2023 NBA trade deadline: Western Conference deal predictions – ESPN.co.uk

You have reached ESPN’s UK edition. Stay on current site or go to US version.
With the 2023 NBA trade deadline less than a month away, there hasn’t been much trade activity in the 2022-23 NBA regular season.
In fact, there has been just a single trade since the season tipped off on Oct. 18, and that came earlier this month when the Boston Celtics sent Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs to lower their luxury tax bill (Vonleh was immediately waived by San Antonio).
Still, after a summer that saw multiple All-Stars traded, we could be in for another wild trade deadline. To help get you ready, we’ve broken down what to watch for all 15 teams in the Western Conference: what kind of moves they can make, what we’re hearing, front-office trade histories and trade restrictions to note.
We’ve also identified one trade we would like each to see from each team between now and the deadline.
In case you missed it, our guide to the Eastern Conference was published Tuesday.
Note: Teams have $6.4 million cash to send out and receive in trades unless otherwise noted.
MORE: Roster breakdown | Draft assets | Trade deadline coverage

Trade meter: 7
What to watch: Christian Wood and the roster outside of Luka Doncic
Wood, who was acquired in a trade this past summer, has been eligible to sign a four-year, $77 million extension since Christmas Day. Whether or not he signs that deal (or any extension) will have a big impact on the discussions in the Mavericks’ front office leading up to the deadline.
As Tim McMahon reported, the Mavericks would prefer to sign Wood to a short-term extension (two years, $38 million) that would preserve cap flexibility in 2025-26. That is the last guaranteed year of Doncic’s max contract (he has a player option the following year) and the first year when the cap is projected to increase significantly as a result of revenue from a new television deal. Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are the only Mavericks under contract for that season.
Wood has averaged 20.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 51.6% shooting (including 37% on 3s) in 16 games as a starter this season. His averages off the bench are solid as well: 17.0 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game on 55% shooting.
Because of the six-month extension restriction, Wood would only be allowed to sign a two-year, $30.7 million contract with a new team if he is traded at the deadline. He is allowed to sign for up to $40.2 million (30% of the cap) per season as a free agent in July.
There are seven teams (including Detroit and Houston, two of Wood’s former teams) who project to have significant cap flexibility in the offseason. That number could increase to 12 if additional roster moves are made.
As for the rest of the roster, general manager Nico Harrison talked with the Dallas Morning News back in December and made the following proclamation:
“I have faith in the guys that we have here. Again, guys haven’t made shots, but we’ve seen them do it, and I have faith in them. I think if guys make shots just at the rate or slightly below what they normally do, we’re not even having this conversation.”
The Mavericks are 2-6 when they shoot 29% or worse from 3, and 4-10 when they shoot less than 65% from the free throw line.
The Mavericks are a tax team, but they do have roster flexibility to make a deal with seven players earning $10 million to $20 million. Dallas is not projected to have cap space this offseason even if it unloads the contract of Tim Hardaway Jr. for an expiring contract. That would give the Mavericks flexibility to re-sign Wood and stay under the luxury tax.
Front-office trade history: Harrison has transformed the roster, acquiring Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans since he took over in 2021. In total, Harrison has made four trades, one during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: Traded Kristaps Porzingis and a protected 2022 second-round pick (Yannick Nzosa) for Dinwiddie and Bertans.
Trade we would like to see: Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jalen McDaniels from Charlotte for Hardaway, Bertans and a 2027 top-10-protected first (will become second-round picks in 2027 and 2029 if not conveyed).
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
Dallas has an open roster spot and is $16.5 million over the luxury tax.
The Mavs are projected to pay a $31.3 million penalty.
Kleber signed an extension and is not allowed to be traded.
Doncic has a trade bonus that is voided because it exceeds the maximum salary.
The Mavericks are responsible to pay the remaining 5% to Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith if either player were traded.
Theo Pinson has a one-year Bird restriction and can veto any trade.
Draft assets:
The Mavericks owe New York a top-10-protected first in 2023, 2024 or 2025.
They can trade their own first, two years after the pick to New York is conveyed.
Dallas can trade up to two second-round picks.
Trade meter: 3
What to watch: The luxury tax and Ish Smith
The Nuggets owe a first to Charlotte in June and another to Orlando in 2025 (top-five protected), but still have the trade assets to tweak the back end of the roster for additional frontcourt help. The question is how much ownership is willing to spend into the luxury tax.
Denver has a $9.1 million trade exception (it also has a $3.5 million exception) and using the full amount would cost an additional $26 million in tax payments. The Nuggets are currently projected to pay a $17.6 million tax penalty — the first time Denver will pay the tax since 2009-10.
Friday
Heat-Mavs, 7:30 p.m.
Grizzlies-Lakers, 10 p.m.
Wednesday
Nets-76ers, 7:30 p.m.
Grizzlies-Warriors, 10 p.m.
*All times Eastern
One way to help lower that tax bill would be to move veteran guard Ish Smith and his $4.7 million expiring contract. Smith, who has played for an NBA-record 13 teams, has seen action in just 20 games for Denver this season, averaging 8.2 minutes and 2.3 points, his lowest numbers in a decade.
Front-office trade history: Shortly after taking over in June 2022, general manager Calvin Booth traded Will Barton and Monte Morris to Washington for Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He was part of a front office that conducted six trades during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: Acquired guard Bryn Forbes from San Antonio as part of a three-team trade in January 2022.
