With all the frenzy and the madness already in the rearview mirror, it’s time to discuss our list of NBA trade deadline winners and losers 2023.
NBA trade deadline winners and losers 2023
The NBA continues to prove it’s where amazing happens, and this year didn’t disappoint.
Winners of the 2023 NBA trade deadline
Our NBA trade analysis starts with the Los Angeles Lakers, more specifically, giving props to Rob Pelinka. He made the most of every single asset he had, and they got significantly better by adding Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and D’Angelo Russell.
Not only did they manage to hold on to one of their first-round picks, but they also managed to add shooting without losing playmaking. Now, Russell Westbrook leads the list of NBA buyout candidates.
While some might think otherwise, we strongly believe the Brooklyn Nets belong in the ‘winners’ category of our NBA trade deadline winners and losers 2023. They got a massive haul in return for 34-year-old Kevin Durant, adding Mikal Bridges and replenishing their draft capital.
They may not have any of their superstars left, but the Nets still have a roster that’s good enough to compete in the East, not to mention a bright future with all those picks. Also, they got rid of the troublemakers.
The Kevin Durant trade came late at night, so people woke up to more than one hilarious reaction to NBA trades on social media today. The Phoenix Suns finally got their guy after striking out in the off-season, and he’ll now be reunited with Monty Williams from his OKC Thunder days.
I don’t believe the Suns are better positioned for the future now by any means. But they want to make the most of their title window now, which is why I still consider them winners.
The New York Knicks didn’t need to do much to improve their roster, but they still made a low-key impactful move by adding Josh Hart. He’s reunited with Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson, and he finally solves their woes at that 2/3 spot.
Hart is a very good, high-energy defender that’s willing to put his body on the line, and an elite rebounder for his position and size. He can also knock down some shots and understands his role.
If someone needs to have trading NBA draft picks explained, then they must look at the Milwaukee Bucks. They just gave us a masterclass by sending away five (!) second-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets to land disgruntled forward Jae Crowder.
Crowder gives the Bucks some much-needed grit and defense in the wing, with Khris Middleton struggling with an injury. He’s a solid 3-and-D player, and they cannot be overlooked in the East.
Losers of the 2023 NBA trade deadline
Our ‘losers’ section of the NBA trade deadline winners and losers 2023 list kicks off with the Dallas Mavericks. I know what you are thinking, but hear me out for a second. Kyrie Irving isn’t going to stay, and even if he does, he’ll just leave them hanging mid-season like he always does.
The Mavs gave up draft capital and their best wing defender for a rental on an unreliable player who doesn’t play defense. This trade will come back to haunt them sooner or later, mark my words.
Our post-trade deadline power rankings have the Golden State Warriors pretty much in the same spot they were before the deadline, and that’s not good news if you’re a contender. This team didn’t get better, and they desperately craved a big move to go back to their winning ways.
The Dubs will be hurting without Stephen Curry and might limp their way to the play-in tournament at the end of the season. Holding on to most of the youngsters might have shut their championship window down.
Most previews had the Toronto Raptors as the biggest player ahead of this deadline. Now, we can only make our NBA trade analysis talking about the Jakob Poeltl move, which didn’t make that much sense, to be totally honest. Why bring him back now when you’re not good enough?
Moreover, why give up a future first-round pick if you’re going to blow your roster up sooner or later? They could’ve gotten a major haul of picks for their disgruntled stars, and now they’re just the same-old team.
The Portland Trail Blazers lost Josh Hart but added one of the best defenders in the game in Matisse Thybulle. The Blazers also stocked up on second-round picks by trading Gary Payton II.
The Blazers are still far behind in the race in the Western Conference. They weren’t good enough to compete with the true contenders and would’ve been better off by blowing their roster up instead.
And last but not least, our list of NBA trade deadline winners and losers 2023 has the Minnesota Timberwolves in the ‘losers’ category. They were the hottest team in 2023, which is why giving up D’Angelo Russell made no sense at this point, even if he was going to leave in free agency.
Mike Conley is a better playmaker than Russell, but he’s aging and no longer capable of staying in front of quicker guards. Also, they had the chance to make a big splash and take another leap forward, but they didn’t.
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