Top Five February Acquisitions
The five most impactful acquisitions for the NBA's stretch run.
As the NBA trade deadline nears, I thought I’d compile a list of the top five February acquisitions. My primary rule for assembling this list was the following: the player had to have an impact in the season the deal was made (i.e., trades for future draft picks who turned out to be stars did not count). Also, the team’s postseason success mattered, which eliminated players like Ray Allen with the 2002-03 Seattle SuperSonics (did not make the playoffs) and Carmelo Anthony with the 2010-11 New York Knicks (swept in the first round).
With that said, here we go…
5. Jeff Hornacek, 1993-94 Jazz
The sweet-shooting Hornacek was acquired by the Utah Jazz from the Philadelphia 76ers on February 24, 1994, a trade that would give the Jazz one of the best backcourts in the NBA for the next six seasons.
Despite starting just nine of his 27 games with Utah after the trade, Hornacek averaged 30.6 MPG, 14.6 PPG, and 3.9 APG with shooting percentages of 51/43/89. He continued his solid play in the postseason, where he led the team in field goal percentage (47.5%), 3-point field goal percentage (44.1%), and free throw percentage (91.2%); and finished second in scoring (15.4 PPG), assists (4.0 APG), and steals (1.5 SPG).
Despite entering the Western Conference playoffs as the fifth seed, the Jazz advanced all the way to the conference finals, where they lost to the eventual champion Houston Rockets in five games.
After a first round playoff exit in 1995, the Jazz advanced to the conference finals in each of their next three seasons, including two trips to the NBA Finals (where they lost to the Chicago Bulls both times).
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