The action never seems to seize in basketball and the NBA 2022 offseason was yet another example, especially when it came to trades. Major players swapped squads, greatly improving their new teams as well as their own personal outlooks. Take a look at the top five trades thus far.
NBA 2022 Offseason: Top Five Trades
5. Dallas Mavericks Bring in Offensive Firepower
The Mavericks made a terrific run to the Western Conference Finals last season, eventually falling short against the Golden State Warriors. Of course, Luka Doncic was the star, but he was assisted by Jalen Brunson on offense. Brunson left to the New York Knicks, so Dallas needed to address scoring.
Christian Wood was brought in from the Houston Rockets. The Mavericks got him for relatively cheap too, sending Houston four rarely used players in Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, and Boban Marjanovic along with the team’s first-round pick.
Wood averaged about 18 points and 10 rebounds per game last season. He scores at all three levels, and his skills will only get maximized with Doncic running the point. Dallas hasn’t had much offensive production from the frontcourt since Kristaps Porzingis, but of course he spent a large portion of his Mavericks career on the sidelines. Bringing in Wood replaces Brunson’s scoring production, but also gives Doncic a different kind of weapon.
4. Boston Celtics Cheaply Address a Need
The Celtics made the Finals last season, but like the aforementioned Mavericks, fell short against the Warriors. This team is capable of a return to the promised land, but needed to address ball handling issues.
Boston swiftly acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers for a relatively cheap price. They sent over Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Nik Stauskas, Juwan Morgan, and a 2023 first-round pick. Theis saw decent playing time for Boston, but that’s about it.
Brogdon averaged about 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists per game. He’s a fantastic shooter who’s sure to see open looks on this Boston offense. He also sets up his teammates with relative ease, which will mean a better run offense for stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Brogdon is also a bigger guard which allows him to play solid defense and provide rebounding.
Marcus Smart still retains starting point guard duties as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, but Brogdon adds another dimension to the team’s offense.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves Bet the House
The Timberwolves are all in. They finally made the playoffs last season and have a promising core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. Minnesota knew the Utah Jazz were ready to rebuild, and swung for arguably the best defensive player in the entire NBA.
That, of course, is Rudy Gobert. It definitely didn’t come cheap. Minnesota sent Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro, four first-round picks, and one first-round pick swap. It’s safe to say Minnesota is now all in.
Perhaps they overpaid, that can be debated. This move, however, helps Minnesota firmly establish themselves as a playoff mainstay. Towns can focus more on offense alongside a budding star in Edwards. Minnesota also made a couple other moves firming up other positions. Gobert will be doing what he does best – protecting the paint at all costs necessary.
2. A Stellar Atlanta Hawks Backcourt
The Hawks were ready to change things up after a disappointing playoff outing this past season. Trae Young remains an All-Star, while the team also had a number of other strong pieces. What was missing, however, was a true backcourt complement to Young who also covers defensive deficiencies.
Atlanta acquired Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs. He does all what was mentioned, and then some. Atlanta sent San Antonio Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks, and a first-round pick swap. It was a somewhat hefty price, but nothing too far reaching for a 26-year-old All-Star.
Murray averaged about 21 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and two steals per game last season. In short, he’s a menace on both ends of the floor. Murray scores with relative ease, but also has a knack for setting up his teammates. The defensive end will be key, as Murray is one of the better backcourt defenders in the entire league.
This move sets up Atlanta to compete with the upper-echelon of Eastern Conference squads.
1. The Cleveland Cavaliers Are Legit
Cleveland is another team that took advantage of Utah’s rebuilding efforts. The Cavaliers already have a fantastic defensive presence, so they targeted a veteran scorer and star. That, of course, is Donovan Mitchell.
Like the Gobert trade, the Jazz were looking for a lot. Cleveland sent them Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, three first-round picks, and two first-round pick swaps.
Again, that’s expensive. It looks to be worth it, however. Mitchell has been one of the best players in the league for the last couple of seasons and averaged about 26 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game. Also, he’s only 26 years old. Mitchell now joins a strong young core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. Cleveland is set to be very good for a long time.