2023 NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

The 2023 NBA trade deadline has certainly added spice to an already unpredictable NBA season. It featured everything from league-changing blockbusters to minor improvements. Several teams that were expected to make many moves instead remained static. The Lakers were shuffling things around and tricking some people into thinking they were a lot better, while roughly 4,500 second-round draft picks traded hands.

Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers for the deadline to remember:

Losers: Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors

These are not good commands! And even though the Nets are no longer a formidable ghost in the East, neither of them are going to do anything in this year’s playoffs anyway. The Raptors came out of the deadline as buyers, which is odd because they came in hoping to sell. They clearly think that Jakob Pöltl can be a long-term agent for change at the center for them, and this belief cannot be wrong. They need an inner presence on both sides, even if he doesn’t fit right next to Scotty Barnes.

But believing that they can re-sign Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr this summer is another matter entirely. (Both could become unrestricted free agents in a few months, and since Toronto isn’t very good With expensive reinvestments don’t make much sense.) Were the offers for OG Anunoby really way below what Masai Ujiri wanted right now? Did they cool off after Kevin Durant left for the Suns? Curious stuff!

Then there is Chicago. Woof. Their inaction is like an abuse of power. It’s not clear how the Bulls missed that deadline without taking action. I repeat: they are not good! Why is Alex Caruso still here and not traded for a first round pick? Why are they still so depressed despite knowing that Lonzo Ball is not close to professional basketball?

Is this tweet true or satire?

Both of these teams screwed up by not solidifying their future before the deadline that was perfectly timed for them. If the most aggressive potential trading partners have recently lost confidence in their own ability to win this entire season, then so be it. But it still feels like a big missed opportunity for two mediocre organizations.

Winner: Minnesota Timberwolves

D’Angelo Russell is a talented striker who sometimes tiptoes to stardom. What he’s good at is shooting! — noticed by fans, media representatives, etc., because it is tangible and important.

But Russell is not a star, which is a far cry from his only breakout season in Brooklyn, where he truly made the All-Star team. Even during this ongoing best season of his career, on every metric that marks efficiency, he is still underperforming in almost every other way.

Minnesota’s net rating with Russell on the court this season is minus 1.6. When he’s not on the court, the Timberwolves are a team-high plus-5.1.. He’s a bad defender, yes. But he’s also disappointing, someone who unnecessarily wreaks havoc on things that are otherwise going well. He doesn’t communicate properly in transition, doesn’t help when he should, and wobbles from the turnstile to someone who is seemingly inadvertently ready to take a defensive stance. Simply put, Russell is unreliable on this side of the ball.

During last year’s first-round series against the Grizzlies, in which the Wolves lost the lead, Russell’s defense against Desmond Bain was a disaster, and his decision in Game 5’s crucial moment sent Game 6 to the bench in the fourth quarter. This shot should be remembered by every Wolves fan who is upset by his loss in Los Angeles.

It may just be a random game, but I also think about this sequence against the Bucks more than I probably should. Turn up the volume and listen to Russell yell at Anthony Edwards when he doesn’t get the ball.

Russell will also become a free agent this summer. He is 26 years old, the former is not. The second overall pick, changed four times in eight years, looking for another long-term contract that some misguided team (maybe the Lakers if they don’t tackle Kyrie Irving instead) will talk themselves into paying.

Mike Conley may be nine years older than Russell, and on the face of it this swap could be seen as a push to prioritize Rudy Gobert’s extended heyday over Anthony Edwards’ continued ascent. This is a fair criticism. But Minnesota is far better off having Conley’s steady hand on the wheel for the next year or two than prolonging their relationship with Russell, who doesn’t fit right next to Edwards and will see his shot count blunt once Carl-Anthony Towns returns.

The Wolves have been fixing the damage since the Gobert deal. All they can do now is not make the bad situation worse. Alienating Edwards is the worst-case scenario. This step helps them avoid it. For now.

