NBA Trade Deadline Recap

Published 12 months ago -

By Kyle Sorgi, Sports Editor

This season’s NBA Trade Deadline came and went on Thursday, February 10, at 3 pm, and up until that time, we saw a few eye-popping trades that sent star players to new teams in trades that will likely impact the 2022 NBA Playoff Race. The past couple of weeks saw a plethora of notable trades that sent stars players to new squads and reshaped the NBA landscape.

On February 4, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers committed to a deal that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers and Eric Bledsoe, Justice Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a draft pick to the Blazers. From this, the Clippers get an offensive spark in Powell, a player that has demonstrated solid shooting form. Meanwhile, the Blazers get a new guard and big man in Bledsoe and Winslow. Bledsoe has been in the league for a while, bringing experience to the roster, while Winslow has bounced through multiple teams in his tour through the NBA. As we’ll see later, the Blazers were very active near the Trade Deadline and willing to part with a decent chunk of their roster in hopes of rebuilding around their best player, Damian Lillard.

On February 6, Caris LeVert and Ricky Rubio swapped places in a trade involving multiple draft picks where the former moved from Indiana to Cleveland and the latter relocated inversely. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a young and bright future ahead and are putting together a potential playoff campaign this year. Not only do they get LeVert, but they are awaiting the return of point guard Collin Sexton (injured) next season. Rubio is still playing at a fine level and will be serviceable for the Pacers, but the Cavs getting LeVert might pay more dividends for them than Rubio will for Indiana who, like Portland, wasn’t afraid to get busy amid the trading frenzy.

Two days later, the Sacramento Kings gave up Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson to the Pacers in exchange for Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, and a draft pick. Haliburton and Sabonis are the top two players in this deal. Haliburton is only a second-year pro, but compiling an impressive sophomore campaign, while Sabonis has been around longer but was arguably the Pacers’ best player as a well-rounded big man. Hield going with Haliburton means that the Kings traded away two of their better shooters, and as good as Sabonis is, he alone won’t fill that new shooting void in Sacramento. The Kings parted ways with a budding star in Haliburton and two under-thirty-year-old players, while the Pacers filled a void created by the departure of LeVert to Cleveland.

Just hours before the Kings and Pacers agreed to their trade, the Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans pulled off a more eyepopping trade. Portland sent CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell to New Orleans in exchange for Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, and draft picks. The Blazers shipped off their second-best player in CJ McCollum, who’s been a reliable complement to Damian Lillard. With no other big names dealt in this trade, it’s fair to wonder if the Blazers got an appropriate return for what they gave up. Hart and Alexander-Walker are young players with room to grow, but they don’t stack up to McCollum’s value (and Alexander-Walker didn’t even stick around long enough to play a game in a Blazers uniform).

The next day, the Blazers engaged in a three-team trade with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs that sent Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez to Utah, Satoransky to San Antonio, and Joe Ingles and Elijah Hughes to Portland. Alexander-Walker’s outlook as a momentary Blazer carries onto Utah, but he will serve more of a complementary role amid the Jazz’s current depth. Joe Ingles had a good thing going in Utah, but will now join a slew of new players recently acquired by Portland.

February 10, the day of the Trade Deadline, saw several trades occur. A four-team trade involving the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, L.A. Clippers, and Kings sent Serge Ibaka, Donte DiVincenzo, and Marvin Bagley III (among others) to new destinations. The Boston Celtics alone made multiple trades that gave them point guard Derrick White, former Celtic Daniel Theis, and a draft pick, but also sent away Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and Enes Freedom (formerly Enes Kanter). Also, Kristaps Porzingis left the Dallas Mavericks for the Washington Wizards, and Montrezl Harrell and Spencer Dinwiddie left the Wizards for the Charlotte Hornets and Mavericks, respectively.

However, none of the aforementioned February 10 action stacked up to a blockbuster deal between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets that sent Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond to Brooklyn and James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia. Harden is among the league’s best point guards and instantly creates a dynamic duo with center Joel Embiid. Simmons ran his course in Philly after falling short of standards set as a former number-one overall draft pick. Harden more than makes up for Simmons’ subpar shooting and by far upgrades his overall value. Millsap is more of a push in this trade given his age and Embiid’s presence. Brooklyn landed Simmons, whose shooting won’t be an issue with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving still around, Joe Harris due to eventually return from injury, and the addition of Seth Curry, one of the league’s best shooters. Drummond will provide size and help down low for a Nets team riddled with injuries, but will likely be a modest contributor at best. Both teams can be Eastern Conference contenders and might even meet in the playoffs if they play up to their standards, as this trade certainly makes this rivalry more riveting to watch and most dramatically changed the outlook of the NBA. This trade capped off a fascinating and busy time for several franchises looking to either rebuild for the future or push for the playoffs in a couple of months.

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