NBA Trade Deadline 2021: Date, Top Rumors Surrounding Star Big Men

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 22, 2021

NBA Trade Deadline 2021: Date, Top Rumors Surrounding Star Big Men

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    There have already been some big trades take place during the 2020-21 NBA season. The most notable was when former NBA MVP James Harden was dealt from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets in January.

    The trade deadline is quickly approaching, as the NBA's 30 teams won't be able to do deals after Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. And while there may not be any moves made that have the same magnitude as the Harden trade, there could be some noteworthy deals take place ahead of the deadline.

    Here are some of the latest rumors surrounding several big men who could be dealt by Thursday.

How Will Drummond's Time in Cleveland End?

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Andre Drummond hasn't played in a game since Feb. 12, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are holding the 27-year-old center out of action while trying to work out a trade to move him. However, nothing has materialized.

    Chris Fedor of reported that the Cavaliers "believe there's enough interest" that they will be able to trade Drummond before Thursday's deadline. However, Drummond is making $28.75 million this season, and Fedor noted that the Cavs may "need to get creative, likely pulling in multiple organizations" to make a deal.

    According to Fedor, the teams interested in Drummond are playoff contenders. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that Cleveland has had discussions with the Dallas Mavericks, who are 22-19 and in eighth place in the Western Conference. However, Fedor reported that there are some around the league who "remain skeptical" that the Cavaliers will work out a deal to trade Drummond with a team.

    "There's a growing expectation he will be bought out—even though the Cavs aren't asking for much," Fedor wrote.

    Drummond was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Cavaliers in February 2020, and he's only played 33 games for Cleveland. He played eight games last season before the league was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. This season, he's averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games.

    So Drummond is playing at a high level when he's on the court, it's just not known what uniform he will be wearing the next time he steps on to one.

Could Cavaliers Also Trade McGee?

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Drummond may not be the only big man the Cavaliers trade before Thursday. According to O'Connor, Cleveland center JaVale McGee has "received interest around the league," so perhaps the 33-year-old could again soon be on the move.

    It's a regular occurrence for McGee to join a new organization. He's played for seven teams over his 13-year NBA career, and this is his first season with the Cavaliers after spending the previous two with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 7-footer is averaging 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 32 games while serving in a bench role for Cleveland.

    ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that "several strong playoff teams" have reached out to the Cavaliers about a potential trade, but several of them are "gauging the likelihood of a buyout before coughing up assets." The Athletic's Shams Charania wrote earlier in March that Cleveland is open to discussing a McGee deal.

    One team that has interest in McGee is Brooklyn, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Nets are one of the top championship contenders, and McGee won the NBA title last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, so maybe they are looking to add his leadership and experience to the roster.

Hawks Receiving Trade Interest for Collins

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    John Collins is in his fourth NBA season, all of which have been with the Atlanta Hawks, and he's developed into a strong player during that time. Because of that, it appears there are several teams that may be interested in trading for the 23-year-old.

    According to O'Connor, the Hawks have received "significant trade interest" from the Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves. Collins is only signed through the end of this season, at which point he will be a restricted free agent.

    O'Connor reported that Atlanta wants "one young player and a first-round draft pick to make a deal or a package of similar value such as multiple first-round picks." The Hawks wanted guard Malik Beasley and a first-round draft pick from the Timberwolves, but Minnesota declined that deal, per O'Connor.

    The Celtics are looking to also acquire guard Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Hawks in a potential Collins trade, according to O'Connor.

    Collins is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 42 games this season. Atlanta is 22-20 and sits in fourth in the Eastern Conference. However, it's a crowded playoff picture, and the Hawks will have to decide whether they would rather think about the future or make a push this season.