KEY POINTS

  • The 2020-2021 NBA trade deadline is scheduled for March 25th
  • Over the years, there have been a number of major moves made during the mid-season
  • Some of those moves have resulted in deep playoff runs or even championships

With the NBA trade deadline coming this week, sports headlines will once again be dominated by news of major player movements around the league. 

Where will Aaron Gordon end up? Will the Brooklyn Nets add another All-Star? Which team will draw in the biggest star to close out the 2020-2021 season? 

Each year, teams make major moves that would result in deep playoff runs, or possibly even an NBA title. It does rarely work out immediately, but there have been some mid-season transactions that have resulted in immediate success. 

Here are some mid-season trades that have made the most impact: 

Pau Gasol joins the Los Angeles Lakers

Paul Gasol Kobe Bryant Pau Gasol has been to three NBA Finals with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Photo: Reuters In the middle of the 2007-2008 NBA season, Pau Gasol was shipped off to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Memphis Grizzlies, in exchange for a package of players including his younger brother Marc. 

The move paid off immediately as Gasol averaged over 18 points and over seven rebounds per game to help Kobe Bryant and the Lakers reach the Finals for the first time since the 2003-2004 season.

Though they would lose to the Boston Celtics in six games, Gasol, Bryant, and the Lakers eventually won the NBA championship by defeating the Orlando Magic in five games the following season.

With Gasol as their starting center in 2010, the Lakers would go on to win their second-straight title. 

Dikembe Mutombo heads to the Philadelphia 76ers

51982551-philadelphia-76ers-dikembe-mutombo-celebrates-a-p Dikembe Mutombo Photo: AARON HARRIS/AFP/Getty Images

After solid stints in Denver and Atlanta, defensive ace Dikembe Mutombo was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers midway through the 2000-2001 season. 

Mutombo averaged 11.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks to help the Sixers make it all the way to the NBA Finals behind an MVP campaign from Allen Iverson.

The Sixers would beat the seemingly-unstoppable Lakers in Game 1 of the Finals before ultimately losing the series, 4-1. 

Clyde Drexler dons the Houston Rockets jersey

Drexler-e1532478319817 Clyde Drexler (22) Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

During the 1994-1995 NBA season, the defending champions Houston Rockets added even more firepower in their bid for a second-straight championship in the form of Clyde Drexler.

At the time, Drexler was already an eight-time NBA All-Star. 

Drexler was indeed a big part of the Rockets’ second title run, averaging 21.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Houston would sweep the Orlando Magic in the Finals. 

Detroit Pistons acquires Rasheed Wallace

w640xh480_GettyImages-81311464 Rasheed Wallace (36) Photo: Getty Images

In the 2003-2004 season, the Detroit Pistons added the final piece to their championship puzzle by acquiring the services o Rasheed Wallace from the Atlanta Hawks.

Wallace--who was traded to the Hawks from the Portland Trailblazers--played just one game for Atlanta before getting shipped out again. 

The move proved to be the best for both sides as Wallace complemented an already solid lineup that had Chaunce Billups, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallce.

"Sheed" normed 13.7 points and seven rebounds to help the Pistons tear through the league and win the title.