Biggest NBA Trades During the 2021-22 Season

Biggest NBA Trades During the 2021-22 Season

With the 2021-22 NBA Trade Deadline now a thing of the past, we can finally take a look back at all the incredible, league-changing NBA trades that went down at the midpoint of the season. There were quite a few of them as we witnessed a very busy deadline not even a week ago. 

It reminded us of how last offseason went, which saw Kyle Lowry traded to the Miami Heat, Russell Westbrook traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Grayson Allen traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Chicago Bulls trading for two guards in Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan

So far, those moves have played a big role in the 2021-22 regular season, which began on October 19, 2021. We’ve already seen several teams surprise us with their stellar play, but we’ve also seen several teams disappoint us for their lack of it. It has been quite a wild season.

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Ranking the Best NBA Trades This Season

Biggest NBA Trades During the 2021-22 Season
via CJ McCollum’s Instagram (@3jmccollum)

There were a lot of NBA trades made at this year’s trade deadline, which landed on February 10, 2022. Some teams were looking to beef up their roster for a playoff or championship push, while other teams were looking to ship players while they could still get something for them. 

In all, 15 trades were made ahead of the deadline. Those trades involved 22 teams and 56 players, as well as seven future first round draft picks and 17 future second round draft picks. And that doesn’t even include the five other trades that happened since the start of the new year.

With all these NBA trades, you might be wondering which ones were the most impactful on the league so far. Don’t worry, we’re going to look at all 20 NBA trades that have happened since January 3, 2022 and rank them in order from least important to most impactful. Let’s get started!

20. Thunder Get Miye Oni

On January 4th, the Utah Jazz sent guard Miye Oni and a future second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash considerations. The trade didn’t amount to much as the Thunder waived Oni just three days later. He hasn’t played a game in the NBA since. 

He did, however, sign a 10-day hardship contract with the New Orleans Pelicans on February 4th, one month after being traded. The former second-round draft pick in 2019 is still looking for his shot in the NBA after playing 80 games for the Utah Jazz between 2019 and 2022. 

19. Thunder Get KZ Okpala

On February 9th, the Miami Heat sent forward KZ Okpala to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2026 second-round draft pick. Not only that, but the 2023 first-round pick owed to the Heat will be amended to a 2025 first-round pick (1-14 protected), or 2026 first-round pick if not conveyed.

Much like the trade for Miye Oni, the Thunder ended up waiving Okpala just days after trading for him. The former second-round draft pick by the Phoenix Suns spent the past three years with the Heat and played in 63 games in that span. He’s a promising player if given a chance.

18. Celtics Get Daniel Theis

On February 10th, the Houston Rockets traded Daniel Theis to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom, and Bruno Fernando. The Celtics reacquired a big man that they believe in heavily, while the Rockets get some proven veterans in the locker room.

Theis spent the first three and a half years of his career with Boston but was traded to the Bulls in 2021 and the Rockets several months later. He now makes his return to Boston and will look to be a big part of their rotation moving forward. He was already having a productive year. 

17. Celtics Get Derrick White

On February 10th, the Boston Celtics acquired Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round draft pick, and a 2028 first-round draft pick swap. The Celtics were clearly high on White, evidenced by the large haul. 

White was drafted by the Spurs in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. He has averaged double-digit points in each of the past two seasons and is doing it again this season. He has already played in two games for the Celtics and he’s averaging 14.5 points per game thus far.

16. Nuggets Send Bol Bol Packing

On January 19th, the Denver Nuggets sent center Bol Bol to the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade. The Nuggets got Bryn Forbes, the Celtics got Bol Bol and PJ Dozier, and the San Antonio Spurs received Juancho Hernangomez, a future second-round draft pick, and cash. 

Of all the players involved in this trade, Bryn Forbes is the only player still with the team that traded for him. The other three players have since been traded (again). Hernangomez and Forbes are the only two to play in a game since this trade, with Forbes having more success.

15. Celtics Send Bol Bol Packing

On February 10th, the Boston Celtics traded Bol Bol, PJ Dozier, a future second-round draft pick, and cash considerations to the Orlando Magic in exchange for a 2023 second-round draft pick. Bol Bol and Dozier never suited up for the Celtics and haven’t suited up in the NBA since. 

Dozier was having himself a decent year in a limited role. He played in 18 games for the Nuggets and was averaging more than five points per game. On the other hand, Bol Bol was only averaging 2.4 points per game in 14 games played. We’ll see if either player turns it around.

14. Cavaliers Get Rajon Rondo

On January 3rd, the Los Angeles Lakers traded Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade that sent the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie to LA. The New York Knicks received Denzel Valentine, the draft rights to Wang Zhelin and Brad Newley, and cash. 

Rondo has played in 12 games with the Cavaliers since the trade. He’s averaging 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 21.7 minutes per game in Cleveland. He brings a veteran presence to a team that could use it as they prepare to make a strong playoff push.

13. Suns Get Torrey Craig

On February 10th, the Phoenix Suns received Torrey Craig and cash considerations in exchange for Jalen Smith and a 2022 second-round draft pick. Craig spent the second half of the 2020-21 season with the Suns, averaging 7.2 points per game in 18.8 minutes with the team.

He makes his return to Phoenix and will look to be a big part of the team’s plans moving forward. He has already played in one game with the team this season, putting up 14 points, three rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 23 minutes of play. He’s a player to watch. 

12. Suns Get Aaron Holiday

On February 10th, the Phoenix Suns received Aaron Holiday from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations. It was the second trade by the Suns made at the deadline as they looked to beef up their roster in hopes of making it to back-to-back NBA Finals. 

In 41 games with the Wizards this year, Holiday averaged 6.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 0.6 steals per game off the bench. He has already made his Suns’ debut, putting up 10 points and one rebound in nine minutes played. He made two of his three long-range field goals.

