The NBA trade deadline passed at 3:00 pm last Thursday, and a host of players—including former number one pick Markelle Fultz, up-and-coming forward Tobias Harris and future Hall of Famer Marc Gasol—found new homes, but prized commodity Anthony Davis will remain in New Orleans.
The loudest conversation prior to the deadline was whether or not superstar forward Anthony Davis would get the opportunity of a lifetime to play with one of the best players ever, LeBron James. However, this did not come about, surprising many.
The Los Angeles Lakers offered Davis’ team, the New Orleans Pelicans, some crazy potential trades, with all of them falling through. Trade offers included Los Angeles sending their entire young core of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram along with multiple first-round picks in exchange for Davis, according to multiple sources. Davis will now finish out the season with the Pelicans, and will hit the trade block again this summer, with Los Angeles and Boston being the two most likely destinations.
The most noteworthy trade that actually happened was Tobias Harris being sent to the Philadelphia 76ers from the LA Clippers. This is a huge trade for both the 76ers and the Eastern Conference. Philly now has the chance to be the most potent team in the East, with a staggering lineup of Joel Embiid, JJ Redick, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Harris.
The 76ers also traded away a big name. The much-troubled Markelle Fultz was traded to the Orlando Magic for Johnathon Simmons, a 2020 first round pick and a 2019 second round pick. The Sixers could end up winning this trade, shrugging off a player who looks like a bust while gaining an immediate contributor in Simmons with two picks to boot.
However, if Fultz, who has been dealing with lingering shoulder issues that may or may not be all in his head, can get back to his University of Washington-self, his ceiling is extremely high. He could be a young cornerstone player for a growing team like Orlando.
We also saw Memphis Grizzlies trade center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and a 2024 second-round draft pick. Gasol brings the Raps some veteran experience, especially for the playoffs. Toronto was looking to build up its roster to compete with Philadelphia for a spot in the Finals, and this is certainly a step towards doing so. Their starting five now consists of Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry.
Another big name that got shipped off to a new team was forward Kristaps Porzingis. The New York Knicks announced shortly before the deadline that they had acquired guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two first round draft picks from the Dallas Mavericks, in exchange for Tim Hardaway, Jr., Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Porzingis. Porzingis will be a force to reckon with, alongside rookie sensation Luka Doncic, as long as the 7’3 center can stay healthy. Dallas is a team to watch moving forward.
The Mavericks didn’t stop their trading at Porzingis. They shipped off Harrison Barnes in exchange for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph. This trade was particularly funny, because Barnes was traded mid-game during a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
One of the last major trades that happened was with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks acquired Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson and four second-round picks. Mirotic is a nice add for the East-leading Bucks. He is averaging 15 points-per-game in his last ten games, and will be a nice compliment to MVP-candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and all that he brings to the table.