Trade we would like to see: Smith and a 2024 second-round pick to Detroit for Hamidou Diallo.
Trade exceptions: $9.1 million and $3.5 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
Denver is $10.5 million over the tax and has a $17.6 million penalty.
Nikola Jokic cannot be traded until July.
Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. both signed a designated rookie extension.
Denver cannot acquire another player on a DRE while both are on the roster.
Draft assets:
The Nuggets owe Charlotte a first-round pick which is top-14 protected in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Denver will send Orlando a first-round pick two years after the first to Charlotte is conveyed.
That pick is top-five protected in 2025, 2026 and 2027.
The earliest that the Nuggets can trade a first is in 2027, but only if the picks owed to Charlotte and Orlando are conveyed.
Denver has two second-round picks available to use in a trade.
If the Nuggets lift the protection on the pick owed to Charlotte in 2023, they will have four seconds available.
Trade meter: 5
What to watch: James Wiseman and the final roster spot
Outside of the move that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins in 2020, Golden State has taken a conservative approach at the trade deadline.
That does not mean general manager Bob Myers will not answer calls leading up to Feb. 9, but the front office will take a cautious approach on moving one of the younger players and future draft picks.
If you take the starting five and sixth man Jordan Poole out of any trade discussion, that leaves the Warriors with Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. — all recent first-round picks — and guard Donte DiVincenzo as the lone players available to potentially be traded.
Wiseman, the former No. 2 overall pick, missed the entire 2021-22 season with a right knee injury and has played a total of 58 NBA games in three seasons.
Because this is a “win now” team, the front office has to analyze if the upside of Wiseman is too appealing or if he should be moved for a player who can contribute now.
“He’s an immense talent, he’s an incredibly hard worker, he really cares. These things matter. He had a lot of really bad breaks as we all know, it’s been well chronicled,” owner Joe Lacob told Tim Kawakami on the “TK Podcast.” “He’s also in an organization and on a team which is trying to win championships. It’s different than playing somewhere they’re just throwing everybody out there, young guys are putting up numbers, getting a lot of experience. It’s hard for our young guys to do that here.”
Wiseman, who is set to earn $9.6 million this season, is extension eligible this offseason and will become a restricted free agent in 2024.
The Warriors have an open roster spot and part of their tax midlevel exception available to convert the two-way contract of Anthony Lamb or Ty Jerome, which would make them eligible to play in the playoffs.
Lamb has averaged 20 minutes per game off the bench, the third-highest average for any Warriors reserve. He’s scoring 7.7 points per game and shooting 41.9% from 3. He scored a season-high 26 points in a Jan. 7 loss against Orlando.
Front-office trade history: Before the Russell-Wiggins trade, Golden State had not made a regular-season trade in six years. Myers has made a total of 29 trades since 2012.
Last regular-season trade: In two separate transactions, Golden State sent Marquese Chriss to San Antonio and Brad Wanamaker to Charlotte at the trade deadline in 2021. The trades helped the Warriors save $21.6 million toward the luxury tax.
Trade we would like to see: Wiseman and Moody to Charlotte for P.J. Washington, Jalen McDaniels and Mason Plumlee.
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Warriors have an open roster spot and are $40.2 million over the tax.
They are projected to pay a $176.5 million tax penalty.
Wiggins signed an extension and cannot be traded.
Poole has a poison-pill restriction. For trade purposes, $3.7 million of the contract counts as outgoing salary and $26.4 million as incoming salary for the acquiring team.
Steph Curry, DiVincenzo, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have a trade bonus. The Curry bonus is voided, but Golden State would be responsible in paying 15% of the remaining salary owed (does not include if a player option is in the contract) for Green, Thompson and DiVincenzo.
Draft assets:
The Warriors have five second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Golden State owes Memphis a first-round pick that is top-four protected in 2024, top-one protected in 2025 and unprotected in 2026.
The earliest that the Warriors can trade a first is 2026 (if the pick conveys to Memphis in 2024) and they can send no more than two in a trade.
The Warriors have five second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 6
What to watch: Eric Gordon and Kenyon Martin Jr.
Let’s start with Gordon, who has been a regular on this list ever since the Rockets began their rebuilding process. Gordon is an experienced veteran who has played 55 career playoff games, averaging 16.0 PPG and shooting 36% from 3. He also has a non-guaranteed salary of $20.9 million for next season that becomes guaranteed only if the Rockets (or the team that trades for Gordon) win the title.
There are three big questions the Rockets have to ask themselves when discussing any potential Gordon trade.
1. Is the culture of the locker room at risk if Gordon is moved?
The Rockets have the second-youngest roster in the NBA right now, and the fourth youngest since 1998-99. Gordon and Boban Marjanovic are the only two players in their 30s, and Gordon recently voiced his displeasure with the development of the young roster.
“There’s no improvement,” he said. “Same old thing all year. We have a small margin for error. It’s a lot of things. It’s mindset. You got to play for one another. Do what’s right by your teammates. If you do that, it’d be more fun. You give yourself a better chance to win.”
The Rockets are once again last in the Western Conference and have gone 43-145 since trading James Harden to Brooklyn in 2021.
2. If a first-round pick is not in play, is moving Gordon a nonstarter?
There are only nine teams (Indiana, Memphis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio and Toronto) that control all their first-round picks in the next seven years.
