By Nick Paniagua, Staff Writer
The NBA trade deadline ended on Feb. 10, bringing a very different landscape to the NBA. Several trades took place that day that have truly shaken up the league and made some teams more legitimate threats to capture the 2022 NBA championship.
Although some teams have made moves to win the title, others made moves that were meant for building the future of their franchises, as they traded away some players that could have been considered cornerstones of their respective teams.
With that said, let’s recap some of these trades within the final days before the end of the trade deadline.
Let’s start with the trade that made headlines between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. After not playing the entirety of the season thus far, the hybrid guard/forward Ben Simmons finally got what he’s been waiting for all season long, and that was a trade away from the team he started with, the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons has been with the 76ers since he was the first overall draft pick in 2016 and will now, for the first time in his career, play for a different team. Brooklyn also received guard Seth Curry and center Andre Drummond, along with two first-round picks (2022 and 2027).
The 76ers, on the other hand, received one of the most prolific scorers the NBA has seen in recent years and the 2018 Most Valuable Player of the year in shooting guard James Harden. Harden has been on the Nets since he was first traded to Brooklyn last January. In his first season in Brooklyn, he ended up getting hurt and missing the last series the Nets played in the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual champions, the Milwaukee Bucks.
Senior communications major Dean Joannou feels this was a fair trade for both sides.
“I feel that this is a rare mutually beneficial trade. When considering that Ben Simmons wouldn’t have played for Philadelphia this season, using his trade value to bring in James Harden is a major win,” he said. “For the Nets, getting an elite defensive player on a long-term contract in Simmons is a strong move since there were indications that Harden would have chosen to leave Brooklyn in the summer.”
This has been the headliner trade that many have been talking about ever since it was first announced just hours before the deadline. However, this was not the only trade that occurred during this time.
Another trade that went under the radar is the trade between the Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs, in which the Celtics received guard Derrick White, while the Spurs received guard Josh Richardson, hybrid guard/forward Romeo Langford and two first-round picks (2022 and 2028).
Joannou had nothing but praise for the move on the Celtics’ part.
“White is the exact kind of quick decision-maker needed to play next to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum,” he said. “I liked seeing the Celtics invest in this year’s team, which suddenly looks the part of a contender in the East.”