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Breaking down every major deal on NBA deadline day

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theScore's NBA feature writers, Joseph Casciaro and Joe Wolfond, break down every significant deadline-day deal.

Knicks load up with Bogdanovic, Burks

Knicks receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks
Pistons receive: Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono, two 2nd-round picks

Though fans of the 2012-13 squad may disagree, this year's edition may now be the best Knicks team since the turn of the century.

Bogdanovic may not be in his prime anymore, but the 34-year-old is still a 20-point scorer shooting nearly 52% inside the arc and 42% from deep, and that was with limited offensive talent around him in Detroit. Bogdanovic's self-creation will further boost a surging Knicks team that ranks top seven on both ends of the court despite being a below-average shooting team, and the space he provides teammates will be a boon for All-Stars Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. His scoring punch will also help Brunson keep New York's offense afloat while Randle remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.

In addition, only $2 million of the veteran's $19-million salary for next season is guaranteed, so there's little risk here in the unlikely event his game completely falls off a cliff down the stretch. As a 40% shooter from deep himself, Burks will be a welcome addition to New York's bench.

Fournier, Flynn, and Arcidiacono serve as salary filler here, with the promising Grimes the real sacrifice on New York's part. But the Knicks are in it to win it now, or at least to come close, and this is a sensible decision for a team in their position, unfamiliar as that may be for their long-suffering fans.

For the wretched, rebuilding Pistons, landing Grimes and a couple extra draft picks is fine business, but much less so when you consider how much more Detroit could've commanded for Bogdanovic had they traded him prior to this season. - Casciaro

Sixers add shooting boost with Hield

76ers receive: Buddy Hield
Pacers receive: Doug McDermott, Furkan Korkmaz, 2024 2nd-round pick, 2029 2nd-round pick, cash
Spurs receive: Marcus Morris, 2029 2nd-rounder

These were two separate trades. Let's start with the best team involved. With reigning MVP Joel Embiid sidelined, and the team armed with upcoming offseason flexibility, some wondered whether the 76ers would simply watch the trade deadline pass rather than remain buyers. So much for that. Philadelphia used one of the large expiring contracts acquired in November's James Harden trade (Morris), the smaller expiring deal of disgruntled Korkmaz, and some second-round draft capital (including a Clippers pick from the Harden deal) to acquire one of the league's most consistent shooters.

A career 40% marksman from deep, Hield is shooting 38.4% on 6.9 3-point attempts per game this season while also converting at a career-high rate inside the arc (57.5%). The addition of Hield should help juice a slumping Sixers team that ranks 18th in 3-point percentage and 27th in 3-pointers made per 100 possessions, providing additional spacing for All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey while the team waits on a timeline for Embiid's return.

On an expiring contract, himself, Hield also doesn't interfere with Philadelphia's lofty offseason plans and maximum cap space. And if he's part of those plans, the Sixers now have his Bird rights, so they can re-sign him even if they're over the cap.

As part of a smaller, separate transaction, the Sixers dumped Danuel House's contract (and a 2024 second-rounder) on Detroit in order to create enough flexibility to sign a buyout candidate after the deadline.

For the Pacers, they turned a player who was likely no longer in their plans beyond this season into some additional draft capital, which is hard to argue with, and as a reserve, Hield wasn't as integral to the team as in years past. Still, this trade is a clear talent drain for Indiana, who made a win-now trade for an expiring star in Pascal Siakam last month.

However, adding McDermott later in the day by utilizing two of the assets they acquired in the Hield deal (Morris and one of the two 2029 second-rounders) was a solid enough recovery for Indiana. Though playing a smaller role on a vastly inferior team, McDermott's shooting in San Antonio bodes well for his ability to replace some of what Hield was providing. McDermott is shooting a career-high 43.9% from deep this year and has shot 40% or better in six of his last seven seasons. - Casciaro

Thunder land Hayward

Thunder receive: Gordon Hayward
Hornets receive: Davis Bertans, Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic, two 2nd-round picks

This has the potential to pan out beautifully for Oklahoma City if - and ifs don't get much bigger than this - Hayward can get healthy and stay healthy. The 33-year-old has been sidelined with a calf strain for the last six weeks, and has missed an average of 32 games a season since breaking his leg five minutes into the 2017-18 campaign. But when he's available, he's still a quality plug-and-play wing who can shoot, pass, create his own shot, and capably defend two positions. His $31.5-million salary will come off the books in the summer.

