The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Exit Survey – The Ringer

The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Exit Survey – The Ringer

In one of the most action-packed trading periods in recent memory, the NBA saw an avalanche of movement across the league. It all started with Kyrie Irving’s trade to the Mavericks on Sunday, and it was from there that the action picked up speed, including Kevin Durant’s overnight trade to the Suns on Wednesday and a flurry of moves before the deadline.

What does all the action mean for the rest of the season? The wrestlers’ NBA staff took some time to settle the dust and answered five questions about the rest of the season.

1. Which under-the-radar deadline trade was your favorite?

Michael Pine: Mike Muscala to the Celtics helped strengthen the potentially fragile frontline, if not for the remainder of this regular season then during the playoffs when Boston otherwise could have started Blake Griffin or Luke Kornet in a big playoff game against Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo. The best and deepest team in the league got better and deeper without sacrificing anything valuable (sorry, Justin Jackson!) that will hurt them in the future. They held on to Payton Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari’s contract, and all of their future first-round picks. Boston is an extremely good team now, and they still have a degree of flexibility – which most of their competitors don’t have.

Justin Verrier: lock the status of a Villain Core Injury, I’ll take the Trail Blazers with Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish and picks for Josh Hart and Gary Payton II. Portland seems realistic about his situation. It’s no OG Anunoby away from the title shot, but it doesn’t have to drop Dame Lillard either. Instead, it’s made a number of sensible decisions, getting a younger version of the Mitten in Thybulle and making Hart, a flight risk this summer, a likely first-round pick. (I would have kept Saddiq Bey rather than diverted him for a bushel of second-rounders, but that at least clears the way for Thybulle to some much-needed minutes.) The Blazers will likely have to pick a lane at some point, but small-stack wins in the meantime are doing the thing now only easier.

Zach Kram: Opposing fans will be apoplectic when the Celtics win a playoff game this spring because Mike Muscala — a truly big plus-minus monster — hits five open 3s.

Rob Mahoney: Luke Kennard to the Grizzlies. One almost has to acknowledge the Clippers’ audacity — not just trading in some of their more reliable roleplayers this season, but sending one of them straight into the arms of a conference rival. All it took for Memphis to pick up one of the league’s top long-range shooters was Danny Green (who was already in the buyout market) and a few second-round picks. It’s not a bad deal for a team with a real chance in the west this season to shore up one of their few real weaknesses, and maybe even a little poetry, when Kennard sets the Clippers on fire in the second round.

Sea Councilor Sohi: The (likely) return of Gary Payton II to the Golden State. The Warriors bet too early on their burgeoning youth movement and responded with a mediocre defense. A game shifter on this end, Payton brings rim protection, perimeter defense and veteran know-how in one bouncy package. Last year his defense improved by two points when he was down, and his distractions often made him the catalyst for his own incredible alley-oop transition finishes.

Logan Murdock: That wasn’t an under-the-radar trade, but an under-the-radar hol was what the Nets got for KD and Kyrie. This throws the Nets back to 2018 when they were an organization of redeeming All-Stars who could develop any player that walked through the door. That credo earned them Durant and Irving, but it also highlighted Brooklyn’s inability to make its stars happy (for better or for worse). Will the Nets be back in the star-hunting business in a few years? Do they build by design? Are they trading for a disgruntled star down the line? I don’t know, but I’m locked up.

Tyler Parker: Jalen McDaniels to Philly. He’s a big, stretchy wing, finally on a team that actually plays for something. Playing against Joel Embiid and James Harden, he will be more open than ever. He can play about 4 when Doc Rivers needs him, add some athletic juice to the Sixers’ somewhat grounded frontcourt, and clean up behind Harden and Tyrese Maxey defensively.

2. Which team will be most upset about a trade they didn’t make?

loser: As disappointing as the end of the Anuno derby was, Toronto deserves credit for realizing it’s better to keep a player that every team in the league wants. But not moving Fred VanVleet, a future free agent, seems short-sighted. The Raps managed to sign and trade Kyle Lowry after turning down deadline offers, but the fact that they’ve just been traded for a center (Jakob Poeltl) to play over the center they have in the Lowry Deal (Precious Achiuwa) should signal that Freddie’s value was likely to have peaked on Thursday.

