The NBA transaction periods have become almost as exciting as the games themselves, and that makes the 2024 NBA trade deadline something close to a holiday for a certain type of hoops fan. No matter where your team is in the standings right now, the trade deadline represents an opportunity for hope: teams are either loading up ahead of the playoffs, or increase their base of future assets to hopefully start turning things around in the summer.
The 2023 trade deadline was one of the most exciting in league history, with the Brooklyn Nets blowing up their team by sending Kevin Durant to Phoenix and Kyrie Irving to Dallas. The Lakers also made a massive trade, acquiring the pieces they needed for a Cinderella run to the Western Conference Finals as the No. 7 seed.
Who will make a big move to save their season today? We’re grading every deal as they come in before the 3 p.m. ET deadline. Stay up to date with each move as they happen with our trade deadline tracker, too.
Let’s grade every deal of the 2024 NBA trade deadline.
Pacers trade grade for Doug McDermott deal
Indiana Pacers acquire Doug McDermott from San Antonio Spurs. Spurs acquire Marcus Morris and second round pick, per Shams.
Pacers grade: A-
The Pacers sent out a knockdown shooter when they traded Buddy Hield to the Sixers earlier in the day. They are getting a knockdown shooter back by re-acquiring former Pacer Doug McDermott. McDermott can give Indiana the deep shooting and quick trigger required to keep their No. 1 offense humming. McDermott will be a free agent after the season, so it remains to be seen if he’s part of Indiana’s long-term plans, but this move makes up for the curious decision to trade Hield.
Bucks and 76ers trade grades for Patrick Beverley, Cam Payne swap
Milwaukee Bucks acquire Patrick Beverley from 76ers. Philadelphia receives Cameron Payne and a 2027 second round pick, per Shams.
Bucks grade: B+
76ers grade: C
This is the weirdest trade of the deadline. Philadelphia and Milwaukee could conceivably face each other in the Eastern Conference Finals this season, so it’s odd they are dealing with each other at the deadline. Milwaukee needed perimeter defense and shooting, so Beverley should help there. Payne is more capable as an on-ball scorer. Given the gaping hole in Milwaukee’s perimeter defense, it’s bizarre that one of their top conference rivals would help them fill it. Maybe Philly thinks Beverley is washed and won’t really help the Bucks.
Suns trade grades for Royce O’Neale, David Roddy acquisition
Suns grade: B
O’Neale is still serviceable as a perimeter defender and floor spacer, and that’s all Phoenix is really looking for. O’Neale has hit 36 percent of his threes this season and impressive volume, and he’ll have to fire them up in Phoenix as defenses key in on Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. I liked Roddy as a prospect entering the league, but he hasn’t done much. Still, these are solid additions to Phoenix’s bench even if they aren’t moving the needle a ton. The Suns are reportedly sending out four players in the deal. Now I’m not so sure how much this actually helps Phoenix.
Mavericks and Hornets trade grades for P.J. Washington-Grant Williams swap
Dallas Mavericks acquire P.J. Washington and two second round picks from Charlotte Hornets. Hornets receive Grant Williams, Seth Curry, and a “top-two protected” 2027 first round draft pick, per Shams.
Mavericks grade: C+
Hornets grade: A+
Washington is a nice fit in Dallas and should be an upgrade on Grant Williams in a vacuum, but is the price of that upgrade really worth a lightly-protected 2027 first round pick? To me, this is an incredibly risky deal for Dallas. If they were willing to part with a nearly unprotected first round pick, the return should have been bigger than Washington. They only have so many chances left to build a championship-level team around Luka Doncic while he’s under this contract, and I believe they should be aiming higher than this. This is a tremendous get for Charlotte, especially with Dallas currently as the No. 8 seed in the West. The Hornets add a premium future pick for a player who wasn’t helping them now or in the future. It’s possible Charlotte will be able to rehab Williams and flip him for more assets next year.
Raptors and Nets trade grades for Spencer Dinwiddie-Dennis Schroder swap
The Raptors acquire Spencer Dinwiddie and Dennis Smith Jr. from Nets for Dennis Schroder, Thad Young, per Woj.
Raptors grade: B+
Nets grade: B
Dinwiddie is an expiring contract, while Schroder has one more year left on his deal after this season for $13 million. It makes sense for the Raptors to clear Schroder’s salary after acquiring Immanuel Quickley from the Knicks during the season. Smith is a supremely talented perimeter defense going to Toronto, but he doesn’t offer much offense. Meanwhile, Brooklyn gets a talented point of attack defender in Schroder who can also provide some rim pressure. This is not exactly an Earth shattering trade, but it makes sense for both sides.
Knicks and Pistons trade grades for Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks deal
Knicks trade grade: B+
Pistons trade grade: B+
I like this one for both sides. The Knicks get a 6’8 knockdown shooter in Bogdanovic and a nice bench scorer in Burks for the playoff push. Bogdanovic is hopeless defensively at this point in his career, but he can get up threes with volume and that will help the Knicks offense. For the Pistons, taking a flier on Grimes is a nice bet even if he seems a bit redundant with the younger players already on the roster. Grimes looked promising for the Knicks last season before struggling with his shot this year, but he’s still only 23 years old. Bogdanovic and Burks will be helpful depth pieces as the Knicks try to make an NBA Finals push in the East.
