NBA trade deadline 2023 predictions: Knicks, Nets busy

One more day.

That’s how long teams have to find that elusive last piece of their potential NBA championship puzzle.

The NBA trade deadline will pass at 3 p.m. ET Thursday. Perhaps the biggest move was already made when the Dallas Mavericks dealt for embattled Brooklyn Net Kyrie Irving on Sunday after he requested a trade.

But there are still plenty of moves to be made. Here are six trades we think could happen before Thursday afternoon.

NBA trade deadline predictions

Nets trade Kevin Durant to the Celtics for Jaylen Brown

Whether the Boston Celtics should actually do this is up for debate, but Jaylen Brown is due for a massive pay raise, to the tune of a five-year $290 million extension this offseason. The Celtics may love Brown, but do they love him that much?

Kevin Durant is in the first year of a four-year extension where he will make less on average than Brown should he get the full max extension for next season. Durant, 34, is eight years older, but his skills are malleable enough to fit with Jayson Tatum and he undoubtedly gets the Celtics closer to a title this season.

Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown
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This is the ideal match if they are willing to deal in the division with a rival. DraftKings has odds on Durant being traded. They believe he has a 66.67 percent (-200 odds) chance of being moved before Thursday’s deadline.

O.G. Anunoby is traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Dillon Brooks, Ziaire Williams, and three first-round draft choices

The bidding war for O.G. Anunoby has been rather shocking across the NBA. Anunoby was never the flashiest name in trade talks and is nowhere near the prolific scorer we see teams attempt to acquire at the deadline.

O.G. Anunoby
O.G. Anunoby
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Anunoby is a valuable asset thanks to his stinginess on the defensive end and extremely team-friendly contract that pays him just $11.6 million next year. Anunoby is your prototypical “three and d” player that should match up with the opposing team’s best offensive player in every game.

Fred VanVleet traded to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish, Obi Toppin, and the Mavericks’ 2023 top-10 protected first-round draft choice

In dire need of a shooter, the Knicks’ top front-office executives need to make a move that puts them in the thick of the playoff race. This possibly puts New York in a precarious position to overpay for a small upgrade, but VanVleet is not necessarily that.

The hard-nosed heat-check shooter could also be accompanied by Gary Trent Jr., as many speculative trade proposals see these two as a package deal. Should the Knicks pass on VanVleet, don’t be surprised if they target DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine.

Russell Westbrook, Lakers 2027 top-5 protected first-round pick, 2029 top-5 protected first-round pick traded to the Utah Jazz for Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay

After missing out on Kyrie Irving, the Lakers are still in dire need of competent guards to pair with the Lebron James-Anthony Davis frontcourt. Enter the Utah Jazz. After a surprisingly hot start, Utah has fallen back to earth and is barely hanging on to a Western Conference play-in spot. They are expected to sell off some of their valuable veteran pieces.

Conley and Beasley would be a significant upgrade for Los Angeles’ backcourt, which severely lacks shooting. Beasley is one of the best high-volume shooters in the NBA, while Conley has long been one of the league’s best on-ball/off-ball point guards. Gay could provide some solid wing depth off the bench for the Lakers.

If this trade happens, Westbrook would likely get bought out so he can sign with a contender — if one actually wants to take a chance on the former MVP. The first rounders that head to the Jazz in this trade are a ways out, but could end up being extremely valuable once those drafts come along.

Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet
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D’Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Terance Mann, Luke Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr.

Like the Lakers, the Clippers need help at the guard position. Russell would immediately slot in as the Clippers’ starting point guard and third fiddle behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Russell has been a questionable fit with 2020 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Edwards. This trade would help them get a bit younger and potentially garner a young, starting caliber guard in Mann. Russell is set to test free agency this summer, hence the underwhelming return.

The Clippers’ offer for Irving fell short as well, and owner Steve Ballmer is desperate to win a championship with his superstar duo. With limited resources to trade, this is likely his best option.

Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls to the Golden State Warriors for James Wiseman

Alex Caruso
Alex Caruso
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Who would’ve thought this would be a plausible trade a year or two ago?

Caruso could be the missing piece for the Warriors as they try to move up the Western Conference standings and defend their NBA title. It’s become obvious how much Golden State misses Gary Payton II’s defense — Caruso can replicate that effort and provide a bit more 3-point shooting.

The Bulls get a project and lottery ticket in Wiseman. The former second overall pick has the tools to one day become an All-Star caliber player, but it just hasn’t been working with the Warriors. It’s a sell-low move for Golden State, but one that needs to happen to prolong their championship window.

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