Almost everything has gone the New York Knicks’ way this season, including the recently concluded NBA Trade Deadline where they bolstered their depth for the upcoming postseason.
New York won the bidding war for highly-coveted veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic as they managed to pry him away from the rebuilding Detroit Pistons.
The 34-year-old is a career 39.5% three-point shooter and this, together with his ability to play both forward spots at 6’7, made him a prime target among contenders. He should slot in seamlessly into the Knicks’ second unit, but he also gives them immediate depth in the absence of their starting forwards Julius Randle and OG Anunoby who are both sidelined with what are believed to be short-term injuries.
New York also acquired Alec Burks along with Bogdanovic which is another win as it fills the gap left by the departure of Immanuel Quickley last month in the trade that netted them Anunoby. Quickley served as the team’s resident sixth man scorer and Burks has all the requisite skills to fill this role.
What makes this deal even sweeter for the Knicks is that they managed to pull it off without giving up any of their key rotation players. The centerpiece of their package was 23-year-old guard Quentin Grimes who was a starter last year, but had fallen out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation this season. Also included in Detroit’s returns were Malachi Flynn, Evan Fournier, Ryan Arcidiacono, and two second rounders.
Another winner of this year’s trade deadline is the Dallas Mavericks. They acquired P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford from the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, respectively, in two separate deals that bolstered their underwhelming frontcourt. These two players are likely to find their way into the Mavericks’ starting line-up and it will be interesting to see if they can help rejuvenate this team.
Dallas moved Grant Williams, Seth Curry, and a first round pick to the Hornets in exchange for the 6’7 Washington. Meanwhile, they sent seldom-used center Richaun Holmes to the Wizards for the shot-blocking specialist Gafford.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder also made upgrades to their roster to help them keep up with the rest of the contenders around the league. Philadelphia traded for Buddy Hield of the Indiana Pacers to shore up their perimeter shooting while Oklahoma City brought in former NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward to the fold.
The Thunder’s decision to make a move for Hayward is quite significant. It signals a clear shift in their mindset from rebuilding to contending which was inevitable given their rapid rise to become the current top seed in the Western Conference. The 33-year-old forward is not expected to play a major role for this team built around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren, but his ability to serve as a wing scorer and secondary playmaker for brief moments fills one of their biggest needs.
Although there were no big names moved at the deadline, this year’s trades may wind up playing a major role in determining how the playoff picture develops. The buyout market in the fallout of this year’s trades will be interesting to watch out as well with veterans such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, and Kyle Lowry expected to be available.