Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks kicked off the trading frenzy. Whether it be reloading or rebuilding, the hierarchy of the NBA has changed going into the second half of the season.
After a 139-96 loss to the Boston Celtics on Feb. 1, Kyrie Irving informed the Brooklyn Nets that he wanted to be traded. Irving didn’t play in the Nets’ following game due to an injury and was excused from traveling with the team.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat were all potential landing spots for the controversial star, but the Dallas Mavericks swooped in to make the deal.
In exchange for Irving, the Nets received guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2027 and 2029.
The pairing of Luka Dončić and Irving looks to be a flashy, fun, offensively explosive basketball team. While both players can be considered ball-dominant, Irving has shown that he can play with ball-dominant players like James Harden and LeBron James.
The main concern for the team is defense, especially since Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, two reliable scorers and defenders, are gone.
The Nets, on the other hand, look to have reloaded. The team is currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the number one team, Boston Celtics. Since Irving left, Nets’ young talent Cam Thomas has popped off with three back-to-back-to-back 40-point performances.
With Kevin Durant planning a return after the All-Star break, the team getting acquainted with its new players and young players rising up, it’s hard not to see the Nets make a push deep into the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets are going straight into rebuild mode now that Irving and Durant are gone. In their trade with the Suns, the Nets received Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four unprotected first-round draft picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 and a 2028 pick swap.
Durant will partner up with aging star Chris Paul and all-star Devin Booker, who just came back from an injury. The Suns also acquired T.J. Warren in the trade and will have all eyes on them going into the second half of the season.
It took nearly two seasons to make the trade that Laker fans were crying for. Despite his solid play in his last 10 games, averaging 16.4 points, 6.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds, Russell Westbrook played his last game on Feb. 7.
The Los Angeles Lakers sent Westbrook to the Utah Jazz and received Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in return. The Lakers also reunited with D’Angelo Russell from the Timberwolves, who are now ready for the team to be led by Anthony Edwards.
The Jazz received Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a protected first-round, top-four pick in 2027 from the Lakers.
The Timberwolves received Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 2024, 2025 and 2026 second-round picks.
Both LA teams got busy during the final hours of the deadline. The Clippers shipped John Wall back to the Houston Rockets and acquired Eric Gordon.
The Clippers also traded Luke Kennard to the Memphis Grizzlies and received three second-round picks in return.
The Rockets received Danny Green from the Grizzlies and have the right to swap picks with the Clippers’ first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
It was speculated that Blazers’ all-star Damian Lillard would be traded but the team is bringing in young talent instead. In the three-team trade, the Blazers got 76ers rising star Matisse Thybulle.
The Sixers received Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets walked away from the three-team trade with multiple second-round picks.
Other Notable Trades
Lakers trade Patrick Beverley to Orlando Magic for Mo Bamba.
Indiana Pacers acquire Jordan Nwora, George Hill, Serge Ibaka and three second-round picks from the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Clippers got Bones Hyland from the Denver Nuggets and Mason Plumlee from the Charlotte Hornets.
Milwaukee Bucks get Jae Crowder from the Nets.
After an eventful day of trades, the NBA landscape and playoff odds have dramatically changed as teams make their playoff pushes.