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Power Rankings 6.0: Trade deadline recap

It's time for the sixth iteration of the weekly bballdistrict Power Rankings! We'll count down each team from worst to best, check in on the state of each squad, and this week we'll take a look at each team's trade deadline moves. (Stay tuned every Sunday for brand new rankings and a new theme!)


REMEMBER: While we all have our fair share of opinions when it comes to winners and losers of the trade deadline, we can never know for sure how these deals will impact teams moving forward. For that reason, teams won't be moved up or down in our Power Rankings based on post-deadline expectations, but purely based on their on-court product, much like injuries don't cause teams to fall.


30. San Antonio Spurs (14-43) (=)

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Spurs had a quintessential sellers deadline, trading Jakob Poeltl to Toronto for Khem Birch, a protected first round pick, and two seconds, then sending Josh Richardson away for Devonte Graham and a slew of seconds. Neither player is likely to help them win many games, playing perfectly into their bid for the first overall pick and the right to draft Victor Wembanyama. San Antonio also sent cash to the Heat in exchange for a second round pick and Dewayne Dedmon, who they quickly waived.


29. Charlotte Hornets (15-43) (=)

Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The rebuilding Hornets made some future-oriented moves as well. First, they moved Jalen McDaniels and a second round pick to Philadelphia in a three-team deal that brought Svi Mykhailiuk's expiring contract and two more second rounders to Charlotte. Mitch Kupchak also dealt Mason Plumlee to the Clippers for a second round pick and Reggie Jackson, who agreed to a buyout and is signing with the Nuggets. Perhaps more important than any compensation, the departure of Plumlee allows Charlotte to give more playing time to their younger bigs - Mark Williams and Nick Richards.


28. Houston Rockets (13-43) (-1)

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Rafael Stone and the Rockets made quick work of the deadline, finalizing their only two trades of the afternoon within a 10 minute span. One saw end of the bench players from the Rockets and Hawks swap homes, with two second rounders coming to Houston in the deal. The second, more significant deal answered the calls to free Eric Gordon, routing him to the Clippers in a three-teamer that brought Danny Green to the Rockets from the Grizzlies, and John Wall back from LA. Green's $10 million expiring contract was clearly appealing to Stone. Wall has been bought out, as Wall is expected to, but regardless Houston accomplished their goal of unloading the few veterans left on their roster.


27. Detroit Pistons (15-42) (+1)

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The Pistons defied expectations at the deadline by holding on to top trade candidate Bojan Bogdanovic, but unfortunately for them, that's not top of mind at the moment. Detroit is one of four teams currently in limbo after a complex trade involving the Pistons, Warriors, Hawks, and Blazers is in jeopardy following a failed physical by Gary Payton II. The ball is in Golden State's hands as the one's set to receive Payton, so they have until 9:30 ET on Sunday night to decide whether the trade will go through or not. If the deal holds up, the Pistons will be sending Saddiq Bey to Atlanta via Golden State, and getting back former second overall pick James Wiseman, a project they're willing to take on given their timeline.


26. Chicago Bulls (26-30) (-3)

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Marc Eversley must have some sort of plan, but it's not exactly easy to detect. Eversley's Bulls were one of just two teams to not make a trade this year. This is despite the fact that Chicago is struggling mightily this season, two of their three stars - DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic - are on the wrong side of 30, and their fourth best player - Lonzo Ball - hasn't stepped on an NBA floor in 13 months. It's a puzzling decision to stand pat, one that will surely have Bulls fans demanding a more clear course of action this offseason.


25. Indiana Pacers (25-33) (-6)

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The Pacers had a quiet deadline, shunning the Buddy Hield rumors, and making just one trade. Indiana took on the Bucks' unwanted contracts, getting Jordan Nwora, as well as expiring veterans Serge Ibaka and George Hill. Indiana also received three second round picks in the deal. The Pacers waived Ibaka, and reportedly allowed Hill to choose whether to stay or go, Hill quickly chose to stay and enjoy a second stint in Indiana.


24. Orlando Magic (21-32) (+2)

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The young Magic's lone deal was a four-teamer, shipping Mo Bamba off to the Lakers in exchange for Patrick Beverley and cash considerations, as well as a second round pick from Denver. This is a heady trade by John Hammond, who brings in a pick and $13 million of expiring money while freeing up a spot in a logjam of a talented Orlando frontcourt.


23. Los Angeles Lakers (26-31) (-1)

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Trade season started early for Rob Pelinka and the Lakers, who were among the busiest teams. First, Rui Hachimura was routed to LA for Kendrick Nunn and three second round picks (which seemingly marked the beginning of the trend of moving around absurd numbers of second rounders). Then the big one: D'Angelo Russell returns for a second stint with the Lakers, arriving alongside Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley. This sends Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Damian Jones to Utah, as well as a protected first round pick, while the Timberwolves receive Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and picks. The mega-deal is a major upgrade for the Lakers, which should help them make a playoff push. Additionally, the Lakers snagged Mo Bamba, Devon Reed, and three second round picks, giving up Patrick Beverley, Thomas Bryant, and cash.


