NBA Trade Deadline Reactions: Knicks Add Bojan Bogdanovic, 76ers Upgrade Shooting,
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Bojan Bogdanovic at Madison Square Garden.
My reactions to the deals today at the NBA's trade deadline with a flurry of significant non-start deals coming in on Thursday morning …
NBA Trade Deadline Reactions
Philadelphia 76ers Get: Buddy Hield
Indiana Pacers Get: Marcus Morris, Furkan Korkmaz, Three Second-Round Picks
Perfect fit and great upgrade for the Sixers, who add one of the best volume shooters in the NBA over the past five seasons.
He's a perfect MoreyBall player who will add even more shooting to a team with quite a bit of it, and if Joel Embiid returns healthy, it improves their chances of a playoff run. Hield knows what he's good at and does it in volume:
The Pacers will miss Hield; they were +3 in Net Rating with him on the floor, +2.7 better than without. They have enough offense and shooting with eight players who shoot better than league average from three-point range, like Benedict Mathurin and Aaron Nesmith, but Hield's experience and ability to make big shots are things the Pacers will likely miss when the playoffs come.
In return, the Pacers get Morris, a veteran in the midst of a little bounce back year, to add to their frontcourt, as well as the longtime disgruntled Korkmaz. The second-round picks are likely more valuable for the Pacers, who were not going to re-sign Hield as a free agent. So they get something instead of nothing, priority 1A for all NBA front offices.
The Sixers gave up very little in this deal, and it's surprising no team really wanted Hield, but that may be influenced by his desires in free agency, as there have been suggestions he had his eye on Philly for some time. Philly hands over a veteran bit player, a fringe player who had wanted out, and second-round picks who won't play for their contending team. If it's not a home run because Hield's not a star, it's a triple for Daryl Morey, who gets the team closer to a championship concoction.
Sixers get added a half-point of value in my power ratings, which is pretty solid for a role player.
Oklahoma City Thunder Get: Gordon Hayward
Charlotte Hornets Get: Tre Mann, Davis Bertans
Everyone wanted OKC to push their chips in. Well, they didn't. Not yet, anyway. But Sam Presti got a former All-Star at age 33 who is still good when he plays for nothing more than a fringe backup point guard and essentially dead cap space. Mann and Bertans have played a combined 28 games and 210 minutes.
Hayward has only played 124 games in the last two and a half seasons. That's a real problem, but OKC also did a deal where they didn't give up anything they needed to play without him.
When Hayward can play, he's a versatile veteran who can handle the ball, play off-ball (36% from 3, not great but not bad), and is a plus defender. As bad as they've been, the Hornets have been remarkably better in the games where Hayward has played.
Hayward's experience matters quite a bit here; OKC is the youngest team in the league on average and very short on experienced players. Hayward provides an extremely cheap addition who can play meaningful minutes for a team that will make its first playoff appearance together while also being a player they won't depend on structurally.
It's a small upgrade to OKC of about a half-point in my power ratings.
Oh, and the Thunder can have up to $25 million in cap space this summer to shop for long-term upgrades.
Mavericks Get: Daniel Gafford
Wizards Get: Richaun Holmes, Draft Compensations
The Mavericks are still working to acquire the draft compensation the Wizards are looking for, per Marc Stein, but that shouldn't be too hard since, apparently, you can just find second-round picks in your couch cushions right now.
This is a home run for the Mavericks. The Mavericks' biggest problems are having a consistent second big man next to Dereck Lively, who also has a lot of injury issues this season, and rim protection. Gafford can have issues with the latter, he's undersized vs. a lot of the more physical players; you can't match him up against Nikola Jokic or expect him to handle the Wolves' two-big lineup on the boards but he's solid.
He's a great screener and an excellent pick-and-roll finisher with good mobility. He doesn't space the floor, but Dallas has Maxi Kleber if they need it in a particular playoff series.
Washington continues a slow sell-off of its lesser assets, but they still have been unable to do a deal that gets them a major building block in prospect or draft pick.
I'm upgrading the Mavericks by a full point, not based on the impact of Gafford but by shoring up the minutes in the games where Lively is out. The Mavericks are 22-14 when Lively plays and just 6-9 when he is out due to injury.
Knicks Get: Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks
Pistons Get: Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, Evan Fournier, Ryan Arcidiacono, Two Second-Round Picks
Leon Rose just traded 2 players who literally have not scored this year (in a package) for Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks. https://t.co/VJ8FiCDr7b
— Joe Dellera (@JoeDellera) February 8, 2024
Knicks fans are understandably pretty excited. This shores up the roster for a number of players who were not contributing in meaningful ways. Grimes is a good young prospect, especially on the defensive side, but wanted out of New York for more playing time. He'll get it in Detroit as they pursue draft positioning.
