This year’s NBA Trade Deadline was one of the busiest in recent history with several pivotal deals falling into place in the hours leading up to the cut-off.
While the James Harden/Ben Simmons swap between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers grabbed all the headlines, several other trades could have major implications in the upcoming postseason and their potential impact is broken down further in the section below.
Harden and Simmons finally get their wish
Brooklyn receives: Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 and 2027 first-round pick
Philadelphia receives: Harden, Paul Millsap
For these two Eastern Conference rivals, their highly anticipated swap of star point guards signals that it’s championship or bust for both of them.
Kristaps Porzingis gets dealt to the Washington Wizards
Washington receives: Porzingis, a second-round pick
The Dallas Mavericks receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans
Porzingis’ disappointing two-and-a-half season stay with the Mavericks has finally come to an end. Although he had a strong start to the season and was starting to regain his form from his days with the New York Knicks, a right knee contusion stalled his momentum and has forced him to miss Dallas’ last five outings. He should receive ample opportunities to regain his form with the Wizards, especially if they continue to tumble down the standings.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have gained a much-needed third ball handler to help spell Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson who has thrived as their starting two-guard. Bertans also gives them a much-needed shooting big man to help them space the floor.
Montrezl Harrell finds a new home with the Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte receives: Harrell
Washington receives: Ish Smith, Vernon Carey Jr.
Harrell has been vocal about his displeasure over the playing time that he has received from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Hornets over the past two seasons. He will get all the minutes that he can handle in Charlotte as he only has to compete with Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington, both of whom have been inconsistent this season.
The Toronto Raptors gear up for a playoff run
Toronto receives: Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, a 2022 second-round pick
San Antonio receives: Goran Dragic, a 2022 first-round pick
Young was already out of the rotation in San Antonio amidst their push to develop their young prospects and the recent return of Zach Collins made the 33-year-old veteran even more dispensable. He now joins a Toronto team that is highly dependent on versatile forwards like him and he has proven in limited minutes this season that he can still contribute when called upon. Eubanks will also give the Raptors a dependable big big body–something that they have sorely lacked this season.
The Sacramento Kings’ Marvin Bagley era comes to an end
The Detroit Pistons receive: Bagley
The LA Clippers receive: Semi Ojeleye, Rodney Hood
The Milwaukee Bucks receive: Serge Ibaka, two second-round picks, cash considerations
Sacramento receives: Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles
The Kings finally gave up on the man that they picked ahead of Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft with the second overall pick. In exchange, they acquired three solid role players who are still rather young and may eventually contribute on their new-look team.
For Bagley, this trade is the second chance that he has been longing for and he has the perfect opportunity to bounce back in a low pressure environment on a Pistons team that is focused on the future.
The most underrated part of this trade is the defending champion Bucks acquiring Ibaka who has championship experience himself. While the 32-year-old center is no longer the elite shot-blocking presence that he used to be, he remains a solid back-up and could thrive in a limited capacity in Milwaukee.
This acquisition is especially crucial for the Bucks’ title defense given the uncertainty surrounding Brook Lopez’s injury rehabilitation.
The San Antonio Spurs deal Derrick White to the Celtics
San Antonio receives: Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick
Boston receives: White
The Boston Celtics send Dennis Schroder to the Houston Rockets
Boston receives: Daniel Theis
Houston receives: Schroder, Enes Freedom, Bruno Fernando
Boston unloads salary
Boston receives: A second-round pick
The Orlando Magic receive: Bol Bol, PJ Dozier
The three deals above bolstered the surging Celtics and plugged the two gaping holes on their roster. Exchanging the score-first tandem of Schroder and Freedom for the defensive-minded White and the returning Theis could be a game-changer. The low-maintenance skill set of White in particular fits perfectly alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown while Theis already proved to be an effective piece on this team a few years ago.
The Phoenix Suns acquire Aaron Holiday
Phoenix receives: Aaron Holiday
Washington receives: Trade exception, cash considerations
Phoenix brings back Torrey Craig from the Indiana Pacers
Phoenix receives: Craig
Indiana receives: Jalen Smith, a second-round pick
The Suns are gearing up for another run at the NBA Finals and the acquisition of these two dependable players will only boost their cause. The returning Craig was a key piece on last year’s squad and his return will help alleviate the heavy load that Mikal Bridges carries as their primary perimeter defender.
In addition, Holiday gives Phoenix another solid point guard who can step in and contribute quality minutes when needed which is especially crucial given the advanced age of Chris Paul.
Smith, who put up impressive statistics in December while filling in for the injured Deandre Ayton, will now have an opportunity to establish himself with the rebuilding Pacers. However, he will have to earn his minutes on a frontcourt that has a few other prospects in Goga Bitadze, Oshae Brissett and Isaiah Jackson who are all hungry for playing time following the departure of Domantas Sabonis.