By Hocine LOUKKAF on 2/14/2023
This Trade Deadline has been marked by the dismantling of Brooklyn’s big three (for a better balance on the roster ?) while the Lakers seem to have found the good pieces to make a run during the last months of the season.
The Suns decided to go all in by giving up a big part of their future to get another star player from Brooklyn, KD, sending Bridges, Johnson and multiple first round picks to Brooklyn in the process. While Chris Paul aging, freshly approved owner Matt Ishbia is looking for the title now, and anything else would be considered a failure.
As Westbrook trade (which was a bad idea from the get go) never turns into a success, the Lakers used the Trade Deadline to add a third more complementary “star”, DLo and potential starters like Vanderbilt, Bamba or Hachimura. This roster seems deeper and more talented, with Russell, Bamba and Beasley adressing the shooting issue, and could fight to gain a straight ticket to the playoffs
The Big Three turns into a fiasco as Simmons and Irving were never totally manageable This might have decided the staff to change its strategy and look for a roster made of young talented players eager to win. Bridges is one of the best two way players and has never missed a game since college. Johnson, albeit a bit redundant, is an elite 3pt shooter and the Nets have plenty of draft picks in the years to come. With Dinwiddie back and Claxton and Thomas emerging as solid starters, the Nets could become an elite underdog.
The Clippers welcome Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon, and Mason Plumlee for basically Reggie Kackson, John Wall, Luke Kennard. Gordon brings his experience and toughness while Hyland, still on a rookie deal for two years, has still room to be a solid PG. Plumlee will fill the void on the bench behind Zubac and another experienced player.
The Raptors had one big hole at the center position and they adressed it by welcoming back Poeltl for a first-rounder. He may not solve Toronto’s average defense by himself but at least bring a solid rim-protector for 20+min per game. The kind of unimpressive move that could help a team win games.
The Wolves decided to send DLo to the Wolves and bring former Gobert’s teammate, Mike Conley, a more traditional PG, albeit aging, who could create more game for Edwards and Rudy. Nickeil Alexander-Walker will need to produce from the bench and show that he could be a solid combo guard coming from the bench.
-New York Knicks
The Knicks gave up a potential 15+pick and Reddish (who wasn’t playing no more) for Josh Hart, Brunson’s former teammate at Villanova and maybe the best rebounding SG. He’s exactly the kind of old school type of player that brings defense that Thibs likes and will bring hid toughness to this roster.
Dallas needed another star to play with Doncic and Irving is one of the best players in the League, when he plays. He knows that this is Lucas’ house and will have to play the right hand man but at the same time, Doncic is intelligent enough to know that Kyrie can help him win games. Yet, Irving could be gone in four months and while he make’s up for Dinwiddie’s departure,the Mavs also gave up Dorian Finney-Smith, their more versatile defender.
Detroit gave up sharpshooting Saddiq Bey for Wiseman. In itself, it’s not a bad move as Wiseman is only 22 and still could turn into a solid big. Yet, he’s also set to be paid $12m next year and has just played 60 career games. Moreover, he will disturb an established pair of complementary centers, Stewart and Duren.
It seems like Dame will have to try to win games by himself until the end of his career. Hart was not perfect but he was the kind of soldier and solid defensive-rebounding SG that could have helped Dame. Instead, the Blazers get a protected first-rounder (that will turn into a second-rounder if it ends up a top 14 pick) and Cam Reddish, a former HS standout that has never lived up to the hype since then. If the Knicks keep their pick and Reddish doesn’t blossom, the Blazers will regret this trade.
-Golden State Warriors
The Warriors gave up recent #2 pick James Wiseman for Gary Payton II, a player they could have resigned last offseason. Moreover, Payton has gone through surgery and is still struggling recovering his athleticism. If Payton, who’s already 30, doesn’t help the Dubs make a long playoffs run, this trade would be a failure.