The 2022 NBA trade deadline was the most exciting one of the past few years. Three huge players changed places just on the day of the deadline, while a few more changed teams a few days prior. With blockbuster deals such as the Ben Simmons-James Harden trade, the entire NBA world stopped to see what moves teams will make.

When it was all said and done, at 3 PM EST on Thursday, the league landscape looked very different. As with everything, there were winners and there were losers of the whole process. Without further ado, here are two big winners of the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

2022 NBA Trade Deadline winners 

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Charlotte Hornets 

The Hornets made only one move, but it was an amazing one. The franchise owned by Michael Jordan had a steady season, with their young core showing up in huge fashion this year. LaMelo Ball made his first All-Star team as an injury replacement to Kevin Durant, while many believed he should have been joined by teammate Miles Bridges. Still, even with their great play and key supplemental parts in Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward, the Hornets still needed a boost. So, they did the best thing possible and traded exactly where they needed that boost, giving up virtually nothing.

They brought in Montrezl Harrell from the Washington Wizards for Vernon Carey and Ish Smith, plus a protected second-round draft pick in 2023. With all due respect to both Vernon Carey and Ish Smith, their contributions to the Hornets effort could be forgone. They contributed around six points and played less than 20 minutes per night, combined. The second-round pick also holds no value for the Hornets that finally look like they have a team that could make the postseason and stay there for years to come. Now, with this trade for Harrell, they have their inside scoring threat as well.

The Hornets needed an inside presence since their big man rotation was very limited. They have Mason Plumlee who is an athletic and defensive-minded veteran and a solid starting player for a team in the position of the Hornets. After him, there was PJ Washington, who had injury issues for most of the season and is only coming back. He plays more on the perimeter than inside and while he is a great talent, he could not be the only option. Thus, swinging this trade for the former Lakers, Clippers, and Rockets forward in Harrell brings a new dimension to the Hornets, something that they lacked.

Harrell is averaging around 14 points, seven rebounds per contest while shooting a crisp 64.5% from the field, which is the second-best field goal clip of his career. He is also a much improved free throw shooter and someone that will be there for some easy points in the paint, which become incredibly relevant come playoff time. The Hornets maybe did just one trade, but they addressed a key fault of their roster and did it without losing anyone they would consider relevant for their team. Good moves at the 2022 NBA trade deadline by the Hornets.

Marvin Bagley Jr 

In a huge four-team trade where a lot of teams got a lot of value, some might even forget that the Detroit Pistons snagged fourth-year forward and former second pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Marvin Bagley. After three stagnating seasons in Sacramento, the forward was benched for most of the season, with the Kings refusing to trade him and also refusing to give him relevant time on the court. Thus, it came as huge news for all believers that Bagley can still be a productive NBA player that he is moving from California to Detroit, to play for the Pistons.

Obviously, while the Pistons are a terrible team right now, Bagley's further development should coincide with the rest of their roster. The Pistons have a ton of guards and forwards that they will try to develop. Of course, the first pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham, is the leader of that effort, but they also have Saddiq Bey, Kylian Hayes, Frank Jackson, and others. Now, they also have a big man and all they traded away was Josh Jackson, who was not playing too well, and Trey Lyles, who was not included in their long-term plans.

The most relevant part for Bagley is that he is finally free from the Kings, an organization that seems to gobble up the talent of some players. Hopefully, in Detroit where he will have time and space to showcase himself, Bagley will show why many analysts had him going before Luka Doncic and Trae Young in their mock drafts in 2018. Of course, Bagley will not join their conversation in terms of greatness, if for nothing because he wasted a few seasons playing for the lowly Kings with no direction, but he can be a great complimentary big man to the young core of the Pistons. Time will tell just how big of a 2022 NBA trade deadline move this was for the Pistons.