In a wild week leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline, 24 of the league's 30 teams made moves.
Here are our grades for all of the significant deals that went down, starting with the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster that kicked things off a week ago.
Mavericks receive: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke
Knicks receive: Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, 2021 1st-round pick, 2023 1st-round pick (top-10 protected)
Knicks grade: (T)B(D)
Mavericks grade: A-
We can't properly evaluate this deal from the Knicks' perspective until this summer. In a vacuum, trading their franchise player for this return is a tremendous risk, but the right free-agent signing or two could turn this grade into an A. If you take for granted that getting rid of Hardaway's and Lee's salaries would've cost them a first-rounder anyway, then they effectively got three firsts for Porzingis, plus a 21-year-old guard in Smith who's less than two years removed from being a ninth overall pick. It's a defensible gamble even if it blows up in the Knicks' faces.
It's also a gamble for the Mavericks, but the payoff is more tangible right now despite the fact that Porzingis won't suit up for them until next season. He's about to become a restricted free agent, and there are real concerns about how a max deal would age for a guy who is 7-foot-3 with an already extensive injury history. But for now, the long-term potential of a Porzingis-Luka Doncic partnership is too fun to dream on to start worrying about the downside. - Joe Wolfond
76ers receive: Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott
Clippers receive: Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 1st-round pick (lottery protected), 2021 1st-round pick (via MIA), 2021 2nd-round pick (via DET), 2023 2nd-round pick (via DET)
76ers grade: B
Clippers grade: A-
The ins and outs of this deal are covered in detail here. In short: Philly and L.A. both made bold, proactive moves in the pursuit of their ambitions.
The Sixers made their all-in play, rounding out a terrifying starting five with one of the league’s most efficient scorers, but paid a steep price to do it, given that Harris is on an expiring deal. The Clippers flipped a fringe star who was likely to command a near-max contract in the offseason in exchange for a promising prospect in Shamet and draft assets that can help them either swing a big trade or add to a core that may well include two max free agents come July.
The Sixers assume more risk here, but also arguably a higher probability of a reward, given how much talent they already have in place. There’s a decent chance this turns out to be a win for both sides. - Wolfond
Trail Blazers receive: Rodney Hood
Cavaliers receive: Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV, 2021 2nd-round pick, 2023 2nd-round pick
Trail Blazers grade: C+
Cavaliers grade: B+
Hood is the best player of the three in this deal, but Portland’s bench has been a pleasant surprise this season. Hood doesn’t move the needle much and was terrible for Cleveland during last year’s playoffs. He gives the Blazers a rotation-caliber ball-handler and solid shooter, but was he the type of under-the-radar target worth giving up a couple picks for, or could Portland have waited out the market a little longer?
The Cavs are in full-on draft-asset collection mode, as they should be in Year 1 of a post-LeBron rebuild. Hood, who’s a pending free agent come July, was turned into two second-round picks and two players who were later flipped in a deal that netted Cleveland another couple picks. It was a solid piece of business for Koby Altman and Co. - Joseph Casciaro
Rockets receive: Iman Shumpert, Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin, 2021 2nd-round pick (from CLE via MIL)
Cavaliers receive: Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, 2019 1st-round pick (from HOU), 2022 2nd-round pick (from HOU)
Kings receive: Alec Burks, 2020 2nd-round pick (from HOU)
Rockets grade: C+
Cavaliers grade: B+
Kings grade: C
The Rockets eventually flipped Stauskas and Baldwin to Indiana, so Houston essentially gave up a first-rounder and two second-rounders for Shumpert and a second-rounder. That sounds ugly, but the win here for the Rockets was shedding Knight’s contract, which was always going to cost the team a pick or two. Knight is averaging three points on 23 percent shooting in fewer than 10 minutes per game after missing all of last season due to a torn ACL and will earn more than $15.6 million next season. Chriss, meanwhile, had been angling for a change of scenery where he could play more.
The Cavs aren’t going to be competitive anytime soon and should be looking for any opportunities to collect future assets in the meantime, even if it means taking on bad contracts. Knight’s contract (plus getting a look at Chriss) is well worth the lottery-protected first and second-rounder Cleveland acquired.
The Kings turned Shumpert into Burks and a second-rounder, swapping a couple expiring contracts of similar value. Neither player stands out, but Shumpert was probably a slightly better fit for Sacramento as a veteran leader on a young team. - Casciaro
Kings receive: Harrison Barnes
Mavericks receive: Justin Jackson, Zach Randolph
Kings grade: B-
Mavericks grade: B
The Kings badly needed a two-way wing to bolster their playoff chase, and Barnes was the next best option after Chicago snagged Otto Porter Jr. Barnes can hold his own against bigger point forward types and is a capable scorer who can create his own shot. He isn’t a world-beater by any means, and he’s definitely overpaid, but he does help the Kings' playoff push, which is what Sacramento was trying to accomplish.
Dallas wanted to dump Barnes' salary in order to pay Kristaps Porzingis the max, so getting Jackson in the deal is a bonus. Jackson has the potential to become a cost-controlled 3-and-D guy, which will come in handy when this roster becomes expensive. - William Lou
Bulls receive: Otto Porter Jr.
