Rolling Out

Russell Westbrook, John Wall and 5 takeaways from NBA trade deadline

Here are some of the top storylines from the 2023 NBA trade deadline
Russell Westbrook, John Wall and 5 takeaways from NBA trade deadline
Russell Westbrook (Photo credit: A.R. Shaw for rolling out)

The NBA trade deadline provides the final opportunity for teams to add the necessary help before the final stretch of the regular season going into the playoffs.

Here are rolling out‘s top five takeaways from this season’s NBA trade deadline.

The Western Conference has improved

Teams throughout the Western Conference boosted their roster. The fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving, the fifth-seeded Phoenix Suns acquired Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Clippers got Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland and Mason Plumlee, Mike Conley went to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors got Gary Payton II back, the Portland Trail Blazers got Cam Reddish and Matisse Thybulle and the Los Angeles Lakers received Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba.

After Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant told ESPN reporter Malika Andrews he “was good in the West,” the road for the second-seeded Grizzlies looks like a tougher climb to make now.

Buyout market watch

The top name who was traded and rumored to be bought out is Russell Westbrook, who was sent to the Utah Jazz in the deal that brought D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers. One of the teams interested in picking up Westbrook is reportedly the Los Angeles Clippers, which would keep the guard in his hometown.

Another name to watch for on the market is John Wall, who was traded back to the Houston Rockets a month after trashing the franchise on the “Tidal League” podcast.

Key role players to watch for

Sometimes small tweaks are needed to push a team over the hump. Payton II returning to Golden State is huge because the team has desperately missed his defense this year. The Warriors currently stand 16th in the league for team defense, whereas the franchise finished third last season.

The Lakers scrambled with the limited assets the franchise had and came away with younger and more quality role players for LeBron James to be around.

The Milwaukee Bucks added Jae Crowder, who can be a factor like P.J. Tucker was when the team won the 2021 championship.

Phoenix soars back into title contention

The Suns have had a rough pre-deadline season. The team has dealt with injuries and floated around .500 throughout the year, and Phoenix is currently 30-26 thanks to a three-game winning streak.

Kevin Durant can take a group that appeared to be declining to title contenders, just like when the franchise went to the 2021 NBA Finals.

Reddish gets another chance

Reddish was a highly touted playing coming out of high school. Coming out of Duke after one season, his teammates, Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett who have both seemed to find their footing in the league, said Reddish was the best player among the trio. Now in his fourth NBA season, Reddish has been traded a second consecutive year after requesting his secon -consecutive trade. Portland provides him another chance to shine in the league and live up to his pre-NBA hype.

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