2022-2023 NBA Trade Deadline

NBA trade deadline puts old faces in new places to shake up the league just before heading into all-star weekend break


Photo courtesy Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Thomas Ithier III, Sports Editor

The NBA is now a full week past its trade deadline. Over the past few days the NBA world and community has been shaken up dramatically, many huge blockbuster trades have taken place. These trades may just determine the pace, speed, and tempo for certain teams for this season.

Having a majority of these blockbuster trades started on Feb 5 and ended on the deadline Feb 9. To kick things off for the trading madness, the Brooklyn Nets traded 8-time all-star point guard Kyrie Irving along with forward Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for guard Spencer Dinwiddie, reuniting him with his former franchise, forward Dorian Finney Smith and a 2029 first and second round pick.

Fast Forward to Feb. 8, where there was an insane three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Utah Jazz. The trade saw former MVP point guard Russell Westbrook land on the Utah Jazz along with center Damian Jones, forward Juan Toscano Anderson, and a 2027 first-round pick. In exchange, the Lakers landed returning star DeAngelo Russell from Minnesota along with guard Malik Beasley and forward Jared Vanderbilt from Utah. While The Timberwolves received guards Mike Conley, Nickel Alexander-Walker from Utah Jazz along with three second-round picks (2024, 2025, 2026) 

And of course, the trade that is being talked about as the craziest trade transaction in recent history is the Brooklyn Nets trading 2x NBA Finals MVP forward Kevin Durant alongside forward TJ Warren to the Phoenix Suns. in exchange for forwards Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first round picks, and a 2028 pick swap. 

Other trades worth noting throughout these days were the Knicks sending forward Cam Reddish to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for guard Josh hart. The Portland Trailblazers were as well involved in a three-team deal with Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Hornets. With the Trailblazers receiving guard Matisse Thybulle, and the 76ers receiving Jalen McDaniel’s with two second-round picks, Hornets get Guard Svi Mykhailiuk as well as two second-round picks. Nets sendoff recently acquired Nets forward Jae Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for two second-round picks in a three-team deal involving the Pacers who acquired guard George Hill, forward Serge Ibaka, and guard Jordan Nora with three second-round picks.

Having only mentioned a handful of transactions within this wild trade deadline sequence, the NBA world has now seen a fair share of what teams can do on a tight deadline. Having that said comes the questions of major title favorites and what moves, and new addition has given their team the highest chance to win it all. 

Many have their eyes set on the Phoenix Suns to win it all this season with their new addition of their big three which some even iterate as a “Big Four” with the combo of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton who all have experience playing in the NBA Finals are seeking championship gold together for the city of Phoenix. On the other hand, many are calling the new backcourt duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving the new difference maker in the West, who already have heavy competition with teams such as the Denver Nuggets who are on a roll sitting on top of the West led by two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokić.  The Memphis Grizzlies with a young but extremely courageous point guard in Ja Morant, one of the league’s most prolific scorers and top 10 in offensive points averaged. The Sacramento Kings have something to prove this year, not having been to the playoffs since the 2005-06 NBA season coupled with their rock solid offensive start to the season gives them every reason to keep their foot on the gas gearing towards the end of the season. The Kings are currently the 3 seed in the West being only behind the Grizzlies and top seeded Nuggets. 

But who will come out on top in the East? Tides have definitely shifted for teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks who made the biggest moves out of the East are definitely in a new state of mind. The East’s top seeded team the Boston Celtics did very minimal shopping in the trade market before the trade deadline but should be on the lookout for teams such as Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers who since getting re weaponized from this deadline are looking to creep up on Boston for the Eastern conference top seed. The Brooklyn Nets seek to keep their offense rolling with their newest additions and cruise their way into the postseason going forward. With the Atlanta Hawks looking to rebound and find a second wind to this season with the recently acquired trades. 

With less than half the season still left to play, there is still hope for many teams at the bottom of the totem pole currently have more than enough time to climb the ranking and potentially rise as favorites to win it all. NBA fans were definitely treated to a hectic finish to this year’s deadline and certainly a great move for teams to reload and strategize on the new offensive and defensive weapons just before heading into this year’s all-star break starting Feb. 17.