Gordon is averaging a career-low 12.2 points per game, shooting 42.7% from the field and 35.2% from 3. Getting a team to give up a first-round pick for him might be difficult.
3. Does Gordon have more value next season with Houston or in a trade package?
Because his contract is non-guaranteed next season, Gordon would count as $0 in outgoing salary in a trade made over the summer (he counts as $19.6 million, his current salary, for any trade made before the deadline).
As Adrian Wojnarowski reported, Harden would have interest in a return to Houston if contract talks broke down with Philadelphia this offseason. Houston is projected to have at least $40 million in cap space, even including Gordon’s non-guaranteed salary for next season.
Meanwhile, Martin has outplayed the four-year, $6.1 million contract that he signed in 2020. He’s averaging a career-high 11.0 points per game this season in a career-high 24.6 minutes per night. He is currently eligible to sign a four-year, $58 million extension, but that would cut significantly into Houston’s cap space this summer.
Martin currently has a $1.9 million team option for 2023-24 and will become a restricted free agent if it is declined. Houston could also pick up the option, which would make Martin an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Because of the six-month extension restriction, Martin is not eligible to sign an extension if he is traded to a team at the deadline.
Front-office trade history: Rockets general manager Rafael Stone has made 16 trades since he took over in October 2020. Five of those trades, including the James Harden blockbuster in January 2021, have occurred during the regular season. The Rockets received four first-round picks, the right to swap firsts in four seasons and Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs. The Rockets eventually drafted Tari Eason with the Nets’ pick this past June. There are two unprotected firsts (2024 and 2026) and three swap rights (2023, 2025 and 2027) that remain outstanding from the trade.
Last regular-season trade: Houston traded Daniel Theis to the Celtics for Dennis Schroder, Bruno Fernando and Enes Freedom at last year’s deadline.
Trade we would like to see: Kenyon Martin Jr. to Phoenix for a 2023 top-14-protected first. If not conveyed, Houston will receive 2023 and 2025 second-round picks from the Suns.
Trade exceptions: $3.9 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Rockets are $14.4 million below the luxury tax.
Because of the Bruno Fernando signing, Houston is hard capped. The Rockets are $20.6 million below the ceiling.
Kevin Porter Jr. has a poison-pill restriction in his contract. For trade purposes, his contract counts as $3.2 million in outgoing salary and $15.2 million in incoming salary for the acquiring team.
Draft assets:
The Rockets are owed two unprotected first-round picks from Brooklyn (2024 and 2026). They also have the right to swap firsts in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
Houston owes Oklahoma City top-four-protected first-round picks in both 2024 and 2026. The Thunder also have the right to swap firsts with Houston (top-10 protected) in 2025.
The Rockets have seven second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 5
What to watch: The luxury tax, point guard and backup center
The trade to acquire Robert Covington and Norman Powell last February is evidence the Clippers have the means to pull off a deal to improve their roster despite financial restrictions and limited draft assets.
The Clippers’ trade assets include a $9.7 million trade exception, nine players with contracts ranging from $3.4 million to $16.8 million, a first-round pick in either 2028 or 2029 and six second-round picks. The Clippers’ projected luxury tax penalty would increase from $144.7 to $199.9 million if the full trade exception is used.

Get your favorite live sports, stories and originals with ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu. Upgrade to a Disney Bundle plan and start streaming something for everyone today!
Given how expensive it would be to add to the roster, the Clippers’ front office needs to decide if the current roster, when healthy (which it hasn’t been often this season), can compete for a championship or if the team needs support at backup center or point guard. Ivica Zubac is the lone center on the roster and point guard Reggie Jackson is set to become a free agent in July.
The Clippers have featured 16 different lineups this season, and the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard has started a total of 15 games together. In those 15 games, Leonard and George have shared the floor for 349 minutes and the Clippers have outscored their opponents by 60 points in those minutes.
The Clippers’ starting point guards (they have started Reggie Jackson, John Wall and Terance Mann) rank in the bottom five in points, assists and field goal percentage this season.
Barring a trade, the Clippers can use their open roster spot to convert the two-way contract of Moses Brown.
Front-office trade history: The Clippers made both a basketball and a financially motivated trade last February. They acquired Powell and Covington from the Trail Blazers for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson and a 2025 second-round pick. Six days later, Serge Ibaka was traded to Milwaukee in a salary dump. In January 2018, the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons.
Last regular-season trade: As part of a four-team, seven-player trade, the Clippers dealt Ibaka to the Bucks. The trade lowered the Clippers’ tax bill by $30.4 million.
Trade we would like to see: Jason Preston, Brandon Boston Jr., Covington, Amir Coffey, a 2028 top-five-protected first to the Raptors for Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton and Juancho Hernangomez. The Clippers will send a 2028 and 2029 second to Toronto if the first in 2028 is not conveyed.
Trade exceptions: $9.7 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Clippers have an open roster spot and are projected to pay a $144.7 million tax penalty.
The Clippers are responsible to pay 15% of the remaining salary (not including the player option year) to Reggie Jackson and Kawhi Leonard if either player is traded.
Draft assets:
The Clippers owe Oklahoma City unprotected first-round picks in 2024 and 2026. The Thunder have the right to swap firsts in 2023 and 2025.
The Clippers are allowed to trade a first-round pick in 2028 or 2029, but not both.
