June 15, 2024

2023 NBA trade grades: Suns, Mavs, Rockets make big summer splash

Free agency is widely considered the main attraction of the NBA offseason, but it’s also the summer when teams decide to retool their rosters with a flurry of trades, as we’ve already seen.

Unfortunately, not all trades are fair, and more often than not, there is a winner and a loser. Here’s how our NBA writers at FOX Sports graded the trades completed so far:

TRADE: Mavs nab Williams, Spurs get Bullock (July 12)

Mavs get: Grant Williams2025 second round pick, 2028 second round pick
spurs get: Reggie Bullock2030 first round pick swap
Celtics get: 2024 second round pick, 2025 second round pick, 2030 second round pick

Grade for Mavs: B+

The Mavericks are now winning after missing the playoffs last season despite having two superstars in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Acquiring the 24-year-old Williams gives them a 6-foot-6 wing who can shoot the 3-pointer and play defense, adding to their depth.

— Melissa Rohlin

TRADE: Rockets land Brooks in five-team deal (July 8)

Rockets get: Dillon Brooks, Alpha Kabatwo future second round picks
Thunder get: Patty Mills (since traded to Hawks), 2024 second round pick, 2029 second round pick, 2030 second round pick
Hawk gets: Usman Garuba, Baby Washingtontwo future second round picks
Grizzlies get: Josh Christopher
Clippers get: Kenyon Martin Jr.

Grade for rockets: C+

Let’s face it: GM Rafael Stone found damaged goods in Brooks, who was universally ridiculed for trying to clown LeBron James in the first round Grizzlies-Lakers series and wound up wearing a red nose and a rainbow wig instead . The new four-year, $80 million contract doesn’t seem like much in light of that, but it would be a bargain if they get the Brooks who faced the Timberwolves and Warriors a year earlier. Stone wouldn’t have made this move if he didn’t think the presence of coach Ime Udoka and PG Fred VanVleet could get Brooks back to that form.

— Rick Bucher

TRADE: Jazz take big man Collins (July 7)

Get Jazz: John Collins
Hawk gets: Gay RudyFuture second round pick

Grade for Jazz: A+

Give Jazz president Danny Ainge’s office door another title: burglar. The Jazz needed some athleticism, and they basically stole some, landing 36-year-old Rudy Gay and another second-round pick for a 25-year-old pogo stick in Collins. I also want to personally thank Ainge for putting an end to the two-year streak of Collins trade rumors.

— Butchers

TRADE: Toppin goes to Indiana (July 7)

Packers get: Worker Toppin
Knicks get: Two future second round picks

Grade for Pacers: A

We weren’t going to find out if Toppin could be the No. 1 pick. 8 in New York, thanks to the Knicks’ infatuation with Julius Randle. His play was inconsistent, but so were the minutes. The Pacers needed size and rebounding, and Toppin is certainly worth the gamble in exchange for two future second-round picks.

— Butchers

TRADE: Kings add Duarte from Pacers (July 6)

Kings get: Chris Duarte
Packers get: 2028 second round pick, 2030 second round pick

Grade for Pacers: b

Ever go shopping and buy something you don’t really need, but the price is too good to refuse? That’s how I see this trade. Two future second-round picks for a lottery pick tells me Duarte wasn’t too happy with his reduced role in Indy, and while the Kings have plenty of deep and versatile wings, they just couldn’t get the chance to see the Duarte was stay healthy and prove to be more of a postseason gamer than Kevin Huerter to this point.

— Butchers

TRADE: Cavs trade for Miami’s Strus (July 6)

Cavs get: Stress Max
spurs get: Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens2030 second round pick

Grade for Cavs: B+

The Cavaliers needed to improve their outside shooting and Strus will certainly help with that. Last season, he averaged a career-high 11.5 points on 41% shooting from the field and 35% shooting from beyond the arc. Sure, the Cavs had to give up Osman and Stevens to get Strus, but if Strus continues to grow and perform like he did in Miami, this will be a very smart move.