Pine: Where are the cops going? What’s up? It was a little shocking to hear that their vice president of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas, said he viewed his team as a buyer heading towards the deadline. like, ok That’s a mistake, but good. The main problem from then on is that he didn’t buy anything! For some organizations, inactivity is death. The cops are one of them; It’s impossible to be optimistic about their short- or long-term direction right now.

Sohi: When the Raptors, after a play-in exit and receiving the No. Selecting 12 in the draft will make them think about the merits of a quick changeover. Masai Ujiri has a history of being shrewd and borderline Machiavellian when it comes to trades, but going forward it will be interesting to see how he handles the shaky future of the team he has built.

Murdock: The Grizzlies, not making a significant move to improve their team, will be back to bite them in the postseason, and it speaks to the overconfidence the Grizz have displayed all season. Meanwhile, the Suns and Mavs have retooled and have a chance to get Memphis another early exit. The squad is talented but lacks a veteran to keep things stable. Things seem to be a little too lively in Memphis, and this team will have big questions this offseason, especially if they stick their chests out and face an early exit again in mid-May.

Parkers: Chicago. The cops are confusing to me. No Man’s Land is a bad place and they seem determined to stay there. Give Dalen Terry at least a few minutes.

Mahoney: Aside from all the unfulfilled interest in OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. in the run-up to the deadline, Toronto was sticking with Fred VanVleet – a quality guard who may or may not fit into his future plans, starting with the fact that he’s this summer will be an unrestricted free agent. Obviously, the Raptors aren’t ready to fully salvage their current roster just yet (as evidenced by being a surprise buyer with a swing for Jakob Poeltl as of deadline), but holding VanVleet will likely end one of two ways: by cashing out a massive new contract for a good but undersized player who may already be in decline, or by losing him outright if another team signs him this summer. It’s hard to say which would be worse, but both outcomes could have been avoided.

Junk: The Raptors went into the deadline on Days 26-30 with offense in the bottom five and several super attractive players they could have traded – but they decided to buy and sent San Antonio a protected top-six -First for Jakob Poeltl? They definitely should have traded Gary Trent Jr., they probably should have traded Fred VanVleet, and well, I’m as big a fan of OG Anunoby as anyone, but if the Raptors really had been offered three unprotected picks for him, As reports suggest, Masai Ujiri should have taken the same step. A sellout would have been better for the future of the Raptors and more fun for NBA national viewers for the rest of this season as well. Imagine VanVleet and Trent meeting real-life competitors! Imagine Anunoby at the Grizzlies, Guarding Kevin Durant! Unfortunately, I hope a road play-in game is worth it.

3. Which Trade Deadline Homecoming is the most nostalgic?

Sohi: The Nets didn’t ask about that particular trip down memory lane, but Spencer Dinwiddie comes full circle for Brooklyn. His original departure was symbolic of the final blow to the culture they spent half a decade building to attract Durant and Kyrie Irving. Now they’re back to where they were after the Pierce Garnett era: they don’t own any of their picks and are motivated to compete for their own sake.

Murdock: I’m super excited to have D’Angelo Russell back shooting in purple and gold as the Lakers figure out what the heck to do next. Big 2016 vibes, back when Los Angeles had no expectations, set its clock to summer and hoped a big free-agent splash would erase all its dysfunctions. Put that ice cream in my veins!

Parkers: If Nick Young were still wearing a Lakers uniform, this answer would absolutely be DLo. Since he isn’t, it is John Wall in a landslide.

loser: As much as it warms my heart to see Spencer Dinwiddie back in Brooklyn with his crypto brothers, it’s Eric Gordon. After being dumped by the Clippers in the (first) Chris Paul trade, Gordon played the role of Sorrel for the most part. He became morose in New Orleans, especially after being denied an opportunity to move to Phoenix, and eventually became morose in Houston following James Harden’s departure. But now Gordon is back in LA, and while he’s not the same downhill attacker he was 12 years ago, he’s the kind of switchable defender and shooter the Clips need to go where they couldn’t in the CP3 era could.

