• The Hornets acquiring Montrezl Harrell from the Wizards may be their long-term solution at center
  • Acquiring depth pieces puts the Suns in an even better spot to contend for the NBA title
  • The Kings' flurry of moves prepares them for an interesting 2022-23 NBA season

This year’s iteration of the NBA trade deadline featured some blockbuster deals that shook the league and its fans, with more and more drama heading into the second half of the season.

Here are three of the most impactful moves during the trade deadline, aside from the James Harden–Ben Simmons swap between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

Charlotte Hornets acquire Montrezl Harrell

  • Washington Wizards receive: G Ish Smith, C Vernon Carey Jr., future second-round pick
  • Charlotte Hornets receive: F/C Montrezl Harrell

The Charlotte Hornets have been dealing with a massive problem with their depth at the center spot all season, and getting Montrezl Harrell from the Washington Wizards while clearing up a tiny logjam in their point guard spot was the ideal move.

Looking into the future, the Hornets may be the winners of this deal as they get to see whether Harrell will be their long-term center, while the Wizards’ logjam at the position gets clogged up with the arrival of Carey Jr.

Charlotte has everything to play for going into the second half of the season as they gun for a spot in the playoffs, but it is more likely they end up in the play-in tournament first.

Harrell gives them an effective roller off the pick-and-roll with either of LaMelo Ball or Terry Rozier being the main playmaker–a dangerous combination that they could exploit down the road.

Montrezl Harrell
Montrezl Harrell #6 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the LA Clippers at Capital One Arena on January 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns stock up on depth

  • Phoenix Suns receive: F Torrey Craig, G Aaron Holiday (from Wizards)
  • Indiana Pacers receive: F/C Jalen Smith, future second-round pick
  • Washington Wizards receive: Cash considerations (from Suns)

These are two separate trades that the Phoenix Suns made and this minor tweak to their depth has made them a more formidable threat on both ends of the court, despite the team already looking strong enough to compete prior to the trade deadline.

Curiously, the point guards that the Suns currently have all make up a part of Chris Paul’s basketball DNA: Cameron Payne as the offense-heavy side, Elfrid Payton the defensive playmaker, and Aaron Holiday playing the balanced playmaker.

Torrey Craig is no stranger to the Suns and became a major contributor in their run to the NBA Finals last season thanks to his ability to defend the perimeter, which looks to be his role with them again.

Winning the NBA title is everything for the Suns this season, and these two moves show off general manager James Jones’ commitment to win now while not sacrificing major assets.

Sacramento Kings flip the script

  • Detroit Pistons receive: F/C Marvin Bagley III
  • Sacramento Kings receive: G Donte DiVincenzo, G/F Josh Jackson, F/C Trey Lyles
  • Milwaukee Bucks receive: F/C Serge Ibaka, 2022 second-round pick via Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors (whichever is lower), 2024 second-round pick via Kings, cash considerations
  • Los Angeles Clippers receive: G/F Rodney Hood, F Semi Ojeleye

This is the biggest multi-team trade this season with four teams being involved in the deal, and the Sacramento Kings are the biggest winners.

After being publicly questioned by their fans and observers for trading point guard Tyrese Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis, it appears they had a much more complex plan than first thought.

Marksman Buddy Hield was also included in the Haliburton deal and they have replaced him with dynamic scorer Donte DiVincenzo from the Milwaukee Bucks–a massive get for their future plans of making the playoffs.

Uber-athletic forward Josh Jackson and backup big man Trey Lyles give the Kings veteran guidance off the bench.

The Kings will not be competitive this season as they figure out how to fit their new pieces, but they could be a team to watch heading into next season.

Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings
Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings Getty Images | Douglas P. DeFelice