It usually takes a year, maybe two, to determine which NBA team "won" a given trade.
For the Wizards' most recent blockbuster where they acquired Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is already prepared to call that one in favor of the Mavericks.
"Dallas is 10-2 since shipping Porzingis to Washington and acquiring Dinwiddie, and they've knocked off some legitimate contenders in that span too," Smith said on Stephen A.'s World. "Over Dinwiddie's last 10 games, he's averaging 20 points, shooting over 45% from three. Luka [Doncic], Dinwiddie and these Dallas Mavericks have turned into a team nobody should want to face in the playoffs.
"Meanwhile, in the nation's capital, Porzingis and the Wizards are a team no one will face in the playoffs because they're not going anywhere," he said. "I know, you're not supposed to judge trades until several seasons down the line, but you could call this one already. Dallas won the Porzingis-Dinwiddie deal, in a rout. And that depresses me because I like me some Wizards with Beal and the crew, but d---."
As Smith points out, the Mavs have taken off as a team since swapping Porzingis for Dinwiddie and Bertans. They're 11-4 since the trade deadline and are closing fast on the Jazz for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Dallas has the ninth-best point differential in the NBA and the sixth-ranked defense according to Cleaning the Glass.
Dinwiddie has excelled in an off-ball role next to Luka Doncic after struggling to produce consistently while in Washington. He's also hit two game-winners for his new club, including a buzzer-beater to beat Kevin Durant and the Nets in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, the Wizards are 5-11 since the trade deadline and, while their offense has been league-average since acquiring Porzingis (15th), their defense has cratered (25th). Bradley Beal hasn't played a minute with the new-look Wizards yet, but they haven't exactly looked promising without him.
It's hard to judge trades in general and it's even more difficult to say a team like the Wizards lost a trade when their franchise player hasn't even played with the new acquisition yet. However, the Mavs are clearly better off with Dinwiddie than Porzingis. Time will tell if the inverse is true for Washington as well. If not, they'll have to navigate at least two more years of Porzingis taking up $30+ million of their salary cap space.