By: Carlos Baldwin ’26

The trade deadline has brung a slew of trades, the biggest being Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This year’s trade deadline brings promising talent to the west and creates a number of exciting contenders. The Suns are now a favorite to make a deep postseason run after getting KD and the Maverick are looking better after getting Kyrie Irving. The western conference is starting to become better and compete with teams in the east like the Bucks, 76ers, Celtics, and Cavaliers.  

The Mavericks look to pair their star player Luka Doncic with another star that would take on some of the offensive load off Luka in their pick up of Kyrie Irving. They gave up Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2029 first round pick and two second round picks in 2027 and 2029. Overall I think the mavericks won this trade considering it takes the load off of Luka and moves off of Spencer Dinwiddie’s bad contract. Luka and Kyrie have been playing extremely well alongside each other but with Luka out with a thigh injury we will have to see what Kyrie can do without him for the time being.  

The Phoenix Suns are also winners of the trade deadline and I would argue they’re one of the biggest winners. They traded away Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, 4 1st round picks and a 2028 pick swap all for Kevin Durant and TJ Warren. This Kevin Durant pickup will allow Chris Paul to step down as a #2 which is long overdue due to his age. They got a major pickup in KD but did not lose out on too much depth. Over the last few seasons it seemed that the window for the Suns had closed but with this trade they are back in conversation for serious contenders.   

The Lakers who have been desperately trying to replace Russell Westbrook for a more fitting guard pick up their own former #2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Written off as a bust by a lot of people, Russell now seems to have a fire lit and is looking more promising than ever. While yes, LeBron James is currently out with an injury, he is looking to be coming back soon. James and Russell, along with a healthy AD and the other quality pieces the Lakers have, are looking to turn this down season around. 

These teams including the Nuggets, Grizzlies, Clippers, Warriors, and even the surprising Kings are very promising. Although the West does have their favorites in the Nuggets, Suns, and Grizzlies, this season’s trade deadline has created a free for all in the West. This talented West makes it hard to write off any team in the top ten conference standings.  

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