If or when he's ready to play, he'll be a huge addition to a Thunder rotation that's as young and unproven as it is deep and talented. Hayward likely won't start, but he could definitely be part of some closing lineups, especially if opponents continue to have success jamming up OKC's offense by cross-matching their centers onto Josh Giddey.

Without tapping into their vast reservoir of first-round picks, this is a low-cost flier for the Thunder. Mann has shown some intriguing flashes (and the Hornets will get a cheap look at him this season and next), but he was buried in the rotation and has barely played this year. Micic can pass, but not much else. Bertans was strictly dead money.

The possible downside for the Thunder is all about opportunity cost. Bertans' expiring deal was their most important piece of salary ballast, and using it on such an injury risk rather than a more reliable addition could prove to be a waste. But in terms of upside, they couldn't have done much better than this without expending meaningful draft capital. - Wolfond

Mavs upgrade with Gafford, Washington

Mavericks receive: P.J. Washington, Daniel Gafford
Hornets receive: Grant Williams, Seth Curry, 2027 1st-round pick
Wizards receive: Richaun Holmes, 2024 1st-rounder
Thunder receive: 2028 1st-round swap rights with Dallas

These are two separate deals, so let's start with the Mavs-Hornets trade first. Though Dallas gives up some shooting here, Washington is the best overall player in this deal, and the one with the highest upside. He's also only owed $29.7 million combined over the next two years, which is a better bargain than the nearly $41 million owed to Williams over the next three years (still a fair contract in its own right).

Washington's shooting has fallen off since a hot start to his career from deep, but defenses still respect his willingness and ability from range. He's a much better all-around scorer and offensive weapon than Williams and a better rebounder. Still, his defense remains a bit of a question mark, and 22nd-ranked Dallas can't afford to get any worse on that end. Perhaps the Mavs, whose 11th-ranked offense has also been somewhat underwhelming given their talent, feel that going all-in on the offensive end is their path to the playoffs.

Dallas got better, but I'm not sure the upgrade from Williams to Washington is worth a lightly protected first-round pick. In any event, it's a tidy piece of business for the (perpetually) rebuilding Hornets.

I like the acquisition cost of Gafford more for the Mavs, who acquired and immediately re-routed a 2024 first-rounder from Oklahoma City to get the deal done (in addition to trading Holmes). As part of that deal, Dallas did give the Thunder swap rights in 2028, though. At 6-foot-10, Gafford brings a great combination of screening, rim-running, rebounding, and shot-blocking to Dallas, where Luka Doncic will love running pick-and-rolls with the big man. - Casciaro

Suns consolidate pieces to upgrade on wing

Suns receive: Royce O'Neale, David Roddy
Nets receive: Keita Bates-Diop, Jordan Goodwin, three 2nd-round picks
Grizzlies receive: Yuta Watanabe, Chimezie Metu

From the moment they traded for Bradley Beal in the summer, the Suns set about trying to backfill their roster with as many affordable role players as they could get their hands on. Here, James Jones and Co. exchange some of that quantity for quality. They're trading four players (Metu, Goodwin, Watanabe, and Bates-Diop) who've given them solid depth contributions at various points this season, plus that bundle of second-rounders, for two capable wings, at least one of whom they can write into their playoff rotation in pen.

O'Neale is competence personified: an archetypal 3-and-D wing. He's a career 38% shooter from downtown, has some ability to attack closeouts, is an underrated passer, and can defend all three wing positions. He instantly upgrades their lineup flexibility as a better defensive option than Grayson Allen or Eric Gordon and a much better shooter than Josh Okogie. Roddy is also an intriguing addition, if a less proven one. He isn't much of a 3-point shooter and he's a more inconsistent defender, but his beefy, bully-ball driving game could be a nice boon for a team that remains very light on rim pressure. Either of those guys can help fill out Durant-at-center lineups, which Phoenix has been deploying with more regularity lately.

The Suns also open up two roster spots in the deal, which they can use to add more help on the buyout market. Not a bad piece of business considering the limited trade assets they had. - Wolfond

Raptors land Olynyk, Agbaji

Raptors receive: Kelly Olynyk, Ochai Agbaji
Jazz receive: Otto Porter, Kira Lewis, 2024 1st-round pick

This is a sound move for the rebuilding Raptors, who take on the expiring contract of all-around big man (and Canadian) Olynyk and add another promising youngster (Agbaji) to a core group that includes first-time All-Star Scottie Barnes, as well as Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Gradey Dick.

