The NBA’s moratorium on trades was lifted November 16, 2020 at noon and it didn’t take long for things to get rolling as we saw a number of trades take place. There were a few that had been rumored beforehand and then others that seemed to catch people off guard. Teams are setting the tone early this offseason for how they plan to approach the upcoming season and the ones to follow. Here is everything you need to know about new faces in new places.
Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns
Suns receive: Chris Paul and Abdel Nader
Thunder receive: Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jalen Lecque, Ty Jerome, and the Suns 2022 1st round protected pick
Rumors had been going around for the past few weeks that the Suns could be looking to trade for the star guard, so it wasn’t the biggest shock to see this take place. The deal revolved around Phoenix being able to match Paul’s gigantic salary using Rubio and Oubre and then adding whatever to that to sweeten the pot. Memes have been flying around because of Kelly Oubre being the poster child for the Sun’s new “the Valley” jersey and now never getting the chance to play in it.
For the Suns, they receive one of the best point guards to ever play the game. Paul is a 10-time All-Star and has found his way onto an All-NBA team nine different times. This trade brings another star to put alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton; it seems like the team is poised to end their streak of 11 seasons of no playoff basketball. CP3 will play the 2020-21 season at the age of 35 and has had his fair share of injuries, which concerns people over a possible falling off. Reports say he changed his diet drastically and started to train under a new staff in hopes of playing more before the 2019-20 season; he played 70 games last season which was the most in four years.
For the Thunder, they continue to add to their bevvy of draft picks as they now currently hold 17 1st round picks slated for the next seven years. The pick they received from Phoenix has protections set to where it could possibly be 2025 until it actually conveys, and no one knows what the league could look like by then. OKC also gets two solid starters in Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr. to help replace the value lost by trading Paul while getting a look at two players in the 2019 NBA Draft class. Oubre is an expiring deal who could be moved before the trade deadline and flipped for something of more value to the Thunder. Phoenix traded Trevor Ariza to Washington for Oubre and then turned him into Chris Paul; I can’t wait to see what Sam Presti does with him.
Dennis Schroder to the Lakers
Lakers receive: Dennis Schroder
Thunder receive: Danny Green and 2020 1st round pick (28)
Sam Presti stayed busy Monday as he was able to execute two big moves. This trade was actually reported first, but many have breezed past it as bigger names have been dealt. Dennis Schroder has been a valuable rotation piece for the Thunder during his time there and has been able to recoup his value a bit since his days in Atlanta. His fit in Los Angeles is interesting since he is someone who needs the ball in his hands to be effective. He can play without the ball, but he does want the rock at times. That could cause friction when playing next to LeBron or it could be the security that Los Angeles needs for when James isn’t on the floor.
The majority of feedback from people invested in the Lakers is that this was a good trade for them. Magic Johnson has already called his shot, saying that adding Schroder to the team puts them in position to repeat. Green was a valuable piece for the Lakers as they won the 2019-20 championship, but Dennis’ ability to play either off the ball or with it in his hands make him an intriguing fit. This addition calls into question how many players from last years team will be back in purple and gold next season. Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could all potentially leave because of this, which may hurt the team’s depth.
The Thunder receive yet another pick in this deal as they receive the Lakers 28th pick in Wednesday’s draft and add to that a now three-time NBA champion, Danny Green. The direction the Thunder are going is really interesting in my opinion. They don’t have to feel pressure to tank since the majority of their picks aren’t their own. They also have enough pieces on this team through these two trades that could help them field a competitive team. Much like Oubre, Green’s contract is set to expire after the upcoming season, so he could be dealt to a team that has championship aspirations.
Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee
Bucks receive: Jrue Holiday
Pelicans receive: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and three future 1st round picks
Rumors around Jrue being traded from New Orleans have been circulating ever since Anthony Davis voiced his desire to leave the Big Easy. It has finally come to fruition as Holiday is now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and looks to help Giannis and company win an NBA championship. This deal is quite the conundrum as there are many ways this could play out. Does Jrue leave after one year? Does the play by Milwaukee to go all-in backfire with Giannis leaving? Just how much did the Bucks give up here? It will be fascinating to see how it all plays out to say the least.
The Bucks have decided they can’t let this upcoming season go by without them trying to do something. The two-time reigning MVP sits without a championship and there have been rumors he may choose another team other than Milwaukee next offseason. Jrue certainly does help this team bolster their roster as he had been heralded for quite some time now as one of the best two-way players in the NBA. His playstyle and overall production isn’t all that different from Bledsoe, but his demeanor and numbers in the playoffs (when he has got there) made Milwaukee feel as if this was a worthwhile move. Some people have questioned how much the Bucks gave up as they traded away three 1st round picks and gave New Orleans the rights to multiple picks swaps. This could be trouble if Giannis decides to leave. If he doesn’t, then I don’t think they would be picking before 25 anyhow.
