NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Photo Credit: Rick Bowmer/AP

There’s no debate that the NBA trade deadline is the craziest in all of sports. This year was no different. Big names were moved as fans were scrambling to figure out what was happening. Trades were coming at an unforgettable rate, creating a memorable trade deadline for fans and players alike. As teams are trying to get their last key pieces for the playoff push, we take a look at some winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline.

NBA Trade Deadline Winners

Los Angeles Basketball

The Lakers were involved in just two trades Thursday, but came away a solid group of players. Headlining their additions are D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba. That’s a terrific haul considering the biggest pieces they gave up were Russell Westbrook, Thomas Bryant, Patrick Beverley, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and a 2027 1st-round pick (protected 1-4). It gives them better depth and fits for their play style. This puts them as a playoff contender in my eyes.

The Clippers may have had the best day at the NBA trade deadline. They snagged Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon, Mason Plumlee, and three future 2nd-round picks. Those are nice upgrades from what they gave up: three 2nd-round picks, John Wall, Luke Kennard, and Reggie Jackson. It gives them a nice pairing at center and solid back-up guards while simultaneously getting a little bit younger. I believe this puts them in the mix to contend for the West — if they can stay healthy.

Both the Clippers and Lakers knew they needed to make some moves if they wanted to contend, and that’s exactly what they did. Neither team forced a trade and made some amazing moves.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz were only involved in one trade on NBA trade deadline day, but the move they made was terrific. They ended up trading two 2nd-round picks, Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. They received Russel Westbrook, — who is expected to be bought out — Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and the Lakers 2027 1st-round pick (1-4 protected).

The players involved aren’t expected to make a big impact, but there are other factors I love about this trade. They cleared cap for next year with Conley and Vanderbilt. They were due about $16 million next year, but now they’re off the books for the Jazz. That’s huge for them as they’re projected to have around $50 million in cap now next season — possibly more. They also added another first round pick in 2027. This makes 15 first-round picks for them between now and 2029.

With the added players and bevy of draft picks, the Jazz are setting themselves up for a fantastic future. They already have a solid core to build around with Lauri Markkanen breaking out and Collin Sexton still improving. Look out for the Jazz in the upcoming years.

Russell Westbrook

Some may be confused why I have Russell Westbrook on this list after seeing he got traded to the Jazz. As mentioned above, Westbrook is expected to be bought out, changing everything. He’s able to choose where he plays — besides the Lakers — and is (presumably) out of Los Angeles, where the media was tearing him apart.

Westbrook hasn’t been great this season. Though he hasn’t been that bad, either. He still brings some energy to a team, and the fit in LA was bad. Now, he’s out of the pressure of being a Laker, and can choose where he thinks he fits best. He could be more comfortable and play his game. He is expected to choose between the Clippers and Heat. Those two teams could help him find his game more, and worry less about the outside pressure — such as being a Laker.

It’ll be interesting to see where Westbrook goes and if he can restore some of the old Russ magic. He was treated unfairly in many reports during his time in with the Lakers, so a change of scenery could be exactly what he needed.

NBA Trade Deadline Losers

Miami Heat

After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, the Heat have been a little disappointing. They’re 6th in the East, but had higher aspirations. Many thought they would be aggressive and make some moves with Duncan Robinson’s bad contract and Kyle Lowry’s regression and age. They would’ve had to give up picks to get rid of them, but they are hurting the team this year, and will next year as well by standing pat.

Instead of making a move, the Heat sat back and did nothing. Not a single trade. There’s rumors that they’re in the market for potential buy-out candidates, but is that enough? I’m not so sure. They could’ve made a move to cement themselves as a better team, and put them in the conversation of possibly winning the Eastern Conference. The decision to do nothing could hurt them down the road.

Heat fans were angry, and have every right to be. It’s tough to see a team that was one series away from the Finals last year not make a single trade when they’re not living up to expectations. They have a rough offseason coming up, especially if they don’t go far in the playoffs.

Thomas Bryant

In a surprising move, it was reported that Bryant became unhappy with his role on the Lakers, and had requested a trade. That was a bit of a shocker, as Bryant was putting together a solid season in LA backing up Anthony Davis. He was averaging 21.3 minutes per night, putting up 12.1 PPG and 6.8 RPG, while shooting 65.4% from the field and 44% from three.

After Bryant made his request, the Lakers decided to move him to the Denver Nuggets for Davon Reed and two 2nd-round picks. This put Bryant in a very similar position, as he is now the back-up to Nikola Jokic. He does go to the #1 seed in the West, but his role remains almost the exact same. Now, he’ll be hoping to prove himself for his next contract in Denver.

