NBA Trade Deadline


Ari Shemesh, Reporter

On February 9, the 2022-2023 NBA season reached its trade deadline, and it was one to remember. Because of this, the Tower decided to look into each trade and explain how it might affect the results of the season. 

On January 23, the Los Angeles Lakers finalized a deal with the Washington Wizards, in which they traded Kendrick Nunn, along with three second-round picks, in order to receive Rui Hachimura. Although Hachimura is a decent scorer off of the bench, it is unlikely that he will make a major impact throughout the remaining games of this season. On the other hand, the three picks that the Wizards received will help bring in young players over the coming years. 

Just over two weeks later, on February 8, the Lakers were involved in another trade. This time, the trade included two other teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz. The Lakers received D’Angelo Russell, who they had traded to the Nets in 2017, as well as Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. The Timberwolves received Mike Conley, who had averaged around eleven points and eight rebounds for the Jazz this year, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three second round picks. The Jazz received Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damien Jones, and a 2027 first-round pick. Most importantly however, they received Russell Westbrook, who has been a leading candidate in the race for the sixth man of the year award. The Timberwolves may have decided to trade Russell, as his points have slowly been decreasing every year since 2019. However, this addition to the Lakers’ roster will benefit them, as Russell is a trustworthy scorer and a willing passer. With Russell Westbrook now in Utah,  it would not be too surprising if the Jazz started to slowly pick up the pace. Although he is a veteran in the league, Westbrook still plays with a lot of energy, which will help him fit in with the young Jazz roster. He is still an explosive finisher and has always been a good passer, having finished five seasons with 10+ assists per game. 

Just a day later, on February 9, the Indiana Pacers, Milkwaukee Bucks, and the Brooklyn Nets finalized a deal. The Nets only received two second-round picks, but seeing as they are beginning a rebuild, this may be just what they need in the long run. The Pacers received George Hill, Serge Ibaka, Jordan Nwora, and three second-round picks. The Bucks received Jae Crowder. This trade will definitely have a large positive impact on the Pacers leading into the playoffs. Although he is nearing retirement age, Hill has been a good three point shooter for the majority of his career. Additionally, Ibaka will be a massive help to the Pacers, seeing as their only center at the moment is Myles Turner. These two veterans will help add depth and experience to the young Pacers roster. 

Although they traded for him at the beginning of the season, the Lakers already traded Patrick Beverley to the Magic in a small trade in which they received Mo Bamba. This trade will help the Lakers, who have desperately needed another center all season, especially with Anthony Davis’ constant injuries. Patrick Beverley, on the other hand, will be helpful to the Magic. They are a young team, and Beveryley’s energy and defense will have a positive impact over the coming weeks. 

One of the bigger trades this season occurred on February 5, when the Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving, as well as Markieff Morris from the Brooklyn Nets. In order to receive Irving, the mavericks needed to trade Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick, and two second-round picks. It is unfortunate that the Mavericks needed to get rid of two of their top scorers, but most NBA fans would agree that Irving is worth it. Before the trade, the Mavericks were already a top five team in the Western Conference. This was mainly led by Luka, who has averaged 33 points per game, 9 rebounds per game, 8 assists per game, as well as almost 2 steals per game. So far this season, Kyrie has averaged 26 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 7 assists per game, and 1 steal per game. This addition to the Mavericks takes away a lot of the pressure that has been put on Luka’s shoulders over the last few seasons. The entire offense runs around him, but because the other players on the Mavericks needed his elite passing skills in order to score, they became predictable and everything fell on Luka to score. Kyrie will help to solve this problem, because he is one of the best shot creators in the NBA, using his outstanding ball-handling skills and shifty layups to score on his own. Due to this trade, it would not be surprising to see the Mavericks finish this season as a top three seed. 

Just three days after Kyrie was traded from the Nets, Kevin Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns, a team that he had shown interest in since the beginning of the season. Along with Durant, the Suns received T.J. Warren. The Nets received Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and a 2028 pick swap. Two seasons ago the Suns made it to the Finals, where they ultimately lost the Bucks in six games. The next season, they finished the year with the best record in the league, at 64-18. Unfortunately, they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs in seven games. Devin Booker’s stats did not change much since last season, as he is averaging 27 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, and 6 assists per game. Chris Paul is averaging 14 points per game, 9 assists per game, as well as almost 2 steals per game. Finally, Deandre Ayton is averaging 19 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. This alone helped bring the Suns to the fifth seed in the West. Now, with the addition of Kevin Durant, many fans are expecting the Suns to shoot up to one of the top two teams in the West. Durant this season has averaged 30 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, 5 assists per game, and almost 2 blocks per game. Unfortunately, Durant has spent a large portion of this season injured, and will most likely sit out until after All-Star Weekend. Another big worry for the Suns is their defense. In the trade, they sent Mikal Bridges to the Nets. This is a big deal, considering Bridges, in his time on the Suns, was one of their best defenders, averaging 2 steals per game. 

These trades were some of the biggest this season, although there were many more last minute trades, including the Portland Trail Blazers’ decision to send Josh Hart to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish, Ryan Aricidiacono, and Svi Mykhailiuk. The Trail Blazers also picked up Matisse Thybulle, in a three team trade including the Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Hornets. The Golden State Warriors also made a few small changes to their lineup. They traded James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons for Kevin Knox as well as five second-round picks. Additionally, they traded for Gary Payton II, who had left them for the Trail Blazers at the beginning of the season. 

This trade deadline was definitely a memorable one, including many wild and unexpected trades. All-Star Weekend is quickly approaching, and not long after that are the NBA Playoffs, where we will see how impactful these trades really were.