NBA trades may seem underwhelming but could affect the playoffs

Last week’s NBA trade deadline may not have had any blockbuster moves, but the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and plenty of other teams around the association certainly made some important roster changes. Here’s a recap of some of the league’s biggest deals:

The Knicks, who sit at 33-21, have exceeded the expectations of fans halfway through the season. Their front office looked to bolster their already deep roster last week by dealing Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono and two second-round draft picks to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Bojan Bogdanović and Alec Burks. 

Many fans are calling the trade a win-win for both teams. The Pistons gain four Knicks players all looking for a change of scenery, with Grimes in particular being a bright young talent which Detroit will surely welcome. The draft picks will contribute to the Pistons’ rebuilding process as they continue to have one of the worst seasons in NBA history.

Tom Thibodeau’s squad gained two important role players in Bogdanović and Burks, who look to help keep the Knicks’ hot streak going as they deal with multiple injuries. Many speculated that the Knicks would make a move for Raptors guard Bruce Brown, whose Rodman-esque hustle would surely fit in with coach Thibodeau’s play style. Such rumors never amounted to anything, however, as the Raptors ultimately decided to hold on to the 2023 NBA champion. 

The Knicks’ biggest move of the season came several weeks ago, when the team sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto in exchange for forward OG Anunoby. 

While the Knicks load up for a playoff run in May, these new acquisitions should give the team a boost as they look to close out the season strong.

The Nets, on the other hand, find themselves in a completely opposite position from their across-the-river rivals. Brooklyn’s season took a turn for the worse at the end of 2023 and hasn’t shown any signs of improving. 

Many fans were hoping Sean Marks, the team’s general manager, and the rest of the front office would make drastic changes to the roster, possibly looking to enter a partial rebuild or clear some room for free-agent talent this summer. The result was far from these expectations.

The Nets acquired point guard Dennis Schröder and forward Thaddeus Young from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, who was waived by Toronto before getting picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers for the league minimum. Schröder is a solidified veteran talent who had a strong first showing for the Nets over the weekend, while Young, who had a stint with Brooklyn nearly a decade ago, was immediately waived following the trade to open a roster spot. 

Additionally, the Nets dealt Royce O’Neale to the Suns for Jordan Goodwin, Keita Bates-Diop and three second-round picks. Goodwin was also waived immediately following the deal.

Beyond the boroughs, the rest of the league saw a lot of deals for talent in various forms. Notable moves include former All-Star forward Gordon Hayward going to Oklahoma City, Patrick Beverley to the Milwaukee Bucks and Doug McDermott to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers also made a splash a few weeks before the deadline, dealing for All-Star forward Pascal Siakam. A deal between the Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets sent P.J. Washington to Dallas for Seth Curry, Grant Williams and a first-round pick.

Many fans criticized the Lakers’ lack of moves last Thursday, hoping the 29-26 team would make substantial moves to find the right supporting cast for 39-year-old LeBron James. Los Angeles was especially quiet on deadline day, with their only move having been the Dinwiddie pickup a few days later.

While the trades from last Thursday won’t seem to shake up the playoff picture too much, teams acquired pieces that may become crucial to their rotations going forward.


Featured photo courtesy of @nyknicks, X