Another trade deadline is in the books, and just like any other year, a lot of rumors and big players were tossed around.
The Boston Celtics stole guard Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs and lost guards Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford. While losing Richardson stings for the Celtics, acquiring White more than makes up for it and he should fit in well with Marcus Smart.
Before Boston even acquired White, it was widely known that they wanted to trade point guard Dennis Schroeder. They traded him alongside forward Bruno Fernando and center Enes Freedom to the Houston Rockets for guard Daniel Theis. Schroeder was expected to be traded, as he never was seen as a long-term option for the Celtics. Theis returns to Boston where he spent his first three and half years of his career.
The most significant trade of the deadline was James Harden getting dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden wanted a trade out of Brooklyn, while the 76ers had star Ben Simmons wanting out as well, so the deal made sense for both sides. Along with Simmons, the Nets acquired Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks. The 76ers acquired Paul Millsap as well, but there is a good chance he will get bought out.
It will be interesting to see how 76ers star center Joel Embiid and Harden play together, considering Harden does not have a great track record with other superstar players. The two complement each other well in theory, so it could work out well for them. Simmons seems like an excellent fit for Brooklyn, and he should fit in well with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Even though the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings are not the best teams, they pulled off a significant trade of young stars. The Pacers traded star power forward Domantas Sabonis along with guards Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round pick for guards Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and center Tristan Thompson.
Sabonis has long been linked to the Kings, so it is not surprising that he was traded there, but they had to give up Haliburton, which seems like a massive steal for the Pacers, who are rebuilding. Along with Hield, this trade might backfire on the Kings down the line.
Thanks to their surprise rise this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers were buyers at the trade deadline this year, picking up a nice piece in shooting guard Caris LeVert from the Pacers for Ricky Rubio, a first and two second picks from this year’s draft.
Cleveland hopes LeVert will be the last piece to help the Cavaliers get to the playoffs this year. LeVert is a very good player, except he has had a long history of injuries, but this trade looks excellent for the Cavaliers if he can stay healthy.
While the Los Angeles Lakers were rumored all day to be trading star point guard Russell Westbrook back to the Houston Rockets for guard John Wall, the trade fell through. The Lakers only made one move, dumping backup point guard Rajon Rondo for the draft rights of Louis Labeyrie.
With the Lakers having many issues with their team not being able to trade anyone, Rondo might come back to bite them as their best options are now looking at buyout candidates. Still, for a team that already has major injury and age concerns, the buyout market will not help them out in that regard.
Time will tell how these trades work out, but as of right now, it looks like the Celtics, Pacers and Nets came out of this trade deadline looking way better than they did before, while teams like the Lakers not making any moves might come back to haunt them. Time will tell though, and just like any sport, anything can happen from this time to the playoffs.