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Who were the biggest NBA trade deadline winners? Here are our 6 favourite moves


nba trade deadline, free agency

Well that was a lot.

What looked to be shaping up as a fairly dull NBA trade deadline for the 2022/23 season changed at the drop of a hat into one we can safely say lands in the historic category.

Some teams acquired some much needed depth for the home stretch into the Playoffs, others blew it all up en route to a fresh start. And then there was a franchise, under brand new ownership, that made one of the largest trade splashes in league history; pushing all their chips into the middle of table.

So here are our five favourite trade deadline moves.

Phoenix goes completely all-in and trades for KD

In arguably one of the biggest blockbuster trades in league history, two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant is on his way to the Suns to form a formidable side which could well and truly help him secure a third.

Following Kyrie Irving‘s departure from Brooklyn, all eyes were on whether or not Durant would stay in the ‘Big Apple’ or land on a contender.

trade deadline
ALL GONE: Brooklyn’s ‘super team’ trio – Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving – are now split up and on three different rosters after the trade deadline.

As the trade deadline approached, Phoenix offered a deal too good to turn down, involving young stars Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson plus plenty of draft compensation.

The Suns, who currently sit fifth in the West (30-26), have risen to favourites to make it through to the NBA Finals this year with the quartet of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and now Kevin Durant.

Trade Deadline summary:

Nets received: Mikal Birdges + Cam Johnson + Jae Crowder + 4 first-round picks + 2028 pick swap

Suns received: Kevin Durant and TJ Warren


What did the Lakers do at the deadline to help LeBron?

The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most active teams at the trade deadline and built a somewhat improved roster around the NBA’s all-time leading scorer LeBron James.

trade deadline
NBA Trade Deadline | Lebron gets some help.

After a season and a half wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold, Russell Westbrook was finally traded much to the pleasure of many Lakers fan in a three-team deal which brings D’Angelo Russell back to the franchise.

Only time will tell if the move will be enough to turn their season around; reaching the the Play-In Tournament might be the best they can muster, which makes a Playoffs tilt almost impossible.

Westbrook was playing helpful minutes off the bench, a vast improvement on last season, so the trade might mean new players but the same problems.

Trade Deadline Summary:

Lakers received: D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba, Davon Reed + 3 second-round picks

Lakers sent: Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Thomas Bryant, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damien Jones + 2027 first-round pick

The Timberwolves now have an adult in the room

In a team full of young superstars, the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to benefit greatly from acquiring veteran Jazz point guard Mike Conley.

Conley was involved in the three-team trade that included Westbrook and now sees him team-up with former Utah teammate Rudy Gobert, who’s been infamously struggling in Minneapolis since his bombshell off-season transaction.

The Timberwolves have been fairly inconsistent this season; eighth in the West (30-28). Let’s see whether Conley can lift them into the top six come playoffs time.

Trade Deadline Summary:

Timberwolves received: Mike Conley + 3 second-round picks

Timberwolves sent: D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley

Rudy Mike image
NBA Trade Deadline | Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert are back together

Someone actually gave stuff up for Kyrie

Like a game of pass the parcel, the intrigue and interest around what Kyrie Irving could be is still there, with enough teams still willing to play the game, but the music always stops eventually.

Irving wanted out of Brooklyn earlier this season, plus got caught up in a dreadful saga where he was found to be supporting an antisemitic documentary. And that’s been just the tip of the iceberg with this guy and his distracting off-court antics.

But Luka Doncic‘s Dallas Mavericks are rolling the dice, giving up solid role players and draft compensation to land the eight-time All Star. Who knows how long it will last, but before Irving puts his foot in it, he’s one half of arguably the best backcourt duo in the NBA.

trade deadline
NBA Trade Deadline | How long will Kyrie keep the peace in Dallas?

Good for the Nets, who cashed out and got some stuff for a ticking time bomb.

Trade Deadline Summary:

Nets received: Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorain Finney-Smith, 2029 first-round pick + 2 second-round picks

Mavericks Received: Kyrie Irving + Markieff Morris

Bucks land 3-and-D player to bolster championship calibre roster

The Milwaukee Bucks are the lucky team to land highly sought after role player Jae Crowder; the 2021 NBA champions one step closer to another shot at a title.

Crowder was initially a part of the blockbuster trade between the Nets and the Suns for Kevin Durant, but was offloaded hours later in a three-team deal to the Bucks.

Attaining Crowder now make the Bucks starting lineup one the best, if not the best, defensive five in the league with plenty of offensive power to go along with it.

While Crowder’s been a no-show so far this season, his last three years have included two NBA Finals appearances and a 64-win regular season. ‘Been there, done that’ etc etc.

Trade Deadline Summary:

Bucks received: Jae Crowder

Bucks sent: Jordan Nwora + 2 second-round picks

Could this be the most defining trade deadline we’ve seen yet?

There has serious potential to be one of the most defining trade deadlines we’ve seen in the history of the NBA; numerous All-Stars and former MVPs are moving across the country.

It draws parallels to the 2019 offseason, which saw star players going everywhere; Kawhi Leonard and Paul George finding their way to the Clippers, Westbrook teaming up with James Harden in Houston and Kevin Durant leaving Golden State after three straight trips to the NBA FInals.

Only several players of the Durant calibre have ever been traded in the NBA; most of them have resulted in a subsequent title.

Time will tell how it all pans out for the contending teams, as we now sit back and recover from the brain pain that comes with absorbing so much huge trade information.

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