Wizards

Winners and losers of the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline

Wizards
Harden

The 2022 NBA Trade Deadline has passed, but not without a flurry of moves that are certain to change the landscape of the league's title chase. 

Here's a look at the teams that fared well at the trade deadline and a few who may have some regrets from the deals they made. 

Winner: Philadelphia 76ers

IN: James Harden, Paul Millsap

OUT: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks

Analysis: The Sixers were able to take a player that for all intents and purposes was refusing to play for them (Simmons), added in a backup center (Drummond), a valuable role player (Curry) and two picks to pair Harden with Joel Embiid. They paid a premium for Harden, but he fits their contention window and should create an absolutely lethal pick-and-roll combo with the best big man in the league this season. Philly may have just turned into the title favorites. 

Loser: Brooklyn Nets

IN: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks

OUT: James Harden, Paul Millsap

Analysis: Simmons is a better fit in Brooklyn than he was in Philadelphia, and Curry is a great piece who will provide even more shot-making in the backcourt, but at the end of the day, the Nets got worse in a year they were all-in to win a championship. Kyrie Irving is still a part-time player, there's no timetable on Kevin Durant's return and Simmons will need time to get back into playing shape. Even if they have everyone ready by the playoffs, a potentially low playoff seed might force them to run through a gauntlet just to get out of the East.

 

Winner: Los Angeles Clippers

IN: Norman Powell and Robert Covington 

OUT: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson and a second-round pick

Analysis: It's unclear whether Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be back this season, but that hasn't stopped the Clippers from adding talent on the wing. Powell and Covington should help as instant contributors on a roster that needed more shooting, and both players should be able to fill smaller roles once the two star wings return to the floor.

Loser: Los Angeles Lakers

IN: N/A

 

OUT: N/A

Analysis: The Lakers were four games under .500 entering the trade deadline and didn't make a single move to address an aging and underwhelming roster. They didn't have much to offer other teams in the first place, but the buyout market is not going to save the Lakers, folks. Their season may have ended Thursday.

Winner: Indiana Pacers

IN: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Tristan Thompson, Ricky Rubio, lotto-protected 2022 first-round pick, two second-round picks

OUT: Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a second-round pick

Analysis: The Pacers are hitting the reset button by dealing Sabonis and LeVert elsewhere, but to get a player with Haliburton's upside and multiple draft picks via the LeVert trade is great work by a team going nowhere with its current group. Hield and Rubio also act as major salary fillers if Indiana decided to use one of those contracts and one of their surplus draft picks to acquire more talent. 

Loser: Portland Trail Blazers

IN: Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, Didi Louzada, Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, 2022 protected first-round pick and four second-round picks.

OUT: CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., Norman Powell, Tony Snell and Robert Covington 

Analysis: The Blazers dismantled their roster by shipping off CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington in separate deals. The idea here may be that Portland wants to use the draft assets and cap space it acquired before the deadline to retool the roster around Lillard, but it's hard to imagine them getting better players than they gave up for said assets. 

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers

IN: Caris LeVert, 2022 second-round pick via MIA

OUT: Ricky Rubio, lotto-protected 2022 first-round pick, two second-round picks

Analysis: Caris LeVert isn't perfect, but this is a low-risk, high-reward move by the Cavs to give themselves some more scoring on the wing. Rubio is out for the year on an expiring contract and even though they're giving up one late-first-round pick and two seconds, they still get a second back. Plus, there's a chance LeVert fits with their core long term. Perfect job by the Cavs acting as buyers. 

Loser: New York Knicks

IN: N/A

OUT: N/A

Analysis: Similar to the Lakers, the Knicks were a team who stumbled into the deadline and didn't do anything to improve the roster. Even for a roster that lacks high-end talent, the Knicks have underachieved this season after earning a top-four seed last year. To do nothing likely won't sit well with that fanbase if the losses continue to pile up.