It was a blockbuster trade deadline across the pond last night, with last minute deals ensuring the NBA landscape shifted beneath the feet of a few contenders.
The headline, of course, was a deal that saw two wantaway stars get their wish, as the Brooklyn Nets’ (9/2 – NBA Championship Outright) former MVP James Harden was sensationally traded to the Philadelphia 76ers (13/2 – NBA Championship Outright) for Ben Simmons.
But that wasn’t the only trade to get rubber stamped on a day which is traditionally one of the most impactful of the NBA season. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger deals from yesterday…
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James Harden for Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Received: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, 2022 1st round pick (unprotected), 2027 1st round pick (protected).
Philadelphia Received: James Harden, Paul Millsap
The Brooklyn Nets decided to call time on their ‘Big Three’ experiment as they said goodbye to 10-time All-Star Harden, with the star trio of ‘The Beard’, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving having only played 16 games together while sharing a locker room.
In return they receive the much-maligned Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played for the 76ers this season, having made clear his desire to leave ever since the end of the prior campaign.
It remains to be seen who eventually gets the better of this one but with Harden being a free agent in the off-season and Ben Simmons, if he gets up to speed, adding some much needed defence in Brooklyn, along with a handy shooter in Seth Curry, most pundits seem to think the Nets have came out on top.
Yes, Kyrie is still a part-time player, and they’d still have to get past the incredible Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks (13/2 – NBA Championship Outright) come playoff time, but they look better equipped for a tilt at the championship.
The 76ers meanwhile, on the surface, have improved too. Regardless of Harden’s recent play, he’s still an MVP calibre talent, and Philly GM Daryl Morey has been a long time admirer, having tried to bring him in from Houston before the Brooklyn move to pair him up with star-centre Joel Embiid. He finally gets his wish.
Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards
Mavericks Received: Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans.
Wizards Received: Kristaps Porzingis
This one appears to be a mutual exchange of contracts that both sides no longer wanted to carry.
The idea that Kristaps Porzingis would provide the perfect no.2 option for the Mavericks and complement star guard Luka Doncic never quite came to fruition, be it because of the constant injury record of Porzingis, or just simply not being a great fit on the court.
The Mavericks, in the end, decided to cut their losses.
Now, let’s roundup the rest of the deals…
Dennis Schroder to Rockets for Daniel Theis
Boston received: Daniel Theis
Houston receives: Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom Kanter, Bruno Fernando
Josh Richardson to San Antonio for Derrick White
San Antonio received: Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, 2022 1st round pick
Boston received: Derrick White
Four-team deal sends DiVincenzo to the Kings, Bagley to the Pistons
Sacramento received: Donte DiVincenzo, Trey Lyles and Josh Jackson.
Milwaukee received: Serge Ibaka, two future 2nd round picks, cash.
LA Clippers received: Rodney Hood, Semi Ojele.
Detroit received: Marvin Bagley Jr.
Boston dump Salary on the Magic
Orlando received: P.J. Dozier, Bol Bol, 2nd round pick, cash
Boston received: 2nd round pick
Goran Dragic for Thaddeus Young
Toronto received: Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, 2022 2nd round pick
San Antonio received: Goran Dragic, lottery-protected 2022 1st round pick
KZ Okpala to Thunder, future 1st round pick adjustments
Oklahoma City received: KZ Okpala, adjustment on future 1st round pick
Miami received: Thunder’s least favourable 2026 2nd round pick, adjustment on future 1st round pick
Other teams, however, were conspicuous in their inactivity, with the troubled Los Angeles Lakers (25/1 – NBA Championship Outright) not making any moves on deadline-day. Russel Westbrook and the Lakers have been one of the stories of the season, for all the wrong reasons, with Westbrook seemingly incapable of curtailing his style of play to fit alongside the team’s other big stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
It has been a constant source of frustration on the west coast, with things getting so bad, Westbrook’s shooting being so poor, that boos have begun to ring around the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) when he’s in possession. Coach Frank Vogel has even stopped playing the former OKC man at crunch times in games.
It was thought the Lakers may look to deal him as the trade deadline loomed, but now they’re locked in. They may make it work, but things will have to change, and quickly.