Trade season is upon us! We will be tracking each move that happens across the NBA landscape leading up to the Feb. 10 trade deadline. We’ll offer a quick take and any relevant Sixers spin. First up...
Clippers are sending Blazers a 2025 second-round pick via the Detroit Pistons, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2022
The trade will put Portland under the luxury tax.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 4, 2022
The Clippers tax bill increases from $93.9M to $112.9M (+$19M). https://t.co/ZpEJfML8XM
Snap take: Tank SZN in Portland! The Blazers care not for their current 10th seed and play-in positioning in the Western Conference, as they are sending out two valuable rotation players for the ghost of Eric Bledsoe, a second-round pick, and juicy monetary savings for ownership. For the Clippers, it’s unlikely Kawhi Leonard and Paul George return this season, but having Powell around long-term sets them up well in the future, and if either star does come back by the playoffs, Norm and Covington help turn LA into a very dangerous underdog opponent.
Sixers spin: This move can not be what Damian Lillard had in mind before the season when he expressed his desire for Portland management to do a better job building the roster around him. Luxury tax savings do not scream, “We’re ready to build a contender!” The writing appears to be on the wall for a full rebuild in the PDX, and you have to believe Dame might be ready to rethink his loyalty stance this summer. Every disgruntled star elsewhere can only benefit the Sixers if Ben Simmons is still around at season’s end.
Full trade: Indiana sends Caris LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick via Miami to Cleveland for Ricky Rubio, lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick via Houston and a 2027 second-round pick via Utah, per sources.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2022
Snap take: The Pacers are kick-starting their rebuild and getting a first-round pick and what should be a strong second-round pick via Houston for Caris LeVert, who has one year left on his deal next season, but didn’t seem part of the franchise’s long-term plans. It’s no secret the Cavaliers were in the market for a guard with Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio both out for the season due to injuries. Cleveland has greatly exceeded expectations this season and they want to see how far their exciting young core can go in the present.
Sixers spin: Indiana signaling they are definitely punting on this season could help the Sixers. The Pacers have shown interest in Ben Simmons, and one would imagine this latest move means Indiana is not kidding about having Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner on the trade block. Indiana’s big men wouldn’t necessarily be fits for the Sixers, but if either Pacer is moved, it could be as part of some three-team trade with Simmons going to Indiana.
Full trade, per sources:— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2022
Blazers: Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Walker-Alexander, Didi Louzada, 2022 protected first-round pick, two second-round picks.
Pelicans: CJ McCollum, Larry Nance, Tony Snell.
Snap take: The Blazers continue to dismantle their roster, finally breaking up the Lillard-McCollum backcourt and getting that bad CJ contract off the books. My initial reaction to their first trade involving Powell and Covington was that it hurt the keeping Dame cause, but reporting from Woj is that Portland will pursue a high-end talent this summer with all the cap space and handful of draft asset they have collected this week. Also noteworthy, Josh Hart is a very nice player on a great short-term contract that most teams in the league would be happy to have. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are in play-in position and clearly want to make a move for the playoffs. In addition to McCollum, Nance is a helpful rotation player to help replace Hart. New Orleans is caught in this weird place of convincing Zion to stick around when Zion hasn’t actually played this season.
Sixers spin: The cap space the Blazers created is interesting in a couple ways. It opens the door for another potential spot for James Harden to sign outright as a free agent in the summer, which is unlikely, but has to give Brooklyn marginally more pause in their deliberations. More realistically, the Blazers could be a spot for the Sixers to trade Tobias Harris and his contract if they needed to open up cap space. The CJ-Tobias trade had been tossed about for the better part of a year, so many people already view Harris in Portland as a good fit.
Jeremy Lamb AND Justin Holiday. https://t.co/0GbRwKcRBP— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2022
This one hit close to home so it got its own expanded post.
The Jazz are sending out the two second-round picks in the deal, sources tell ESPN. Alexander-Walker, 23, has the chance to make an impact on the Jazz's bench and assuredly will benefit in Utah's development system. Averaged 13 points for Pels and will be a part of rotation. https://t.co/rvZ6SN1Zmx— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2022
Snap take: The Blazers continue to free up cap space this summer and collect draft assets. The Spurs used some of their cap space to pick up a second-round pick. Meanwhile, the Jazz get a perimeter player to bolster their bench in the wake of the Joe Ingles injury, which was such a bummer for one of the most well-liked players in the league. I wouldn’t have targeted Alexander-Walker in Utah’s shoes. He is shooting 37.5 percent from the field this year, including 31.1 percent on threes. But as Woj notes, the Jazz have a good track record with developing guys (Jordan Clarkson anyone?), and having NAW in your system and still on a cheap rookie deal next year probably isn’t the worst way to spend a couple late second-round picks.
Sixers spin: More cap space for Portland can only help as a Tobias Harris contract dumping ground option.
The Heat say they have acquired a 2026 second-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade for KZ Okpala.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2022
A key aspect of Miami's trade with the Thunder today enables the Heat to attach a 2022 or 2023 first-round pick to trades they pursue in the short-term now, as @BobbyMarks42 explains in greater detail. https://t.co/jyUuRMR2cO— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2022
Snap take: The Thunder are sending out a draft pick for a change. I don’t how much they like 2019 second-round pick KZ Okpala, who hasn’t played much at the NBA level and is an RFA this summer. Probably, they like the chances of getting that unprotected first in 2026 better now with it only having to go through one protected year in 2025, rather than 2023, 2024, and 2025. Meanwhile, as noted above, Miami the ability to send a first-round pick out to try and improve their roster before the deadline. They also freed up an additional small amount of space under the luxury tax.
Sixers spin: The Heat are currently in first in the East and will be looking to be buyers at the deadline. Having their 2022 or 2023 pick available to trade helps them, and any contender improving is not good for Philadelphia.