The Clippers have six second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 8
What to watch: Rob Pelinka
The Lakers’ general manager was asked in the offseason about the heightened urgency to surround LeBron James with a roster that can compete for a championship.
“Let me be abundantly clear,” Pelinka said. “We have one of the greatest players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s got to be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”
Four months into the season, the Lakers are contending just to compete in the play-in tournament. Their lone regular-season transactions have been waiving Matt Ryan to create roster and financial flexibility and signing Sterling Brown to a 10-day contract.
The Lakers — like the league’s other 29 teams — have been playing the waiting game to see which teams might eventually tear down their rosters and make players available in trades.
LeBron James is on track to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leader in regular-season points this season. We’ll have complete coverage all year long.
Game-by-game points tracker
MacMahon: Could Luka catch LeBron?
The last game LeBron didn’t score 10
Windhorst: Who’s assisted LeBron most?
Goldsberry: The 3’s impact on LeBron
But what happens if the Lakers get to the trade deadline and there isn’t an All-Star-caliber player available? Would they make a smaller move that strengthens this season’s roster at the cost of additional salary, future cap flexibility and one (or both) of their available first-round picks?
For example, a hypothetical trade to acquire Kyle Kuzma from Washington for a 2027 first-round pick would help the roster now, but the Lakers could also wait until July — when he becomes a free agent — to sign him outright without sacrificing that pick.
Would the Lakers pass on the chance of improving the roster now and wait until the offseason with the hope of landing that third All-Star?
The free-agent class could include the names of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Fred VanVleet, Draymond Green and Khris Middleton.
The trade market is less appealing when you consider that the Lakers project to have $35 million in cap space, not enough to acquire a player like Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal if they were to become available in a trade. They could orchestrate a sign-and-trade with Russell Westbrook, but that would require a team to commit substantial money in the first year to the point guard.
The offseason is six months from now, and Pelinka has an obligation to look out for the best interest of the Lakers organization both now and the future. But remember what James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin in late December.
“I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is not in my DNA,” he said. “It’s not in my DNA anymore. … We’ll see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next couple years”
Front-office deadline history: In his four years of running the Lakers’ front office, Rob Pelinka has made one regular-season trade.
Last regular-season trade: Traded Rajon Rondo to Cleveland and $1.1 million cash to the Knicks in January 2022. The trade lowered the Lakers’ tax bill by $5.5 million.
Trade we would like to see: Two different trades. Patrick Beverley and Chicago’s 2023 second-round pick to the Spurs for Josh Richardson. Also, Kendrick Nunn and a 2027 first-round pick (top-seven protected) to New York for Immanuel Quickley and Svi Mykhailiuk. If the first-round pick isn’t conveyed, New York would receive second-round picks in 2027, 2028 and 2029.
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
Los Angeles has an open roster spot.
The Lakers are $18.6 million over the luxury tax and are projected to pay a $40.6 million penalty.
LeBron James cannot be traded.
The Lakers would owe Anthony Davis 15% of his remaining salary (not including the player option) in a bonus if he is traded.
Draft assets:
The Pelicans have the right to swap firsts in 2023.
The Lakers owe an unprotected first-round pick to the Pelicans in 2024. New Orleans can choose to defer the pick to 2025.
The Lakers are limited to trading at most two first-round picks.
The Lakers have seven second-round picks available to trade.
Trade meter: 4
What to watch: Danny Green
There are two ways to look at the future of Danny Green.
The first is Green’s return could be the Grizzlies’ big in-season addition without costing Memphis a draft pick or player. Green tore his left ACL in the second round of the playoffs last year as a member of the 76ers and told ESPN in late December that he is expected to return before the All-Star break.
The veteran has played in 165 playoff games, shooting 38.9% from 3, and won championships with the Spurs, Raptors and Lakers.
During the 2021-22 regular season, Green shot 41.6% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, more than five percentage points above league average. In last year’s playoffs, Green shot 41% from 3, his best 3-point field goal percentage in a single postseason since 2015-16.
The second way to look at Green’s future is to think his $10 million expiring contract would be worth more to Memphis in a trade than his potential play on the court.
Ja Morant gets to the basket and obliterates a defender with a one-handed slam.
The Grizzlies own all their first-round picks and are owed an additional first-round pick from the Warriors. They also have nine second-round picks available to use.
Trading a first-round pick would represent a shift in philosophy in how Memphis has built its roster.
Out of the 15 players under contract, 11 have been drafted by Memphis. Since taking over in April 2019, general manager Zach Kleiman has not traded a first-round pick.
Front-office trade history: Kleiman has made 27 trades, but only two during the regular season. It has been nearly three years since Kleiman has made a trade during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: In February 2020, Memphis traded Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to the Miami Heat for a package centered on Justise Winslow.
Trade we would like to see: Green, Xavier Tillman Sr. and a 2024 top-14-protected first to Utah for Malik Beasley.
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Grizzlies are $28.9 million below the luxury tax.
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke have a poison-pill restriction in their contracts. For trade purposes, Clarke counts as $4.3 million in outgoing salary and $10.9 million incoming for the acquiring team.
Draft assets:
The Grizzlies own all their first-round picks in the next seven years.
The Grizzlies are owed a first-round pick from the Warriors.
It is top-four protected in 2024, top-one protected in 2025 and unprotected in 2026.
