It’s been a week since the 2023 NBA trade deadline closed, but people are still talking about how bombastic of a deadline it has been.
There were obvious star-studded moves that stunned the entire league. However, various smaller trades have completely transformed how the league looks.
Some teams leveled up, while others took necessary steps back for their future. The trade deadline clarified the intentions of every NBA team as the playoff approaches.
There are also player storylines that must be considered. Superstars moved teams, and players who didn’t fulfill their potential were shipped off to improve a team’s championship chances.
This article will examine some of the teams and players that shook the league with their moves and determine whether they won or lost the trades they did.
Winner: Los Angeles Lakers
When the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make sweeping changes to their 2021/22 roster, many wondered whether the Purple and Gold had what it takes to make the playoffs this year. Their doubts were proven right when they started the season with a 2-8 record.
It was clear that parts of the team needed a revamp. For frustrated Laker fans, the point guard position was the biggest hole that needed fixing. Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley are still decent point guards, but D’Angelo Russell’s return to Tinseltown is a clear upgrade.
While Russell is the top arrival for the Lakers, the team made other trades that will surely make Laker fans and OKBET players happy. Rui Hachimura is already playing starter minutes as a reliable scoring option whenever LeBron James or Anthony Davis is double-teamed.
Their other moves also added youth and shooting to a roster that badly needed it. Jarred Vanderbilt is a terrific spark plug at power forward. Malik Beasley provides some much-needed three-point shooting. Mo Bamba will fill up the Thomas Bryant-shaped gap in the rotation.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is the toast of Laker Nation for his wizardry in the 2023 NBA trade deadline. Now, it’s up to the stars to step up and lead the Lakers into a deep playoff run.
Loser: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be the team to beat in the East when they got Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2019. On paper, the thought of facing the two superstars in the playoffs was terrifying.
However, the partnership didn’t result in any championships, as the Nets blew up their talented albeit problematic core. The two stars only played 74 regular-season games together as either one or both are sidelined with injuries. Their stint as a Big Three with James Harden was even shorter at 16.
The team sacrificed their future for the possibility of a title, but injuries and off-court issues cost them a potential championship during this strange era of Nets basketball. While they got plenty of draft capital and talent in the aftermath, the step back they took is disappointing for the team and the borough.
Fans will likely look at this era as a big what-if. There will be plenty of questions surrounding this time at the Barclays Center that will never get answered.
Winner: Kyrie Irving
While Irving was dealt days before the 2023 NBA trade deadline, he is one of the biggest driving actors in how the league looks today.
The controversial guard was putting up great numbers for the Nets before he got shipped off to Dallas. He’s averaging 27.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 49% shooting. However, he revealed that there was plenty of uncertainty during their final months with the team.
He was tipped to join the Lakers, but many believe Joe Tsai blocked that from happening.
Draymond Green Calls Brooklyn Nets Owner Joe Tsai Petty #NetsWorld
H/T @TheVolumeSports pic.twitter.com/S3ysEU5olx
— NetsKingdom 👑🗽 (@NetsKingdomAJ) February 8, 2023
Fortunately, he got sent into another great situation with the Mavericks. Luka Doncic is one of the best teammates you can have in the NBA, and Kyrie has a shot in making a deep playoff run if the stars align.
Of course, the road ahead is tough. The West became a royal rumble with the number of superb teams formed after the deadline. However, we shouldn’t forget what Uncle Drew can do in clutch situations.
Loser: Zach LaVine
The Chicago Bulls are in limbo, and it’s bad news for a player of Zach LaVine’s caliber.
The Bulls are competing for a spot in the play-in, but a poor run of games can easily squash any playoff hopes. Moreover, it doesn’t help that his relationship with Bily Donovan is at an all-time low.
The Bulls’ locker room made their stance clear, which means LaVine will have to play with a team that doesn’t like him. This spells bad news for a team trying to make a playoff run, even if he’s averaging 23.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG this season.
The Knicks were reportedly trying to acquire his services, but that move is currently up in the air. You cannot discount the possibility of the Bulls miraculously turning the ship around, but everything’s uncertain about basketball in the Windy City.
Winners: Phoenix Suns
Any team that gets Kevin Durant in the 2023 trade deadline has to be counted as a winner.
There were plenty of question marks surrounding Phoenix before the trade dropped. They fell short in their first Finals appearance in almost twenty years. They were also the victims of one of the most embarrassing Game 7 collapses in league history.
However, those questions were quickly thrown out the window when they acquired KD from the Nets. He immediately makes the Suns what the Warriors were in 2017: an unstoppable force that would be hard to contain.
However, expectations are now through the roof for The Valley. They have to win this year’s finals with the kind of team they’ve created. If they fail to make the finals with Kevin Durant in tow, one can just imagine the amount of noise NBA Twitter will make.
Loser: The Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies were heavy favorites when the season began. They are still tipped to make a deep playoff run with their core of Ja Morant and company. Some may not like their griddying ways, but they’re good enough to back their trash talk up.
Unfortunately, things are about to get tough for the Grizzlies now that the Western Conference became stacked after the 2023 NBA trade deadline.
The Suns are heavy favorites with Durant’s arrival. The Lakers built a new team from scratch. The Mavericks got a terrific partner for Luka Doncic. The Golden State Warriors will be in a great spot should the Gary Payton trade push through.
The Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings have stacked teams as well. The New Orleans Pelicans are dangerous whenever Zion Williamson is on the floor.
It will be a difficult challenge for the Grizzlies to come out of the Wild West. I think CJ McCollum speaks for all of us with his hilarious tweet.
This all because @JaMorant said he was good in the West 😂😂😂
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 9, 2023
How Will the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Affect the League?
It’s going to be exciting to watch basketball in the aftermath of the 2023 NBA trade deadline. The storylines we’ve presented here are only some of the best reasons why the league will become more fun to watch.
If you can’t get enough of these storylines, follow the odds at OKBET today. We have great odds for the biggest basketball games that you can bet on today.
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