2023 NBA Trade Daadline Comes and Goes: Leagues Landscape Altered


Dallas Mornin News

Star point guard Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the NBA trade deadline. Irving now teams up with Dallas star Luka Doncic.

The annual NBA Trade Deadline is like Christmas in February for basketball fans. This trade deadline, though, may have been the most exciting one of all time.

Star point guard Kyrie Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. The Mavericks are sending Dorian Finney-Smith, and Spencer Dinwiddie, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2027 and 2029, to the Nets in exchange for Irving and Markieff Morris. Nets Owner Joe Tsai saw that the better package was Maverick’s offer.

The Nets discussed possible deals Friday and Saturday. Irving requested a trade on Friday, the 3rd. He had hoped to land at his preferred destination, the Los Angeles Lakers. Nets Owner Joe Tsai felt the Mavericks package was the best option for the Nets. 

The Mavericks get Irving, a star player who will be a great fit next to another star, Luka Doncic. They debatably have the best backcourt in the NBA and will be problems for other teams to stop. 

This trade helps out the Nets in many ways since they will get a lot of depth in return for Irving. They get many picks along with this, to draft youth with a chance to surround Kevin Durant, which did not go to plan. 

On deadline day, the Brooklyn Nets traded with the Phoenix Suns for Forwards Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected first-round picks (2023), 2025, 2027-2029, and a pick swap. Nets forward TJ Warren was also sent to the Valley of the Sun.

Durant had requested a trade in July when free agency opened, but the Nets and Durant were able to resolve their differences, and he agreed to return to the Nets at the start of this season. But after Irving requested a trade and was ultimately dealt to the Mavericks, Durants, and the Nets revisited the possibility of a transaction. Trade talks escalated quickly.

Durant will automatically make the Suns one of the most formidable teams in the Western Conference and the entire NBA. Durant will join a talented lineup of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Ayton. The Suns had been Durant’s preferred destination since his trade request.

As for the Nets have entirely bought into the idea of a retool, acquiring five first-round picks in total and many friendly contracts to use in future trades. Brooklyn is, at best, a playoff team now, with no higher ceiling than a first-round exit.

A few hours before the Durant trade, the Los Angeles Lakers made a significant move to improve their roster.

In a three-team deal, the Lakers shipped former MVP guard Russell Westbrook and a 2027 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz, the Timberwolves sent guard D’Angelo Russell back to the Lakers (he was drafted there in 2015), and the Jazz sent guard Mike Conley to the Timberwolves and forwards Malik Beasley and Jared Vanderbilt to the Lakers.

A few hours before the 3 p.m. Est deadline, the Lakers traded center Thomas Bryant to the Denver Nuggets for guard Davon Reed and three second-round picks. They rerouted the picks to the Magic along with guard Patrick Beverly in exchange for center Mo Bamba. That was one of many moves the Lakers made.

The Lake Show also traded for Wizards forward Rui Hachimura a few weeks ago, further bolstering their frontcourt rotation.

One of the most active teams, if not the most active team, the Los Angeles Clippers, was hot leading up to the trade deadline. They reshaped their entire bench and made their team younger. 

The Clippers heated up an hour before the trade deadline by trading with the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers acquired second-year point guard Bones Hyland from the Nuggets in exchange for a pair of second-round picks in 2024 and 2025. 

Hyland, 22, is young and ready to improve, averaging good numbers off the bench for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets. He was rumored to be on the outs from Denver recently as the Nuggets looked to strengthen their championship-contending core. This is an excellent get for the Clippers. 

Another player on his way out of LA is point guard John Wall. In return, the Clippers will receive Eric Gordon, the guard who began his career with them. 

The Clippers are strengthening their bench and improving the guards who can defend at the point of attack while spacing the court around their core of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with shooting. Eric Gordon is a great role player who puts up decent numbers. Gordon is the perfect fit for this type of team. 

The last significant trade the Clippers did an hour before the trade deadline was sending Reggie Jackson to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for center Mason Plumlee. 

This deal the Clippers did for Plumlee shores up the team’s backup center spot behind Ivica Zubac. His height gives them a lob threat in the paint and can significantly change this Clippers moving team. 

With so much activity at the deadline, some teams were destined to miss out on the fun. The Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls, and the Toronto Raptors are this year’s NBA Trade Deadline losers.

After coming off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, the Miami Heat were heavily rumored to make significant changes to their roster. Besides trading big man Dewayne Dedmon and a second-round pick for cash considerations, the Heat stayed quiet until the buzzer. They will reportedly be active on the buyout market, but they may need to improve their roster more to help them contend. Besides trading big man Dewayne Dedmon and a second-round pick for cash considerations, the Heat stayed quiet until the buzzer. 

Another year, another disappointing trade deadline for the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have been mediocre for the majority of the season. There was an incident between star player Zach La Vine, where he had to overcome a slow start to the first season of his five-year $215 million contract that featured him on a knee management plan and getting benched by coach Billy Donovan. That incident stung La Vine, with Donovan openly questioning his role at times. Before the deadline, there were talks between the New York Knicks centered around Zach La Vine, but they could only get a deal done after the deadline. 

Even though the Raptors acquired Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, they are still considered one of the biggest losers of this year’s deadline. After several reports that the Raptors were leaning towards blowing up their roster, they decided to keep their core players and try to compete for a playoff spot. It would not be surprising to see Toronto make significant changes in the offseason, but their roster remains relatively unchanged.

Overall, it was another very eventful trade deadline for the NBA. It will be interesting to see which team improved the most from their midseason acquisitions.