If Olynyk hangs around for the remainder of the season, he'll provide frontcourt depth behind Jakob Poeltl. Ogbaji, the 14th overall pick in the 2022 draft, should be a solid two-way rotation player going forward, with the benefit being he's still on his rookie-scale contract. That the Raptors used two of the pieces acquired in the underwhelming Pascal Siakam trade makes that deal look at least a little better in hindsight. Though an 18-33 team trading a first-round pick when it's already out its own first-rounder seems counterintuitive, it's important to remember that Toronto owns another first-rounder this year and an early second-rounder (via Detroit in the OG Anunoby trade), and that the 2024 class is expected to be the worst in at least a decade. The pick now headed to Utah (the worst of first-rounders from either the Thunder, Clippers, or Rockets) is currently on track to be the 29th selection.

For the Jazz, like the Fontecchio trade Wednesday (see below), this move is an indication the team will continue to act as a seller for the second year in a row rather than chase a play-in spot. The team has now traded three of its top-nine rotation players in the last 24 hours in order to acquire two extra picks. That would normally be understandable for a rebuilding squad, but the chances any of its new 2024 picks will amount to a player as promising as Agbaji is unlikely. - Casciaro

Raps move off Schroder's deal, Nets ditch Dinwiddie

Nets receive: Dennis Schroder, Thaddeus Young
Raptors receive: Spencer Dinwiddie

The Raptors and Nets are exchanging flawed point guards - but only one has salary on the books next year. Schroder is owed $13 million in 2024-25, while Dinwiddie's $20-million contract expires at season's end. Young's expiring deal had to be included to make the money work, but this is still a big cap-clearing move for a Raptors team that can open up max space this summer.

Schroder has been a solid enough backup for the Raptors (after being overtaxed as a starter before the Quickley acquisition), but they don't have much need for him for the remainder of this rebuilding season, and clearly feel like they can suitably replace him in the draft or free agency. It's hard to dispute the fact that a team in Toronto's position can find better ways to use $13 million. They also don't feel they have a need for Dinwiddie, who will be bought out.

The Nets are evidently a bit more focused on the near term. To that end, they get an upgrade in the backcourt for this year and next - along with a still-useful frontcourt vet in Young to close out this season - while ridding themselves of a disgruntled Dinwiddie. - Wolfond

Bucks upgrade perimeter D with Beverley

Bucks receive: Patrick Beverley
76ers receive: Cam Payne, 2027 2nd-round pick

In swapping out Payne for Beverley, Milwaukee massively upgraded its point-of-attack defense. Though Malik Beasley is obviously the superior offensive player and floor-spacer, Doc Rivers would be wise to consider starting Beverley beside Damian Lillard in an effort to better balance the Bucks' lineup.

As for the Sixers, this move could foreshadow an eventual find on the buyout market, like, say a future Hall of Fame point guard born and bred in Philadelphia. - Casciaro

Warriors trade Joseph for tax savings

Pacers receive: Cory Joseph, cash
Warriors receive: 2024 2nd-rounder

This deal is inconsequential from an on-court standpoint, but it's a reminder of how significant the new, more punitive luxury tax penalties are. In trading a $2-million player, the Warriors will shave $13.5 million off their tax bill.

Celtics shore up frontcourt with Tillman

Celtics receive: Xavier Tillman
Grizzlies receive: Lamar Stevens, 2027 2nd-round pick (via Atlanta), 2030 2nd-rounder (via Dallas

Tillman is a nice addition for the Celtics, though their need for big-man depth behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford had come to feel less acute than it did at the beginning of the season. For one thing, both Porzingis and Horford have been excellent in their roles, and have largely been healthy. For another, Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta have each proven to be serviceable third centers as needed.

Tillman provides insurance, though, and he’ll be more trustworthy than either of the other third-string options come playoff time, thanks to his superior experience (he’s played 340 postseason minutes, compared to 56 combined for Kornet and Queta), defensive acumen, and passing ability. Defense is the big selling point, as Tillman has shown he can succeed in a variety of pick-and-roll coverages - especially those that bring him up to the level - and can hold his own in isolation against all different types of players. He's a quick-handed defensive playmaker currently averaging four combined steals and blocks per 36 minutes, and he's a solid rim-protector despite being an undersized center at 6-8 (his 7-2 wingspan helps).

