NBA Trade Deadline Shakes Up League


The trade deadline has become a chaotic and entertaining time for the NBA with countless players and draft picks being swapped from team to team in only a few days.  This year’s trade deadline has followed and strengthened the trend, fundamentally changing the entire balance of the league with massive names being traded to championship hopefuls. 

The first big trade before the deadline occurred during the start of the window on Feb. 6. Eight-time all star Kyrie Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for two future first round and one second round draft picks and some quality role players including Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith. Irving’s three-and-a-half years on the Nets was filled with constant ups and downs for the team and many debates centered around his persona. The Nets traded Irving to the championship-contending team of the Dallas Mavericks, who were in need of a second option for Luka Doncic. 

“I loved the [Kyrie] Irving trade, personally,” senior Brayon Wesson said. “Kyrie is going to bring a lot of energy and much needed star players to the Dallas Mavericks. To me at least, it defined this year’s trade deadline”. 

Earlier this week, the Brooklyn Nets traded its second star, Kevin Durant, to the Phoenix Suns along with TJ Warren in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Jae Crowder. This blockbuster trade completely reshaped the NBA by putting the Nets into a rebuild with a large amount of quality starters and many first round picks heading their way. The Suns are now on the opposite side of the spectrum as they now have full momentum and enough pieces to make a deep playoff run. 

“I could barely keep up with all the news,” senior Jared Garcia said. “It felt like one second Kyrie [Irving] was traded even though it was days before Kevin Durant got traded to the Suns. It was absolute insanity.”

I could barely keep up with all the news. It felt like one second Kyrie [Irving] was traded even though it was days before Kevin Durant got traded to the Suns. It was absolute insanity.

— Jared Garcia

Even though those two momentous trades earned most of the coverage, there were still many other noteworthy swaps before the deadline. The notable trades included the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team trade who acquired former No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell and a few role players from the Minnesota Timberwolves. In exchange for this deal, the Lakers sent Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz, while the Minnesota Timberwolves took Mike Conley from the Jazz along with a few second round picks. The New York Knicks also acquired Josh Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Cam Reddish and a first round pick next year.

“This year was by far the best and most exciting trade deadline I have seen in a long time,” freshman Brendan Devine said. “So many players I grew up idolizing have moved teams in an instant. And now so many have a chance to win a championship.”