After moving Cam Reddish, Atlanta stayed put at the deadline. There were certainly rumors that John Collins or others might be moved but not pulling the trigger was likely their best move. If Atlanta could have found a two for one to bring in another star, then consolidating assets would have made sense, but without a true star looking to name the Peach State home, keeping the powder dry to try again in the off season is the right call.
Incoming: Daniel Theis, & Derrick White
Outgoing: Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, Enes Freedom, Bruno Fernando, PJ Dozier, Bol Bol, & a top 4 protected 2022 first-round pick
The Celtics gave up a fair amount without bringing nearly as much in. Derrick White has proven to be an above average defender and an average offensive force. He is likely the best player in any of this trade but giving up two pieces and a first is a lot to pay. White splits the difference between Dennis Schroder and Marcus Smart balancing defense and offense. He continues the lack of playmaking among guards in Boston. Bringing back Theis is an interesting move. He has familiarity with the franchise but Boston gave him up for Luke Kornet. Additionally, Theis play in Houston has been abysmal.
Incoming: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2027 first round pick.
Outgoing: James Harden, & Paul Millsap
Bringing in Simmons Curry and Drummond solves a lot of Nets problems. First off it gives them active bodies. Simmons, when active, is by far the best defender in Brooklyn. Plus Curry, Irving, and Durant offer Simmons the most spacing he will have ever played next to. With Joe Harris possibly out for the year, adding Curry’s shooting gives the Nets some much needed floor spacing. Viewing the James Harden deal from last season as a sunk losing the best player in the trade. While this lowers the Nets ceiling it definitely helps in the short term. For a full trade breakdown see Michael Shearer’s piece.
Incoming: Montrezl Harrell
Outgoing: Vernon Carey Jr and Ish Smith
The Hornets made the steal of the deadline, getting Harrell for Carey Jr and Ish Smith. Harrell’s scoring punch in the post especially with his quick second jump fits in nicely for the Hornets. Slotting in next to Bridges, Rozier, LaMelo, and Bridges it is possible Harrell improves his offensive rating from an insane 134 points per 100 possessions. He will not be helping the Hornets’ defense. In Washington the team gave up 112 points per 100 possessions with Harrell in. Charlotte had plenty of young bigs between Kai Jones and Nick Richards so giving up on a you prospect is not going to hurt them. Ish Smith provided leadership but not much else.
Chicago had assets to make a move whether it be for Jerami Grant or Harrison Barnes. Passing on a deal signifies Chicago is not serious about going for the championship this year. It makes sense given the Bucks, Nets and 76ers moves. Any move Chicago could have made still would have kept them in fourth place in the proverbial power rankings. With that being the case no reason to lose young assets.
Incoming: Caris LeVert
Outgoing: Ricky Rubio, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick (Houston), & 2027 second-round pick (Utah)
Is LeVert a perfect player? Not far from it. He is an above average isolation scorer who does not move the ball and plays subpar defense. For Cleveland LeVert is perfect. He can handle the ball and create offense. His connection with Jarrett Allen will help cut down adjustment time. Giving up three picks is a bit much however their value is only as good as the team selecting them. Cleveland’s last selection in the 20-35 range was Dylan Windler.
Incoming: Spencer Dinwiddie, & Davis Bertans
Outgoing: Kristaps Porzingis, & a future second-round pick
It took comparing Kristaps Porzingis’s deals to finally make Bertans not look as bad. The New Wizard’s unicorn has a player option for 2023/24 which will pay him 36 million. Bertans’s bloated deal has a player option the following year for just 16 million. Dinwiddie has struggled playing next to Beal. Next to Luka, Dinwiddie will see the ball even less so there is a high probability he looks even worse.
Denver made a small move earlier without having much in the way of assets. It would have been nice to see the Nuggets add any piece. They know as well as anyone this is not likely to be their year so we will give them a pass.
Incoming: Marvin Bagley
Outgoing: Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles, & 2 future second-round picks
Taking swings on former top picks is one of the best strategies for finding value. This is how the Pistons were able to build their 2004 Championship behind the development of late blooming top 7 pick Chauncey Billups. With young players in 4 key positions Bagley should be able to work his way into the rotation rather quickly. It remains to be seen when those future seconds will pay out.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors could have easily gone all in for a chip this season but even that is no guarantee for a championship. Given the development of Jonathan Kuminga, and the hopeful return of James Wiseman, playing the long game not only is safe but also offers a higher reward. The Warriors are looking to become the next Spurs not the title chasing LeBron Lakers.