Mavericks and Wizards Daniel Gafford trade grades
Dallas Mavericks acquire Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards. Wizards receive Richaun Holmes and draft compensation, per Woj.
Mavs grade: B+
Wizards grade: B
Daniel Gafford can do two things: block shots and dunk the hell out of the ball. Gafford has a massive 6.6 percent block rate this season, and has already dunked 94 times in just 45 games. Luka Doncic could unlock him as a lob threat offensively, and Dallas could also use the extra rim protection. Gafford will need to stay more disciplined defensively to actually have an impact in important games, but this is a nice addition for Dallas ahead of the playoffs.
Thunder and Hornets Gordon Hayward trade grades
Oklahoma City Thunder acquire Gordon Hayward from Charlotte Hornets. Hornets receive Tre Mann and Davis Bertans, per Woj.
Thunder grade: A-
Hornets grade: B
Hayward is still a good player if he’s healthy and in a smaller role. He gives the Thunder a 6’7, 225-pound wing who can dribble, pass, and shoot, and has real playoff experience. Mann had fallen out of favor in the OKC rotation, but is a decent gamble for Charlotte because of his pull-up shooting ability and tight handle. Hayward will be a nice veteran addition for the Thunder’s playoff push. If he can continue to hit 36 percent of his threes like he has been so far, OKC just found a versatile chess piece they can go to in the right postseason matchup.
76ers and Pacers Buddy Hield trade grades
76ers grade: A
Pacers grade: D
Hield is one of the best high-volume three-point shooters of all-time, and his value is greater than his percentage of makes from deep. With a quick trigger and unlimited range, Hield brings so much gravity to any offense. The spacing he provides is a big reason why the Pacers are putting up the most efficient offense in league history right now. In Philly, Hield is a great fit with Joel Embiid on the floor, but he also helps the team while the MVP is out just in terms of maximizing their shot profile. Daryl Morey understands the math behind how to win, and Hield will help him get there. Even if Hield didn’t want to be in Indiana beyond this year — he had requested a trade at the start of the season — I’m still not sure why the Pacers did this. Hield was a real part of their success this year, and they will miss him even with young replacements like Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard lined up.
Raptors and Jazz Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji trade grades
Jazz grade: A-
Raptors grade: C
Danny Ainge can’t keep getting away with it. The Jazz executive lands another first round pick for Kelly Olynyk on an expiring deal and underwhelming former lottery pick Ochai Agbaji. Toronto must love Agbaji and/or think they can flip Olynyk later today, because otherwise this deal doesn’t make much sense for the Raptors. Toronto is sending a very late first round in this disappointing 2024 NBA Draft, and apparently they don’t value the pick. Ainge believes he’ll still be able to find a contributor in the late first. Olynyk was a nice piece for the Jazz and could help a contender, but the Raptors are tanking to try to keep a top-six protected pick they owe the Spurs. It feels like there has to be another shoe dropping for Toronto. The Jazz continue to be a well-run organization under Ainge.
Timberwolves and Pistons Monte Morris trade grades
Timberwolves grade: B-
Pistons grade: B
The Wolves needed a backup point guard for Mike Conley, but is this really the best they could do? Morris is a great caretaker with the basketball who will keep turnovers down, but he’s very small and isn’t a threat to score. I’m skeptical Morris can really help the Wolves’ offense in important situations, and wonder if there was a better option out there. Still, credit the Wolves for filling their biggest need even if it wasn’t the flashiest move.
Simone Fontecchio trade grades for Pistons and Jazz deal
Detroit Pistons acquire Simone Fontecchio from Utah Jazz. Jazz receive Kevin Knox, draft rights to Gabriele Procida, and 2024 second round pick from Wizards.
Pistons grade: B+
Jazz grade: A
Fontecchio is a big forward who can stretch the floor, and that in itself will help the Pistons a lot. Detroit had the worst spacing of any team in the league, and that put their younger franchise pillars in a tough spot for success. The pick Utah acquired here is slated to be very early in the second round, perhaps No. 32 overall, and that’s a nice asset for a team still cycling through young talent like the Jazz. Ainge did well to extract real value for a player headed to free agency who he didn’t need to keep around long-term like Fontecchio. I think Fontecchio is a great fit for Detroit, but wonder if they really had to give up an early second rounder to get him when they could have signed him in the offseason.
Xavier Tillman trade grades for Celtics, Grizzlies
Boston Celtics acquire Xavier Tillman from Memphis Grizzlies. Grizzlies receive 2027 second round pick from Hawks and 2030 second round pick from Mavericks.
Celtics grade: A-
Grizzlies grade: B-
The Celtics needed another big man, and Tillman is a nice get for a cheap price. The former Michigan State product rates out as one of the better defenders in the league this year by EPM. The flip side is that Tillman is not a real offensive threat, and that makes me wonder how much value he’ll really have in the playoffs. Still, Tillman is insurance against an Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis injury, and I’m not sure how much better Boston could have done here for a couple of second rounders. Memphis will need to search for a center of the future in the offseason after trading Tillman and Steven Adams.