The Pelicans must have felt like this was the best offer out there, seeing as how there were several suitors for Holiday. They can be happy about the haul of picks they received from this deal and that they got back two talented guards. Hill’s contract is set to expire in a year while Bledsoe has two years left on his current deal. New Orleans sits in an odd spot as they continue to look to build for the future while having a young core that could compete now. Zion and Brandon Ingram both look like two of the more talented players under 25 in the league. They alone may be able to push this team into a playoff spot in what is a competitive western conference. Does the team look to flip the two new additions, or do they try to have them fit around the cornerstone pieces already in place?
Bogdan to the Bucks
Bucks receive: Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin James
Kings receive: Donte Divincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, and D.J. Wilson
The Kings were at a stalemate when trying to choose who would be De’Aaron Fox’s running mate for the foreseeable future. It seems they have made their decision for it to be Buddy Hield as Sacramento has agreed to send Bogdan Bogdanovic to Milwaukee in a sign-and-trade. The terms of the contract have not been released yet, but this trade is a done deal.
Bogdan adds a level of shooting to Milwaukee’s roster they didn’t quite have last year. The Bucks are continually trying to add shooting to put around Antetokounmpo, and Bogdanovic certainly can do that. The pieces going back to the Kings make it feel like Milwaukee may have gotten the better end of this deal, but that won’t be completely locked in until the details of Bogdan’s new deal is released. This trade, to go along with the Holiday deal, puts the Buck’s squarely in the front seat of the eastern conference as they look to win their first championship since 1971.
The Kings made the decisions to have Buddy be Fox’s running mate from now on. That was a major question for the team heading into this offseason; they can now move on to more pressing matters like fielding a competitive team. The big chip coming back to Sacramento in this deal seems to be Villanova product Dante Divincenzo. He was the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and has been fairly good to this point in his career. He’s a hard-working defender who has shot 33.6% from three in his two seasons; the Kings think they may have found a nice rotation piece going forward. Ilyasova and Wilson are both big men who bring modern skill sets to the floor and could be viable pieces to a team that may not have much depth in the frontcourt after trading Dwayne Dedmon last season and potentially losing Richaun Holmes to free agency.
Robert Covington to Portland
Trailblazers receive: Robert Covington
Rockets receive: Trevor Ariza, 2020 1st round pick (16), and protected 2021 1st round pick
This trade won’t be completely official until Wednesday night after the draft, but this deal is done. The Rockets have been at the center of attention for the past week as their two star players have signaled they wish to move on from the organization and this seems to be a good indication they may be tearing things down. The Trailblazers look to shift some things around in hopes they can finally get over the hump and win it all.
Portland has been stuck over the course of past few years. They’ve been good enough to make it to the playoffs every year, but they haven’t had the luck needed to reach a championship. The Trailblazers look to get Jusuf Nurkic and Zack Collins back healthy while adding one of the more versatile defenders in the league to the roster and give it one more shot. Covington adds a wrinkle to the team that could be incredibly helpful. He’s capable of guarding, and therefore playing, a few spots on the floor. This gives the Trailblazers an opportunity to roll out lineups they didn’t have the chance to previously. I think this may be the piece Portland needed to take them to the next level.
The Rockets did good for themselves in this trade. Their pile of future draft picks was looking anemic before this transaction took place. This trade didn’t give them a ton of draft capital, but it helps seeing how deep the next few draft classes could be. Getting Ariza back in this trade is a very interesting piece. He was a part of this team before, but that was a very different iteration compared to what we see in Houston now. There was a falling out between he and the team a few years back and I wonder if time has healed those wounds. The Rockets have a different coach and front office in place compared to Ariza’s previous tenure with the team. That could be helpful in getting him willing to play in Houston again. He is on an expiring contract so the team could decide to move him fairly easily if the opportunity presented itself.
Bruce Brown to the Brooklyn Nets
Nets receive: Bruce Brown
Pistons receive: Dzanan Musa and Toronto 2021 2nd round pick
This trade was much more under the radar compared to the others completed on Monday, but it is worth talking about. The Nets look to continue to put the pieces in place to compete this upcoming season and Brown helps them do that. He’s a product of Miami who was picked by Detroit in the second round of the 2018 Draft and has been able to contribute well in his first two seasons. Musa can help be a solid scoring threat for the Pistons with plenty of room to grow. Detroit doesn’t have too many draft assets, so the pick is something they more than likely coveted. It’s only a 2nd round pick, but they’ve had success there in recent years.
Brown gives the Nets a solid all-around player capable of filling a myriad of roles on the team. He averaged 9 PPG last season while shooting 44% from the field and 34% from three. He’s listed at 6’5” so he presents himself as a switchable defender as well. Brooklyn isn’t going to think of him as a major cog in the machine their building, but he is a nice tertiary piece for this roster.
Musa is a guy people in Brooklyn seemed to really like. He is a tough competitor who shows skill on both sides of the ball. I think the Pistons can be happy with this pickup overall. Brown was a nice piece for them, but Detroit isn’t really expected to compete much over the course of the next few years. The organization is in more of an “asset accumulation” stage right now and they may have gotten a decent one in this deal.