NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Deals Before 2021 Deadline
The 2021 NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching. Teams will have until Thursday to make in-season deals on the trade market, though this year's deadline may not bring with it a flurry of big-name moves.
This is largely because players like Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday were dealt ahead of the regular season, with former NBA MVP James Harden swapping the Houston Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets soon after the campaign got underway.
"The two biggest names have already moved," one Eastern Conference executive said in February, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "Nothing will be bigger than Holiday and Harden, but I still think things will happen, especially as some of these teams realize their cap space is going to be worthless this summer."
This doesn't mean, however, that all will be quiet on the trade front. Some moves will be made in the coming days, and we're here to dig into the latest buzz.
Cavaliers Could Move Drummond And/or McGee Before the Deadline
The Cleveland Cavaliers sit at 16-26 and, unsurprisingly, should be considered sellers at the deadline. Centers Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee could both be on the move.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers believe that they have a market for Drummond—even if it isn't a tremendous one:
"The Cavs still believe there's enough interest that they will be able to move Drummond, an unrestricted free agent following this season, for something. Then again, the interest level has never been their biggest hurdle. It's Drummond's bulky $28.7 million salary that's tough to match with outgoing—and expendable—contracts."
Cleveland might have better luck moving McGee, as his market does appear to be real. Though as ESPN's Zach Lowe pointed out, teams may not be eager to pull the trigger on a deal.
"Several strong playoff teams have contacted the Cavaliers about McGee, but some are gauging the likelihood of a buyout before coughing up assets, league sources said," Lowe wrote.
The one certainty here seems to be that if a team is interested in acquiring a center from the Cavaliers, it should be able to do so.
Celtics Among the Teams Eyeing Aaron Gordon
Like the Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic have been struggling. They're sitting at 14-28 and have little chance of making the postseason. This could have prompted star forward Aaron Gordon to ask for a trade.
According to Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Gordon requested a trade through his representatives back in February. And per Weiss and Amick, the Boston Celtics have been trying to work out a deal.
"Sources say the Celtics, whose significant struggles this season appear to have increased the pressure to add another impactful player in time for the playoff push, have been among the teams engaged with the Magic about a possible Gordon deal," Weiss and Amick wrote.
While Boston is trending as a playoff team, it hasn't been as competitive as some might have anticipated. At 21-21, the Celtics are a middle-of-the-pack team, though adding Gordon could change that.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Houston Rockets have engaged the Magic in trade talks, while the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers also remain interested.
Heat and 76ers Interested in Kyle Lowry
According to Charania, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is also drawing interest, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat leading the pack.
"The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are leaders in pursuit to acquire Lowry, sources told The Athletic, and several rival team executives are monitoring the situation as well as which young player or asset either team could part with," Charania wrote.
At 17-25, the Raptors are among the teams more likely to sell than to buy at the deadline. This doesn't mean that Toronto should be eager to move him. However, as The Athletic's Eric Koreen recently pointed out, it may be in the best interest of all parties:
"Let's face it: Lowry is not going to be happy on a team stuck in the middle. As much as it's on the Raptors to remain an intriguing option for Lowry, it's also on Lowry to be honest with himself and the front office about what he wants as his career winds down."
Per Charania, "those with knowledge of Lowry's mindset" believe that he wants to compete for a championship. That isn't likely to happen in Toronto this season. The Raptors should get a sizeable haul in return for the 34-year-old, though.
A deal would help set up Toronto's rebuilding effort while aiding another contender and giving Lowry his desired shot at a title.