Blockbuster NBA trades have played a major part in the league over the past several years. From Kyrie Irving and James Harden to Russell Westbrook, some of the NBA’s most-recognizable faces have been dealt recently.
We can expect this to continue during the Summer of 2022 with free agents angling for sign-and-trades and other stars potentially set to be moved. Below is a look at six blockbuster NBA trades we could see this summer.
Jalen Brunson sign-and-trade to the New York Knicks
- New York Knicks get: Jalen Brunson
- Dallas Mavericks get: Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, 2023 1st-round pick
Recent reports suggest that Brunson to the Big Apple is almost a foregone conclusion. Specifically, the star young point guard is looking at something to the tune of $100 million over four seasons.
- Jalen Brunson stats (2021-22): 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 50% shooting, 37% 3-point
As you can see, the 25-year-old Brunson is coming off a tremendous campaign for Dallas. He’d fit right in with the Knicks, teaming up with R.J. Barrett to form what would be a great backcourt.
The only question here is whether New York will look to sign Brunson outright by creating more cap room after it dealt Kemba Walker during the 2022 NBA Draft. Instead of going in that direction, we’re predicting the Knicks work out a sign-and-trade to help Dallas get something back. In return, the Knicks continue to boast enough cap room to make another move.
From the Mavericks’ perspective, acquiring a 2023 first-round pick from New York would be the headliner. Dallas also gets two rotational pieces to build up more backcourt depth after earning a surprise trip to the Western Conference Finals last season.
Malcolm Brogdon heads to the Big Easy
- New Orleans Pelicans get: Malcolm Brogdon
- Indiana Pacers get: Devonte’ Graham, Larry Nance Jr., 2 1st-round picks
Following a surprise playoff run, the Pelicans look to turn the corner and become legit contenders next season. A lot of that will depend on the health of Zion Williamson. There’s also a need at point guard even after New Orleans selected Dyson Daniels in the top-10 of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Simply put, Graham didn’t cut it last season next to C.J. McCollum after the latter was acquired in one of the biggest in-season NBA trades of the 2021-22 campaign. In short, Brogdon would be a massive upgrade over Graham. It’s not close.
As for Indiana, it has youngsters Chris Duarte and Tyrese Haliburton set to handle starting guard duties moving forward. The Pacers also selected wing Bennedict Mathurin in last week’s NBA Draft. Brogdon is likely the odd-man out.
In this scenario, Indiana adds two future first-round picks with lottery protections. It also picks up a valuable player in Larry Nance Jr. who could be flipped for other assets as the Pacers retool with their now-young roster.
Related: Top 2022 NBA free agents
D’Angelo Russell trade to the Washington Wizards
- Washington Wizards get: D’Angelo Russell, 1st-round pick
- Minnesota Timberwolves get: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
It’s not a secret that Minnesota is looking to move off Russell and his bloated contract following an ugly playoff performance. Russell has fallen out of favor in the Twin Cities and will likely be dealt here in the next couple weeks.
Meanwhile, reports out of D.C. now indicate that star shooting guard Bradley Beal will opt out of his contract and re-sign with the Wizards. It’s now high time that Washington actually finds him that point guard to team up with moving forward.
- D’Angelo Russell stats (2021-22): 18.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.1 APG, 41% shooting, 34% 3-point
A core three of Russell, Beal and Kristaps Porzingis has a playoff feel to it in the nation’s capital. Washington also adds a future first-round pick by taking on Russell’s contract and can create financial flexibility in the summer of 2023 with the veteran entering a contract year.
Minnesota’s involvement here is obvious. Patrick Beverley would take over starting point guard duties next to star Anthony Edwards in the backcourt. Meanwhile, Kuzma would fit in extremely well at the four next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Still only 27, Kuzma averaged 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a season ago. As for KCP, he’s still a solid two-way forward and would add capable defense to the mix.
Dejounte Murray trade to the Atlanta Hawks
- Atlanta Hawks get: Dejounte Murray, Josh Richardson
- San Antonio Spurs get: Onyeka Okongwu, Danilo Gallinari, 3 1st-round picks, pick swaps
With the Hawks and Spurs currently engaged in talks surrounding Murray, this could end up being one of the biggest NBA trades in recent memory. San Antonio is said to be demanding four first-round picks with limited protections. It is also interested in acquiring Okongwu after the former top-six pick performed much better as a sophomore in 2021-22.
As for Atlanta, it’s not yet known whether the team will meet this asking price. Though, a deal was seemingly close in the lead up to free agency. The idea would be to team Murray up with stud guard Trae Young to form one of the better backcourts in the NBA.
- Dejounte Murray stats (2021-22): 21.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 9.2 APG, 46% shooting, 33% 3-point
In return for Murray, San Antonio picks up the aforementioned Okongwu. The young center averaged 8.2 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore last season. In addition to this, Gregg Popovich’s squad also acquires first-round picks in 2023 (via Charlotte), 2024 and 2026 as well as the right to swap first-rounders in 2025 and 2027. Talk about a bounty.
Related: Ideal Rudy Gobert trade scenarios
Rudy Gobert heads up north
- Toronto Raptors get: Rudy Gobert, Jared Butler
- Utah Jazz get: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr.
Now that the Jazz have settled on their next head coach, attention turns to how a Rudy Gobert trade will look. He’s going to be moved. It’s just a matter of time with the Raptors being among the teams most talked about.
Toronto it attempting to create a more balanced roster with the excess of wings and forwards it boasts. With reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes starring in Toronto, Anunoby isn’t happy with his role. He’d be a great fit next to Donovan Mitchell in Salt Lake, creating a solid youg duo in the process.
Utah could also flip Trent Jr. for other assets or have him start out on the wing next to Mitchell. It just makes too much sense.
Sure this would be a high price for the Raptors to pay. But adding one of the best defensive bigs of this generation to go with Barnes, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet would make Toronto a legit conference title contender moving forward.
Kyrie Irving finds himself in Big D
- Dallas Mavericks get: Kyrie Irving
- Brooklyn Nets get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardway Jr., Josh Green, 1st-round pick
As far as NBA trades go, this would be an absolute whopper. While Irving opted into his contract for next season, things are far from settled in Brooklyn. The enigmatic point guard had sought permission to seek a sign-and-trade before nothing came to fruition on that end. There’s still a darn good chance that he either requests a trade or the Nets move off the malcontent altogether.
Whether this impacts Kevin Durant’s future in the Big Apple remains to be seen. It will also play a role in the Nets’ internal thought process. But from an on-court perspective re-acquiring Dinwiddie to team up with KD and Ben Simmons would seem to be a win in this scenario. Brooklyn also adds a capable wing in Hardaway Jr. and a future unprotected first-round selection from Dallas.
As for the Mavericks, they find Luka Doncic that legitimate star after he led them to the Western Conference Finals a season ago. Add in the hypothetical trade we mentioned above that sends Brunson to the Knicks, and the Mavericks will have created a well-rounded roster. Doncic, Irving and Christian Wood is a tremendous core three moving forward.
What NBA trades would you like to see this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.