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2023 NBA trade grades: Suns, Mavs, Rockets all make big summer splashes

Free agency is widely considered to be the main draw of the NBA’s offseason, but as we’ve seen, the summer is also a time when teams decide to shake up their rosters through a series of trades.

Unfortunately, not every trade is balanced, and more often than not, there are winners and losers. Here’s how Fox Sports’ NBA contributors rated the deals done so far:

Trade: Mavericks get Williams, Spurs get Bullock (July 12)

Mavericks get: grant williams2025 second-round pick, 2028 second-round pick
Tottenham get: Reggie Bullock2030 first-round pick swap
Celtics get: 2024 second-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, 2030 second-round pick

Calf Rating: B+

Despite having two superstars in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, the Mavericks still have a “win now” mentality after missing the playoffs last season. Bringing in 24-year-old Williams bolstered their depth by giving them a 6-foot-6 wing who could shoot 3s and defend.

—Melissa Rollin

Trade: Rockets sign Brooks to five-team deal (July 8)

The Rockets get: Dillon Brooks, Alpha KabaTwo future second-round picks
Thunder get: Patty Mills (later traded to the Eagles), 2024 second-round pick, 2029 second-round pick, 2030 second-round pick
Eagles get: Usman Garuba, baby washingtonTwo future second-round picks
The Grizzlies get: josh christopher
The Clippers get: Kenyon Martin Jr.

Rockets Rating: C+

Let’s face it: General manager Raphael Stone bought damage on Brooks, who was universally mocked for trying to clown LeBron James in the Grizzlies’ first-round series with the Lakers, only to end up donning a red nose and a rainbow wig. Given that, his new four-year, $80 million deal looks ridiculous, but it’s actually a bargain if they get Brooks, who faced the Timberwolves and Warriors a year ago. Stone won’t make the deal unless he thinks the presence of coach Ime Udoka and point guard Fred VanVleet can get Brooks back to that level.

— Rick Bucher

Trade: Jazz sign big man Collins (July 7)

Jazz get: john collins
Eagles get: Rudy GayFuture second-round picks

Jazz Level: A+

Add another title to Jazz president Danny Ainge’s office door: Thief. The Jazz needed more athleticism, and they basically stole some, trading 36-year-old Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick for Collins’ 25-year-old pogo stick. I also want to personally thank Ainge for ending what appeared to be two years of trade rumors involving Collins.

— Buch

Trade: Toppin heads to Indiana (July 7)

Pacers get: Obi Toppin
Knicks get: Two future second-round picks

Pacers Rating: A

Because of the Knicks’ obsession with Julius Randle, we’ll never know if Toppin will be New York’s eighth overall pick. His play was inconsistent, but so was his playing time. The Pacers need size and rebounding, and Toppin is certainly worth the gamble for two future second-round picks.

— Buch

Trade: Kings acquire Duarte from Pacers (July 6)

King gets: Chris Duarte
Pacers get: 2028 second-round pick, 2030 second-round pick

Pacers Rating: Second

Have you ever gone shopping and bought something you didn’t really need, but the price was too good to turn down? That’s how I feel about this deal. Two future lottery picks second-round pick To me, Duarte isn’t thrilled with his reduced role in Indy, and while the Kings have a ton of depth and a versatile wing, they can’t pass up an opportunity to see if Duarte can stay healthy and prove himself to be more of a playoff player than Kevin Huerter has been so far.

— Buch

Trades: Cavaliers trade Miami’s Struth (July 6)

The Cavaliers get: Max Struth
Tottenham get: Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens2030 second-round pick

Cavaliers grade: B+

The Cavaliers need to improve their outside shooting, and Struth will certainly help with that. Last season, he averaged a career-high 11.5 points while shooting 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc. Of course, the Cavaliers had to give up Osman and Stevens to acquire Struth, but if Struth continues to grow and perform like he did in Miami, it would be a very smart move.