Loser: Philadelphia 66ers

They dodged the tax by moving Matisse Tiboule to Jalen McDaniels, another tentacled winger who scares no one beyond the three-point line. McDaniels may or may not crack Doc Rivers’ playoff rotation. (Isaiah Joe, it’s not.) But aside from the sideways move that was motivated by money, the 6ers lost because of what they didn’t do.

Finding a backup center for Joel Embiid has always been impossible and agonizing for Philadelphia. P.J. Tucker could work in that role for some playoff games when Philadelphia gets smaller and fills around James Harden. Or perhaps they find what they need in the ransom market.

But after the Nuggets took Thomas Bryant, the Clippers took Mason Plumley, and, to a lesser extent, the Celtics took Mike Muscala, Philadelphia’s inaction is hard to ignore.

Loser: Detroit Pistons

The team, which already has Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren and Marvin Bagley III, just traded a decent young winger in Saddik Bey for James Wiseman, who is barely an NBA player and is about to request a second contract. It makes sense to do so.

Winner: Portland Trail Blazers

In exchange for Josh Hart – a strong winger they weren’t going to keep after this season after he walked out of his contract – Portland was able to add Cam Reddish, a protected Knicks first-round pick, and, in a separate transaction, Matisse Tibull. It doesn’t make the Blazers overnight rivals, but they’ve made smart, low-risk, modestly profitable moves that could help past this season.

Tybull and Reddish were both stuck in situations that weren’t the best for their respective skill sets, and even with Gary Payton II returning to the Warriors for five picks in the second round, Tybull could slip into that offensive role as a small ball. fifth, setting up shields for Damian Lillard or Anferny Simons, and then diving into space once they’re destroyed. This is a decent pilot.

Winner: Cam Reddish

Thirteen months ago, the Knicks dropped a Hawks first-round pick in favor of Reddish, a former 10th overall pick who has the perfect physique that can impact both ends. In response, Tom Thibodeau sent to the bench a 23-year-old football player who played only 35 games and miraculously Haven’t been on court since December 3rd.

Reddish has flaws. He makes unbearable shots. He’s also still young enough to put it all together, hone his skills for a specific role, and be a quality rotational player for a very long time. The Blazers are clearly hoping it’s with them and they’ve got a few months to see what they’ve got.

Winner: Brooklyn Nets

The “winner” label is admittedly a bit strong, but Brooklyn has finally ripped the patch off the era of superteams that brought just one playoff series win. One! They no longer have championship hopes or Kevin Durant, but they do the market is cornered by 3-and-D flanks, a bunch of undefended first-round picks, and the peace of mind knowing that Kyrie Irving is officially some other team’s problem. It’s a new day!

Lost: Dallas Mavericks

So, was it? Good luck Dallas!

Winner: Chris Paul

It should be obvious! 37-year-old Paul literally could not wish to have two better scorers next to him than Durant and Devin Booker. His own ability to put the ball into the basket has waned a little, but he is still an elite player at the table, honing his shots from afar. This could be his closest step to a title, which is saying something considering he was 2-0 up against the Bucks a couple of years ago and everything that stood in his way during the 2018 playoffs. year, had his own hamstring and 27 points. directly missed three-pointers of his fellow Rockets.

The next cutscene has more in-depth thoughts on Phoenix, but it’s nice to be happy for Paul for a moment.

Loser: Hope in the Western Conference

Kevin Durant has entered the chat. The Nuggets, Grizzlies, Clippers, Warriors, Pelicans, Mavericks, and any other team that thinks they can make a splash in the playoffs are not going to just give up after this trade. You can even argue with Phoenix as a favorite and not be mistaken at all. (Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry are still here.) But it’s still trade, changing the landscape, rearranging the hierarchy.

The Suns aren’t perfect and have serious depth issues on the flank (Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are a pair of “don’t know what you’ve got until they’re gone” role players) and in the frontcourt, where they randomly decided to trade Dario Saricha (who is good) And…


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