4 Deals that should have happened at the 2024 NBA trade deadline

What if some NBA teams made different deals at the 2024 NBA trade deadline? Here's what we think should've happened.

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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2. Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk
Milwaukee Bucks v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Former team: Utah Jazz
Better trade proposal: Kelly Olynyk to a playoff-bound team

It is possible that the acquisition of Ochai Agbaji, who will soon turn 24, was a motivating factor for Toronto in making this move. However, the trade of a 2024 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz for Olynyk was one of the more peculiar moves of the day, and this observation applies to both teams involved.

If the Raptors believe they will quickly return to contention for a playoff spot as early as next season, acquiring Olynyk and re-signing him in the summer might make some sense, although it seems unlikely. The Raptors have struggled when Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, and RJ Barrett are all on the court together, with a -3.5-point differential per 100 possessions. Another season near the bottom of the Eastern Conference could be on the horizon, and for Toronto, draft picks and young talent would hold more value than Olynyk, who will turn 33 in April.

As for Utah, if they had no other team willing to trade a first-round pick for Olynyk, then it is acceptable. However, considering that he may have been the best backup big man available on the market (as one of only seven players averaging a triple-double per 100 possessions this season), it is surprising that the rest of the league was seemingly unwilling to part with a draft asset for him. It is also unexpected that a young wing had to be included in the trade to move him.

Olynyk's ability to shoot from the outside and facilitate plays could have provided a boost to the reserve units of several teams. Before this trade, he had been linked to the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and New York Knicks. He would have been a valuable addition to any of those teams.