Regrading the NBA's Recent Blockbuster Trades

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Regrading the NBA's Recent Blockbuster Trades
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, it's worth pausing to consider: What makes a good trade good? Usually grades get assigned at the time of the trade based on certain assumptions, and then we forget about them. But the results, not the projections, are what determine the winners. This is a regrading, therefore, of the biggest trades over the last five years.  

Part of the reason for this evaluation is to determine if the maxims of trading have changed. There was a time the conventional wisdom was, “whoever gets the best player wins the trade,” but does this still hold up with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement?

Now it's more prohibitive to go over the tax. The penalty is steeper, and more prohibitive rules which affect flexibility, kick in once you go over the apron. 

For that reason I looked at five specific trades which involve max-contract players, evaluating all the players and draft picks involved and how the teams have fared. I then graded them based on what the expectations of the trade were.

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