2022 NBA Trade Winners and Losers 

The NBA trading window that closed on February 10th saw a flurry of activity, concluding with the blockbuster James Harden/Ben Simmons trade between the Nets and the 76ers. This is one of the most active mid-season trading windows the NBA has seen recently. We will examine the main trades that happened and the possible implications that they might have on the 2021-2022 NBA Season. Which players and teams are the biggest winners? Are the 76ers now genuine title contenders?

Winner: James Harden/Ben Simmons Trade

This trade is a massive deal for the NBA and highlights the tremendous power that super-star players have in the league. Just over a year ago, James Harden demanded a trade from the Rockets after becoming disgruntled with the organization. He seemed committed to the possibility of winning a title with the Nets until a few weeks ago; he started to feel disillusioned by happenings at the Nets, his major gripe being Kyrie Irving’s part-time availability. Very few people expected that Harden would have left the Nets before this trade deadline; however, when another disgruntled super-star is available, things can happen very quickly! Ben Simmons was waiting in the wings for an opportunity like this after vowing never to suit up in a 76ers uniform again after his meltdown against the Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Second Round. He lost a reported 19 million in salary due to his determination not to play. So once James Harden made himself available, this trade was a done deal!

Winner: Details of the trade

This trade is a win-win for both teams; however, the Nets will receive more pieces from the trade. The 76ers will get James Harden and Paul Millsap, while the Nets will get Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, the 76ers unprotected 2022 first-round pick, and a 2027 protected first-round pick. Ben Simmons will complement Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving perfectly while providing elite-level defensive play. Seth Curry is a sharp-shooter who can knock down threes from anywhere on the court, and Andre Drummond is a good rim protector. These pieces will make the Nets a better team on both sides of the court, and they will have more depth which augurs well for a deep post-season run. The 76ers, on the other hand, will add another super-star to share the offensive load with Joel Embidd, which will make them contenders in the East if everything plays out well.

Winner: Kristaps Porzingis goes to Wizards

One of the biggest surprises on the final day of the trading window was the Porzingis to Wizards trade. Porzingis was one of the mainstays of the Mavericks team, along with super-star Luka Doncic; however, they have never clicked as a duo, and the team probably thinks they will do better moving him on. Porzingis also has a history of injuries which is not suitable for the Mavericks, who have ambitions of a deep post-season run. The Mavericks will receive Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, while the Wizards will get a 2022 second-round pick in addition to Porzingis.

Loser: CJ McCollum traded to the Pelicans.

The Trail Blazers have traded their second-best player in CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans; McCollum averaged 20 points for his 7th consecutive season and was the mainstay of the Blazers offense in Damion Lillard’s absence. The Blazers seemingly want to build a younger team around Lillard if he chooses to stay, marking the end of an era where they played in the post-season for eight consecutive seasons. On the other hand, the Pelicans are in “win now” mode; the addition of McCollum will provide a well-needed outside shooting thread for the team. When McCollum is paired with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, the Pelicans will have a frontcourt that can challenge any team in the NBA. The Pelicans also secured the services of Larry Nance Jr and Tony Snell. At the same time, the Blazers will get Josh Hart, Tomas Sataransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, and a protected 2022 first-round pick.

Other notable trades

The Raptors have traded Goran Dragic to the San Antonio Spurs and, in return, will get Drew Eubanks, Thaddeus Young, and a 2022 second-round pick. The Indiana Pacers have offloaded the talented Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Sacramento Kings. The Kings received Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson as a part of the six-player deal. New York Knicks will receive Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill, and a 2025 second-round pick, while the Hawks will get Kevin Knox II and a protected 2022 first-round pick in the trade between the teams.

These were some of the significant moves in the 2022 NBA trading window. The Eastern Conference has seen the bulk of the activity, with several contenders now having deeper rosters, making the East the most open it has been in a while. Anyone of 5 or 6 teams can emerge as Eastern Conference champions; we look forward to seeing which teams will receive the greatest value from the trades that they have made!

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