The 2023 NBA trade deadline has passed, and we saw a ton of deals made.
It was one of the most active trade deadlines in recent memory, and it was highlighted by the Brooklyn Nets blowing up their superstar core and dealing Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns and Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.
Plenty of other moves were made by title contenders in both conferences.
The Boston Celtics added a much-needed big man who can shoot from the outside in Mike Muscala. The Milwaukee Bucks added wing depth by acquiring Jae Crowder. The Denver Nuggets traded for Thomas Bryant to upgrade their frontcourt. The Los Angeles Clippers made a bunch of moves, most notably adding Bones Hyland and Eric Gordon. The Memphis Grizzlies bolstered their outside shooting by getting Luke Kennard. The defending champion Golden State Warriors brought back Gary Payton II. The Suns, as noted above, made a blockbuster deal for Durant. The Mavericks finally put a second star next to Luka Doncic with the Irving trade.
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How does all of this action impact the race for the Larry O'Brien Trophy?
Here are the updated NBA title odds after the trade deadline, via DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Boston Celtics: +350
- Phoenix Suns: +425
- Milwaukee Bucks: +600
- Denver Nuggets: +800
- Los Angeles Clippers: +900
- Philadelphia 76ers: +950
- Memphis Grizzlies: +1400
- Golden State Warriors: +1500
- Dallas Mavericks: +1600
- Cleveland Cavaliers: +2200
The Suns, unsurprisingly, saw their odds go up significantly with the addition of Durant. However, both Durant and Devin Booker have battled injuries this season, and who knows if Chris Paul can play four playoff rounds without breaking down. Phoenix also gave up a lot of its depth -- Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, etc. -- to acquire Durant. So even though the Suns have more elite talent than anyone in the Western Conference when healthy, there are still plenty of concerns regarding their ability to win a title.
The Grizzlies have been at, or near the top of the West standings for much of the season, and they entered Thursday in second place. The Kennard addition made sense, and when healthy, this team is really good. But do the Grizzlies have enough veteran experience and leadership to reach the NBA Finals? Still, +1400 odds for Memphis is kind of enticing.
If you believe the Warriors will get healthy -- Stephen Curry is currently out of the lineup with a leg injury -- and be ready for the playoffs, taking them at +1500 odds isn't a bad idea. Golden State is still dangerous if Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green are all on the court.
The Eastern Conference is looking more and more like a two-team race between the Celtics and Bucks. These two teams met in Game 7 of the second round last season, with the Celtics winning in a blowout on their home floor. Barring a major surprise in May, these teams should meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There is no clear favorite for the championship. The field is as wide open as it's been in a long time. The 2023 playoffs should be absolutely fantastic, and these moves made at the trade deadline could have a major impact on the results.