22. Toronto Raptors (26-31) (+3)

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Evidently, where there's smoke, there's not always fire. Despite the rumors flying all over the place in Toronto regarding just about everybody besides Scottie Barnes, the only player shipped out was Khem Birch. Everyone should've known Masai Ujiri wouldn't go full rebuild, instead looking for an upgrade. And he found one, bringing Jakob Poeltl back for another go-round in Canada, and sending Birch, a protected first rounder, and two seconds to San Antonio. It's worth noting that Poeltl's contract is expiring, but the Raptors presumably feel confident about their ability to re-sign him. Now it's time to see if Poeltl can help turn around the Raptors disappointing season.


21. Washington Wizards (26-29) (=)

Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

It was another confounding deadline for Tommy Sheppard and company, who stayed silent after exporting Rui Hachimura to Los Angeles for Kendrick Nunn and picks. The Wizards seem content with their typical plan to hold onto Bradley Beal and whoever else happens to be in their core at the given moment, even when they have no clear path to contention by doing so.


20. Portland Trailblazers (27-29) (=)

Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

That Wizards description likely sounds pretty familiar for Blazers fans too. Portland only has so many elite years left of Damian Lillard, who they'll almost certainly never trade, and yet their deadline moves were emblematic of a team looking to start a youth movement. They got in on the action early by bringing in Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk, and a first round pick from the Knicks for Josh Hart. Portland then rerouted Mykhailiuk and a second rounder to grab Matisse Thybulle. Finally, they're attempting to flip Gary Payton II for Kevin Knox and five second rounders, but will only be successful if the Warriors are willing to take an injured Payton.


19. New Orleans Pelicans (29-28) (+5)

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Josh Richardson was the only deadline addition for the Pelicans, who have had an up and down season, largely due to injuries. New Orleans continued the trend of giving up stacks of second round picks to get their guy, pairing those picks with Devonte Graham to net themselves Richardson.


18. Utah Jazz (28-30) (-2)

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Welcome to Utah, Russell Westbrook. The Jazz didn't make many trades, but they unloaded quite a few assets in on fell swoop. The Jazz got back Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and a protected first rounder in a multi-team deal that saw Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker depart from Salt Lake City. Though Westbrook hasn't officially been bought out yet, the current expectation is that he will be, and that the Bulls and Clippers will be frontrunners for his services. For the Jazz, the move should be beneficial for their plethora of young talent, who'll know get more in-game opportunities, particularly in crunch time.


17. Phoenix Suns (31-27) (=)

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Blockbuster. With half the nation asleep, the Phoenix Suns came out of nowhere to pull off one of the biggest trades in NBA history, sending MIkal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first round picks, and one first round swap to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Kevin Durant and TJ Warren. Giving up their iron man in Bridges clearly hurts for Phoenix, but there's no question they're thrilled to have gotten a deal done without giving up Chris Paul, Devin Booker, or Deandre Ayton, who will join forces with Durant to form one of the most formidable quartets in the league.


16. Minnesota Timberwolves (30-29) (-1)

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Despite their steadily improving performance after a disheartening start to the season, the Timberwolves decided it was time to shake things up, sending D'Angelo Russell to the Lakers for Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and picks. The lone Wolves trade brings more experience and reliability to Minnesota.


15. Dallas Mavericks (31-27) (+3)

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The biggest domino to fall was Kevin Durant, but the first major one came from Dallas. Nico Harrison pounced on Kyrie Irving's request to be traded away from the Brooklyn Nets, swinging a deal for Irving and Markieff Morris, finally finding Luka Doncic a star to play alongside him. Dorian FInney-Smith, Spencer DInwiddie, a first round pick, and two second round picks arrived in Brooklyn as a result. The Mavericks are 2-1 since adding Irving, who's averaging just over 25 points per game as a Mav.


14. Los Angeles Clippers (31-28) (-1)

Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Trying not to be completely out-traded by their Los Angeles counterparts, the Clippers made three deadline deals of their own. Bones Hyland became became a Clipper as LA sent two second round picks to Denver. Mason Plumlee arrived in the City of Angels, while Reggie Jackson was moved to Charlotte. And finally, Eric Gordon joined the squad in a multi-team deal that netted Gordon and three second rounders for Los Angeles, while the Clippers gave up John Wall and Luke Kennard. The trades give the Clippers a couple of reliable veterans at their positions in Gordon and Plumlee, plus a high ceiling player in Hyland.