It might be nice for Bryant to play for the #1 seed, but he loses this deadline for one reason: his role stays the same. If anything, he could lose more minutes considering the Nuggets have the best center in the league, Nikola Jokic. He got the trade, but not his wish.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets were rumored to trade multiple players at the deadline, and they ended up making just two trades. They didn’t involve players rumored to be moved such as Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and Kelly Oubre Jr. Their first trade was moving Mason Plumlee to the Clippers for Reggie Jackson — who was bought out — and a 2028 2nd-round pick. Their other trade was moving a 2024 2nd-round pick and Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia for a 2023 (from Philadelphia) and 2027 (from Portland) 2nd-round pick, and Svi Mykhailiuk.

The main issue with these trades is that they don’t do anything for the Hornets. They essentially gained two 2nd-round picks and Svi Mykhailiuk for Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels. That is not a good return for those two players. It is apparent that Charlotte is in full tank mode to hopefully win the lottery for Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson.

The Hornets have been a mess for a while, and trades like these are why. They need to start making moves that will help, instead of hurting or not doing anything thing for them. It was another poor deadline for this Charlotte franchise.

Kevin Durant Traded to Suns in Blockbuster Move

Photo Credit: Fadeaway World

One year ago today would mark the last day the Brooklyn Nets had Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. Today, they have none of them. They moved on from James Harden on February 10th, 2022. This past week, they moved Kyrie Irving to Dallas. Today, it’s a trade that sends Kevin Durant to the Suns. It’s the latest blockbuster move in the NBA. So, how does this affect the NBA?

Full Kevin Durant Trade

Suns Receive:

  • Kevin Durant
  • T.J. Warren

Nets Receive:

  • Mikal Bridges
  • Cam Johnson
  • Jae Crowder
  • Unprotected 2023, 2025, 2027, & 2029 1st round picks
  • 2028 pick swap
Suns Become West Favorites

The Suns were in a weird spot prior to this move. It was noticeable that multiple NBA analysts were leaving them off their contender list. Many saw a decline coming after a 64-win season last year. However, they were still talked about as a great team. They were thought of as the pretenders in the West. This trade changes everything.

With the acquisition of Durant and Warren, they have a potential starting line-up of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, T.J. Warren, and Deandre Ayton. Bringing them back to being one of the favorites. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, they have the third best odds at the NBA Championship after this. Only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have better odds, both in the Eastern Conference.

Nets Officially Start Rebuild

Before the season, fans didn’t know what to expect from the controversial Nets. After multiple options involving trading James Harden a year ago, they opted to trade Kyrie a few days ago, leaving the Nets with Durant. This kept some hope for their fans that they would possibly try to win with Durant by building around him. Well, that’s not happening after acquiring four picks and two 26-year-olds for KD to officially start the Nets rebuild.

This leaves Brooklyn with a core of Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton, and Ben Simmons. Along with the draft picks, the Nets aren’t in horrible shape. They could decide to flip any of their newly acquired players, such as Mikal Bridges, if they choose to.

They could still finish the season as a playoff, or play-in, team. It’ll give them more time to test out line-ups and players, then decide where they want to go from there. It could’ve been worse. Regardless, it’s a disappointing end to the Irving, Harden, Durant era in Brooklyn.

Western Conference Gets More Talent

“Which conference is stronger?” is a question asked every year by NBA fans. For a while, most fans would say it’s been the Western Conference. This year was the first in a while that had people questioning that answer. Within the past week, that answer has been definitively answered.

First, Kyrie Irving goes from Brooklyn to Dallas to make it stronger. Now, Kevin Durant gets moved from the Brooklyn to Phoenix. The Kevin Durant trade creates a crowded Western Conference. With this addition, the Suns are now a legit contender for the Finals.

As mentioned, many fans of the game wrote them off this season, but with Durant in tow, they’re back.

In front of them in the West, they still have the Kings, who are looking to continue to prove themselves, the young and ferocious Grizzlies, 1st place Nuggets, and Dallas Mavericks with newly acquired Kyrie Irving. There are still three more teams right behind the Suns in that 6-8 spot in the standings. Oh, and the reigning champs are still there as the 9th seed.

Summary

When a superstar is moved there are many factors to consider. This ends a rough chapter for the Brooklyn Nets, and we’ll be waiting to see what their next chapter holds. On the other hand, this trade creates an exciting chapter for Kevin Durant and the Suns. Will they be able to be the last team standing? Only time will tell. Either way, this is a league-changing trade that will be talked about for a long time.

2023 NBA Trade Deadline: Potential NBA Trades

Photo Credit: Abbie Parr – Getty Images

The NBA is known to have one of the crazier trade deadlines in all of sports as teams are making their last moves to hopefully make them future champions. With the Rudy Gobert trade creating a confusing market, the NBA trades at the deadline should be crazy. The deadline is tomorrow and rumors are swirling, so let’s dive into where some big names could be moved.

Potential Trades for the NBA Trade Deadline

Fred VanVleet

Potential Teams: Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat

Fred VanVleet is a name that has been gaining some traction to be traded recently. The 28-year-old is an NBA champion and seasoned vet who knows what it takes to win. He’s a solid scorer and facilitator, averaging 19.7 PPG along with 6.5 APG, while shooting 39.7% from the field and 34.4% from three. VanVleet could provide leadership to a team that lacks it, or be the missing piece for a championship contender.

