Now that the NBA trade deadline has passed, we can look back and grade every move made.
Some are big and a bit obvious (like the Philadelphia 76ers – Brooklyn Nets package) and some are a bit more perplexing.
But few moves around the trade deadline were actually shocking this year.
However, there were a few that could aptly be summed up as surprising.
Here are just a few of the big NBA moves that caught most people off guard.
3. The Indiana Pacers Land A King’s Ransom
We all knew the Indiana Pacers were likely going to shake up their roster before this year was over.
But few expected them to head to the west coast when they did.
Haliburton is particularly exciting for Pacers fans because he’s the sort of star player a team can build itself around.
The idea of a Haliburton making plays with Myles Turner is very enticing indeed.
After years of middling output from the Pacers, they now have one of the most exciting backcourts in the entire league.
Tyrese Haliburton 2nd game with the Pacers:
6-12 3P (ties career high) pic.twitter.com/8dTO0LNsWE
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 13, 2022
This is the sort of sneaky, smart move that could pay off handsomely for the Pacers.
It might not pay off this season but it certainly could when the new one begins.
2. Pelicans And Portland
The Portland Trail Blazers made a big move when they got rid of beloved franchise star CJ McCollum, and the New Orleans Pelicans benefitted greatly because of it.
McCollum to the Big Easy could be just the move the Pelicans need to keep their NBA postseason hopes alive.
It’s wild to think that a team that started so poorly is on the verge of actually making the playoffs but the Pels have been fighting hard lately on the backs of Jonas Valanciunas and bonafide star Brandon Ingram.
With McCollum completing the powerful backcourt, the Pelicans could be even better.
CJ McCollum tonight:
63% FG pic.twitter.com/opAIzJyPJo
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 13, 2022
He’s consistently cool under pressure, smart, and aggressive on the offense – just what the doctor ordered for New Orleans.
This was a smart move by the Pelicans and one that should be applauded.
If only they could get Zion Williamson healthy and back on the court again.
When Williamson does return, it will be to a team ready to compete.
1. The Lakers Keep…Everyone
Someday someone will write a book about this year’s Los Angeles Lakers and everything that went wrong.
We all know the Lakers are having a truly tough season, between multiple injuries, tough competition, and lackluster output from some of their stars.
That’s why so many people thought the team would do something – anything! – before the trade deadline.
There is a chance that happens, there are some spectacular players on this squad after all.
But no one in their right mind is betting on the Lakers anymore.
It’s true they had very few options (no one was going to take Westbook for example) but the fact that they did literally nothing to better their chances isn’t just surprising, it’s kind of mind-blowing.