2023 NBA Trade Deadline

The league looks a lot different now


Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are splitting up and are heading to new teams

Hunter Miller, Staff Writer

The NBA trade deadline is full of trades, rumors, and excitement for many fans and players. The trade deadline impacts the league tremendously because many players get traded to new teams. 

Many teams look to trade players and draft picks, especially after the crazy 2022 NBA off-season where multiple stars like Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Dejounte Murray all got traded to new teams in blockbuster trades.

The 2023 trade deadline was on February 9, 2023. The deadline is right before the All-Star break. Year after year multiple stars get traded; for example, last year players like James Harden and Ben Simmons both got traded at the deadline. This year was no different.

Teams make it clear what players they are willing to give up and who they want to trade for. Every year teams are either selling, contending, or buying. 

If your team is selling it means they are trading their players for draft picks in order to be good in the future. If the team is contending it means that they are already one of the best teams in the league and don’t want to trade with anyone. If the team is buying it means that they’re not good enough to contend with the top of the league but still have a chance to make a deep playoff run and might just need a couple of trades to push them over the hump.

Let’s check out some of the most significant trades that occurred during this year’s deadline.

The deadline started off when Rui Hachimura got traded from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers traded Kendrick Nunn and multiple second round picks to Washington in return.

Kyrie Irving in his first game as a Dallas Maverick (Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Brooklyn after a possible contract extension fell through. Dallas beat out the Lakers and Clippers and Kyrie Irving was traded from Brooklyn to Dallas. In exchange the Nets got  Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round draft pick, and two future second-round picks.

All-NBA forward Kevin Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns just a couple days after Brooklyn traded Irving. The Nets acquired Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, the Suns 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 first-round picks, and the right to swap first-round picks with the Suns in 2028. In exchange the Suns received Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren from the Brooklyn Nets.

Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson answering questions after being traded to a new team (Chris Milholen – Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation)

The Lakers acquired Minnesota’s  D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in a three team trade between the Timberwolves, Lakers, and Jazz. Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker,a 2024 second-round pick, the Jazz’s 2025 and 2026 second-round pick went to Minnesota. Russell Westbrook, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick were sent to the Jazz. 

The Raptors traded Khem Birch, the Raptors 2024 first-round pick, the Raptors 2023 and 2025 second-round pick to the Spurs in exchange for Jakob Poeltl.

The Clippers acquired a veteran backup center Mason Plumlee from the Hornets in exchange for Reggie Jackson and the Clippers 2028 second-round pick.

The Suns got Darius Bazley from the Thunder in exchange for Dario Saric and the Suns 2029 second-round pick.

The New Orleans Pelicans completed a trade sending Devonte’ Graham and four second-round draft picks (2024, 2026, 2028, and 2029) to San Antonio for Josh Richardson

The Warriors traded the former No. 2 overall pick  James Wiseman from the 2020 draft to the Pistons in a four team trade. The Pistons received Wiseman, the Warriors got Gary Payton II and 2 second-round picks (from Atlanta). The Hawks received  Saddiq Bey and the Trail Blazers got Kevin Knox, and 5 second round picks.

The Los Angeles Lakers traded Patrick Beverley to the Orlando Magic for Mo Bamba in a four team trade. The Lakers also received Davon Reed and the Clippers 2024 and 2025 second-round picks. Magic also got Nuggets 2024 second-round pick, and cash from the Lakers. The Clippers are taking a chance on young guard Bones Hyland and the Nuggets got a backup center in Thomas Bryant from the Lakers

With all of these trades there has to be some winners and losers. I think the biggest winner of the deadline was the Phoenix Suns because they were able to get Kevin Durant. Although it was a hefty price some people forget that Durant was an MVP candidate before he got hurt earlier this year. The Suns were able to get Durant without giving up any stars and now have one of the best starting fives in the entire league.

I think the biggest losers from the deadline were the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors. They both failed to make significant changes to their roster and didn’t get any better.  The Raptors were first rumored to be selling at the deadline but ended up being buyers. They needed a difference maker at center and think Jakob Poeltl can be that. The Bulls desperately needed to make a move and failed to make any.

The 2023 NBA trade deadline was jam-packed with surprises and noteworthy transactions, and it is expected to have a significant effect on the league for the remainder of the season. The playoffs are certain to be dramatic and filled with fierce competition, as they always are, and the second half of the season is sure to be full of excitement. A thrilling and unexpected second half of the season is anticipated as a result of the 2023 trade deadline, and fans can’t wait to find out what happens next.