Memphis has nine second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 5
What to watch: D’Angelo Russell
The future of Russell not only impacts the Timberwolves’ roster for the remainder of the season but the upcoming offseason.
Russell is in the last year of his contract and has averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 assists. At 26 years old, he should be in line for a contract extension, but his defense continues to be a liability.
When Russell is on the court, the Timberwolves have a 113.6 defensive efficiency. When he is off, that drops to 107.0.
Russell could be the odd man out because the Timberwolves’ window to improve their roster is starting to close. Minnesota could have $20 million in cap space this offseason but would need to waive Taurean Prince and Jordan McLaughlin (in addition to letting Russell walk).
Anthony Edwards is in line for a contract extension that would kick in starting in 2024-25, at which point the Timberwolves would have $130 million committed to three players (Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert).
Rather than waiting until the offseason, Minnesota could use Russell’s current salary to trade for a starting point guard who is under contract through the 2023-24 season (bypassing the option to get under the cap this summer).
For example, would the Heat move Kyle Lowry if it meant shedding his $29.7 million contract for next season? Mike Conley is another option, but the Jazz own the Timberwolves’ first-round pick in 2023, so there’s no incentive for Utah to help Minnesota improve.
If the Wolves made such a move at the deadline, Minnesota would be able to keep Prince and McLaughlin and sign a player to the $11.4 million midlevel exception and still remain below the luxury tax this summer.
The Wolves could also wait until the offseason and explore sign-and-trade options with Russell.
Besides its core players (Towns, Gobert and Edwards), Minnesota has eight players with salaries ranging from $1.1 million (Josh Minott) to $8.8 million (Kyle Anderson). One of those players, Naz Reid, averaged 20.2 points and 8 rebounds in four starts and is a free agent in July.
Front-office trade history: This is the first trade deadline for new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. While with the Nuggets, Connelly made 15 trades during the regular season, including acquiring Aaron Gordon from the Magic in 2021.
Last regular-season trade: Connelly acquired guard Bryn Forbes from the Spurs in January 2022 as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Celtics.
Trade we would like to see: Russell and a 2028 second-round pick to Miami for Lowry and Dewayne Dedmon. Lowry has championship DNA, but this would be a high-risk trade because of his health and deteriorating play the past two seasons. It might be best for Minnesota to pass and focus on the future of Russell in the offseason.
Trade exceptions: $4.4 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Timberwolves are $3.3 million below the luxury tax and $8.8 million below the hard cap.
Karl-Anthony Towns cannot be traded.
Nathan Knight has a one-year Bird restriction and can veto any trade.
Draft assets:
Minnesota is not allowed to trade a first-rounder.
The Wolves owe Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
The Wolves owe Utah a top-five-protected first-round pick in 2029.
The Jazz have the right to swap firsts in 2026.
The Timberwolves have three second-round picks available to trade.
Trade meter: 6
What to watch: Garrett Temple, Devonte’ Graham, Jaxson Hayes and draft equity
Because of their deep roster, the Pelicans could sit tight at the deadline and still likely finish in the top six in the Western Conference.
They could also take an aggressive approach and explore the cost to acquire additional shooting.
Get exclusive access to more than 3,000 premium articles a year from top writers.
Goldsberry: Six NBA trends to watch »
Clark: Updated NHL rookie rankings »
Connelly: CFB season’s best games »
More ESPN+ content »
As we saw last season when the Pelicans acquired CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr. from the Trail Blazers, New Orleans has the draft assets and tradable contracts to make a deal without hindering its rotation.
New Orleans controls all of its own future first-round picks and has built up its treasure chest of draft assets with unprotected firsts from the Lakers and Bucks along with swap rights in three different seasons with both teams.
From a contract standpoint, Temple, Graham and Hayes earn a combined $23 million this season and have averaged less than 15 minutes per game. Hayes is set to become a free agent, Temple’s contract next season is non-guaranteed and Graham is owed $15 million over the next two seasons.
Front-office trade history: The McCollum trade last February was only the second regular-season deal David Griffin has made with the Pelicans. In total, Griffin has made 14 trades since April 2019.
Last regular-season trade: Acquired McCollum, Nance and Tony Snell for Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a 2025 top-four-protected first from Milwaukee and two second-round picks.
Trade we would like to see: Temple, Hayes and a top-10-protected first in 2024 to Utah for Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson has a player option and re-signing him likely puts the Pelicans into the luxury tax next season. But the risk of losing Clarkson in free agency could be warranted if he helps New Orleans to a deep playoff run.
Trade exceptions: $1.8 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Pelicans are $3.4 million below the luxury tax. McCollum and Nance cannot be traded during the regular season. Brandon Ingram has a 15% trade bonus that is voided because it exceeds the maximum salary.
Jonas Valanciunas has a trade bonus that is the lesser of 15% of remaining compensation owed or $1 million. Zion Williamson has a poison-pill restriction. For trade purposes, $13.5 million counts as outgoing salary and $32.7 million counts as incoming salary for the acquiring team.
Draft assets:
New Orleans has its first-round selections in the next seven years.
The Pelicans have the right to swap firsts with the Lakers in 2023.
The Pelicans are owed an unprotected first-round pick from the Lakers in 2024 and can choose to defer the pick to 2025.
New Orleans has Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick, but only if it is No. 1-4. If it is No. 5-30, the Pelicans will convey the pick to the Knicks.
