The Deadline Trades That Almost Happened


It was a trade deadline for the ages, and there were even more moves discussed that didn’t quite get over the line. Let’s take a look at the most interesting ones.


The Lakers have been linked to Kyrie Irving for what feels like an eternity and their offer to the Nets ahead of the deadline featured Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks, according to multiple reports.

But the Nets said they also wanted Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and Max Christie in the deal.

They wanted more from the Lakers than any other team because team owner Joe Tsai reportedly didn’t like the idea of giving Irving what he wanted by sending him to LA.

However, Kyrie could very well end up on the Lakers next season anyway, as he will become an unrestricted free agent. If that happens, the Mavs would have traded Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected first-rounder and two second-rounders for just a few months of Irving.


The Clippers were very active at the deadline, picking up Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland and Mason Plumlee.

But before making all those moves, they also made a run at Kyrie Irving. This followed Kawhi Leonard asking the team to find an upgrade at point guard, according to The Action Network’s Matt Moore.

LA’s offer centered around Terrence Mann, Luka Kennard, a first-round pick and two first-round pick swaps, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.


The Suns offered the Nets Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and unspecified picks in exchange for Kyrie Irving, per Chris Haynes. In other words, they offered the guy whose game has fallen off sharply with age, the guy who refuses to play for the team, and some draft capital.

Of course, Phoenix did very nicely in the end, landing Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected first-round picks and a first-round pick swap.


A lot of teams were linked to Fred VanVleet in the lead-up to the trade deadline, but the Bucks weren’t one of them. And yet, Milwaukee ended up pursuing him anyway when the deadline got close.

The Bucks and Raptors discussed swapping VanVleet for Grayson Allen and a future first-round pick, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, but Toronto eventually decided to stand pat.

The Clippers also entertained the idea of trading for VanVleet, but Toronto wanted Terence Mann in the deal and LA weren’t willing to give him up, according to multiple reports.


The Nets were desperate to keep Kevin Durant happy after being forced to trade Kyrie Irving, and one of their plans was reportedly to trade for Pascal Siakam, a player who Durant really liked.

The only problem was that Toronto never made him truly available. The Nets also explored trading Spencer Dinwiddie and draft picks for Fred VanVleet, but again were unable to get a deal over the line before Kevin Durant asked out.