The New York Knicks have made another big move in an attempt to ascend in the Eastern Conference, acquiring scorers Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons in one of the headline deals commenced prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
New York will send guards Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn and Ryan Arcidiacono along with two second-round draft picks to Detroit in exchange for two players who are both shooting over 40 per cent from 3-point range this season.
Bogdanovic is averaging 20.2 points per game after establishing a career best in that category last season, when the Croatian averaged a team-leading 21.6 points in 59 games.
Burks, who previously spent two seasons with the Knicks from 2020-22, has shot better than 40 per cent on 3-point attempts in four straight seasons and is averaging 12.6 points in 43 games in 2023-24.
New York is presently tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for third in the East and is 16-3 since Jan. 1, two days after it secured defensive standout OG Anunoby in a blockbuster five-player trade with the Toronto Raptors.
The team right behind the Knicks and Bucks in the East race added a sharpshooter of its own on Thursday, as the Philadelphia 76ers landed guard Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers for forward Marcus Morris, guard Furkan Korkmaz and three second-round picks.
Hield, a career 40.1 per cent 3-pointer shooter who is averaging 12 points in 52 games this season, will be asked to help stabilise a reeling 76ers team that has lost seven of its last eight games and will be without Joel Embiid for at least four more weeks after the reigning NBA MVP recently underwent surgery on his left knee.
Indiana, which sits two games back of Philadelphia in sixth place, later traded Morris to the San Antonio Spurs for outside shooting specialist Doug McDermott.
Milwaukee's lone deadline move came via a trade with the 76ers for veteran defensive stopper Patrick Beverley, in which the Bucks sent fellow point guard Cameron Payne to Philadelphia.
The most active team in the Western Conference was the Dallas Mavericks, who swung two deals to bolster their frontcourt by obtaining center Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards and forward P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets.
Gafford, whose 2.16 blocks per game ranks seventh among qualified NBA players, heads to Dallas for forward RIchaun Holmes and a 2024 first-round pick the Mavs acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Mavericks also sent a 2027 first-round selection, along with forward Grant Williams and guard Seth Curry, to rebuilding Charlotte for Washington, who's averaged 14.9 points and five rebounds per game over the past two seasons and is under contract for two more years.
Dallas currently sits in eighth in the West but is just two games behind the fifth-place Phoenix Suns, who traded four role players in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and Memphis to add perimeter-shooting forward Royce O'Neale from the Nets and second-year forward David Roddy from the Grizzlies.
Three teams - the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets - entered deadline day tied atop the West. The Thunder were the only one of that group to make a significant move on Thursday, as they acquired former All-Star Gordon Hayward from the Hornets for guards Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic, forward Davis Bertans and a pair of second-round picks.
The 33-year-old Hayward is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 25 games this season but has been sidelined since late December by a calf strain.
One player who did stay put with the Hornets is Miles Bridges, the team's second-leading scorer at 21.9 points per game and an unrestricted free agent next season. Bridges had the right to veto any trade as part of the one-year contract he signed during the offseason to stay in Charlotte.