The NBA trade deadline is less than 24 hours away and we’ve already seen some pretty big names along the way – CJ McCollum is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Domantas Sabonis is in Sacramento hoping to lead the Kings to the game (but they need to catch McCollum’s pelicans) – and there could be more.
What follows is a summary of rumors and trades that will be updated as we receive them.
Feb. 10, 12:50 a.m.: Lakers would consider trading Westbrook for Wall…if LeBron wants it
The Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last offseason — and didn’t make a trade for the Kings’ Buddy Hield — largely because LeBron James and Anthony Davis wanted and pushed for it. It backfired. It didn’t work out the way anyone wanted; the Lakers are 26-30 (after an ugly loss to an undermanned Trail Blazers team on Wednesday night). Is it time for the Lakers to move away from Westbrook? ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported on Sportscenter that some in the Lakers organization want to “rip the band-aid off” and trade Westbrook. The only deal that’s working at this point is for John Wall in Houston, who is sitting out but has a salary to match ($44 million this season, a player option for $47 million next season, both players will pick up).
This trade will only happen if LeBron wants it to. The other question for LeBron, GM Rob Pelinka, and everyone at the Lakers to ask: does that make them meaningfully better? Or is this a trade out of frustration and the need to “just do something”? Because these types of trades rarely work well. If anyone wants to argue that Wall is a better fit alongside LeBron and Davis — because he’s a better catch-and-shooter and can work the ball down — do it, but last time they both played in the same season, Westbrook put up better ones and more efficient figures. Wall hasn’t played all season. Will he make a difference? Or is it better for the Lakers to wait, get into the offseason and make a more sensible and measured decision?
TRADE: Heat trade KZ Okpala to Thunder, but key is future first-round pick adjustments
Oklahoma City receives: KZ Okpala, adjustment to future first round selection
Miami receives: Thunder’s worst-case second-round pick 2026, adjusting future first-round pick
Analysis: This isn’t about Okpala, a power forward who’s been on the fringes of the Heat rotation for the past three years (he’s played 63 games total over those years). It’s not about the second-round pick, which will be the worst of the Thunder’s Mavericks or 76ers in 2026. It’s all about the first round pick adjustments – and that part is a win for both teams. This should be Miami’s 2023 first-round pick, going to OKC but with a series of protections over potentially four years. Now it’s a lottery-protected 2025 pick that’s unprotected in 2026. For Miami, that means it could now trade its 2022 or 2023 first-round picks (or potentially both if the Heat picks a player this year and then trades) for a player who could help the rival Heat win now . Miami gains a choice of trade and flexibility. The Thunder gets an election that’s likely to be of value three or four years from now (possibly after that heat competition window).
REPORT: James Harden is using actions, not words, to say he wants to leave Brooklyn
James Harden has reportedly told both the Nets and Kevin Durant that he wants to be in Brooklyn with the Nets. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the network that Harden’s actions lately — the four-point game against the Kings, the lollygagging stretches on defense, the missed games, the buzz around him of being unhappy — mean, that “he yells in in every way he can. “I don’t want to be here. Get me out of here.” That doesn’t mean a deal is coming. Another ESPN report – this one by Adrian Wojnarowski – says no meaningful talks are taking place.
In Brooklyn, there seems to be a feeling their problems are fixable: bringing Durant back healthy after the All-Star hiatus, watching Kyrie Irving feel more comfortable, relieving some of the pressure on Harden, letting the big three play together, starting to win and they can run to the final. It’s also worth noting that ESPN’s Zach Lowe has spoken out about tension and some animosity between the Nets’ and 76ers’ front offices over this trade, presenting another hurdle to closing a deal. If Harden wants out, he may have to be explicit and not just act, and it may still be too late to meet the deadline.
TRADE: Jazz sends out Ingles, brings back Alexander-Walker
Utah receives: Nickeil Alexander Walker, Juancho Hernangomez
San Antonio receives: Tomas Satoransky, 2022 second-round pick (via Memphis)
Portland receives: Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, 2027 second round election
Analysis: Everyone knew that was likely to happen, that the Jazz would use Ingles’ contract – who is out for the season after a cruciate ligament rupture – to bring help back. But getting away from a big part of the team culture isn’t easy for anyone.
Today hurts… I knew it was a possibility but I didn’t want to believe it, we’ve been lucky enough to call this place our home for 8 years!
I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’ll have a beer and chill with some good friends.
Go and win boys! I will always watch ❤️
— Joe Ingles (@Joeingles7) February 10, 2022
The Jazz hope Alexander-Walker can develop for them into a Jordan Clarkson-style top scorer but this is not a spectacular return to the pitch. What it does is her payroll, which, if you count the luxury taxes, is down about $11 million — even with a new owner, this isn’t a huge market. This money is important to jazz. For Portland, it’s about saving some money and doing more to clear the decks for the upcoming fast-track rebuild attempt around Damian Lillard. Spurs are winning here because they gave up a player who wasn’t part of their future and they both make a choice and save some money (they’re probably giving up Satoransky).