By Spencer Ripchik
The NBA trade deadline is now a week past and a couple of players have been getting accustomed to their new homes.
The three biggest trades were Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers bolstered up its lineup with several trades.
A week has passed and some of the new faces have already started to make an impact while others may take some time to get used to their new surroundings.
The All-Star break is here, so in the meantime, here is the breakdown of how these couple of trades have gone so far.
Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks
Point guard Kyrie Irving was a problem as soon as he arrived to play for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.
In 2020, Irving refused to get the coronavirus vaccine, which was the only way he could play in most NBA stadiums around the country. His refusal to get the vaccine made him miss half the games that season.
Then, Irving made a comment about antisemitism, which led to the Nets suspending him, causing him to miss eight games.
The Nets and Irving had enough, so Irving was sent off to Dallas to play with star Luka Dončić, who at the beginning of the season looked like the clear MVP.
The Nets are trading Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2023
Before the trade, the Mavericks were in the middle of the pack in the West even with Dončić averaging over 30 points per game.
Dallas was hoping putting a star beside Dončić would make the team NBA Title contenders and so far it’s been a mixed bag.
Irving has played really well in the four games since he arrived in Dallas. In the four games, he’s led the team in scoring every game with a high of 36 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kyrie Irving gets his first bucket as a Maverick.
DAL-LAC, live on ESPN pic.twitter.com/JAlCez7nro
— NBA (@NBA) February 9, 2023
In the four games, Dallas went 2-2 and lost to the Timberwolves, split with the Sacramento Kings and beat the Los Angeles Clippers.
Three of those teams are ahead of the Mavericks in the standings, so winning two of four helps their playoff seeding.
The Mavericks played the Denver Nuggets for their last game before the All-Star break, but Irving didn’t play because he was dealing with a back injury. Dallas lost to the No. 1 Nuggets 118-109.
The Irving trade is going to be something to monitor for the rest of the season, but right now, Irving has played well when he’s played, but Dallas went 2-2 since he joined the squad.
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns
The biggest trade before the deadline was the dealing of the last member of the Big 3 on the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant, who was traded to the Suns.
Durant requested a trade in early January, but nothing was made out of it until the morning of the trade deadline when he was sent to the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns have a bunch of stars like Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul and now they’ve added one of the best players in the NBA to the star list.
With the previous three, Phoenix made it to the conference semi-finals in 2022 and then to the Finals in 2021.
PLAYOFF LUKA. PERIOD. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ufrBcwoOcs
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) May 16, 2022
The problem is the Suns have struggled to get over the hump.
Before trading for Durant, Phoenix was already a top 5 team in the West chasing down the Denver Nuggets, the Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Durant may be the piece that gets the Suns over the hump if he plays.
He hasn’t played with Phoenix yet because Durant has been dealing with a knee injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 8.
Durant is expected to be back after the All-Star break.
No Kevin Durant for the Suns tonight but the new star forward continues to work his way back from a knee injury. pic.twitter.com/D2bZWOmMYi
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) February 14, 2023
Since Durant hasn’t taken the floor yet for the Suns, it’s hard to tell if this will be a fit for him, but looking at the roster, Phoenix is one of the most stacked teams in the West and potentially the whole NBA.
Before the trade, the Suns had 16-1 odds to win the NBA Championship. After, they went down to 6-1, which is tied for the highest odds with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Los Angeles Lakers Several Trades
For most of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been just trying to make the play-in tournament and were one of the bottom teams in the West.
It seems the Lakers had higher aspirations than just making the play-in tournament and want to make a push for the Finals.
Los Angeles was one of the teams in the running to land Irving and when it missed out, Rob Pelinka decided to call every number in the phone book.
The Lakers reacquired D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade, sending away Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz.
ESPN Sources: The Lakers are finalizing deal to land Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in trade including Mike Conley and picks to Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook and a lightly protected 2027 LA first-round pick to Jazz.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
In the trade, they also received Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Los Angeles also traded away Thomas Bryant, who requested a trade, to the Denver Nuggets and in return received Davon Reed and draft capital.
The Lakers quickly replaced Bryant with Mo Bomba, acquiring him from the Orlando Magic, and sent away Patrick Beverley.
Since all the trades, the Lakers have won two of three against two of the teams they are competing against for the final play-in tournament spot, the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Back like I never left.” 🗣️
D’Angelo Russel in his first game back in L.A. in a Lakers uniform on Wednesday:
◻️ 21 PTS
◻️ 7 AST
◻️ W over NOLA
🎥 @Lakers pic.twitter.com/oP8wQYbZiW
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 16, 2023
LeBron James isn’t getting any younger, despite still playing the same as he did five years ago, so the Lakers needed to do something once they missed out on Irving.
Pelinka made a couple of moves that gives Los Angeles a shot at making the play-in tournament, which allows the Lakers to compete in the playoffs.
They still have a long way to go if they want to win another NBA Championship but have some pieces that make it more likely than it did before the trade deadline.
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