13. Oklahoma City Thunder (27-28) (-1)

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The Thunder finalized just one swap at the deadline, adding Justin Jackson, who they waived, and two second round picks from the Celtics for Mike Muscala. The veteran stretch big stuck out like a sore thumb on Oklahoma City's roster full of youth, so it was no surprise to see him go.


12. Golden State Warriors (28-28) (=)

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The Warriors have a big decision to make. They expect Gary Payton II to miss a significant portion of the remaining regular season, which was not disclosed to them by the Trailblazers. Bob Myers and Golden State now have until 9:30 pm ET to decide whether to allow the trade to go through. If they choose to allow it, Payton will come back to the bay, while James Wiseman will be on his way out. If not, everybody involved goes back to their initial home.


11. Miami Heat (32-25) (-1)

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The Heat love to have good team chemistry, and it showed at the deadline. Miami made just one trade, giving the Spurs a second round pick to take on Dewayne Dedmon's contract. The Heat received cash considerations in the deal.


10. Atlanta Hawks (29-28) (+1)

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The fourth and final team involved in the Gary Payton II mess is the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks agreed to trade three second round picks to the Warriors in exchange for Saddiq Bey. Kevin Knox would be sent to Portland in the deal. That trade is in jeopardy, but the Hawks did have one swap go through successfully, picking up Bruno Fernando and Garrison Mathews from Houston, giving up Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky in return.


9. Brooklyn Nets (33-23) (-3)

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So, the Nets look a little different now. Departing from Brooklyn were Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, TJ Warren, Kessler Edwards, and Markieff Morris. Arriving were Mikal Bridges, Dorian FInney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Johnson, five first round picks, a first round pick swap, three second round picks, and a partridge in a pear tree. To the surprise of many, the Nets pursued win-now role players in their two megadeals as opposed to looking towards the future as they did with their pick acquisitions. As a result, they've ended up with a fun mix of guys that actually plays solid basketball. And a Dinwiddie, Johnson, Bridges, Finney-Smith, Claxton starting lineup would be a formidable defensive unit.


8. Memphis Grizzlies (34-21) (=)

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The Grizzlies found an upgrade for their squad in the form of Luke Kennard. Zach Kleiman gave up Danny Green and three second rounders to snag Kennard, who will now team up with Desmond Bane to form arguably the best pure three point shooting duo in the NBA.


7. New York Knicks (31-27) (+2)

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The Knicks made a win-now move, picking up Josh Hart in a three-team trade involving the Trailblazers. New York let Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, and a first round pick go to Portland in exchange for Hart, who joins his ecstatic former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson in the Big Apple.


6. Sacramento Kings (32-24) (-1)

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The Kings predictably didn't want to mess with their newfound success by doing anything of significance, as their one contribution to the deadline frenzy was a minor swap with Brooklyn. The Kings relinquished the draft rights to David Michineau in order to take Walker Kessler and cash considerations off of Brooklyn's hands.


5. Denver Nuggets (39-18) (-2)

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Denver tied up their loose ends as a tumultuous relationship with Bones Hyland culminated with Hyland being moved to the Clippers for a couple of second round picks. The Nuggets also got Thomas Bryant in the four-teamer, giving up Davon Reed and two second round picks.


4. Cleveland Cavaliers (32-22) (+3)

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Koby Altman's Cavaliers were the other franchise to sit on the sidelines during the deadline madness. Caris LeVert and Kevin Love, along with Cedi Osman, were rumored to be on the trade block, but Altman ultimately didn't see an upgrade that he deemed worthy of pulling the trigger on. The young Cavs are already towards the top of the league, so letting them continue to develop chemistry and cohesion could be valuable for them.


3. Philadelphia 76ers (36-19) (-1)

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Philadelphia finally had enough of Matisse Thybulle's offensive struggles, dealing him to Portland, and giving a second round pick to Charlotte to get back Jalen McDaniels and two seconds. McDaniels figures to have a chance to enter the starting lineup if productive.


2. Boston Celtics (40-16) (+2)

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The Celtics made the first in-season trade of the year, sending Noah Vonleh and cash to the Spurs in a blockbuster that saw a second round pick on it's way to Boston. Then, at the deadline, they made a slightly more impactful trade, bringing in Mike Muscala from Oklahoma City. The Thunder got Justin Jackson and two second round picks in return.


1. Milwaukee Bucks (39-17) (=)

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The Bucks single trade of the year brought them Suns outcast Jae Crowder as part of the Kevin Durant mega-deal. Milwaukee parted ways with Jordan Nwora, Serge Ibaka, George Hill, and five second round picks in order to land Crowder.


That does it for this week's bballdistrict Power Rankings! Come back next week to see the updated rankings, risers and fallers, and check out our new weekly theme!


Disagree with our placement of your team? Let us know in the comments below!

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