— Rollins

Trade: Warriors bet on CP3 (July 6)

Warriors get: Chris Paul
Wizards get: Jordan Poole, ryan rollinsProtected 2030 first-round Rick, 2027 second-round pick

Warrior Level: Second

I must admit, I was surprised. But it makes sense.

On the Warriors side, when they got together in their second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, it became clear that they needed to trade Jordan Poole. He is not doing well. The tension is palpable. Of course, that’s not to mention the cloud that hangs over the team all season following the incident between Poole and Draymond Green last October. Poole needs to go, especially if Green (who has opted out of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent) returns, which he says is his goal.

Paul brought a Hall of Fame point guard to the Warriors, and the 38-year-old is a savvy veteran capable of providing assists to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. With this trade, the Warriors cut costs because Paul is already in the penultimate year of his non-guaranteed contract next season. They make a powerful statement: They care about the present, not the long run. What I’m most interested in here is how Paul and Green’s exemplary leadership styles will blend if Green returns?

Wizard Level: B+

For the Wizards, it makes sense during their rebuild. It also helps explain why they traded Bradley Beal to Phoenix. Poole, 24, signed a four-year, $123 million contract extension with the Golden State Warriors starting next season, playing behind a group of Warriors stars. Now in Washington, we’ll be able to see if he can be who he thinks he can be.

That could allow Poole to spread his wings and become an All-Star. For example, Kyle Kuzma (who declined the Wizards’ player option and will become a free agent) told Fox Sports in January that he was able to “expand my game and thrive” after the Lakers traded him to Washington. For the Wizards’ sake, let’s hope Poole becomes the star he was supposed to be and the team successfully builds around him.

— Rollins

Trade: Suns make big signing of Beal (June 24)

The sun gets: bradley beal, Isaiah Todd (since traded to Grizzlies), jordan goodwin
Wizards get: Chris Paul (later traded to Warriors), Landry Shamet, Bilal KoulibalyMultiple first-round pick swaps, multiple second-round picks
Pacers get: jaras walkerTwo future second-round picks

Suns Rating: B+

The Chris Paul era is clearly over in Phoenix, and after reaching the NBA Finals in 2021 and then disappointingly stalling in the second round of the playoffs twice in 2022 and 2023, the Suns made it clear after acquiring Kevin Durant last season that anything that wasn’t a title contender was a failure. The Suns traded 38-year-old Paul, Shamet, and a second-round pick and draft pick for 30-year-old Beal, which certainly got an upgrade. But the Suns are still woefully lacking in depth, and if their star gets injured, they’ll obviously suffer. Therefore, the Suns did not give up much in order to get Bill. But they’re also taking a big gamble here and not giving themselves much of a backup plan.

— Rollins

Trade: Celtics trade Smart to Porzingis (June 23)

Celtics get: Kristaps Porzingisthe 25th overall pick, the 2024 first-round pick (from warrior)
The Grizzlies get: Marcus Smart
Wizards get: tyus jones, Daniel Gallinari, Mike Muscalathe 35th overall pick

Celtics Rating: A-

On paper, the Boston Celtics got the most: a big man in his prime and two first-rounders. That’s why Brad Stevens had to pull the trigger. Impossible to measure is the impact of losing their emotional leader, Marcus Smart, and likely using Porzingis to make Grant Williams a sacrifice. For a team that arguably didn’t have enough toughness, it meant they lost a lot of toughness. Would losing Smart reflect what happened when the team traded for Kendrick Perkins or when Kyrie left? This is to be determined.

— Buch

Ric Bucher is an NBA contributor for FOX Sports. He has previously contributed to The Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and The Washington Post, and is the author of two books: Rebound, about NBA forward Brian Grant’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease as a young man, and Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher.” Follow him on Twitter @Rick Butcher.

Melissa Rohlin is an NBA contributor for FOX Sports. She has previously covered the league for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area News Group and the San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa Rollin.


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