New Orleans has an unprotected 2027 first-round pick from Milwaukee.
The Pelicans have the right to swap firsts with Milwaukee in 2024 and 2026.
New Orleans has six second-round picks available to trade.
Trade meter: 5
What to watch: The trade exceptions: $10.2 million and $4.2 million
Oklahoma City is in a precarious position because the Thunder could take advantage of either exception and target teams looking to shed contracts, or even add players to upgrade the roster, but to do so they’d have to either waive or trade a current player. The Thunder have 13 players on the roster earning less than $10 million, and each of them has value both on and off the court.
The Thunder are the youngest team in the NBA since 1998-99, and waiving a veteran like Mike Muscala just to acquire a future second-round pick and cash would not be warranted.
Despite their cache of draft assets and financial flexibility, the Thunder likely won’t take a big swing on a superstar trade at the deadline. Sam Presti and his front office have transformed the roster the past two seasons with an eye on building a sustainable team for the future. That starts with a focus on player development and controllable contracts.
Front-office trade history: One of the longest-tenured executives, Sam Presti has been part of 85 trades since 2007.
Last regular-season trade: Acquired KZ Okpala last February from Miami. The terms of the 2023 first-round pick that Miami had already owed in a prior trade were amended. The Thunder now have a 2025 top-14-protected first from the Heat that becomes unprotected in 2026 if not conveyed in the prior season. The Thunder also received a 2026 second-round pick.
Trade we would like to see: Darius Bazley to Cleveland for Dylan Windler and a 2026 second-round pick (protected 31-35).
Trade exceptions: $10.2 million and $4.2 million
Cash available: $0 (to send out), $6.4 million (to receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
Oklahoma City is $7.8 million below the luxury tax.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has a 15% trade bonus in his contract.
The bonus is voided because it exceeds the maximum salary allowed. Kenrich Williams cannot be traded until Jan. 20.
Muscala has a one-year Bird restriction and can veto any trade.
Draft assets:
The Thunder have their own first-round selections in the next seven years.
They have the right to swap firsts with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.
They can also swap firsts with Houston in 2025 if the Rockets’ pick falls outside of the top 10.
The Thunder are owed unprotected first-round picks from the Clippers in 2024 and 2026.
The Thunder are owed top-five-protected first-round picks from the Rockets in 2024 and 2026.
The Thunder are owed a first-round pick from the Jazz that is top-10 protected in 2024 and 2025 and top-eight protected in 2026.
The Thunder are owed a first-round pick from the Heat that is top-14 protected in 2025 and unprotected in 2026.
The Thunder are owed a first-round pick from the 76ers that is top-six protected in 2025 and top-four protected in 2026 and 2027.
The Thunder have 14 second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 10
What to watch: Jae Crowder
Suns president James Jones was asked in December if there was a resolution with forward Jae Crowder, who has not played this season while awaiting a trade.
“There’s no window where they say, ‘Hey, all deals are done here,'” Jones told reporters. “We have natural deadlines, like the trade deadline, we usually have a flurry of deals. But other than that, it’s just finding the right fit. And we just haven’t been able to find that yet.”
The window Jones talked about is closing soon. The Suns will either trade Crowder before Feb. 9 or buy him out after the trade deadline.
Crowder can help a playoff contender looking for depth in the frontcourt. He has appeared in 107 playoff games, including back-to-back NBA Finals with Miami and Phoenix in 2020 and 2021.
Offensively, Crowder has primarily become a 3-point shooter with 67% of his shots coming from beyond the arc last season. However, he shot 35% on 3-pointers last season, down from 39% in 2020-21. Those struggles continued into the 2022 playoffs, where he made 30% of his 3-pointers.
Crowder has not played in an NBA game since last May, and teams likely view acquiring him as a three-month rental because of his expiring $10.2 million contract.
To further complicate things, Brian Windhorst detailed that outgoing owner Robert Sarver still has to give his personal sign-off on any deal for a player with a salary that is more than $10.8 million (the average player salary) and if a trade increases the Suns’ projected tax bill of $32.6 million.
Front-office trade history: The Suns have made back-to-back trade deadline deals, both involving Torrey Craig. In total, James Jones has made 11 trades, five during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: Traded Jalen Smith to Indiana for Craig and cash.
Trade we would like to see: Crowder to Milwaukee for Pat Connaughton and Jordan Nwora.
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Suns have an open roster spot and are $16.3 million over the luxury tax.
They are projected to pay a $32.9 million penalty.
Devin Booker cannot be traded during the season.
Deandre Ayton has the right to veto any trade. He also cannot be dealt to Indiana.
Draft assets:
The Suns have their own first-round pick in the next seven years.
They have seven second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 5
What to watch: Jerami Grant and the luxury tax
Jan. 7 signaled the first date that Grant was eligible to sign a four-year, $112.6 million extension.
Although no deal was immediately reached, Grant expressed his comfort level to remain with the Trail Blazers long term.
“I definitely like it here; love it here,” Grant told Jason Quick of The Athletic. “The guys have been very welcoming, it’s definitely a family environment, everybody is super cool, got good guys on the team, great organization — [general manager] Joe [Cronin], [coach] Chauncey [Billups], everything. I’m definitely enjoying it here.”
Grant has leverage not only because he is having an All-Star season but because the Trail Blazers do not have financial flexibility next season to replace him if he tests the market.
