The NBA trade deadline has passed, and it was a wild one — including the massive Harden for Simmons deal coming together.
Here is a wrap-up of all the trades.
TRADE: It happened, Ben Simmons has been traded to Brooklyn for James Harden
Analysis: The Nets were not going to trade James Harden unless two things happened: He demanded out, and then someone — specifically the 76ers — blew them away with an offer. Well, Harden’s behavior showed he wanted out of Brooklyn and he all but wrote a formal letter, and on deadline day the 76ers stepped up with an offer that not only included Simmons but sharpshooter Seth Curry and big man Andre Drummond, but also the 76ers unprotected 2022 first-round draft pick (which the Nets can defer to 2023) and the 76ers 2027 first-rounder (protected 1-8).
That was enough and the blockbuster deal got done.
For the 76ers, they pair Embiid — who his playing at an MVP level — with Harden, and they are betting on a happy Harden transformation into his old self (like we saw a year ago when he was traded from Houston to Brooklyn, after forcing his way off the Rockets). Pair those two with Tyrese Maxey in his breakout year, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris (overpaid but still can get buckets as a third option) and role players such as Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz, and the 76ers have to be considered contenders in the East. Embiid had this parting message for Simmons.
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 10, 2022
The Nets have to be considered contenders, too, once Kevin Durant returns from his knee injury after the All-Star break. Simmons elite defense and passing should fit well with the isolation scoring of Durant and (part-time) Irving, Seth Curry steps into the Joe Harris sharpshooter role (Harris may not be back this season), and Drummond is another option for Doc Rivers along the frontline, with LaMarcus Aldridge, Nic Claxton, or just going small with Durant at the five. All season long it’s been a lot about the Nets getting healthy and energized, this should do it.
Bottom line: Throw in the already focused Bucks and Nets, and the East playoffs will be insane.
Feb. 10, 3:01 PM: No trades for Lakers, Knicks at deadline
The biggest name teams in the NBA’s two biggest markets need a shakeup but… nothing. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks stood pat, but that probably is the right decision.
For the Lakers, after a nationally televised loss to the Bucks Tuesday showed how far from contention the team is, there was a “trade Russell Westbrook, we’ve got to do something” panic going around. That’s not when smart trades are made (and sending out a first-round pick or taking on another bad contract to swap Westbrook for Wall would have been a bad trade). The Lakers wisely stepped back — as they did with the buzz around firing Frank Vogel a month ago — and said, “will this make us markedly better?” The answer was no. It was much the same process and thinking in New York. The Knicks (and their fans) are rightfully frustrated that Evan Fournier and Julius Randle are not playing up to their new contracts, but trading them out of frustration would lead to bigger mistakes. No reasonable offers for either player came through, so New York remained patient. Better to make a more reasoned move in the offseason.
TRADE: Mavericks trade Kristaps Porzingis to Wizards for Dinwiddie, Bertans
Analysis: This is a “you take the contracts we don’t like, we’ll take that one you don’t like” trade. Dallas pictured Porzingis as the No. 2 option and a pick-and-pop partner with Luka Doncic, and KP has been an All-Star level player when healthy (he’s averaging 19.2 points and 7.7 rebounds a game this season), but he has barely been healthy. And not the fit Dallas hoped. Porzingis is making $31.7 million this season and is owed $69.8 million over the coming two years (the second year of that is a player option, but he’s going to pick that up). Now Porzingis has Ish Smith as his starting point guard and can see if he fits next to Bradley Beal next season.
Washington signed Bertans away from the Spurs to be a quality stretch four, but he has missed time due to injuries, has been more of a sixth man, is shooting 31.9% from 3 this season, and makes $16 million this season and will make $49 million fully guaranteed over the next three seasons. The Wizards bet on Dinwiddie being all the way back from his torn ACL when they signed him to a three-year, $54 million (it was technically a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn). Dinwiddie averages 12.6 points and 5.8 assists a game, but he isn’t as explosive as he once was and was never much of a shooter. Dallas is betting on their medical team, and another year away from his ACL tear, will see Dinwiddie bounce back.
Two interesting thoughts out of this. Will Goran Dragic (about to be bought out by the Spurs) look at the Mavs getting Dinwiddie and re-think signing there? It probably doesn’t change anything, but the Bulls, Bucks, Clippers and others will at least call. Also, does bringing in Dinwiddie mean Dallas doesn’t think it can keep Jalen Brunson this offseason?