Pine: Neither could be my real answer. But Jakob Pöltl is probably the biggest winner. He’s returning to an environment he knows in a team that really needs him to contribute on both sides and wants to win at the highest level. Poeltl’s production in San Antonio may have flown a little under the radar, but he’s a very good starter whose former/new team is obviously willing to pay him big bucks this summer.

Junk: Did James Wiseman’s nefarious ‘return’ to the Golden State after failed Gary Payton II investigation sink trade numbers?

Mahoney: Maybe I’m showing my blogging age here, but something about Gordon’s return to the Clippers after all these years really applies. I think it’s closing a loop – trading in Gordon ahead of his fourth NBA season to land Chris Paul and building a competitor around him, ultimately failing, and returning to Gordon all those years later to do an important one Role play for a different version of the team in the fight for the championship. It’s not quite as good as seeing what the once young core of Gordon, Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu could have been.

4. Buyout Matchmaker: Which signing would you most like to see?

Mahoney: The Cavs probably shouldn’t let go of Kevin Love unless he really commits to an out. you just never know when a playoff match will turn in his favor and take Love from an out-of-the-rotation veteran to a strategic personnel. However, if Love wanted an out, he’d be a great asset for Miami — a team that could use a moderator with instincts and a natural stretch option to offset the inner tilt of the Heat’s best players.

Murdock: Russ to the Clippers, please and thank you. He gets to stay in Los Angeles, hang out with his buddies, and compete for a play-in with people who really like him. Nothing can go wrong there, right?

Pine: Reggie Jackson can still be a pretty useful scorer for a good team off the bench. I was hoping the Nuggets would sign him after they sold Bones Hyland to the Clippers and that’s exactly what they did. The Nuggets needed an experienced backup point guard behind Jamal Murray: someone who can take shots for himself, develop a solid two-man game with Thomas Bryant, and generally keep that offense afloat when Murray and Nikola Jokic get a breather need.

loser: Bring Patrick Beverley back to a top scorer in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are in dire need of a dressing room makeover, as evidenced by D’Angelo Russell’s Mike Conley trade at the starting point guard, and Pat Bev gave them their fuck-you-de-vivre last season. Just the chance to unleash him on the Lakers in a play-in matchup is worth far more than the veteran’s minimum.

Junk: While this question assumes that bought-in players make the difference in the playoffs, hype always trumps reality. So what the heck, send John Wall back to the Wizards and have him battle Bradley Beal for a play-in spot.

Sohi: More nostalgia: It’s about time the Timberwolves acknowledge the spiritual and tactical fuel Patrick Beverley has provided for their dressing room and defense. If the D’Angelo Russell reunion doesn’t happen, it might be to make room for a reunion with Anthony Edwards.

5. What is your forecast for the final after the close?

Junk: Celtics over nuggets. A fun by-product of the Durant trade is that I’m now both seeded #1 to reach the finals and still feel like I’m picking an underdog. But I’m really not convinced that the new-look Suns are superior to the Nuggets. Sure, Phoenix’s starters are amazing now — but Denver’s starter five were already amazing, outperforming opponents by 15.6 points per 100 possessions this season, per Cleaning the Glass. The trio of Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have a 126.7 offensive rating. The Nuggets also form blitz teams with any combination of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Bruce Brown. A Suns-Nuggets playoff series can average 130 points per team per game.

Mahoney: Bucks over nuggets. And an immensely satisfying heavyweight match between Giannis and Jokic for the title of Best Player Alive.

Sohi: The Suns became obvious favorites from the west after taking over Durant, but I’m wary of how they’ll handle the physicality and grind of a long postseason. I see them walking into the Finals with tired legs and being dealt with by the Celtics who made a nice deadline deal for a rejuvenated Mike Muscala.

Pine: My preseason pick was Clippers vs Celtics, with the Clippers winning in seven games. I turn that around. Celtics in seven!

Parkers: dollars over suns.

loser: Celtics over nuggets. It’s hard to argue against the Suns’ firepower, but history isn’t kind to teams that dramatically change their rosters by deadline. (The Pistons, for example, didn’t lose key contributors when they added Rasheed Wallace as of the 2004 deadline.) Give me continuity in both conferences, with Boston’s deep bank of defenders gaining.

Murdock: Sun Celts. Celtics in five.