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NBA Trade Deadline: Three best moves; Knicks add Bojan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield fills big hole in Philly

The 2024 NBA trade deadline has passed. You can track every deal that was made here. Who were the big winners and losers? Colin Ward-Henninger has you covered. Sam Quinn also has grades for every NBA team. What I’m going to do is rank my three favorite deals from Thursday. 

Notably, this excludes trades made prior to Thursday. James Harden to the Clippers, OG Anunoby to the Knicks and Pascal Siakam to the Pacers … all great moves, but they don’t factor into this piece. 

So here we go. My top three trades, in order, from Thursday:

1. Bojan Bogdanovic to Knicks

Leon Rose is on some kind of winning streak. He hasn’t missed since he signed Jalen Brunson to what has turned out to be arguably the highest value contract in basketball. The Knicks, who have resisted the all-in move since flirting pretty heavily with Donovan Mitchell, have done well to add a stable of guys cut directly from Tom Thibodeau’s preferred fabric of two-way toughness. 

OG Anunoby was obviously a home run. Donte DiVincenzo has been a lasered double in the gap. Josh Hart injected immediate juice at last year’s deadline, and Bogdanovic is another win on the margins as New York has managed to keep all eight of its trade-eligible first-round picks in its holster while rounding out a roster capable of conference-finals contention, if not more. 

Bogdanovic isn’t just a spot-up guy who can space the floor and make a couple 3s per game. He remains a knockdown 3-point shooter (41.5%) at volume (a career high 7.4 attempts per game). Those are the guys an opposing coach worries about, the ones who can get hot and swing a game with five 3s rather than a spot-up role guy who can connect at a high clip but only a couple times a game at most. 

Bogdanovic can still get you 30. He can still create in pick and roll while attacking closeouts and one-on-one switches. He’s not the defender he used to be, but he’s a big body and he’ll do his job. He’s another winning player for a team that is suddenly filled with them, and as a bonus, New York either hangs on to Bogdanovic next season at a very reasonable $19M or uses him as a money matcher in the next trade. 

2. Gordon Hayward to OKC

Oh boy do I love this trade for the Thunder, who are an outside threat to win the Western Conference — and if you’re a threat to win your conference, you’re a threat to win the whole thing. Hayward hasn’t played in a month and a half (calf), but he is still a good, well-rounded player that fits the jack-of-all-trades archetype that Sam Presti fancies. 

Hayward can shoot a little bit. Create a little bit. Defend a little bit. Pass a little bit. Cut a little bit. He can possibly close games in place of Josh Giddey, which stretches OKC’s spacing with five capable 3-point shooters in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (likely MVP), Lu Dort (quietly a pretty reliable shooter and brick-wall defender), Jalen Williams (total two-way stud), Chet Holmgren (freak), and Hayward, to whom they don’t owe a penny beyond this season. All of this will happen while OKC keeps its trove of future draft picks fully stocked. 

And what did all this cost them? Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, Vasilijie Micic and draft compensation. Presti strikes again. 

3. Buddy Hield to 76ers

The Pacers have been trying to trade Hield for what feels like years. They could never get the first-round pick they desired, so they end up sending him to Philadelphia for Furkan Korkmaz and two second-round picks. Marcus Morris and an additional second went to the Spurs

I don’t love Indiana giving up Hield on this deal. An argument can be made that they should’ve kept his shooting as they try to make a run this season and just let him walk in the summer, but I suppose the move to bring in Doug McDermott offsets the Hield subtraction. 

At any rate, this is Philadelphia’s gain. If Joel Embiid can’t come back healthy it won’t matter, but if he can, Hield helps to fill a pretty glaring shooting hole on a Sixers team that can challenge to win the Eastern Conference. Tyrese Maxey leads the Sixers, who make the fourth fewest 3-pointers per game in the league, with 142 made 3s, but after that, no player has made more than 70 this season. 

Hield has cashed 137 3s so far this season, and he has annually averaged 276 over the past five years. In fact, entering this season, Hield’s 1,557 made 3s since 2017-18 register as the most in the league — even more than Stephen Curry

So, yeah, the man can shoot. He can’t do much else, but with the increased half-court tempo of Philly’s offense, Hield will be a big catch-and-shoot weapon on drive-and-kicks and a two-man nightmare taking handoffs from Embiid in the spirit of Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo

Also, like Hayward with OKC, the Sixers don’t owe Hield a dime after this season, so they preserve all the cap space they have opening up this summer. If they use some of it to re-sign Hield on a reasonable deal, great. If not, he still is a big boost for this season, assuming Embiid can get back and give them a fighting chance. 

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