NBA blockbuster trades have played a major role in the league over the past few years. From Kyrie Irving and James Harden to Russell Westbrook, some of the most recognizable faces in the NBA have been covered recently.
We can expect that to continue through the summer of 2022 with free agents looking for signings and trades and other stars likely to move on. Below is a look at six blockbuster NBA trades we could see this summer.
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Jalen Brunson signs and trades with the New York Knicks
- New York Knicks get: Jalen Brunson
- Dallas Mavericks get: Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, 2023 1st round pick
Recent reports suggest that Brunson at the Big Apple is almost a foregone conclusion. Specifically, the young star point guard is eyeing something to the tune of $100 million over four seasons.
As you can see, the 25-year-old Brunson is coming off a tremendous campaign for Dallas. He would fit right in with the Knicks, teaming up with RJ Barrett to form what would be a great backcourt.
The only question here is whether New York will look to sign Brunson by creating more cap space after dealing Kemba Walker in the 2022 NBA draft. Instead of going that direction, we predict the Knicks will find a way to sign and trade to help Dallas get something back. In return, the Knicks continue to boast that they have enough wiggle room to make another move.
From the Mavericks’ perspective, acquiring a 2023 first-round pick from New York would be the headliner. Dallas is also getting two rotational plays to build up more depth in the backcourt after earning a surprise trip to the Western Conference Finals last season.
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Malcolm Brogdon heads for the Big Easy
- New Orleans Pelicans get: Malcolm Brogdon
- Indiana Pacers get: Devonte’ Graham, Larry Nance Jr., 2 1st round picks
After a surprise playoff run, the Pelicans are looking to turn the corner and become legitimate contenders next season. Much will depend on Zion Williamson’s health. There’s also a need at point guard even after New Orleans selected Dyson Daniels in the top 10 of the 2022 NBA draft.
Simply put, Graham didn’t cut it last season alongside CJ McCollum after the latter was acquired in one of the NBA’s biggest in-season trades of the 2021-22 campaign. In short, Brogdon would be a massive upgrade over Graham. It’s not close.
As for Indiana, youngsters Chris Duarte and Tyrese Haliburton are set to handle starting guard duties in the future. The Pacers also selected winger Bennedict Mathurin in the NBA Draft last week. Brogdon is probably the odd one out.
In this scenario, Indiana adds two future first-round picks with lottery protections. He’s also getting a valuable player back in Larry Nance Jr. who could be flipped over for other upside as the Pacers reorganize with their now young roster.
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D’Angelo Russell traded to Washington Wizards
- Washington Wizards get: D’Angelo Russell, 1st round pick
- Minnesota Timberwolves get: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
It’s no secret that Minnesota is looking to get rid of Russell and his bloated contract after a poor playoff performance. Russell has fallen out of favor in the Twin Cities and will likely be dealt with here within the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, reports from DC now indicate that star guard Bradley Beal will opt out of his contract and re-sign with the Wizards. Now is high time for Washington to find him that point guard to team up with going forward.
- D’Angelo Russell’s stats (2021-22): 18.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.1 APG, 41% shooting, 34% 3 point
A core three of Russell, Beal and Kristaps Porzingis has playoff feel in the nation’s capital. Washington also adds a future first-round pick by accepting Russell’s contract and can create financial flexibility in the summer of 2023 with the veteran entering a contract year.
Minnesota’s involvement here is obvious. Patrick Beverley would take over starting point guard duties alongside star Anthony Edwards in the backcourt. Meanwhile, Kuzma would fit in extremely well in the four alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. Still just 27, Kuzma was averaging 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a season ago. As for KCP, he is still a strong two-way forward and would add a capable defense to the mix.
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Dejounte Murray trades with the Atlanta Hawks
- Atlanta Hawks get: Dejounte Murray, Josh Richardson
- San Antonio Spurs get: Onyeka Okongwu, Danilo Gallinari, 3 1st round picks, pick trades
With the Hawks and Spurs currently engaged in talks over Murray, this could end up being one of the biggest NBA trades in recent memory. San Antonio would require four first-round picks with limited protections. He is also interested in acquiring Okongwu after the former top-six pick performed much better as a sophomore in 2021-22.
As for Atlanta, it’s not yet known if the team will meet that asking price. However, a deal was apparently close in the run up to free agency. The idea would be to team up with Murray and guard Trae Young to form one of the best backcourts in the NBA.
- Dejounte Murray’s stats (2021-22): 21.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 9.2 APG, 46% shooting, 33% 3 point
In exchange for Murray, San Antonio gets the aforementioned Okongwu. The young center averaged 8.2 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore last season. On top of that, Gregg Popovich’s team is also acquiring first-round picks in 2023 (via Charlotte), 2024 and 2026 as well as the right to trade first-rounders in 2025 and 2027. Talk about a bounty.
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Rudy Gobert heads north
- Toronto Raptors get: Rudy Gobert, Jared Butler
- Utah Jazz gets: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr.
Now that the Jazz have chosen their next head coach, attention is turning to the appearance of a trade with Rudy Gobert. It will be moved. It’s only a matter of time, with the Raptors being among the most talked about teams.
Toronto is trying to create a more balanced roster with the excess wingers and forwards it has. With reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in Toronto, Anunoby isn’t happy with his role. He would be a perfect fit alongside Donovan Mitchell in Salt Lake, creating a strong youth pairing.
Utah could also flip Trent Jr. for more upside or start him on the wing next to Mitchell. It just makes too much sense.
Of course, that would be a high price for the Raptors to pay. But adding one of the best defensive greats of this generation in Barnes, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet would make Toronto a legitimate contender for the conference title going forward.
Kyrie Irving finds himself in Big D
- Dallas Mavericks get: Kyrie Irving
- Brooklyn Nets get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardway Jr., Josh Green, 1st round pick
As far as NBA trade goes, that would be a real miracle. While Irving has opted into his contract for next season, things are far from settled in Brooklyn. The enigmatic playmaker had asked permission to seek a sign and trade before anything materialized to that end. There’s still a good chance he’ll ask for a trade or the Nets will shove the displeasure away altogether.
It remains to be seen whether this will have an impact on Kevin Durant’s future in the Big Apple. He will also play a role in the Nets’ internal thought process. But from an on-court perspective, reacquiring Dinwiddie to team up with KD and Ben Simmons would seem like a win in this scenario. Brooklyn also adds a capable wing in Hardaway Jr. and a future unprotected first-round selection from Dallas.
As for the Mavericks, they find Luka Doncic that legit star after leading them to the Western Conference Finals a season ago. Add to that the hypothetical trade we mentioned above that sends Brunson to the Knicks, and the Mavericks will have created a well-rounded roster. Doncic, Irving and Christian Wood are a formidable core trio going forward.
What NBA trades would you like to see this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.