading for Serge Ibaka last week and then acquiring P.J. Tucker right at the deadline, the Raptors leapfrogged both the Wizards and the Celtics in the East. While the Cavs still stand in their way, the Raptors certainly reestablished themselves as the main threat to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. Boston and Washington staying pat really surprised me. "You snooze, you lose" and the Celtics and the Wizards were caught sleeping.

Thunder Get Westbrook Some Help - The Oklahoma City Thunder made a trade with the Chicago Bulls in which they received Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott. While neither player is an "All-Star" per se, Gibson's relentless effort and McDermott's shot-making ability will only be amplified playing alongside Russell Westbrook. It is good to see the Thunder surround Westbrook with at least a few competent teammates. Also, a Gibson/Steven Adams front court will be one of the most physical in the league. Bully ball is back in OKC.

Rockets Reign - The Rockets, who have the current leader for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year - Eric Gordon, acquired another potent sixth man in Lakers' guard Lou Williams. Williams, who was averaging north of 17 points per game with the Lakers, will likely be the second player off of the Rockets' bench. That is wild! The Rockets might not be able to stop the Warriors, but they sure as hell can score with them.

The NBA trade deadline was filled with fun and excitement, but for all intents and purposes all of these trades can be categorized as futile. The Cavaliers and Warriors are still on a crash-course to meet in June for third consecutive NBA Finals.