After the Dust Settles,Winners and Losers of the Trade Deadline

Card Ladder
Feb 28, 20236 min read

With the trade deadline four days ago, the dust has relatively settled and we can get a sense of the NBA landscape. A few pieces have still yet to fall into place with the buyout market but for the most part it the rosters have been set.

Kyrie Irving
Markieff Morris

Spencer Dinwiddie
Dorian Finney-Smith
2029 first-round pick
Two second-round picks (2027 and 2029)

A rare win win trade in the NBA but both teams get something they needed. Mavericks get Kyrie who can help them win now but the Nets also get a decent haul for someone who was going to walk in free agency.

D'Angelo Russell  
Malik Beasley  
Jarred Vanderbilt

Mike Conley Jr.  
Nickeil Alexander-Walker 
Juan Toscano-Anderson
Damian Jones
2024, 2025, 2026 second-round draft picks

Russell Westbrook  
2027 Lakers first-round pick (top-four protected)

Winners: Lakers and Jazz
Losers: Timberwolves

Lakers absolutely fleeced this trade acquiring 3 players who can have an immediate impact and impact down the road. Russell is still just 26 years old aand averaging 18 points and 6 assists. Vanderbilt is a super intriguing player as he is just 23 years old and owed just $4,000,000 next year. Vando is an extremely versatile combo forward who is an elite defender, something the Lakers gravely need. While his offense is shotty, it is far from Mattise Thybulle level bad and he shows flashes. He excels in transition with a great ability to rim run and finish around the rim. Beasley is the classic 6th man who loves to shoot and play no defense but the Lakers need someone who can shoot. Giving up just a first and Westbrook for these 3 players will help the Lakers win now.

Utah acquires Westbrook, who is likely bought out and irrelevant in this trade but the value comes with the pick. In four years, LeBron will be 42 years old and Anthony Davis will be 33. Jazz are basically hedging their bets on the Lakers being horrible in 4 years, which is not a crazy bet.

Timberwolves traded for a 35 year old Conley who has not been very good in the last two seasons. Why they would trade one of Town's best friends and 26 year old who is better than Conley by a mile for a 35 year old Conley? Thats a good question.

Josh Hart

Cam Reddish 
Ryan Arcidiacono
Svi Mykhailiuk
2023 first-round pick (lottery protected)

This trade changes nothing as neither teams are contenders but shows the Blazers are throwing in the towel and New York wants to at least try to make a deep playoff run.

Kevin Durant
TJ Warren

Mikal Bridges
Cam Johnson
Jae Crowder
Four first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, 2029)
2028 first-round pick swap

This move for Durant proves they are all in for the next 2 seasons, as Durant is 34 years old with a laundry list of injuries (Chris Paul is 37 years old). In four seasons with Brooklyn, he missed one entirely then has just played 35, 55, and 39 games. The stakes are higher than they've ever been and now put Paul in a position where another permanent stain of failure will be put on his legacy. Chris Paul first as a member of the Clippers had historic playoff collapses which was followed up by much of the same in Houston. With the big three of Booker, Durant, and himself, anything short of a Finals appearance would be a failure. While Durant himself is in a tough spot once again, showing he cannot do it as the leader of the team. He left Oklahoma City for a 73 win Warriors team which eliminated him the season prior. After winning 2 rings and making 3 finals in Golden State, he once again looked to be the leader. As we all know, his four tumultuous years in Brooklyn was just a chaotic less successful version of his Oklahoma days. If we recall, Durant demanded a trade this summer to Phoenix, in which the owner told him to "fuck off", as he had 0 leverage and just signed a 4 year extension. Now Durant finds himself arriving to a team that went an absurd 64-18 the year (21-22) before and made the Finals in 2021 (20-21). With Durant going to such an accomplished team, it puts him in the position where he was with Golden State. Anything short of a finals appearance is an utter failure and yet another stain on his legacy.

Thomas Bryant

Davon Reed 
Three second-round picks

The Lakers did a fantastic job with the Jazz/Wolves trade but then did this truly puzzling trade. Bryant was the Lakers third best player at times this season and was able to stretch the floor at an elite level shooting 44% from three. His contract was a veteran minimum, so it is bizarre they would dump him for next to nothing.

James Wiseman

Saddiq Bey

Gary Payton II

Five future second-round picks 
Kevin Knox

Warriors finally waiving the white flag for the Wiseman experiment, admitting defeat after the #2 overall pick in 2020 amounted to nothing. In return they get an injury Gary Payton who offers them defense when healthy. Hawks actually get a decent pick up in Bey, a wing who can consistently score 15 points a game. At just 23 years old, he can possibly give the Hawks what they wished Cam Reddish was. Wiseman can hope to resurrect his career in Detroit along side Marvin Bagley who was almost in the exact same boat at Wiseman a year prior.

Mo Bamba

Patrick Beverley 
Second-round pick

Mo Bamba is a bigger name than Thomas Bryant but he is a much less efficient player than him. Bamba has never really amounted to much outside of that song but has shown flashes at times during his career.

Mason Plumlee

Reggie Jackson 
2028 second-round pick

Clipper fans might remember Plumlee from being a major contributor on the Nuggets team which embarrassed them down 3-1. Plumlee is leaving a tanking Charlotte team but gives the Clippers a backup big man for Zubac. For a while they did not have a backup center and were playing Robert Covington or Batum at times. Plumlee is a non distraction and someone you can rely on to be a contributor, as he averaged a double double in Charlotte.