A new contract, either with an extension or via free agency this summer, likely pushes Portland into the luxury tax in 2023-24.
Speaking of the tax, does the front office have the green light to go into the tax if there is a trade that improves a bench that ranks last in points per game?
Portland is $67,482 below the threshold and would forfeit $17 million in tax distribution by going over.
Front-office trade history: Since taking over in January 2022, general manager Joe Cronin has been part of five trades, including three last February at the deadline.
Last regular-season trade: Traded for Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes and a 2022 second-round pick (Jabari Walker) in a three-team, five-player deal. The trade helped lower Utah’s tax payment by $10.9 million. A day earlier, the Trail Blazers traded CJ McCollum to New Orleans.
Trade we would like to see: Two trades. Keon Johnson to Houston for Garrison Mathews. Josh Hart to Indiana for TJ McConnell and Chris Duarte.
Trade exceptions: $6.5 million and $3.3 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Trail Blazers have an open roster spot but are $67,482 below the luxury tax line and $6.78 million below the hard cap.
Draft assets:
The Trail Blazers owe Chicago a first-round pick that has top-14 protection the next six years.
The earliest they can trade a first is two years after the pick is conveyed to the Bulls.
Portland has four second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Front-office trade meter: 5
What to watch: Richaun Holmes, Alex Len and Terence Davis
There is light at the end of the tunnel on the Kings’ playoff drought that started in 2006-07.
To get there, Sacramento will need to explore options on how to improve a defense that ranks in the bottom in defensive efficiency. The Kings have given up 100 points or more in all but two games and witnessed opposing teams score at least 125 points nine times (Sacramento is 3-6 in those games).
The Kings will need to either improve on the defensive end internally or make trades using Holmes, Len and Davis, all of whom have fallen out of the rotation. The three players earn a combined $18 million and Len and Davis are on expiring deals.
Because the Kings sent a top-14-protected 2024 first-round pick to Atlanta in the deal for Kevin Huerter this past offseason, Sacramento cannot trade another first-round pick until two years after the pick to Atlanta is conveyed (it is protected in both 2025 and 2026 as well).
The Kings do have nine second-round picks available and a $4 million trade exception.
Front-office trade history: In a span of two days last February, general manager Monte McNair traded Tyrese Haliburton for Domantas Sabonis and then sent Marvin Bagley III to Detroit in a four-team deal that brought back Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles and a 2024 second-round pick. In total, McNair has made 12 trades since taking over in 2020, six during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: The four-team, seven-player deal that sent Bagley to the Pistons.
Trade we would like to see: Len, Davis and a 2025 second-round pick (via Portland) to San Antonio for Josh Richardson.
Trade exceptions: $4 million and $1.6 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send and receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Kings are $16.5 million below the luxury tax and have an open roster spot.
Richaun Holmes has a 15% trade bonus in his contract.
The Kings are responsible for paying the percentage of the remaining compensation owed in his contract (not including his player option).
Draft assets:
Sacramento owes Atlanta a first-round pick.
The pick is top-14 protected in 2024, top-11 protected in 2025 and top-10 protected in 2026.
The earliest that Sacramento can trade a first is two years after the first to Atlanta is sent.
Sacramento has nine second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 10
What to watch: Cap space and the veterans
There is no shortage of deadline deal options for the Spurs.
As the trade with the Celtics in early January confirmed, San Antonio is open to taking back unwanted contracts if cash or draft picks are attached. The Spurs still have $27.7 million cap space and an open roster spot, so they do not have to send out a comparable contract in a deal.
All eyes are on 7-foot-4 French prospect Victor Wembanyama, the 2023 projected top pick. We’ll have complete coverage leading up to the June 22 draft on ESPN.
Teams contending for Wembanyama
Givony’s mock draft: Victor still on top
Stock watch: Wemby’s development
Can Wemby end Team USA’s dynasty?
For example, San Antonio could take on Russell Westbrook‘s salary in a trade by sending out Doug McDermott, Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson, and not have to come within 125% of matching Westbrook’s contract.
San Antonio is also $15.9 million below the minimum salary floor (90% of the cap). If the Spurs do not reach the floor, they have to distribute the shortfall among their own players. It should be noted that the salary owed to a player at the time and not his cap hit counts toward the floor.
The Spurs currently have the seventh-youngest roster in the NBA and two veterans — Poeltl and Richardson — who are on expiring contracts.
Poeltl is one of the more coveted trade candidates but has had some slippage this season defensively. Last season, Poeltl held opponents to 54.8% shooting at the rim per Second Spectrum tracking, a mark that has jumped to 63.9% in 2022-23. In addition, opponents have shot 49.6% when Poeltl contests any shot attempt this season. Last season, that figure was 46.0%.
If the return package is below average for Poeltl, San Antonio can hold on to the center until the offseason and explore sign-and-trade options, similar to what occurred in 2021 with DeMar DeRozan.
Front-office trade history: Before last season, San Antonio had made only one regular-season trade since 2014. Last January and February, the Spurs made four, acquiring four draft picks, including two firsts.
Last regular-season trade: Traded Derrick White to the Celtics for Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick (Blake Wesley) and the right to swap firsts in 2028 (top-one protected)
Trade we would like to see: A three-team trade with San Antonio, New York and Phoenix. The Spurs receive Dario Saric, Evan Fournier, a 2023 top-14-protected first (via Washington) and a 2024 top-14-protected first from Phoenix (will turn into a 2024 and 2025 second-round picks if not conveyed). Phoenix will receive Jakob Poeltl and Cam Reddish. New York will receive Jae Crowder and Josh Okogie.