11. Spurs Add Goran Dragic

On February 10th, the San Antonio Spurs received Goran Dragic and a 2022 first-round draft pick from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, and a 2022 second-round draft pick. Unfortunately, the Spurs are expected to buy out Dragic soon. 

Dragic was involved in the offseason trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat. He joined Precious Achiuwa in Toronto and played in just five games for the team this season. He was actually drafted by the Spurs back in 2008 but still has yet to suit up for the team to this day.

10. Clippers Get Norman Powell

On February 4th, the Los Angeles Clippers received Norman Powell and Robert Covington from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a 2025 second-round draft pick via the Pistons. It was an excellent trade for LA. 

Unfortunately, Powell suffered a fractured bone in his foot after just three games with the Clippers. He averaged 21.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in those three games and was putting up a career-high 18.8 points per game this season. Still, Covington is a solid addition. 

9. Hornets Get Montrezl Harrell

On February 10th, the Charlotte Hornets received Montrezl Harrell from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Vernon Carney Jr., Ish Smith, and a 2023 second-round draft pick. The trade gave the Hornets a proven veteran off the bench and a former Sixth Man of the Year. 

Harrell has played two games with his new team so far and has been killin’ it with 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes per game since the trade. He could be a key piece for the Hornets moving forward as they look to build a contender. 

8. Knicks Get Cam Reddish

On January 13th, the New York Knicks traded Kevin Knox II and a protected first-round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill, and a 2025 second-round draft pick. It was a trade the Knicks’ head coach never wanted the GM to make. 

Reddish has played in seven games for his new team, all of which came off the bench. He’s averaging just 5.4 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.4 assists, and 0.7 steals in 12.0 minutes per game since the trade. He has a lot of talent and promise, but the Knicks need to learn how to use him.

7. Bucks Get Serge Ibaka

On February 10th, the Milwaukee Bucks received Serge Ibaka in a four-team trade. The Bucks also received two second-round draft picks and cash considerations, while the Los Angeles Clippers got Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, and Vanja Marinkovic as part of the trade. 

In addition to that, the Sacramento Kings received Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles, David Michineau, and a second-round draft pick, and the Detroit Pistons received Marvin Bagley III. It was a big trade that made each team stronger than they were before. 

6. Blazers Get Joe Ingles

On February 9th, the Portland Trail Blazers received Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, and a second-round draft pick in a three-team trade that involved the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs. The Jazz received Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez as part of the trade.

In addition to that, the Spurs received Tomas Satoransky and a second-round draft pick via Utah. The Spurs get a solid role player, the Jazz get a young player with a high ceiling, and the Trail Blazers get a quality veteran that brings a lot to a locker room that needs it right now.  

5. Cavaliers Get Caris LeVert

On February 7th, the Cleveland Cavaliers received Caris LeVert and a 2022 second round draft pick from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Ricky Rubio, a lottery-protected 2022 first round draft pick, and two 2022 second round draft picks. This was a slam dunk for the Cavaliers. 

LeVert was averaging nearly 19.0 points per game with the Pacers and has proven to be a reliable scorer in this league. He has already played in three games for Cleveland and is averaging 14.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game with the team. 

4. Kings Get Domantas Sabonis

On February 8th, the Sacramento Kings received Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 second round draft pick from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson. It was an excellent trade for both teams

The Kings received one of the best big men in the league right now, as well as some proven role players. On the other hand, the Pacers received one of the best young guard prospects and two veteran role players – one that can rebound and defend, and one that can shoot the ball well. 

3. Wizards Get Kristaps Porzingis

On February 10th, the Washington Wizards received Kristaps Porzingis and a 2022 second round draft pick from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. It’s a trade that suits both teams well as they look to contend in the near future. 

It was clear that the Mavericks weren’t going to win a title with Porzingis as their No. 2 guy, so they added two proven veterans to play alongside Luka Doncic. On the other hand, the Wizards get a No. 2 guy behind Bradley Beal – though they need much more than that moving forward.

2. Pelicans Get CJ McCollum

On February 8th, the New Orleans Pelicans received CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Josh Hart, Didi Louzada, Nickeil AlexanderWalker, Tomas Satoransky, a 2022 first round pick, and two second round picks.

The Trail Blazers wanted to win with Damian Lillard and McCollum, but it wasn’t going as planned and it was clear that a trade was needed. Now they enter a short rebuild as they look to build a contender next season. On the other hand, the Pelicans immediately got much better. 

1. 76ers Get James Harden, Nets Get Ben Simmons

On February 10th, the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers broke the internet with one of the biggest NBA trades in the past few years. The Nets sent James Harden and Paul Millsap to the 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first round picks. 

It was a trade that many people have been speculating for a long time. James Harden clearly wasn’t happy with his situation in Brooklyn, though he left much more quietly than he did in Houston. On the other hand, it’s nice to see the Ben Simmons debacle solved in Philadelphia. 

What Are the Best NBA Trades of All-Time?

The Harden-Simmons trade will go down as one of the biggest NBA trades of all-time, joining a long list of other amazing NBA trades we’ve witnessed through the years. It’s something that has always been a part of the league and it’s something that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Some of the best NBA trades of all-time include the Celtics trading for Bill Russell in 1956, the Lakers trading for Wilt Chamberlain in 1968, the Bucks trading for Oscar Robertson in 1970, Lakers trading for Kareem AbdulJabbar, and the Bulls trading for Dennis Rodman in 1995. 

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You also can’t forget about the Lakers trading for Kobe Bryant in 1996, the Heat trading for LeBron James in 2010, the Knicks trading for Carmelo Anthony in 2011, and the infamous Ray AllenGary Payton swap between the Seattle Supersonics and Milwaukee Bucks in 2003.

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