The trade market was largely quiet in the days after the Kyrie Irving deal over the weekend until the floodgates opened Wednesday on the eve of the deadline.
Multiple All-Stars were dealt within the span of a few hours, shaking up the league’s landscape. The Lakers and Raptors were both expected to be active players given the reporting that led up to Thursday, but the Nets blew all previous—and likely future—deals out of the water when they ripped off the bandage from their Big 3 era and executed a blockbuster deal with the Suns that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix.
It’s unlikely that any name that big gets moved in the hours ahead, but stranger things have happened. Keep up with our live blog throughout the day for analysis and updates as rumors and trades trickle in.
Suns Net Durant in Surprise Blockbuster Trade with Brooklyn
Kevin Durant is headed to the Suns in exchange for a massive trade package that includes Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and four first-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Phoenix is also sending Jae Crowder, who has not played for the team this season, in the deal and is getting back a 2028 pick swap and T.J. Warren.
This deal comes days after Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Brooklyn and was subsequently dealt to Dallas. Durant’s exit officially marks the end of the team’s Big 3 of Durant, Irving and James Harden, a trio that ultimately won one playoff series together and rarely shared the floor.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported Sunday that the Suns were prepared to pursue Durant if he became available and they were ultimately successful in acquiring the 13-time All-Star. Durant has not played since Jan. 8 due to an MCL sprain in his right knee and will miss the Feb. 19 All-Star Game.
Devin Booker returned from a month-long absence this week for Phoenix, which finds itself firmly in the playoff picture despite a sustained rough patch while he was sidelined. Coach Monty Williams can now trot out a starting five that includes Durant, Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.
Wojnarowski reported that Durant wanted the move to Phoenix, which made the NBA Finals two seasons ago, and new owner Mat Ishbia pushed to get the deal done Wednesday night, which bled into Thursday morning on the East Coast. Ishbia officially gained control of the Suns this week and was quick to make a lasting mark on the franchise by dealing for one of the game’s top scorers.
Brooklyn recoups young talent and substantial draft capital in the trade and is still well within the playoff picture in the East with an entirely different roster set to play out the home stretch of the season.
The Nets will explore trade options for Crowder before the deadline, according to Wojnarowski.
Toronto Makes Its First Trade, Landing Poeltl from Spurs
All signs indicated the Raptors would be active at the trade deadline and their first deal was to acquire Jakob Poeltl from the Spurs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Toronto sent Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round pick and two future first-round picks back to San Antonio.
Poeltl’s career began in Toronto when he was selected ninth overall in 2016. He was in the Kawhi Leonard trade in 2018 and now returns to the Raptors, who were in search of a center.
The Spurs have accumulated 13-first round picks through 2029, and Wojnarowski indicated the front office expects to add to that count before the deadline.
Hart and Brunson are Reunited in New York
The Trail Blazers traded Josh Hart to the Knicks in exchange for Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk, Ryan Arcidiacono and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. If that pick is not conveyed this year it turns into four future second-round picks.
New York is adding one of the top rebounding guards in the NBA and a capable defender to a team that is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with designs on returning to the postseason. Hart played with Jalen Brunson in college and Brunson was at Villanova for his jersey retirement when news of the deal broke.
Portland offers a fresh start for Reddish, who is headed to his third team after being drafted 10th overall by the Hawks in 2019 following one year at Duke with R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson. He played in just 20 games for the Knicks this season and had not touched the floor since early December. The Trail Blazers currently occupy 10th place in the West, the final play-in position.
Lakers Part Ways with Westbrook in Three-Team Deal
The Lakers, Jazz and Timberwolves agreed to a three-way trade that will send Russell Westbrook to Utah, D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles and Mike Conley to Minnesota, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The other players involved in the trade are Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, both of whom are headed to the Lakers; Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones, who will join the Jazz; and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who’s now a member of the Timberwolves. The draft compensation is as follows: Minnesota receives three second-round picks from Utah and the Jazz will get a top-four protected first-round pick from the Lakers in 2027.
This ends a long saga of trade rumors centered around Westbrook, whose tenure in L.A. was often rocky as he adjusted to new roles, most recently coming off the bench. This marks the fifth time the 2017 MVP has been traded since signing a five-year contract with the Thunder.
Westbrook is expected to be bought out by Utah, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes. The Clippers and Bulls are reportedly both interested in signing him if he does secure a buyout.
The framework of the deal leaked earlier Wednesday evening before it became official. Wojnarowski reported that Minnesota was “engaged elsewhere” on Russell before the terms were agreed upon. The one-time All-Star now returns to the team that drafted him second overall in 2015.
Los Angeles, one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA, added much-needed outside shooting in Russell, who’s shooting a career-best 39% from deep this season, and Beasley is a career 38% three-point shooter.
As Wojnarowski pointed out, Utah now has 15 first-round picks through 2029 in addition to the young core it netted from the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades: Lauri Markannen, Colin Sexton, Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji.
Heading into Thursday, the Timberwolves are in sixth place in the West, the Jazz are 11th and just a half game out of the final play-in spot and the Lakers are in 13th.
NBA Trade Grades Lakers Finally Move Russell Westbrook in Three-Team Deal
What’s the latest on the rumor mill?
- The Wizards intend to hold on to Kyle Kuzma and are attempting to add to their rotation (Fred Katz, The Athletic).
- The Raptors, Pelicans and Timberwolves are reportedly interested in Bones Hyland (Mike Singer, The Denver Post).
- The Clippers and Suns are among the playoff contenders interested in former Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon. And Jae’Sean Tate has drawn interest from the Suns, Nuggets, Celtics and Wizards (Kelly Iko, The Athletic).
- The Magic intend to keep Gary Harris, while Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross are available to be dealt (Marc Stein).
- The Warriors are reportedly more willing to discuss moving some of their young players at the deadline, meaning James Wiseman, Moses Moody or Jonathan Kuminga could be available (Anthony Slater, The Athletic).
- The Bulls are not expected to trade Zach LaVine, who’s in the first year of a five-year, $215 million contract extension (Brian Windhorst, ESPN). This corroborates a report from earlier in the week that Chicago does not intend to trade its core players, though it is listening to offers for Alex Caruso (Jamal Collier, ESPN).
- The Trail Blazers intend to hold on to guard Anfernee Simons (Zach Lowe, ESPN). Portland also might be a buyer at the deadline (Windhorst, ESPN).
- The Nets and Raptors are engaged in trade talks, though it does not seem that Pascal Siakam will be dealt despite interest from Brooklyn, among other teams. Toronto has shown interest in the past in Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton as well as the recently acquired Spencer Dinwiddie, whom the team does not intend to move (Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports).
- Fred VanVleet is the most likely Raptors player to be traded with the Clippers, Suns, Magic, Lakers and Timberwolves all potential landing spots (Fischer, Yahoo Sports).
- Furkan Korkmaz has requested to be traded from the 76ers before the deadline, and Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey will reportedly try to package him in a deal (Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer).
Recapping the trades that happened before NBA trade deadline day
- Feb. 7: Nets traded Kessler Edwards and cash considerations to the Kings in exchange for the rights to French guard David Michineau. Brooklyn now has an open roster spot and saved $8 million in salary luxury tax.
- Feb. 7: Heat traded center Dewayne Dedmon and a 2028 second-round pick to the Spurs for cash considerations. Miami is now under the luxury tax line.
- Feb. 5: Trade Grades: Mavs Land Kyrie Irving
- Jan. 23: NBA Trade Grades: Lakers Acquire Rui Hachimura From the Wizards