NBA trades can be tough on organizations, and this would be one of them for Toronto. The Raptors would be willing to move him, but would they feel comfortable trading him to an eastern conference team? They’ve done it before with Kyle Lowry. VanVleet could be next.

Prediction: Traded to Miami Heat

Terry Rozier

Potential Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves

Since joining the Hornets in 2019, Terry Rozier has proven that he can shoot the lights out. However, his three point percentage has dropped from 37.4% last year to 33.7% this year. This isn’t to worry, as he can easily get hot at any time. He’s gaining attention from some teams in the league. The Hornets aren’t making noise in the playoffs anytime soon. So, he could provide elite shooting for a team down the stretch.

He won’t require a blockbuster package, so multiple teams could look to go get him. There’s no guarantee his shooting percentage will rise, but he’s worth giving a shot for many teams. The Hornets should capitalize on his value and move him now. However, I don’t think they will.

Prediction: Stays on Charlotte Hornets

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Potential Teams: Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns

Along with the similarly named Bojan Bogdanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic has been talked about as potentially being traded. It’s become a trend in the NBA to trade for three point shooters. Bogdan is no different, as he’s another floor spacer who can cause defenses headaches when he gets hot. A career 38.3% three point shooter, Bogdan has shown he can do it over multiple seasons. Only one question since he turned 30: Can he keep it up for a few more years?

Combine his scoring with a solid contract, and you have player with great value. It would be tough for the Hawks to give him up, but any team in need of scoring should look to make a move for Bogdan. Even if the cost might be higher than we’d expect.

Prediction: Stays on Atlanta Hawks

Photo Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
OG Anunoby

Potential Teams: New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans

Another Raptor on the list. OG Anunoby has made a name for himself with his elite defending and solid shooting. With some people arguing he is the best ‘3-and-D’ player in the league, he’s become a trending name to be traded. He’s shooting 36.6% from three and adding 2.1 SPG on the defensive end. That production on both ends is hard to find.

If the Raptors are looking to move on from Anunoby, they should look to get a decent package. He’s a young and valuable player for any team. Could he be the most important trade piece in the NBA this deadline? Maybe.

Prediction: Traded to Brooklyn Nets

Kyle Lowry

Potential Teams: Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers

NBA trades are often complicated. A Kyle Lowry trade at the deadline would fall into that category. Lowry has taken a step back in every major statistical category this season. Adding to the poor stats, he is owed ~$30 million next season, turning 37, and has had lingering knee problems. He’s a tough move. However, he is still a veteran who has played in big games.

He could provide some leadership, experience, and solid minutes off the bench. A contending team could be in the running for him. The Heat could also try to move him to a rebuilding team willing to take his cap hit next season, as they would want to get rid of his contract.

Prediction: Traded to Toronto Raptors

John Collins

Potential Teams: New Orleans Pelicans, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers

A name that seems to be in trade talks a lot is John Collins. He’s a player who could be on many teams radars. His 3-point percentage has dropped from 36.4% last year to 25.7% this season. He can still turn it around, but the numbers are concerning. Still only 25, Collins has a long career ahead of him yet.

The only issue with a Collins trade is what other teams would give up for him. He’s still young and could still improve. Although, it’s clear the Hawks are set on their asking price, and it may be a little too high for teams.

Prediction: Traded to New Orleans Pelicans

Pascal Siakam

Potential Teams: Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets

Now that Kyrie Irving was traded, Pascal Siakam takes over as the #1 player in trade rumors. A top talent averaging 24.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 6.2 APG, Siakam is a game changer. He’s already been part of a championship team, and could help lead a team to another ring. He’s efficient and proven. That’s a prime target for teams looking to make a run.

If you haven’t noticed yet, Toronto is rebuilding and leaving a lot of players available for trade. Siakam is about to turn 29, so the Raptors could — and probably should — opt to keep him. NBA trades are difficult to make with a player of Siakam’s caliber, but it’s worth exploring for any team with championship aspirations.

Prediction: Stays on Toronto Raptors

Matisse Thybulle

Potential Teams: Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies

Matisse Thybulle is an elite defender who hasn’t found a consistent offensive game. He’s about to be 26, yet he’s only in his fourth NBA season. Thybulle is an interesting player who could turn into a star — if he goes to the right team. He needs to gain more confidence offensively, either on a new team or in Philadelphia. No matter what, an elite defender in the playoffs could be big for a team.

Thybulle is on an expiring contract, and that could cause the 76ers to move him. He is restricted, but his asking price on an extension could be too high. He’ll be an important piece defensively to any team that wants to make a move to get him.

Prediction: Traded to Sacramento Kings

Blockbuster moves are expected this deadline. NBA trades usually break the internet, and I expect more of that. With rumors everywhere, it’ll be interesting who comes out winners and losers of tomorrow. If you’re a fan of NBA trades, just sit back and have fun watching it all happen.