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The trade deadline is an annual spending and selling spree in the NBA. We’ve seen plenty of Association-altering deals go down around this time – Pau Gasol to the Lakers, Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, Dikembe Mutombo to the 76ers, and so many others have highlighted the chaos that’s come at this point in the season. We might see a blockbuster trade in the NBA that rivals or surpasses those deals before 2023’s deadline.
We have already had one megadeal go, with Kyrie Irving moving to the Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2027 second-round pick, a 2029 unprotected first-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick. If you think this is the end of the drama, then this is probably your first NBA trade deadline.
There are still a few days before this window of opportunity closes. There will be more drama. These are three possible blockbuster trades we could see before the NBA deadline hits.
Potential NBA Trade Deadline Blockbusters
Memphis Adds Anunoby
Grizzlies Get: O.G. Anunoby
Raptors Get: Danny Green, Ziaire Williams, 2023 Grizzlies first-round pick, 2024 Grizzlies first-round pick
The Grizzlies are one of the best teams in the West. The only thing that appears absent from their lineup is a big wing. Anunoby is a versatile defender – one of the best in the NBA – and takes care of the basketball on the other end of the floor. He is shooting 36.6 percent from beyond the arc this season and 49.1 percent from the left corner, which would offer an important weapon to a Memphis team that shoots 34.4 percent from three, the seventh-worst mark in the league.
The price would be steep. The Grizzlies are not the only team interested in Anunoby, and that sort of situation often drives up costs. Would a package of Green, Williams, and two firsts be enough to get it done? That’s for the Grizzlies and Raptors to discuss and for us to find out. But this blockbuster doesn’t seem outside of the realm of possibility for Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Collins Crowned a King
Hawks Get: Harrison Barnes, Trey Lyles, 2023 Kings first-round pick
Kings Get: John Collins
The Kings need a big man, and John Collins’s time in Atlanta seems done. This one just makes sense.
Sacramento is on the bottom end of the NBA in rebounding, and Collins has been a stalwart on the glass for all six of his professional seasons. He’s not scoring as much this season as in his previous ones, but a change of scenery could turn that around. In his NBA career, he’s shown range and rim protection, two more facets of the game in which the Kings could improve. Plus, Collins has a rapport with Kevin Huerter from their Atlanta days. Bringing those two together again could be another added bonus.
Is this the package the Kings would have to offer to get it over the line? Maybe, maybe not. But bringing Collins to Sacramento should be a priority for the franchise.
Durant to the Desert
Nets Get: Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet, Cam Johnson, 2026 Suns first-round pick, 2027 Suns first-round pick, 2028 Suns first-round pick
Suns Get: Kevin Durant, T.J. Warren
After shipping Irving off to Dallas, maybe the Nets look to fully blow it up and build for the future. Last summer, Durant requested a trade. Nothing came from that, but maybe now is the time to cash in on his value. The Suns are reportedly ready to chase Durant down if he becomes available.
Let’s pretend that Irving leaving town and Durant’s theoretically-unsolved issues from the summer are boiling over. What would the Suns have to offer to get Durant to the desert? A ton, presumably. A bunch of picks and some serious talent would have to go east to make it happen. Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet, and Cam Johnson, plus a plethora of picks, might move the needle enough to entice the Nets, assuming they are at all open to moving Durant. Ayton, Shamet, and Johnson are all 26 or younger, and Crowder is an experienced veteran who can help mold the youth – and future youth, with all those incoming picks – the Nets have. Brooklyn would build around a frontcourt of Ayton and Nic Claxton, and the Suns would be all-in on the short term to get a title while Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and their remaining pieces are up for it.
This could be nothing more than a fantasy, but you came here looking for blockbusters before the NBA trade deadline, and this would certainly be that.