Who made good moves, who made bizarre choices, and who was left without a sound? Lakers… Knicks… you guys asleep? I’ll break it all down below including the big blockbuster trade between James Harden and Ben Simmons. The following is a lot of words.
– 76ers get James Harden and Paul Millsap
– Nets get Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 First-Round Draft Pick, and a 2027 First-Round Draft Pick
How did this go for Philly? B-
Philadelphia was looking to get Ben Simmons out ASAP, and when they heard that James Harden was going to entertain the idea of free agency this off-season they jumped quick. After negotiating in earnest on Thursday, according to NBA inside reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, it seems they realized just what it would take to acquire the former MVP and break up Brooklyn’s superstar trio.
Having James Harden is definitely better than continuing to argue with a butt-hurt Ben Simmons who wouldn’t play second fiddle to Joel Embiid, but the price for him meant also losing Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and an upcoming first-round draft pick. That is STEEP. Drummond was a decent back-up center when Embiid had to rest and Seth Curry is a decent 3-point shooter averaging 15 points a game.
However, without a doubt it will be exciting to see Harden join this surging East Coast team, now 5th in the Conference with Embiid throwing down 30-points almost every night. Still championship defenders, as long as Harden stays healthy.
How did this go for Brooklyn? B+
Losing James Harden and braking up the trio with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving deserves a minute of silence. The three superstars never really got to play together after a year and half, hampered by injuries and Kyrie’s decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Still, I think Brooklyn actually won this trade despite having to give up Harden. The former-MVP can ball, but he’s missed a lot of games since bowing out in the playoffs last year due to hamstring issues. Sure, it’s not like Simmons fared better in the 2021 post-season either, but at least he was healthy enough to play the games.
Harden was not happy in Brooklyn this season, however, and was really bothered by Kyrie’s decision behind the scenes. He angered a lot of people by leaving Houston to pay with Durant and Kyrie Irving, and he was never really able to fully.
Living in Brooklyn, I loved having James Harden, but the Nets honestly got ALOT for him. Alongside 3-point shooters Joe Harris and Patty Mills, the team now also has Seth Curry. Brooklyn got a valuable center in Andre Drummond, who can play in place of an almost-always-injured duo of LaMarcus Aldrige and Nic Claxton, as well as an overworked Blake Griffin who has had to share major minutes with rookie Day’Ron Sharpe.
Additions like Curry and Drummond may help a struggling team that has lost nine games in a row while Kevin Durant is out with an injured knee, but time will tell if Simmons’ ego will have any problems being a third for Durant and Irving.
The crowded roster will also have difficulties deciding who is truly valuable once Joe Harris and LaMarcus Aldridge return to the floor. No news yet from coach Steve Nash about how Brooklyn’s many new additions will affect play time for rising stars such as Patty Mills, Cam Thomas, and Bruce Brown. The Nets have already waived guard DeAndre’ Bembry to make room on the roster for the increased salary cap.
– Wizards get Kristaps Porzingis, Vernon Carey, Ish Smith, and a second-round pick
– Mavericks get Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans
– Hornets get Montrezl Harrell
There is a lot to unpack in this trade and every single move is bizarre to me.
How did this go for the Wizards? A+
Much like everyone involved in the team above (Ben Simmons, James Harden, Paul Millsap), Spencer Dinwiddie wanted out of Washington, D.C. for personal reasons. It was reported that no one on the team really enjoyed his “leadership” in the locker room after Bradley Beal got a season-ending wrist injury, or his recent stints of 4 points a game.
Gaining Kristaps Porzingis, however, is an A+. He’s shooting 19 points per game on average when he’s healthy enough to play. It may be enough to get the Wizards to the play-in tournament, but without Beal the team will have to wait until next season anyway.
How did this go for the Mavericks? F
Losing Kristaps for for Dinwiddie? Who knows the thought process here. I can understand wanting someone to partner with Luka Doncic who stays healthier than Porzingis, but Dinwiddie’s recent stats are not energizing.