Trade exceptions: None
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send out), $4.83 million (to receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
The Spurs have $27.8 million in available cap space and an open roster spot.
Keldon Johnson has a poison-pill restriction in his contract. For trade purposes, he counts as $3.8 million in outgoing salary and $15.6 million in incoming salary for the acquiring team.
Stanley Johnson cannot be traded.
Draft assets:
The Spurs have their own first in the next seven years.
The Spurs are owed a first-round pick from Charlotte.
The pick is top-16 protected in 2023 and top-14 protected in 2024 and 2025.
The Spurs are owed unprotected first-round picks from Atlanta in 2025 and 2027.
The Spurs also have the right to swap firsts in 2026. If Chicago sends a first to Orlando in 2023, then the Spurs will receive a 2025 top-10-protected first-round pick from the Bulls.
The pick is top-eight protected in 2026, 2027 and 2028.
San Antonio has the right to swap firsts with Boston in 2028.
The pick is top-one protected.
The Spurs have 13 second-round picks available to use in a trade.
Trade meter: 8
What to watch: The Jazz front office
If this was an NFL-style 17-game season, we would not be talking about the Jazz at the trade deadline. But after starting the year 11-6, Utah has fallen below .500 and is competing for one of the final play-in spots.
However, unlike last season — when the Jazz were backed into a corner with their roster, draft assets and finances — Utah is in a far more flexible situation.
Utah has the draft equity (14 future first-round picks), a potential All-Star in Lauri Markkanen on a team-friendly contract, young players on controllable deals (Collin Sexton, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Ochai Agbaji) and veterans (Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley) that the Jazz could look to keep or move for additional draft picks.
Clarkson, Beasley and Vanderbilt are three trade candidates to focus on but for different reasons.
Clarkson has a $14.3 million player option for 2023-24 and is eligible to sign a four-year, $72 million extension with the Jazz.
He is likely going to be one of the top shooting guards in free agency, and the inherent risk for trade suitors is the cost associated with a new contract and the possibility that he could leave for nothing. On the other hand, Clarkson brings valuable shooting and has played in 43 playoff games including the 2018 NBA Finals with Cleveland.
There are seven teams (Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Lakers, Oklahoma City, Orlando and San Antonio) that project to have significant cap space in the offseason.
Clarkson is averaging over 20 points for the first time in his career. He is also averaging a career high in assists and recording an effective field goal percentage of 53%, the second best in a season in his career.
Beasley is the player most likely to bring back the biggest return for Utah, because he is averaging 14 points per game off the bench and has a $16.5 million team option for next season, giving any team that acquires him an additional year of control. Beasley is also eligible to sign a four-year, $83.1 million extension with the Jazz through June 30.
Beasley has made 143 3-pointers this season, fourth most in the NBA, with 116 of them coming as a reserve, which leads the league. He has primarily been a catch-and-shoot player, making 96 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per Second Spectrum tracking, which ranks third in the NBA.
Vanderbilt has a $4.3 million team option for next season and ranks 30th among all players in defensive rebounding percentage (23.3%). For a second consecutive season, the forward is averaging 8-plus rebounds in less than 26 minutes per night. He is also averaging a career-high 8.5 points.
Front-office trade history: This is the second season for the front office of Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik. Last season, Utah made two financially motivated regular-season trades that lowered the team’s tax bill by $16 million. While in Boston, Ainge was not known for making changes to the roster during the regular season.
Last regular-season trade: Traded Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes and a 2022 second-round pick to Portland. The trade lowered Utah’s tax penalty by $10.9 million.
Trade we would like to see: Two separate trades involving Clarkson and Beasley. Utah sends Clarkson and Rudy Gay to Dallas for Tim Hardaway Jr. and a 2027 top-seven-protected first-round pick. If not conveyed, the Mavericks will send second-round picks in 2027 and 2029. The Jazz will also send Beasley to Memphis for Danny Green, Kennedy Chandler and a 2024 top-10-protected first-round pick. The Jazz will receive second-round picks from the Raptors (2024) and Pelicans (2025) if not conveyed.
Trade exceptions: $9.7 million, $9.6 million, $1.5 million
Cash available: $6.4 million (to send out) $4.6 million (to receive)
Salary info and restrictions:
Utah is $6.9 million below the luxury tax and $11.5 million below the hard cap.
Draft assets:
Utah will have three first-round picks in 2023: its own, Minnesota’s and the less favorable of Brooklyn’s or Houston’s (most likely Brooklyn’s).
Utah is owed unprotected first-round picks from Minnesota in 2025 and 2027.
Utah is owed a top-five-protected first-round pick from Minnesota in 2029.
Utah has the right to swap first-round picks with Minnesota or Cleveland in 2026.
Utah is owed unprotected first-round picks from Cleveland in 2025, 2027 and 2029.
Utah has the right to swap first-round picks with Cleveland in 2028.
Utah owes a first-round pick to Oklahoma City.
The pick is top-10 protected in 2024 and 2025, and top-eight protected in 2026.
Utah has four second-round picks available to use in a trade.

source

Return back to nfl

Return back to Home