Shocking Trade Deadline Causes Shift in the Power Balance of the NBA


Changing Landscape: James Harden’s trade to the Philadelphia 76ers was one of the many shocking moves at this year’s NBA trade deadline.

There were a lot of familiar faces in new places in the past week for the NBA.  Big names flew all over social media as huge trades were announced that changed the landscape of the NBA. With all-star weekend looming, avid NBA fans will look to the games just after the all-star break to see how the big names mesh with their new teams.

The biggest trade involved two major contenders in the eastern conference. The Nets and 76ers had a superstar trade that changed playoff predictions for many NBA fans. James Harden and Paul Millsap were sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, and Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two 1st round picks were sent to the Brooklyn Nets. Harden, who is injured going into the all-star break, may not be seen for many weeks in a Philadelphia jersey. Simmons, on the other hand, has sat out the whole season thus far due to mental health issues, and it is unknown when he will return to the court. However, he has made it adamant that he is excited to be a Brooklyn Net.

The Portland Trailblazers era of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard ended as Lillard’s long-time backcourt mate McCollum was traded to the Pelicans. The Trailblazers seemingly going all in on young guard Anfernee Simons begs the question of if Damian Lillard stays in Portland after this season. The Blazers have struggled to go the distance in Lillard’s tenure with the team. The superstar guard will be an interesting player to watch after the season.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking trade for all NBA fans – especially Kings fans – was the move of Tyrese Haliburton to the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2nd round pick went to the Kings for Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson. Through this trade, the Pacers have received the new center piece of their franchise in Tyrese Haliburton, a player who many thought was untouchable for the Kings. News of the Pacers-Kings deal shocked many around the association, with there being a strong belief that the Pacers ‘fleeced’ the Kings.

The biggest question for North Atlanta’s students is what this means for the Atlanta Hawks, who decided to stand pat at the deadline after trading away Cam Reddish. Currently, the Hawks are barely in the play-in tournament, holding a 28-30 overall record. With a disappointing start to the season, students are hoping for a resurgence in the second half of the season. “The Hawks disappointed a lot of fans with that Reddish trade,” said junior Trey Fox. “Hopefully not making a move at the trade deadline doesn’t hurt them.”

Of course there were many more trades shaking up teams. From Kristaps Porzingis being traded to the Wizards to Montrezl Harrell now donning a Hornets jersey, the wild NBA trade deadline has made it hard to predict the playoffs. After an exciting playoff run last year, students of North Atlanta hope that the Hawks can make another miracle run to the Eastern Conference Finals (or further) again.