USA Today Sports in one of their The Lighter Side segments asks a good question: What did eventual NBA champions do at the trade deadline? The answer can be summarized succinctly: Nothing or not much.
In 8 of the last 14 years the eventual NBA champion did nothing at all at the trade deadline. In 5 of the years they made trades that did not seem to make much of an impact, for example:
Los Angeles Lakers (2009): Los Angeles Lakers traded center Chris Mihm to Memphis for a 2013 second-round pick.
In only one year in the last 14 years did a deadline trade make an obvious difference to an eventual NBA Champion:
Detroit Pistons (2004): Detroit traded guard Bob Sura, center Zeljko Rebraca and a 2004 first-round pick to Atlanta and guards Chucky Atkins and Lindsey Hunter and a 2004 first-round pick to Boston for guard Mike James and forward Rasheed Wallace.
It seems likely that 2015 will be an exception, especially in the Western Conference, since 8.4% of all NBA players were traded which made for the biggest trade deadline in NBA history, but we'll have to wait and find out, won't we?