How did this go for the Hornets? A+
Montrezl Harrell was put on the bench with limited minutes by the Wizards after coming over from the Lakers from the Russell Westbrook trade, but he’s scoring more than most of the team. This is an excellent pick-up for Charlotte. Harrell is averaging 14 points per game, and will likely start for this surging midwest team.
– Rockets get Dennis Schroder and Enes Freedom (waived)
– Celtics get Daniel Theis and Derrick White
– Pelicans get CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr.
– Clippers get Norman Powell and Robert Covington
– Magic get P.J. Dozier and Bol Bol
– Nuggets get Bryn Forbes
– Spurs get Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and Tomas Satoransky
– Jazz get Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez
– Blazers get Eric Bledsoe, Josh Hart, Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, and three draft picks
– Raptors get Thad Young and Drew Eubanks (waived)
An amalgamation of interlocking trades that formed over the course of a couple weeks until the trade deadline… let’s break this down.
A+ trade: Rockets gaining Dennis Schroder. Thought he was a great addition for Boston, a team that had to make trades elsewhere in my opinion. If anything was going wrong for the Celtics, it wasn’t Dennis Schroder. (D- for the Celtics just moving money around).
A+ trade: Nuggets gaining Bryn Forbes. Playing already for the Nuggets, who needed a 3-point-shooter after they got hampered by injuries. Forbes is an excellent addition, and they needed talent quick.
A+ trade: Jazz get Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez. The Spurs giving up Nickeil is a lucky penny in the pocket for the Jazz, who are currently 4th in the West and could use an added punch to compete with the Warriors and Suns.
F trade: The Spurs for trading Nickeil. San Antonio will likely waive Goran Dragic as well, creating salary space for off-season moves. They also gave up Thad Young to the Raptors. The 20-35 team doesn’t really have a chance of making the playoffs this year, so they’ve thrown in the towel until they can build again.
B- trade: Clippers get Norman Powell and Robert Covington. The LA team is pretty beat up until Kawhi Leonard and Paul George come back next season, but it’s a good investment for the future.
C+ trade: Pelicans get CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr. The Pelicans feel doomed until Zion returns, and by the time he’s healthy enough he may even want out himself. A lot of fans were hoping CJ McCollum would have been placed somewhere more competitive, like the Philly trade for Simmons, so it’s kind of sad to find him in the doldrums here.
F trade: Portland Trail Blazers implode. Looking to build around Anfernee Simmons while Damian Lillard sits out with an injury and contemplates leaving, the Blazers lost their 2nd and 3rd best shooters in CJ McCollum and Norman Powell, as well as bench forwards Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington. They didn’t get much back either–Eric Bledsoe, Joe Ingles, Josh Hart… this doesn’t excite.
– Kings get get Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Donte DiVincenzo, and Trey Lyles
– Pacers get Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson
– Bucks get Serge Ibaka
– Clippers get Semi Ojele and Rodney Hood
– Pistons get Marvin Bagley III
This is kind of a C- trade all around. The Kings and Pacers deal feels like guys just shuffled around and where gains were made so were losses. Kings got Sabonis but lost Haliburton and Hield. Will Sabonis give the Sacramento team the edge to just barely make the playoffs that Haliburton couldn’t?
B+ trade: The Bucks got Serge Ibaka and only lost DiVincenzo. They hadn’t played him much since he returned from a lengthy injury, and Ibaka is likely a trade-to-win acquisition while Brook Lopez is out with a season-ending back injury.
– No trades for either the Lakers or the Knicks
This gets an F for sure. Two teams that desperately needed roster shakeups, in fear of missing the playoffs entirely, and they’re both staying unchanged. Bad idea. They’ll each presumably focus on the buyout market, as well as look at recently waived players such as DeAndre’ Bembry and Enes Freedom, but not making any moves at all before the deadline was a risky decision with zero room for payoff.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.