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Grading Every Trade in the NBA this Offseason

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The 2022 NBA offseason may have been one of the most exciting and league-altering ones we’ve seen in a while. To the surprise of many this past summer, multiple blockbusters have been made, and big-time names have resigned or signed elsewhere, shaking up the league as we knew it just months earlier. Some of the biggest trades are listed below, and I have given an analysis and grade to each of them for all teams involved. 

Wood Dealt to the Mavs

Mavericks Received: Christian Wood

Rockets Received: first-round pick (2022 – Wendell Moore), Sterling Brown, Marquese Chriss, Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke

The Mavericks pulled the trigger on the summer’s first blockbuster in late June, trading for Rockets star power forward Christian Wood to pair with young superstar Luka Doncic and an injury-prone Kristaps Porzingis. After a playoff appearance and successful showing, as Dallas made it to the Western Conference Finals, Mark Cuban and the Mavs are looking to improve on their season, or at least remain relevant, in a consistently improving Western Conference. On the Rockets side, they are looking to continue their rebuild around a core of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and now Jabari Smith Jr., and Wood just didn’t fit into their timetable. However, they probably could have asked for a little more from the Mavs, as the only notable piece they received was a late first. 

Mavericks Grade: A

Rockets Grade: B-

ATL Lands Dejounte Murray from the Spurs

Hawks Received: Dejounte Murray, Jock Landale

Spurs Received: Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027), first-round pick swap (2026)

On the last day of June, Dejounte Murray moved from San Antonio to Atlanta as the primary piece of a deal between the Hawks and the Spurs, in which Atlanta gave up nearly their whole draft future. Atlanta put themselves in a great position here, snagging one of the most underrated and up-and-coming guards in the entire league, and now have a solid big three with Trae Young and John Collins alongside Murray. As for the Spurs, they decide to make a tough decision and give up one of their only valuable pieces as they finally admit to their inevitable downfall and transition from mediocrity to rebuilding. Their haul, though, is impressive and could allow them to be back in the playoffs before we know it. 

Hawks Grade: A

Spurs Grade: A-

Grant Moves From Pistons to Blazers

Trail Blazers Received: Jerami Grant, 2nd-round pick (2022 – Ismael Kamagate)

Pistons Received: three 2nd round picks (2022 – Gabriel Procida, 2025, 2026), a first-round pick (2025)

One of the Pistons’ most valuable assets at the time, Jerami Grant, was finally moved to Portland, where the Blazers front office hope to desperately make an effort to compete again in a stacked Western Conference rather than waste more of Damian Lillard’s talent. Although they surely won’t be at the top, this move was important for Portland to stay relevant and be a playoff contender after a disappointing 2021-22 season. The Pistons, in return, get a solid deal as well, dealing an asset who didn’t fit their timeline whatsoever in exchange for a decently valuable draft haul. 

Trail Blazers Grade: B

Pistons Grade: B+

T-Wolves Give Up the Bag for Gobert

Timberwolves Received: Rudy Gobert

Jazz Received: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, 5 first-round picks (2022 – Walker Kessler, 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 – protected), 2026 pick swap

This deal between Utah and Minnesota was one of the biggest storylines of the entire NBA summer and marked a defining point for both organizations: the beginning of the Jazz rebuilding era and an official superteam formed for the Timberwolves. On the Jazz’s side, they give up a multiple-time Defensive Player of the Year but receive a future that (assuming they draft well) can get them back to the playoff or even championship form within five to ten years. On the side of the Timberwolves, they receive a huge piece to pair with fellow big man Karl-Anthony Towns and young star guard Anthony Edwards, but they bank their entire future on the success of this newly formed big three. 

Timberwolves Grade: B+

Jazz Grade: A

Brodgon Moves to the C’s

Celtics Received: Malcolm Brogdon

Pacers Received: Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas, a first-round pick (2023)

The Celtics only get better after a Finals appearance last year in snagging solid Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon moves from a still-declining Pacers team to an immediate Finals contender, which he is sure to add to. For Indiana, while they give away Brogdon, they receive little to nothing of value in return, save for one first-round pick. The Pacers likely made the move in hopes to receive at least something before Brogdon inevitably left for free agency. However, much more was definitely deserved for the Pacers in this deal. 

Celtics Grade: A

Pacers Grade: D+

Mitchell Moves to Cleveland

Cavaliers Received: Donovan Mitchell

Jazz Received: Collin Sexton, Lauri Markannen, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks (2025, 2027, 2029), two pick swaps (2026, 2028)

In what was by far the most significant move of the entire year, Donovan Mitchell was finally moved from Utah to Cleveland after much speculation all summer as to where he might go. The Cavs came out of nowhere to snag ‘Spida’ Mitchell, beating out bigger candidates like the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and even the Brooklyn Nets. The Cavaliers get so much better in this deal, getting a fringe top-15 player in the league to add next to All-Star guard Darius Garland and big man Evan Mobley, and push themselves into a contending position in the East. The situation also works out for Utah, who needed to trade their star player and receive exactly what they need back in multiple picks, and three solid young players, headlined by Collin Sexton. 

Cavaliers Grade: A+

Jazz Grade: A

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    September 27, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    Good article Miguel.

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