Incoming: Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom, & Bruno Fernando
Outgoing: Daniel Theis
The Rockets acquired the best player in the deal but failed to get anything of actual value. Schroder is a fine scoring guard who is better suited to play next to a ball distributor than as one. His addition will not help move the ball for the Rockets rookies. Moving off Theis frees up room for Sengun but that could have been done without making a move. Houston has already cut Enes Freedom.
Incoming: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Heild, Tristan Thompson, Ricky Rubio, Jalen Smith, 2022 first-round pick (Cleveland), & 3 future second-round picks
Outgoing: Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Torrey Craig, & a future second-round pick.
Somehow the Pacers blew up their team and received just one first round pick. The Pacers seem content to be in the middle of the pack. Haliburton and Jalen Smith are fine young piece but are not elite young prospects. Halliburton’s greatest strengths are his abilities to play with or without the ball. As a supporting player next to a true star Haliburton could be extremely helpful. That said he and Brogdon will keep the Pacers in the 30-win range.
Los Angeles Clippers
Incoming: Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye
Outgoing: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, Serge Ibaka
The Clippers managed to add three rotational pieces without losing anything of value. Powell’s contract would be cumbersome for most franchises but not for Ballmer. The shooting guard’s place in Portland was lost with Anfernee Simon’s development. In Los Angeles he will likely be their top scorer until Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Robert Covington was never a fit with the Blazer but playing help defense next to Leonard and George is the ideal role for him.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers needed to make a move. Body language is so bad in LA you would think this is a reality TV show not a professional basketball franchise. Falling short of a Westbrook deal, the Lakers still had options to try and bring back any piece who might help. Without any moves they can kiss a hope of a championship goodbye.
Things are going well in Memphis. It is easy to not rock the boat, however the Grizzlies have three picks likely to fall in the 15-30 range in the 2022 draft. Passing on this opportunity could be the Grizzlies giving up their best chance at adding top talent around Ja Morant in the coming years.
Incoming: a 2026 second-round pick
Outgoing: KL Okpala
The most important part of this deal has nothing to do with what was exchanged but rather with what was renegotiated. The HEAT removed the protection on the 2025 pick they owe to the Thunder. This allows Miami to trade their 2027 first. While no deal was made with that 2027 pick, watch out for Miami making a move during the offseason.
Incoming: Serge Ibaka
Outgoing: Donte DiVincenzo, Rodney Hood, & Semi Ojeleye
Trading for Ibaka is a worrisome move for the Bucks. Is it an admission that Brook Lopez may not return this year? Ibaka has looked washed this year in Los Angeles. He has struggled to impact the game for the Clippers in limited minutes. Giving up a starter from last season’s championship team for an almost unplayable reserve smells of desperation.
Opposed to over paying for Ben Simmons the Timberwolves will continue with their roster as currently constructed. Minnesota is in a growth state right now. Jarred Vanderbilt has come into his own vastly improving the Wolves defense. There was no market for Malik Beasley. Waiting until the off-season makes sense for Minnesota right now.
New Orleans Pelicans
Incoming: CJ McCollum, Tony Snell, & Larry Nance Jr
Outgoing: Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, & Didi Louzada
Going all in to make the play-in is questionable at best. Will the Pelicans be a better team? Yes, but not without some losses. CJ McCollum provides a lot of spacing next to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. However, the Pelicans are now faced with starting Graham and McCollum. Once Zion returns, does Herb Jones move to the bench? If so, the Pelicans will struggle to defend anyone.
New York Knicks
New York was rumored to flip Randle for Fox. That although clunky and a poor fit would at least improve the Knicks talent pool. This season is an absolute disappointment for New York. Leon Rose chooses to do nothing about it.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Incoming: KZ Okpala
Outgoing: 2026 second-round pick
Adding a young raw talent like KZ is a great addition for the Thunder. Okpala is likely to be nothing but Andrea Iguodala spoke very highly of the young forward. In addition, Miami removed their protection from the 2025 pick. That makes the pick more likely to convert but also gives the Thunder a higher chance of getting a better pick.