TRADE: Celtics trade Dennis Schroder to Rockets for Theis
Analysis: Boston has needed to trade Schroder because they could not re-sign him this offseason (they can only offer about $7 million, because they do not have his Bird rights), and the open market likely will offer more than that. This trade sends the German point guard to Houston, where he will back up the developing Kevin Porter Jr. the rest of the season. Houston wanted off the contract of Daniel Theis, who has $26.7 due over three years after this one (the last year of that is a team option). He struggled to find a role with the Rockets but was a solid big man for the Celtics in his three-and-a-half years there and Boston believes it can get him healthy and return him to a reserve big man role where he can thrive again. Kanter is in this trade just to balance the money and will be bought out by the Rockets, making him a free agent.
TRADE: Boston trades Richardson to San Antonio for Derrick White
Analysis: Derrick White is a good young player — a starter for the Spurs averaging 14.4 points per game, and he defends well — who can play a role in Boston’s future backcourt rotation. However, for the Celtics, this trade was about saving money. With this deal, the Celtics move even further out of the luxury tax, now by about $3 million (the salary dump of PJ Dozier and Bol Bol got them under the line). The price for those savings is the first-round pick, which is top-four protected, so it almost certainly conveys to the Spurs this season (San Antonio also picked up the Raptors’ first-round pick this season helping them get under the tax line today). Gregg Popovich can also see if he can develop (and keep healthy) Langford, who has shown flashes of promise.
TRADE: Massive four-team deal sends DiVincenzo to Kings, Bagley to Pistons
Sacramento receives: Donte DiVincenzo, Trey Lyles and Josh Jackson.
Milwaukee receives: Serge Ibaka, two future second-round picks, cash.
LA Clippers receive: Rodney Hood, Semi Ojele.
Detroit receives: Marvin Bagley Jr.
Analysis: The Kings are all in on their long-shot push to make the play-in — as evidenced by their trade for Domantas Sabonis — and this fits in with that. DiVincenzo is a quality two-way two guard who can both help them this season and be a long-term fit next to De'Aaron Fox. The Clippers will save about $30 million in luxury tax payments this year with this trade (which more than makes up for the $19 million they added in the Norman Powell/Robert Covington trade). The Bucks add some center depth with Ibaka (that matters with Brook Lopez still out) and they get a couple of picks in the process. The Pistons take a flier on Bagley, who they should be able to re-sign cheaply if they want. Bagley’s dad is excited about this trade, but it doesn’t solve the core problem that the game has evolved away from his son’s skill set.
— Team Bagley™ (@TeamBagley) February 10, 2022
TRADE: Boston gets under the luxury tax line with salary dump to Magic
Orlando receives: P.J. Dozier, Bol Bol, second-round pick, cash
Boston receives: Second-round pick
Analysis: This is a pretty much straight salary dump — both Dozier and Bol are out for the season due to injury. This trade gets the Celtics barely under the luxury tax line, and the Magic get a second-round pick and a little cash for their troubles.
TRADE: Goran Dragic traded to Spurs for Thaddeus Young, pick
Toronto receives: Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, 2022 second-round pick
San Antonio receives: Goran Dragic, lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick
Analysis: Two players that were expected to be traded for each other have been swapped, along with some picks. The Spurs will arrange a buyout with Dragic fairly quickly, and he is expected to re-sign as a free agent with the Mavericks (although the Clippers, Bucks and others would have interest in him). What the Spurs get out of this is a first-round pick, the Raptors are playing well and are not headed to the lottery (their pick would be 20th right now). Thaddeus Young could have some value in the Raptors rotation, although he has struggled this season in San Antonio. The Raptors save money here, and are now $3.75 million below the luxury tax line, which was their big goal in the trade.
Feb. 10, 11:28 AM: Idea of Porzingis for Dragic trade doesn’t have legs
It has long been assumed around the league that Goran Dragic would be traded at the deadline so some team could save money by buying him out (the Raptors would take on a player with a longer contract, but one that could help them now). Then Dragic would sign with the Mavericks as a free agent. But what if the middleman was cut out? Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer said there had been talk of some form of a Porzingis for Dragic trade working its way around the league. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who is well connected in Dallas, basically shot that down.