The thing is, defense wasn't an issue for the Celtics. It's their offense that's failed them time and again in the playoffs, and Tillman tends to hurt more than he helps on that end. It's nice that he can make connective passes, but he's such a limited scoring threat that defenses can freely roam off of him without serious consequences. While his 44% true shooting this year is probably an outlier tied to the snakebitten Grizzlies' lack of off-the-bounce creation, and moving to Boston should help him get closer to last year's 62% mark, he'll still be a non-shooting, shaky finishing, ground-bound big who struggles to hit free throws.

Still, at this acquisition cost - a pair of distant seconds and a player who was out of their rotation - there's minimal downside here for the Celtics, even with Tillman set to become an unrestricted free agent. They're acquiring his Bird rights, so they'll have the option to keep him around as something of a long-term replacement for Horford (who comes off the books after next season). In a couple years, Tillman might be able to replicate a lot of what late-career Horford does - minus the shooting.

There's less to analyze from the Grizzlies' end. They're in the process of shedding salary and recouping assets during a lost season, and evidently wanted nothing to do with Tillman's free agency. But with Steven Adams already shipped out, and with limited means of replenishing their depleted frontcourt in the summer, closing the door on another center option for next year feels like a risk. And not a particularly necessary one, given what they're getting in return. Was this offer really too good to pass up? - Wolfond

Celtics take a flier on Springer

Celtics acquire: Jaden Springer
76ers acquire: 2nd-round pick

A very strange move for the Sixers, who are punting on their 2021 first-round pick despite not needing the roster spot or the salary relief. (They were already slated to have max cap space in the summer.) Springer has major offensive limitations, but he's shown flashes of elite, mutlipositional perimeter defense. It's a bit odd for Philly to be giving up on him and getting so little in return.

For the Celtics, Springer's defensive skill set is a perfect fit with their group, and his $4-million salary for next season feels like a small enough price to pay to find out if he can develop at the other end of the floor. - Wolfond

Timberwolves add guard depth with Morris

Timberwolves receive: Monte Morris
Pistons receive: Troy Brown Jr., Shake Milton, 2030 2nd-round pick

It was no secret the Wolves, owners of the league's 18th-ranked offense, needed an extra jolt of shot creation off their bench. Milton has been a massive disappointment after signing a two-year free-agent deal last summer, shooting 47% from 2-point range and 26% from deep after coming into the season with career averages of 50% and 37%, respectively. Brown, another offseason signing, has had his moments, but has been very uneven on the whole. Bundling the two of them - and their fully non-guaranteed 2024-25 contracts - with second-round draft capital made all the sense in the world.

Whether Morris was the right guy to acquire with that package is another matter. On the plus side, he's a steady hand who consistently has some of the lowest turnover rates among guards, a particularly big boon to a Minnesota team that turns the ball over more frequently than any team in the league. He's a career 39% 3-point shooter with a solid in-between game, and he has plenty of playoff experience. On the minus side, he's not an especially dynamic guard, has never shot threes at a high clip, struggles defensively, and hasn't looked great since returning from the quad strain that cost him the first 43 games of the season. It's not clear that he's any better than incumbent backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin at this point.

The Wolves can at least point to a five-year sample of Morris not only being much better than McLaughlin, but being one of the best backup guards in the league. If he's able to recapture his form from a couple years ago, this will be a big win. For now, it feels pretty underwhelming, especially given some of the other names (namely Tyus Jones) Minnesota was tied to in the lead-up to the deadline. They had no first-rounders to trade, but you wonder if putting more seconds on the table could've gotten them something better. They're in a dead heat with three other teams for first in the West, and this move likely won't do much to strengthen their Achilles' heel. - Wolfond

Jazz ship Fontecchio to Detroit

Pistons receive: Simone Fontecchio
Jazz receive: Kevin Knox, Gabriele Procida (draft rights), 2024 2nd-round pick

The Jazz trading a solid, two-way veteran who emerged as a consistent starter during the team's best stretch of the season was a clear sign that Utah would once again be a deadline seller. The plucky Jazz followed the same script last year rather than exerting themselves in search of a play-in berth. In any event, nabbing an early second-rounder (via Washington or Memphis) and a prospect is a solid return if Fontecchio wasn't part of Utah's future plans.

As for the Pistons, they nabbed a high-IQ shooter who should help space the floor for Cade Cunningham and Co. going forward, as Detroit now has the right to match any offseason offers for Fontecchio, who's only a restricted free agent. - Casciaro

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