Yesterday was a busy first day in the off-season phase. With the draft coming up, some teams are trying to get their situation in order before then. Four teams that are trying to work around money and pieces are the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Brooklyn Nets. Let's break down what each team got and who won the trade.

Trades

Starting off with Atlanta and Charlotte, Atlanta is shipping away Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in the draft.

The important part of this trade is obviously Dwight Howard.

Known for his toxic off-court behavior, the center has struggled to find a team that will keep him for an extended period of time. Despite averaging 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds last season, the Hawks clearly don't feel like paying for his production, which apparently costs more than just the money.

The sweet but irrelevant part of this trade is the picks, which are seemingly close and most likely won't really play a part regardless; but a team can always dream of drafting a super late superstar.

The Lakers and Nets had a much larger caliber trade. The Lakers dumped not only D'Angelo Russell but also Timofey Mozgov and his ginormous contract. In return, the Nets are sending Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the draft. D'Angelo Russell struggled to find consistency this season, and Mozgov didn't exactly pan out as the superstar center they had hoped would emerge. Instead, the Lakers will most likely draft Lonzo Ball and rely on him for the future as a guard, while taking Brook Lopez at center.

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Winners

In regards to the first trade, Atlanta has to be the clear winner here. As mentioned previously, neither of these picks factor in, so it ultimately comes down to the players. Miles Plumlee is by no means great, but Marco Belinelli, on the other hand, had solid production off the bench this past season for Charlotte; averaging 10.5 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. But the bigger part of this trade is that the Hawks wouldn't unload a solid producer in Dwight Howard, especially when Paul Millsap opted out to test free agency if they didn't believe that his behavior made it necessary.

Therefore I crown the winner here to be Atlanta.

For the second trade, the Lakers win this round. With the 2nd pick in the draft most likely being Lonzo Ball, they were able to dump Russell and his shaky production. But in addition, they rid themselves of Mozgov's ridiculous contract. This is rumored to be a decision that might not be entirely brought about by Mozgov's failure to perform, but also to create space for some big plans.

In regards to this trade, the Los Angeles Lakers sneak away with a rare victory over their opposition. They trade away two pieces that are underperforming, one of which is immensely overpaid, and in return, they get a solid replacement in Brook Lopez and a 1st round pick. A late 1st round pick, but still a first rounder nevertheless.

For Brooklyn, although they should be excited at the acquisition of a young guard who is decent, they should be pretty upset that management hasn't come to the conclusion that trading away picks causes problems.

Although it was mainly one bad trade that has jeopardized their performance the past few season, this move shows that they still haven't learned their lesson on why building through the draft is important. However, I will say that given it is the 27th pick, it isn't a horrible trade.

Bottom line

It was a crazy first day in the NBA, and more is on the way. With the draft coming up on Thursday, June 23rd, teams will look to either bolster their teams through picks or trade their picks away for a more guaranteed NBA ready player. Be on the lookout for more moves involving trades.

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