Looking at the impact of four major trades this season

Published February 6, 2021, 12:00 AMRenee Ticzon

NBA.com Philippines writer Renee Ticzon examines some of the major deals that went down and the impact they made.

Numerous trades and signings shocked the NBA community prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. Let’s take a look at some of the major deals that went down and the impact they made.

Gordon Hayward

The Charlotte Hornets acquired Gordon Hayward for a conditional second round draft pick during the offseason. 

The addition of Hayward gives the young Hornets team some experience and leadership on the court. While rookie LaMelo Ball is slowly making a name for himself at the point, Hayward is the one who provides some level of stability.

Hayward’s move to Charlotte gave him the opportunity to return to the All-Star form he once had. With the Hornets, Hayward has been averaging 23.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists, one of the better statistical seasons he’s had in his career.

Chris Paul

Point god Chris Paul, who went from Oklahoma City to Phoenix prior to the season’s start, has been everything the Suns had wanted. 

Aside from this steady playmaking and defensive prowess, Paul is giving the Suns 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists this season. Great talents like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton have been continuously improving because of his leadership and veteran play. Paul’s presence immediately makes the Suns, who have playoff aspirations this season, more deadly.

Russell Westbrook and John Wall

The trade that was most talked about this season during the offseason was the one between superstars Russell Westbrook and John Wall.

Wall, who had not played since December 2018 nursing a knee and achilles injury, has been a breath of fresh air for the Houston Rockets.

A culture change was needed in Houston and Wall has given them exactly that, norming 17.8 points, 4.1 boards, and 5.8 assists. The Rockets have also made a noticeable shift, going from pure offense to becoming a defense-first team. In fact, Houston is one of the top defensive squads in the league with a 106.9 defensive rating. 

Westbrook’s move, though, to Washington hasn’t been as successful. He is averaging 20.9 points, second to Bradley Beal’s 34.9, but the Wizards have been lurking at the bottom of the league standings. Washington already lacked defense before the trade and adding Westbrook hasn’t helped their cause one bit.

James Harden

The James Harden deal was the one that literally shocked many and changed the league’s landscape.

Harden’s addition instantly made the Brooklyn Nets, who already had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the favorites to come out of the East. But so far, they are underperforming. Inconsistency has plagued the star-studded team. One positive takeaway, though, is that Harden has been leading the league in assists, a good sign that he is willing to share the ball with Irving and Durant.