NBA Trade Deadline: The west rises again

Deadline packed with big moves, most from Western Conference


Courtesy of Gobierno CDMX

An NBA basketball

LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor

The NBA trade deadline wrapped up Thursday afternoon and it is safe to say the biggest news came out of the West. So who went where and why might the East be in trouble?

Return of the Lakers?

The Lakers have struggled since winning a championship in the bubble in 2020, despite having LeBron James, Anthony Davis and making a move for Russell Westbrook. Despite having the third-worst record in the west, the Lakers were one of the most active buyers at this year’s trade deadline.

The Lakers kicked things off by acquiring former first-round pick Rui Hachimura from the Wizards for Kendrick Nunn and a pair of second-round picks. Hachimura is only 25 years old and averaging 12.6 points per game and shooting 48.5% from the field.

The Lakers struck again but this time in a three-team-trade. They picked up Jarred Vanderbilt, an elite defensive forward, Malik Beasley, an electric scorer averaging 13.4 points per game and D’Angelo Russell, a sharpshooting guard set to reunite with the team who drafted him. 

In order to acquire these assets from the Minnesota Timberwolves, they moved Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, a first-round pick and struggling star guard Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz moved veteran guard Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and a trio of second-round picks to Minnesota.

After a puzzling move to ship center Thomas Bryant to the one-seeded Denver Nuggets for Davon Reed and three second-round picks, they turned around and nabbed another. They gave up veteran defensive guard Patrick Beverley and a second-round pick for 24-year-old Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic.

Bamba could be a nice paint beast to take the pressure off of Davis, while the other moves focus on wing defense, depth and perimeter shooting. All in all, it appears the Lakers could be ready to make a run, but the rest of the West had the same idea.

The Big Fish

The biggest singular move of the deadline was a trade that saw 13-time all-star, two-time NBA champ and former MVP Kevin Durant *A lot of other sports articles list a series of titles and then the player and although it breaks the traditional AP style rule, this is not a traditional straight news piece. I’m in favor of keeping-ST  dealt from the Brooklyn Nets to the Pheonix Suns. The Suns also acquired forward T.J. Warren and gave Brooklyn a pair of talented young wings in Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson.

Brooklyn also received four first-round picks and a pick swap. The last piece going to Brooklyn was veteran forward Jae Crowder who they quickly sent to Milwaukee for three second-round picks. Durant is a sure thing for the Hall of Fame and has a championship pedigree.

He now forms a dangerous starting lineup in Pheonix of himself, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. Brooklyn on the other hand has the assets for a quick retool, but might look to go about it differently than when they formed a big three of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, with the trio only winning one playoff series.

The Mavericks New Duo

Speaking of Irving, he was the first Brooklyn star to request a trade this deadline. The Nets quickly obliged sending him and Markieff Morris to Dallas for guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a quality defensive wing. They also sent a first-round pick and two second-rounders to the Nets. 

Following this deadline, the Nets will be something to watch as they went from three stars and no depth to all the depth but no true stars. 

On the other hand, Dallas is banking on Irving putting his off-the-court past behind him and forming a lethal duo with superstar Luka Doncic.

Irving scored 24 points in his Mavericks debut, helping the Mavericks get only their second win of the season without Doncic on the court.

Busy Blazers

It is no secret the Portland Trail Blazers have a superstar in Damian Lillard but no championships to show for it. Despite speculation about Lillard being dealt, the Blazers told teams he was unavailable per David McKay, SBNation.

The Blazers were still active though trading utility guard/wing Josh Hart to the New York Knicks for former first-round wing Cam Reddish, guard Ryan Arcidiacono, a lottery protected 2023 first-round pick and guard Svi Mykhailiuk. 

The Blazers could not afford to pay Hart this summer so the Knicks get a true effort and energy player who can really mesh a lineup together.

The Blazers were not done however rerouting Mykhailiuk and two second-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets who sent forward Jalen McDaniels to the Philadelphia 76ers who in turn sent Matisse Thybulle to the Blazers. Thybulle, 25, is not much of a scorer but defends at a high level against guards and forwards.

The Blazers– no longer in need of a defensive guard – were then involved in a four-team trade where they sent offseason signing Gary Payton II to the Golden State Warriors who sent former second-overall pick James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons sent Saddiq Bey, a young score-first wing, to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Blazers ended up with forward Kevin Knox and five second-round picks. Payton won a championship with Golden State last season before becoming Portland’s new General Manager Joe Cronin’s first free agent signing. But the story is deeper.

There is a rumor from an anonymous source that Payton did not want to be in Portland and was ecstatic to return to the Warriors, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. It was a busy, but utterly and completely disappointing faceplant of a deadline, according to Quick.


The only other notable moves were the Clippers acquiring center Mason Plumlee and Eric Gordon and three second-round picks in a three-team trade and John Wall being sent to rebuilding Houston.

It was an explosive, exciting and partially confusing deadline. But the theme was clear: the West was the most active and remains the most imposing of the two NBA conferences.