The action kicked off early with a handful of big trades days before the actual NBA Trade Deadline. Here are all the latest rumors and analysis of every completed deal.
We’ve already seen a few of the biggest dominos fall with Domantas Sabonis and CJ McCollum both traded on Tuesday. Here are the deals we’ve seen completed so far.
Grades for completed deals:
The Portland Trail Blazers are still chasing Jerami Grant
Per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Blazers are looking to add something to the cupboard they’ve just emptied. Grant is a highly sought-after trade target but he seems like much more of a complementary piece than the Blazers roster currently needs. Grant, Lillard and whoever else they can sign into cap space next season doesn’t really sound like a contender, let alone a playoff team.
Indiana Pacers send Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento before the NBA Trade Deadline
The Pacers have been actively shopping most of their roster ahead of the deadline and Sabonis is by far their best asset. The former All-Star is still just 25 and one of the most impactful offensive big men in the league with his combination of passing and touch around the basket. He gives Sacramento a nice complement to De’Aaron Fox but he does push the Kings towards a halfcourt style and pairing him with Richaun Holmes will present many of the same twin-towers challenges the Pacers weren’t able to overcome with Sabonis and Myles Turner. However, it could help push back into the race for a play-in spot this season and the additions of Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb will add some shooting on the wings.
For the Pacers, this is clearly a move for the future. In return for Sabonis they get Tyrese Haliburton who looks like a malleable and budding star in the backcourt. Buddy Hield gives them another piece to package in additional deals and Tristan Thompson is a nice expiring contract for them to flip or simply hold for future space. Maybe this means they’re keeping Myles Turner but either way it gives them Haliburton to build around and won’t hurt in their chase for the No. 1 pick.
Trail Blazers finish emptying the cupboard, trade CJ McCollum to the Pelicans
Last week I pointed out the two paths the Trail Blazers could choose from — trading Damian Lillard to rebuild, or trading everyone else to retool. It looks like they’re choosing the latter. McCollum was their best trade chip and they sent him out, along with Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell, for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada, a protected first-round pick and two second-round picks. Getting a late lottery pick for McCollum is a small win and Hart is a worthwhile rotation player, but they’re clearly worse off in every way but draft capital and future cap space. This could give them significant room for additional moves this summer but they still need to nail the opportunities that they’ve repeatedly whiffed on over the last few years.
For the Pelicans, this is pushing a lot of chips to the center of the table, hoping to fight for a playoff spot and convince Zion Williamson they are a franchise worth sticking with. McCollum is nice but expensive and, honestly, the Pelicans may have already lost the Zion battle.