NBA Trade Rumors: Examining Top Gossip on 2021 Deadline Day

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

NBA Trade Rumors: Examining Top Gossip on 2021 Deadline Day

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    The 2021 NBA trade deadline day has arrived. The window will close at 3 .m. ET. Speculation will continue right up until that cutoff point—and in some cases, after it.

    Teams will continue discussing potential deals through the afternoon, and for the most part, players won't have much control over their immediate futures.

    "I mean, who knows what's going to happen?" Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry said, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "No one knows what's going to happen."

    Lowry is one of the biggest names who could be moved in the final hours. Here we'll examine his situation and some of the other latest trade buzz.

Multiple Teams Interested in Lowry

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Lowry acknowledged after Wednesday night's game against the Denver Nuggets that it may have been his last as a Raptor.

    "It was different tonight," he said, per Bontemps.

    According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat all have interest in the guard. It seems, though, that if Lowry had his wish, he would either stay in Toronto or land in Miami.

    "Lowry recently said he wants to retire with the Raptors, even if he needs to sign a one-day contract," The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote. "But if he gets dealt, league sources say his preferred destination is Miami because of his close friendship with Jimmy Butler."

    Lowry would also reportedly prefer to have some financial security included as part of a deal. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lowry wants a two-year extension worth a "minimum" of $25 million per year from his next team.

    Not only will Lowry likely be expensive to acquire from Toronto, but he will also be relatively expensive to retain post-trade. For some teams, this could be a deal-breaker.

Bulls Have Had Talks About Acquiring Lonzo Ball

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    Trading point guard Lonzo Ball may not be the preferred option for the New Orleans Pelicans. However, this hasn't stopped teams from expressing interest, according to O'Connor.

    "There's skepticism around the league that the Pelicans will move Lonzo Ball ahead of the deadline, but that won't stop teams from trying. League sources say the Bulls and Hawks are both in pursuit," O'Connor wrote.

    The Pelicans, it seems, have been willing to at least engage the Chicago Bulls on a deal. According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the two teams have discussed a swap involving Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen.

    "There is interest in [Markkanen], and the Bulls have had talks with the New Orleans Pelicans centered on Ball," Johnson wrote. "How rich of an offer [Bulls VP Arturis] Karnisovas [is] willing to make for a player who, like Markkanen, can be signed to an offer sheet in restricted free agency will be revealed by Thursday's deadline."

    Chicago isn't the only team interested in making a move for Ball. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Clippers have also explored the idea, though it would likely require a multiteam deal to pull off.

Chances Are '50-50' of an Andre Drummond Trade

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    As mentioned, some players' situations won't be settled until after the trade deadline as teams start buying out contracts. This could be the case with Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.

    The Cavs are trying to deal him before 3 p.m. but may have difficulty doing so, according to Chris Fedor of, who said:

    "Multiple sources that spoke with viewed the chances of a Drummond trade as a 50-50 proposition late Wednesday night. The other half of that equation is a buyout -- the path that leads to Drummond choosing his next team. The widespread belief if the buyout takes place: the Lakers and Nets would be the frontrunners."

    Fedor isn't the only one who has mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers as a possible frontrunner for Drummond's services.

    "At this juncture, you'd be hard-pressed to find an executive who doesn't believe Drummond would join the Lakers in that scenario, as a starting role would likely be waiting for him," Fischer wrote. 

    The Brooklyn Nets would also make sense if Drummond is able to pick his next team. Both Brooklyn and Los Angeles are considered title contenders. For Drummond, an opportunity to leave the rebuilding Cavaliers for a shot at a ring could be difficult to pass up.