The Trade Deadline always seems to bring fireworks as teams look to add one more player to their postseason push. This year was no different.
But who came out a winner or loser at this year’s NBA Trade Deadline?
James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers
Nets receive: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, two first-round picks
76ers receive: James Harden, Paul Millsap
James Harden is on the move again. Easily the most discussed move of the deadline, the 76ers were finally able to put an end to the Ben Simmons holdout saga.
On the side of Philadelphia, the team has added a much-needed superstar to pair with MVP favorite Joel Embiid, and find themselves firmly in the race for the Eastern Conference title.
Harden does not have a stellar postseason track record; however, he can prove to be valuable in a point guard role and facilitate the game through the pick and roll. The loss of Seth Curry may prove to be significant, as his sharpshooting and three-point efficiency are unmatched compared to any other player on the current roster.
For Brooklyn, Ben Simmons provides an upgrade in certain aspects. With his ability to guard all five positions, Simmons’ presence provides an interior defensive presence that the team lacked prior. Curry is yet another three-point scorer for Brooklyn to involve in their offense, as he and Joe Harris will be nightmares for playoff defenses on the perimeter.
A playoff series between these two Eastern powerhouses would be must-watch television, as it seems as if a new rivalry has ignited in the Association.
Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards
Wizards receive: Kristaps Porzingis
Mavericks receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans
A surprising trade to some, Kristaps Porzingis finds himself on the third team of his career, this time partnered with all-star guard Bradley Beal.
Porzingis’s skillset and 7’3″ frame make him a valuable piece for whatever team has him. However, he has had difficulties staying on the court and producing come playoff time.
Despite the injuries, he remains effective in spacing the floor out and remains a good defender in the interior. The team will have to rely on him as a second scoring option as they try to make a push for the play-in tournament.
On the other side, Dallas got back another ball handler that can take pressure off young phenom Luka Doncic come playoff time. In last year’s first-round series against the Clippers, Doncic’s high usage rate would leave him fatigued and less productive in the second half of games.
Davis Bertans has a similar offensive game as the aforementioned Porzingis; however, he is incompetent defensively. Overall, the Mavericks roster did not significantly improve, but now have more guard help than they have had in the past.
Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings
Kings receive: Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, 2023 second-round pick
Pacers receive: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Tristan Thompson
Stop me if you heard this before: the Sacramento Kings’ front office made a very questionable decision. While Domantas Sabonis is a terrific big man and well-deserving of his two All-Star appearances, the package sent the Pacers way is what has the entire NBA world scratching their head.
In the package, Sacramento gave up Buddy Hield and more importantly, second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton.
The former First Team All-Rookie selection continued to improve this season, averaging over 17 points per game since the new year. At 21 years old, his potential is limitless and will be a franchise cornerstone for Indiana for years to come.
Sacramento now plans to build their franchise around Sabonis and guard De’Aaron Fox, two players who have never won a playoff series in their career.
Time will tell how this trade will affect each franchise in the future, but for now, pressure now resides on the Sacramento Kings to make a playoff run.