Wizards receive: Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, 2023 2nd-round pick
Bulls grade: B+
Wizards grade: B-
The Bulls are still in rebuilding mode, so trading young players and a pick for a more established name on a huge contract seems counter-intuitive. However, Chicago wasn’t expected to be a free-agent player any time soon, Porter’s the best player in the deal, and the upper-echelon 3-and-D forward is still only 25 himself.
If you look at this deal simply from the vantage point that Washington wanted to cut its luxury tax bill, the Wizards did well while also acquiring an intriguing young talent in Portis and a draft pick. Having said that, this pattern of disappointing asset management is very Wizards-esque, under the leadership of longtime general manager Ernie Grunfeld. Porter emerged as a core piece of the Wizards’ future, Grunfeld handed him a max contract, and within less than two years, he was sent packing as part of a salary dump. - Casciaro
Lakers receive: Reggie Bullock
Pistons receive: Svi Mykhailiuk
Lakers grade: B+
Pistons grade: D
The Pistons were starved for wings, so naturally, they decided to ... trade their best wing? It’s not totally implausible that Mykhailiuk eventually turns into a sharpshooting rotation player for them, and with Bullock on an expiring contract, this deal would make sense for a team that wasn’t otherwise hell-bent on making the playoffs. But it’s a baffling play for a guy who, despite shooting the lights out in college, hasn’t flashed much upside at the pro level. The Pistons help themselves get under the tax, but they might blow their margins in lost playoff revenue because this makes their team much worse. They were 5.1 points per 100 possessions better with Bullock on the floor.
The Lakers, meanwhile, get a solid, sizey defender who’s shooting 39 percent on nearly seven 3-point attempts per game this season, which immediately makes him both the highest-volume and most accurate long-range shooter on his new team. It’s not the trade LeBron James wanted, but he'll be grateful to have another spot-up threat around him. The Lakers rank 29th in the NBA in 3-point percentage. - Wolfond
Bucks receive: Nikola Mirotic
Pelicans receive: Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith, 2019 2nd-round pick (via DEN), 2020 2nd round pick, 2020 2nd-round pick (via WAS), 2021 2nd-round pick (via WAS)
Pistons receive: Thon Maker
Bucks grade: A
Pelicans grade: B
Pistons grade: B
Mirotic could be the piece to put the Bucks over the top. He gives them yet another frontcourt option who can stretch the floor and open driving lanes for the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon, and Khris Middleton. Mirotic immediately replaces the struggling Ersan Ilyasova in the rotation, and will likely take most of D.J. Wilson’s minutes. As a bonus, Mirotic is also playoff proven, as he averaged 15 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from deep in last year’s playoff push with the Pelicans.
The Pistons have given Johnson every chance to succeed, but after four straight disappointing seasons, it clearly wasn’t going to work out. Detroit did well to salvage his trade value by getting a promising prospect in Maker, who has another year left on his rookie deal. Finding minutes for Maker in a crowded Pistons frontcourt will be a challenge, but he doesn’t project to be much more than a backup, anyway.
Nobody coughed up a first-round pick for Mirotic, so New Orleans got the next best thing with four second-rounders. - Lou
Raptors receive: Marc Gasol
Grizzlies receive: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, 2024 2nd-round pick
Raptors grade: A
Grizzlies grade: D
The Raptors needed to respond after the Bucks reloaded with Mirotic, and their answer was to spring for an aging Gasol at a heavily discounted price. Gasol gives Toronto another pick-and-pop option to attack the only weakness in the Bucks’ defense, while also improving the team's versatility on defense. Losing Valanciunas will be tough for a squad that’s already porous on the defensive glass, but Wright and Miles won’t even crack the playoff rotation. All in all, it’s a win.
All this deal proves is that the Grizzlies waited too long to deal Gasol because he should have fetched much more than this. Valanciunas will seamlessly step into the starting center role and Wright will have a chance to impress off the bench and earn a new contract in restricted free agency, but this ultimately amounts to a salary dump. - Lou
Magic receive: Markelle Fultz
76ers receive: Jonathon Simmons, 2019 2nd-round pick (via CLE), 2020 1st-round pick (via OKC, top-20 protected)
Magic grade: B+
76ers grade: C
This is pretty simple for the Magic. They desperately need a long-term solution at point guard, and in Fultz they get to take a low-risk flier on a guy who was the consensus No. 1 overall pick less than two years ago.
The 76ers' grade here could really just be a shrug. They surely did their due diligence and found they couldn’t get a return any better than this one, and keeping Fultz on the team had clearly become untenable. It’s been almost three months since he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and given a four-to-six-week recovery timetable. He needed a change of scenery and deserved a chance at a fresh start after the tumult that has been his first 18 months as an NBA player.
Still, for the Sixers to only receive what will very likely wind up being three second-round picks (the top-20-protected Thunder pick immediately reverts to two seconds if not conveyed next year) in exchange for the guy they traded up to draft first overall in 2017, is pretty nuts. It's not necessarily surprising, given the circumstances, but still nuts. Getting Simmons as the player throw-in rather than Terrence Ross - a guy who would’ve have helped them a lot more this season - knocks their grade down a few more notches. - Wolfond