Incoming: Bol Bol, PJ Dozier, & a future second-round pick
Outgoing: A future protected second-round pick
The Magic have a pair of players potentially useful to a contender who are not useful to Orlando. Gary Harris and Terrance Ross should have been able to fetch something on the market if even just a second-round pick and expiring. Now Orlando will likely negotiate a buyout with the two and receive nothing. Their lone move equates to little more than picking up a future second to pay the salaries of two injured players
Incoming: James Harden, & Paul Millsap
Outgoing: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, 2022 first-round pick & 2027 first-round pick
Daryl Morey pulled it off. He actually did it flipping Simmons for Harden. Even with Harden’s apathetic attitude lately in Brooklyn the former MVP has put up impressive numbers. If this trade re-energizes Harden, watch out for the Nets becoming the top team in the league. For a full trade breakdown see Michael Shearer’s piece.
Incoming: Torey Craig
Outgoing: Jalen Smith & a future second-round pick.
Torey Craig was on the Suns last season and was given up for next to nothing. Trading away Smith and a future pick to bring him back is a failure in planning. Getting just Craig for Smith who performed incredibly well in Ayton’s absence is a failure in negotiation. Giving up a pick in addition is just an embarrassment.
Portland Trail Blazers
Incoming: Josh Hart, Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, Eric Bledsoe, Keon Johnson, Justice Winslow, the Lakers 2022 First (Protected 1-4 & 15-30) & a future second-round pick
Outgoing: CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr, Tony Snell, Norman Powell, & Robert Covington
Like Bill Simmons says veteran GMs circled the new guy and went after him. Most of these moves can be summed up as cap saving. The Blazers created a roughly 20-million-dollar trade exception to be used for future moves. What the Blazer wants is questionable. As quickly as he came the Blazers moved Nickeil Alexander-Walker, indicating that Portland might not want young talent. Picks wise the Lakers pick could convey but it is unlikely. The lone playable piece Josh Hart is a defensive minded wing. Bledsoe and Johnson have defensive upside. After years of being all offense Portland could be trying to redefine themselves.
Incoming: Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Donte DiVincenzo & a future second-round pick
Outgoing: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Heild, Marvin Bagley, & Tristan Thompson.
Kings’ fans may not be ready to hear this but they had a great deadline. Sabonis is the rugged screen setter who will free up Fox and is a strong enough passer for them to run their offense through. Replacing Buddy by bringing Donte DiVincenzo was an excellent recovery to address the lack of shooting on the Kings roster. Sacramento will still need to add one more piece in the coming years but they were able to revamp their roster without giving up picks or taking back any seriously bad deals. Watch out, Sacramento is going to the play-in!
San Antonio Spurs
Incoming: Romeo Langford, Josh Richardson, Goran Dragic, Thomas Satoransky, Boston’s 2022 first round pick (top 4 protected) Toronto’s 2022 first-round pick (protected 1-14), Swap rights to Bostons 2028 first-round pick & a future second-round pick
Outgoing: Derrick White, Drew Eubanks, Thad Young, Juancho Hernangomez & a future second-round pick
After years of never making an in-season trade the Spurs were involved in three of them. Getting back two protected first-round picks has to be the closest the Spurs have come to blowing it up since before the start of the Tim Duncan era. Even better, the only piece of great value they gave up was Derrick White. Watch out for San Antonio in this upcoming draft. They must see someone they really like.
Incoming: Thad Young, Drew Eubanks, & The Pistons 2022 second-round pick
Outgoing: Goran Dragic, & a 2022 protected first-round pick (protected 1-14)
Thad Young could have really helped a lot of teams but Toronto is not one of them. He fits their defensive switching structure and the self-imposed height requirements for Raptors which states all players must be 6’9”, but adds nothing. This deal is about making good on a promise to find Dragic a better home. At the cost of giving up a first round pick this deal should not have been made.
Incoming: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Outgoing: Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, & a future second-round pick
Alexander Walker had a strong start to the season. The Pelicans were horrid but he has shown he can provide a scoring punch. You would have liked to seen them pick up another defensive wing but without much on the roster of interest to the 29 other teams this is likely the best the Jazz could have gotten
Incoming: Kristaps Porzingis, Vernon Carey Jr, & Ish Smith
Outgoing: Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, Montrezl Harrell, & Aaron Holiday
Full details about the Aaron Holiday deal have yet to emerge. The other deals are a bit of head turner. It is clear Dinwiddie was struggling playing with Beal as the two competed for control of the offense. Moving of Harrell is saddening as he and Porzingis could have made an excellent inside outside pairing. Ultimately the best get for Washington is the return of Ish Smith, who in the previous stint, last season, was the best plus minus point guard for the Wizards. His veteran leadership may be what this team needs.