NBA Trade Deadline Winners
New York Knicks
New York finished as the clear victors of the deadline. They exchanged a disgruntled Quentin Grimes along with minor draft capital and end-of-the-bench players for veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks.
Bogdanovic is currently averaging 20 points per game and provides the Knicks with a lethal self-created scorer. Of the 107 players with at least 100 pull-up field goal attempts, he ranks seventh in pull-up effective field goal percentage (via NBA.com). His 41.5 three-point percentage allows him to thrive in an off-ball role too and complement the stars nicely.
Meanwhile, Burks also clears 40 percent from deep and adds a touch of ball handling and passing. The combo guard is a nice depth piece and fills some of the responsibilities that Immanuel Quickley held.
Overall, the Knicks added an elite playoff bench contributor in Bogdanovic and quality guard depth in Burks. Losing Grimes’ 3&D productions stings, but New York upgraded the roster and now arguably sits in the same tier as Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
The Mavericks added two key frontcourt players to the roster, which was an absolute necessity. PJ Washington is currently one of 18 players with at least 80 deflections and 300 contested shots. His 7’2” wingspan allows him to disrupt passing lanes and defend above his 6’7” frame, thus granting him defensive role versatility. Washington’s shot is streaky, but it’s by no means a liability come playoffs.
Daniel Gafford, on the other hand, gives Dallas another rim-runner that can rebound and block shots. Per Basketball Index, he ranks 20th across the NBA (min. 500 minutes) in rim points saved per 75 possessions. Considering Luka Doncic (3rd) and Kyrie Irving (24th) both excel at lob passing creation rate, he fits like a glove.
The Mavericks sacrificed Grant Williams and draft capital; however, their roster assuredly received a boost here.
Arguably no player or team won the deadline more than Hayward. He went to sleep last night on a dysfunctional 13th seed going nowhere and woke up this morning on a championship contender. That’s quite a change in scenery for the 33-year-old veteran, who now gets his best shot at a title since the 2020 Celtics.
Oklahoma City needed an all-around offensive wing with size, and Hayward obliges. He can create, pass, shoot, and rebound at a decent level, and his offensive versatility allows him to fill a number of roles. Hayward may not start for the Thunder, but he should see around 20 minutes per game and potentially close games. It’s a great transaction for both Hayward and the Thunder.
NBA Trade Deadline Losers
Sometimes it’s about what you didn’t do. Houston reached out to negotiate a Mikal Bridges trade that would have returned Jalen Green and Brooklyn’s lost first rounders from the 2021 James Harden trade, but Brooklyn did not even consider it. Essentially, the Rockets offered the Nets their future back along with former second overall pick Jalen Green, but Brooklyn thought “nope, let’s be in the play-in for the next few years.”
Plus, the Nets failed to trade veteran Dorian Finney-Smith due to an unreasonable asking price despite considerable interest around the league. They had to get something for him, but the front office chose to be stubborn.
Yes, they slightly upgraded by exchanging Spencer Dinwiddie for Dennis Schroder, but that does not change anything. It’s simply a disaster in Brooklyn at the moment with no foreseeable reason for optimism, but they turned down the chance to reset.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are 19th in Net Rating and hold the ninth seed with an uninspiring 27-25 record despite LeBron James and Anthony Davis combining for nearly 50 points per game and playing like top 15 players. They are a bland team with major holes, but no move was made. What are we doing here?
Their poor point-of-attack defense routinely allows opponents to drive-and-kick, which is a massive reason behind them surrendering the most wide open three-point attempts per game. They also either roster offensive or defensive liabilities around their star duo – the lack of two-way players is startling.
In other words, Los Angeles wasted one of James’ final years, and their championship hopes have dwindled to a sliver. It’s worth noting that James can become a free agent this summer, so waiting for the off-season to upgrade was the wrong idea by management.