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The 5 most noteworthy moves from the NBA’s Trade Deadline


NBA Trade Deadline 2024

As the clock ticked towards the 3pm Eastern trade deadline, and the murmurs of the NBA’s movement landscape crescendo’d into a frenetic melody of last-minute deals, the destinies of teams believing they’re in with a shot altered, in the blink of an eye.

And there goes another season of movement in the NBA. Now a different kind of fun begins — matches that mean increasingly more.

Amid the chaos, a quintet of teams emerged, orchestrating pivotal trades that promise to alter the status of the league as we near the postseason.

2024 Trade Deadline news

Of teams in a position to compete this season, the 76ers, Knicks, Mavs, Suns, Thunder and Wolves all appear to have traded themselves into tangibly stronger positions. Potentially the Celtics and Bucks as well, helping set up an incredibly intriguing race to the finish line.

And let’s not forget, of course, we’ve already seen moves made. Tyrese Haliburton’s Indiana, for example, that made its key move several weeks ago, acquiring Pascal Siakam. We’re not technically counting those types of transactions as a ‘Deadline’ moves.

Let’s focus on the final 24 hours of the Trade Deadline.

The New York Knicks just got deeper

A New York team that had already strategically acquired OG Anunoby, continued its assertive stance at the trade table, as the franchise continues to steadily rise up the Eastern conference standings — currently in fourth.

The Knicks didn’t have to give up much of any substance to welcome back Alec Burks and also pick up Bojan Bogdanovic, two contributors that will help round out their rotation.

Tom Thibodeau’s team, led by Jalen Brunson, is genuine. And no first-round picks were given up to add useful pieces of depth around its main contributors.

IN: Guard Alec Burks, forward Bojan Bogdanovic

OUT: Guards Quentin GrimesMalachi Flynn and Ryan Arcidiacono, forward Evan Fournier, 2028 second-round pick, 2029 second-round pick

og anunoby, new york knicks, nba
New York’s OG Anunoby

The Thunder aren’t waiting

While the jury was out on whether Oklahoma City was ready to compete this season, or if the group should patiently continue its maturity ahead of a fresh title window not too far down the line, the events of the last several months have emphatically answered those lingering questions.

OKC pulled the trigger on a move to bring in veteran Gordon Hayward. The 34-year-old becomes a free agent after this season; his USD$31 million expiring contract wouldn’t fit inside every franchise’s balance sheet. But the young and frisky Thunder are an exception.

With more assets than GM Sam Presti knows what to do with, there were no reservations handing over a ’24 first and some other bits and pieces to Charlotte. In 25 games this season, Hayward has averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists — another handy piece at Mark Daigneault’s disposal, once the forward can step past his calf issue.

IN: Forward Gordon Hayward, 2028 first-round pick (swap with Dallas)

OUT: Guards Vasilije Micic and Tre Mann, forward Davis Bertans, 2024 first-round pick, two second-round picks

Luka Doncic is smiling

Jason Kidd’s Dallas added two more handy pieces that can complement MVP contender Luka Doncic and sidekick Kyrie Irving.

In comes big Daniel Gafford, who offers rim protection and a bucket threat on the offensive end, while the Hornets’ Trade Deadline activity continued, sending PJ Washington to the Mavs.

Both players are useful additions that continue sending the most important message to their most important player — this team will do whatever it takes to maximise Luka’s prime years.

IN: Forward PJ Washington, center Daniel Gafford, 2024 Thunder first-round pick, two second-round picks

OUT: Guard Seth Curry, forward Grant Williams, center Richaun Holmes, 2028 first-round pick (swap with Thunder), 2024 first-round pick (most favorable between Clippers and Thunder), 2027 first-round pick (protected Top-2)

luka doncic, nba, trade deadline
Luke Doncic

76ers try stay afloat

The Philadelphia 76ers, no strangers to headline-grabbing manoeuvring, once again stand out from the pack.

Following recent developments that reigning MVP Joel Embiid will be on the sidelines for over a month with a knee injury, 5th-placed Philly has an almighty task to remain not just relevant, but inside the Playoffs mix — top six even sweeter, to avoid the Play-In.

While steering clear of seismic shifts this year, like most teams, they got better. Sharpshooter Buddy Hield will make a difference on the perimeter, as Nick Nurse figures out some smallball lineups in Embiid’s absence, as point guard Tyrese Maxey runs the show.

IN: Guards Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne, 2024 second-round pick (most favorable between Bulls and Pelicans), 2027 Bucks second-round pick, 2028 Pistons second-round pick (protected Top-55)

OUT: Guards Patrick Beverley and Jaden Springer, forwards Danuel HouseFurkan Korkmaz and Marcus Morris, 2024 Knicks second-round pick, 2024 Raptors second-round pick, 2029 Blazers second-round pick, 2029 Clippers second-round pick, cash considerations

Time’s almost up for LeBron’s Lakers

It’ll take almost a miracle for LeBron’s LA to compete this postseason, holding firm with what it has and avoiding any Trade Deadline bidding wars.

The Lakers made no moves at the deadline; the franchise made the call to keep more ammunition for the off-season; perhaps one more Hail Mary play before the James era truly does run out of time.

There have been links to Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray and even Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell, who’s on the cusp of free agency. We’ll see what happens a little later this year.

He’s still playing at an incredibly high level, but we all know LeBron isn’t getting any younger.

Phil Prior
Phil Prior
Phil is the editorial lead at Only Sports, bringing more than 12 years of wide-ranging sports media experience to the team. But it’s his unrivalled passion that sets him apart. He also commentates AFL on SEN Radio, plus Rugby on Stan Sport. Find Phil on LinkedIn.

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