— Selection

TRADE: Heroic gaming on CP3 (July 6)

Heroes get: Chris Paul
Wizards get: Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollinsdefense 2030 rick first round, 2027 second round pick

Grade your heroes: b

I have to admit, I am surprised. But this kind of makes sense.

Finally the Warriors, spending time around them during their second round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, it was clear that they needed to deal Jordan Poole. He was underperforming. The tension was palpable. Not to mention, of course, a cloud hung over the team all season after the incident between Poole and Draymond Green last October. Poole had to go, especially if Green (who opted out of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent) was to return, which he says is his goal.

Paul gives the Warriors a Hall of Fame point guard, who, at age 38, is a wise veteran who can set up Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. By making this deal, the Warriors cut costs, considering Paul is in the penultimate year of a non-guaranteed contract for next season. And they made a strong statement: They are concerned about the moment, not the long term. What I’m most interested in tracking here is if Green returns, how will the expressive leadership styles of Paul and Green mesh?

Grade for Wizards: B+

For the Wizards, this makes sense during their rebuild. It also helps explain why they dealt Bradley Beal to Phoenix. The 24-year-old Poole, who was entering a four-year, $123 million extension with Golden State starting next season, was playing behind an all-star cast with the Warriors. Now in Washington, we’ll get to see if he can be who he thinks he can be.

This could allow Poole to spread his wings and become an All-Star. For example, Kyle Kuzma (who declined his player option with the Wizards and will become a free agent) told FOX Sports in January, after the Lakers traded him to Washington, that he was able to “my game expand and flourish.” For the sake of the Wizards, let’s hope that Poole becomes the star he is pegged to be, and that the team succeeds in building around him.

— Selection

TRADE: Suns land Beal in big deal (June 24)

The sun gets: Bradley Beal, Isaiah Todd (since traded to Grizzlies), Jordan Goodwin
Wizards get: Chris Paul (since traded to Warriors), Samhaid Landry, Bilal Coulibalytrades multiple first-round picks, multiple second-round picks
Packers get: James Walkertwo future second round picks

Grade for the Sun: B+

The Chris Paul era has clearly come to an end in Phoenix after one NBA Championship appearance in 2021 and then two disappointing second round playoff exits in 2022 and 2023. After acquiring Kevin Durant last season, the Suns are make clear. that anything less than competing for a championship is a failure. The Suns certainly got an upgrade by getting a 30-year-old Beal for Paul, a 38-year-old Shamet, a second-round draft pick and pick trades. But the Suns are still sorely lacking in depth, and if they suffer any injuries to their stars, they’ll obviously be wasted. So, the Suns didn’t give up much to get Beal. But they are also taking a big gamble here and don’t give themselves too much of a backup plan.

— Selection

TRADE: Celtics trade Smart for Porzingis (June 23)

Celtics get: Crystal PorzingisNo. 25 overall picks, 2024 first-round picks (via Heroes)
Grizzlies get: Smart Marcus
Wizards get: Tyus Jones, Daniel Gallinari, Mike MuscalaNo. 35 total picks

Grade for the Celtics: A-

On paper, the Boston Celtics came away with the biggest draw: a big leadoff stretch and two first-rounders. That’s why Brad Stevens had to pull the trigger. What cannot be measured is the impact of losing their emotional leader, Marcus Smart, and Porzingis would likely be used to replace Grant Williams. That’s a lot of hardship lost for a team that didn’t have enough of him. Will Smart mirror miss what happened when the Cs traded Kendrick Perkins or when Kyrie left town? That is to be determined.

— Butchers

Ric Bucher is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He previously wrote for Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and The Washington Post and has written two books, “Rebound,” about NBA forward Brian Grant’s battle with young Parkinson’s, and “Yao: A Life In Two Worlds.” He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher.” Follow him on Twitter @Rick Bucher.

Melissa Rohlin is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the series for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area News Group and the San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on Twitter @melissarohlin.

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