NBA Rumors: Last-Minute Trade Reports Before 2021 Deadline
The 2021 NBA trade deadline is upon us. At 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, the window will be closed, and trades will be off the proverbial table until the offseason.
Unsurprisingly, the deals have started to roll in.
The Orlando Magic are trading Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu to the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a deal to send JaVale McGee to the Denver Nuggets.
Some big-name players are still likely to be moved, though, including Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon. Here, we'll examine his situation and some of the other top last-minute trade buzz.
Magic to Deal Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon
The Magic might be in full-on fire-sale mode. Moving Vucevic is not an insignificant move, and it's not going to be the last.
According to Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics are finalizing a deal to acquire guard Evan Fournier from Orlando. Per his sources, Boston will surrender a pair of second-round picks as part of the deal. When and if the Fournier trade becomes official, Gordon will likely be the next piece to fall.
"Source says the Magic are landing Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a first-rounder in the Aaron Gordon deal with Denver that Shams Charania said has been agreed upon. Denver also gets Gary Clark," The Athletic's Sam Amick tweeted.
The Celtics had previously been considered the frontrunners to acquire Gordon, but their move to nab Fournier seems to indicate a change in Boston's plans. Instead, it seems that Gordon will be joining McGee in Denver.
Raptors Reportedly Looking for Major Haul in Exchange for Kyle Lowry
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is another big name that could be moved in the next couple of hours. According to Charania, the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat are all "seriously engaged" in talks with Toronto for the six-time All-Star.
However, if any one of those teams is hoping to get a bargain, it could be out of luck. At least in Philadelphia's case, it's likely to cost a significant amount to land Lowry.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst said the following on First Take (h/t Kyle Neubeck of the Philadelphia Voice):
"From Philadelphia, they are permitted to trade '21 and '23 first-round picks, this year's pick in 2023. plus they have Tyrese Maxey, their young guard out of Kentucky, plus they have Matisse Thybulle. Toronto would like all of those pieces, and from what I am being told, Philly has not been willing to put that whole package in there."
It'll be interesting to see if either the 76ers or Raptors blink in negotiations and/or if another team is willing to sell out to get Lowry. According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, Lowry would prefer to retire a Raptor or land with the Heat.
Bulls Likely Not Done Dealing
The Bulls have already made one major trade today, but it appears that more moves could be on the way. According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls are still interested in New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball and could move forward Lauri Markkanen.
"Word around the league is that the Bulls aren't necessarily done. Not only are they still engaged on Lonzo Ball, they're fielding calls on Lauri Markkanen," Johnson tweeted.
Johnson previously reported that the Bulls had discussed a swap of Markkanen and Ball with the Pelicans:
"There is interest in [Markkanen], and the Bulls have had talks with the New Orleans Pelicans centered on Ball. 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."
It's unclear whether a Markkanen-Ball swap is still on the table or if they would be involved in separate deals. However, it appears likely that Markkanen will be dealt if it's possible.
According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports and RealGM, the Bulls don't view Markkanen and Vucevic as a "long-term fit" in the frontcourt together.