I was told that Mavs would need "a lot more" than the Goran Dragic/pick package Raptors have been shopping to have serious interest. https://t.co/HkwRRQzvMJ
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 10, 2022
Feb. 10, 10:45 AM: Magic still asking for first-round pick for Ross, teams hope that drops at deadline
Terrence Ross, the veteran two-way wing playing for a rebuilding Orlando team, has long been on the top of the “he’ll get traded before the deadline” players, except it hasn’t happened. Interesting note from friend of the site Keith Smith as to why that hasn’t happened.
It sounds like the Terrence Ross situation is playing out very similarly to Evan Fournier at last season's deadline, per sources. Orlando wants a first round pick for Ross. Rival teams are hoping as the day goes along, that price come down to two second round picks.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 10, 2022
Ross is shooting 30.8% from 3 this season, no team should be giving up a first for him. The asking price may well change in the final hours.
Feb. 10, 10:12 AM: Harden wants trade out of Brooklyn, fears backlash of formal request
There’s a pattern. James Harden and Chris Paul played together and won 65 games and took the Warriors (with Kevin Durant) to seven games, but Harden didn’t like the experience and forced Houston to trade CP3 for Russell Westbrook, except Harden didn’t like that and pushed for a trade that brought John Wall to Houston. That was a disaster and at the start of last season he threw a tantrum and forced a trade to Brooklyn.
Now he does want out of Brooklyn and to be traded today to Philadelphia, but he fears the public backlash, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. So he has been throwing a tantrum/making it clear he wants out. Again. Other reports say the Nets are still demanding not just Ben Simmons but another quality player such as Seth Curry or Matisse Thybulle to make the trade happen. It’s a staredown until the final deadline.
Feb. 10, 6:34 AM: If Lakers want to trade Westbrook for Wall, it will cost them a first-round pick
As noted a couple of items below, frustration and desperation around a squandered Lakers’ season — and Russell Westbrook turning out to be exactly who he had been the past couple of seasons, rather than who the Lakers wanted him to be — has led some in Los Angeles to consider a Westbrook for John Wall trade with the Rockets. Essentially a swap of bad contracts and players that don’t fit. Except Marc Stein reminds us in his latest newsletter that the price for that from Houston’s end is the Lakers 2027 first-round pick, or for the Lakers to take on the remaining three years of Daniel Theis’ contract ($27.6 million). What is the motivation for the Rockets to make that trade otherwise? From Houston’s perspective, they are swapping out one expensive player that is not part of their rotation for another (Westbrook would be sidelined for them, just as Wall has been), so what is the motivation other than a pick or to save money? This is just a reminder that nobody is helping out the Lakers because they feel bad for them.
If you’re looking for a trade the Lakers might do…
Sources: The Lakers, Knicks and Raptors have discussed a 3-team trade.
Lakers get Cam Reddish and Alec Burks.
Knicks get Goran Dragic and draft picks.
Raptors get Talen Horton-Tucker and Nerlens Noel.
There’s also a chance Kendrick Nunn is added to the trade as talks continue
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 10, 2022
(First off, this trade as listed cannot happen because Reddish was just traded and under CBA rules cannot be re-aggregated with other salaries in a trade, it has to be a straight swap of matching salaries. Which could happen if the Knicks folded Kemba Walker or another player into the deal then did a straight Reddish for Kendrick Nunn swap with the Lakers, folded into the larger deal. But why? That’s a lot of moving parts and the Knicks send a lot out to get Dragic and Nunn? Seems highly unlikely.)
Feb. 10, 6:10 AM: Teams checking on Damian Lillard availability, getting shot down fast
Less than 10 minutes after news broke of the Trail Blazers trading Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers, a source from another team I was texting with said, “we should see if Damian is available, shot in the dark…” Well, teams did ask, Marc Stein reports in his latest newsletter, and the Trail Blazers have shot them all down fast. The point of the trades is to clear the decks and build a contender around Lillard, not move him, and Interim (for now) GM Joe Cronin has been in communication with Lillard since before the trades began. They are on the same page. Portland did a pretty good job tearing things down, whether they can do this rebuild is another question, but the plan was never to move on from the long-time face of the franchise.
Feb. 10, 12:50 AM: Lakers would consider Westbrook trade for Wall… if LeBron wants it
The Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last offseason — and did not go through with a trade for Buddy Hield from the Kings — largely because LeBron James and Anthony Davis wanted and pushed for it. It backfired. It hasn’t worked out like anyone wanted; the Lakers are 26-30 (after an ugly loss to a shorthanded Trail Blazers team Wednesday night). Is it time for the Lakers to move on from Westbrook? Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on Sportscenter that some in the Lakers’ organization want to “rip off the band-aid” and trade Westbrook. The only trade that works at this point is for John Wall in Houston, who is sitting out but has a matching salary ($44 million this season, a player option for $47 million next season that both players will pick up).
