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3 Recent trades that contributed to NBA Championships

From Mark Aguirre joining Detroit to Anthony Davis teaming up with LeBron LA, NBA history has shown us time and time again the importance of using the trade market to build a title-winning roster.

Whether it's adding another star who can put up big numbers in the playoffs, or the perfect complementary piece to shore up weak points in the roster, many of the league's recent champions have at least one impactful trade acquisition they can point to as a key piece in their title push. As we explore the trades that played a crucial role in the victories of recent NBA champions, its interesting to note how these strategic moves have also influenced betting odds on platforms like DraftKings Sportsbook and many others. In this article, we'll be looking at the three most recent NBA champions and the trades that had the most impact on their historic wins.

1. Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee

With the rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo from a mid-round lottery pick to a global superstar, the Milwaukee Bucks turned into NBA juggernauts seemingly overnight. But, they just lacked that bit of extra firepower behind the Greek Freak to get things done in the playoffs.

So, in the summer of 2020, the Bucks went all in, acquiring Pelicans star guard Jrue Holiday for a package headlined by Eric Bledsoe and three first-round picks. While it was a high price to pay, the decisions paid off immediately, as Milwaukee won its first NBA championship in 50 years.

Holiday wasn't efficient as a scorer in the Finals, but he helped keep Suns superstar Devin Booker mostly in check, including holding him to just 19 points on 22 shots in the decisive game six.

2. Andrew Wiggins to Golden State

One of the best NBA redemption stories in modern times, Andrew Wiggins was one of the laughing stocks of the NBA during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The first overall pick in 2014, Wiggins was expected to be a megastar and the biggest basketball icon from Canada since Steve Nash. Instead, his career floundered, as he struggled to score efficiently and contribute to winning basketball.

The Golden State Warriors, needing to make a move to retool around Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, took a flyer on Wiggins at the 2020 trade deadline, acquiring him and a first-round pick for D'Angelo Russell.

And, in a more defined and limited role, Wiggins slowly started to thrive. After getting Most Improved Player voted in 2020-21, the former Kansas star exploded in 2021-22, making his first and only All-Star Team to date. It only got sweeter in the playoffs, as Wiggins was an integral cog in the Warriors run to the 2022 championship, averaging 18 points and nearly nine rebounds per game in the Finals against the Celtics.

3. Aaron Gordon to Denver

Another former lottery pick, the high-flyer Aaron Gordon might have been dominating dunk contests, but his NBA career was starting to falter in Orlando. Asked to be at the center of the Magic offense, Gordon struggled to adapt as an on-ball scorer and, by the 2021 trade deadline, the team that drafted him was looking for a way to move on.

The Nuggets, needing more talent around reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, traded Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a first-round pick to acquire Gordon, who immediately found more success in an off-ball role. A strong defender, aggressive offensive rebounder, and constant lob threat, Gordon started every game during the Nugget's 2023 championship run, including shooting over 60% against the Miami Heat in the Finals.