Bogdanovic and Burks were the best veterans in Detroit and probably their fourth and fifth-best players overall. Burks is familiar with Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks having played there for two years. Bogdanovic is the bigger piece in this. He's a quality floor spacer who can also handle and has veteran experience. That said, his defense is very suspect. Still, he's shooting 41% from 3 this season for a team that has no floor spacing, no shot creation, no hope, and no dreams, so yeah, he's still very good.
Knicks get a full point upgrade on this trade in my power rating.
Raptors Get: Kelly Olynyk, Ochai Agbaji
Jazz Get: Kira Lewis, Otto Porter, 2024 First-Round Pick
The Jazz got the first-rounder they said they would for Olynyk, but had to throw Ogbaji in. Ogbaji has shown flashes, especially on the defensive side, but hasn't progressed fast enough under Will Hardy. So the Raptors take a flyer on him and add… another center? Another veteran center?
I get that he's Canadian, but the consistent word has been that the Raptors were looking to reset their timeline alongside Scottie Barnes, and they have now given up first-rounders in back-to-back deadlines for veteran centers. Olynyk, in particular, is 33. He's a good player, will pair well with Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley under Darko Rajaković, but it's an odd decision to make a win-now move for a team that will not win now.
Utah was thought to be looking for players to help them compete this season but ultimately couldn't find their way into any such deal, at least not yet. That first-rounder might help them come draft night in pursuing trades, however, if they don't flip it before the deadline.
The Raptors get a quarter-point upgrade for Olynyk. Jazz get a quarter-point downgrade.
Mavericks Get: P.J. Washington
Hornets Get: Grant Williams, Seth Curry, First-Round Pick
This is as much addition by subtraction as it is addition straight up. The Mavericks had to move off Williams, a free-agency addition that looked great at the time and was a complete disaster. Seth Curry has played in 36 games at 13 minutes per game; he is, sadly, irrelevant. (The Mavericks should have kept him three years ago.) So this deal is best viewed as "get rid of Grant Williams and add PJ Washington for a first-round pick."
That's great value. Williams may find somewhere else he can contribute; it may have just been a bad fit with Jason Kidd or the Mavs' play style (and lack of serious defenders).
But Washington is a great add. His 3-point shooting is way down this season but he's a career 36% shooter and should bounce back playing with the space Luka Doncic affords. He's not a great defender but he showed some aptitude for being playable-to-not-bad when Charlotte was a fringe playoff team.
He's versatile and can play multiple positions, something Dallas needs. He isn't ball dominant or high usage and fits well. He's one of the players in Charlotte that approached games with professionalism.
The pick is valuable; it's a top-two protected 2027. If things go sideways with Luka Doncic, that pick becomes extremely valuable. But you shouldn't operate with that kind of caution if you're the Mavericks. You have Luka Doncic. You bailed on trying to make the playoffs last year. The team this year is good when healthy. They're adding pieces to make the team more complete.
There's talk of them expending assets, and while that's true, you can hopefully improve the value of various players like Josh Green and Jaden Hardy or role players down the line. And ultimately, if they need a big swing? Well, there's Kyrie Irving. This was a good set of moves for the Mavericks if they can complete the Gafford deal described above.
Bucks Get: Patrick Beverley
76ers Get: Cameron Payne, Second-Round Pick
A curious move for the Sixers, given their addition of Hield today. They're light on playmaking now, given that Payne is less playoff-viable than Beverley. Reading tea leaves, this could indicate their confidence in adding Kyle Lowry if Charlotte buys him out. Then the series of moves make sense. Clear rotation for Lowry, get a 2nd rounder for Beverley, add Payne as insurance.
But for the Bucks, it's an OK move. Beverley is, in fact, more playoff viable than Payne (the Suns' loss to Denver last year was proof of that). But Beverley can also stall out when his dogged defense fails to make an impact or when teams can move him off-ball. Milwaukee, however, needed point-of-attack defense. Literally, they need any point-of-attack defense. Beverley helps with that in the second unit and adds another "dog" in the second unit. Bobby Portis and Beverley should click, and if Beverley can help contain on the edge, that will make things easier for Portis.
This isn't a major upgrade but Milwaukee's counting on the coaching upgrade they hired with Doc Rivers and just a little extra defense to be enough to put them back into juggernaut territory.