That trade only happens if LeBron wants it to. The other question LeBron, GM Rob Pelinka and everyone with the Lakers needs to ask: Does this make them meaningfully better? Or is this a trade done out of frustration and the need to “just do something?” Because those kinds of trades rarely work out well. If someone wants to argue that Wall is a better fit next to LeBron and Davis — because he is better as a catch-and-shoot player and can work off the ball — go for it, but last time they both played in the same season Westbrook put up better and more efficient numbers. Wall has not played at all season. Is he going to make a difference? Or is it better for the Lakers to wait it out, get to the offseason, and make a more reasoned and measured decision?
TRADE: Heat trade KZ Okpala to Thunder, but key is future first-round pick adjustments
Oklahoma City receives: KZ Okpala, adjustment on future first-round pick
Miami receives: Thunder’s least favorable 2026 second-round pick, adjustment on future first-round pick
Analysis: This isn’t about Okpala, a power forward who has been on the fringe of the Heat rotation for three years (he’s been in 63 games total over those years). It isn’t about the second-round pick, which will be the worst of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’ or 76ers’ pick in 2026. It’s all about the adjustments to the first-round pick — and that part is a win for both teams. This was supposed to be Miami’s 2023 first-round pick going to OKC but with a series of protections that could drag out potentially four years. Now it is a lottery-protected 2025 pick that is unprotected in 2026. For Miami, this means it could now trade its 2022 or 2023 first-round picks (or, potentially both, if the Heat pick-then-trade a player this year) for a player who could help the contending Heat win now. Miami gains a pick to trade and flexibility. The Thunder get a pick more likely to be of value in three or four years (potentially after this window of Heat contention).
REPORT: James Harden using actions, not words to say he wants out of Brooklyn
James Harden reportedly has told both the Nets and Kevin Durant he wants to be in Brooklyn with the Nets. However, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on the network that Harden’s actions of late — the four-point game against the Kings, the stretches of lollygagging on defense, the missed games, the buzz around him of being unhappy — mean “he is screaming in every way he possibly can “I don’t want to be here. Get me out of here.” That doesn’t mean a deal is coming. Another ESPN report — this one from Adrian Wojnarowski — says no meaningful talks are going on.
There seems to be a sense around Brooklyn that their problems are fixable: Get Durant back healthy after the All-Star break, watch Kyrie Irving get more comfortable, take some of the load off Harden, get the big three playing together, get Joe Harris back (that one is iffy), get the role players comfortable, and they start winning and can make a run to the Finals. Also worth noting, Zach Lowe of ESPN has talked about tension and some animosity between the Nets and 76ers front offices because of that trade, which is another hurdle to getting a deal done. If Harden wants out, he may need to be explicit, not just act out, and it may still be too late to happen at the deadline.
TRADE: Jazz send out Ingles, get Alexander-Walker back
Utah receives: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Juancho Hernangomez
San Antonio receives: Tomas Satoransky, 2022 second-round pick (via Memphis)
Portland receives: Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, 2027 second-round pick
Analysis: Everyone knew this was likely going to happen, that the Jazz would use the contract of Ingles — who is out for the season after an ACL tear — to bring back help. But moving on from a big part of the team culture is never easy, for anyone.
Today hurts… I knew it was a possibility but didn’t want to believe it, we have been lucky to call this place home for 8 years!
I got a lot more to say, but I’m going to have a beer & relax with some good friends..
Go get a win fellas! I’ll always be watching ❤️
— Joe Ingles (@Joeingles7) February 10, 2022
The Jazz are hoping Alexander-Walker can develop into a Jordan Clarkson-style scorer for them, but this isn’t a spectacular return on the court. What it does is lower their payroll, which when you count luxury taxes went down by about $11 million — new owner Ryan Smith may have money, but Salt Lake is still a relatively small market. That money matters to the Jazz. For Portland this is about doing more to clear the decks for the coming quick attempt to rebuild around Damian Lillard. The Spurs win here because they gave up a player that wasn’t part of their future and they both pick up a pick and save some money (they likely waive Satoransky).