NBA Trade Deadline: Grading every team’s 2022 deadline moves

NBA Brooklyn Nets James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Josh Hart
NBA Trade Deadline, Josh Hart (Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) /

Phoenix Suns: B+

The Suns made a couple of fringe moves to increase their championship aspirations, acquiring both Torrey Craig and Aaron Holiday. Craig is a proven perimeter defender who can contribute off the bench, while Holiday is more a flier than cost next to nothing.

A bigger move involving Deandre Ayton before he gets paid this summer was never in the cards, and wouldn’t make sense considering the team’s record this season. Furthermore, other Western Conference contenders did next to nothing, leaving the Suns sitting happily with their already successful roster.

Portland Trail Blazers: D+

The Portland Trail Blazers initiated their “retooling” period, trading away Robert Covington, Norman Powell, and C.J. McCollum to the Clippers and Pelicans, respectively. In terms of valuable assets, the Blazers acquired a first-round pick, Keon Johnson, Josh Hart, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the latter of which they flipped for Elijah Hughes and a second-round pick from Utah.

Objectively, selling off three rotational players, with two of them being the caliber of Powell and McCollum, and only receiving one first-round pick in return is a failure. Sure, this sets of Portland to have tons of cap room in the offseason, but what are they achieving with this space? If they end up signing a major free agent in the summer, this deadline will look a lot better. However, as of now, it looks like Portland’s trying to appease Damian Lillard, holding off a total rebuild for as long as possible.