WNBA Trade Deadline 2021: End Time, Latest News and Predictions

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2021

Atlanta Dream guard Chennedy Carter (3) in action during a WNBA basketball game against the Dallas Wings, Thursday, May 27, 2021, in College Park, Ga. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Danny Karnik/Associated Press

As the WNBA enters the home stretch of the regular season, which ends in less than a month on Sept. 19, the next major date on the calendar is the trade deadline.

The league's 12 teams have until Saturday at 8 p.m. ET to make any midseason deals that they feel would improve their rosters.

That number dwindles down to eight when it comes to teams that will actually compete in the playoffs, meaning there aren't quite as many teams willing to swing for the fences when it comes to trades.

Additionally, team GMs' jobs might prove a bit more difficult this year than in years past due to the 2021 Summer Olympics break.

Multiple players from across the league took time off to suit up to play for their respective countries.

Those players haven't been back long enough to truly get a read on how the rest of the season will shake out.

That could be a major reason why the deadline could come and go without any major moves to speak of.

Teams like the Connecticut Sun, Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm are close to officially punching their ticket to the postseason, while teams the Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever have the worst and second-worst records in the league, respectively, and have to be looking towards next year.

Normally, a team like Atlanta with only six wins under its belt, would be in fire sell mode, but according to Courtney Williams, who was named to the All-Star Team for the first time in her career this season, the Dream's problems are "mechanical" and just need a win to get back on track.

"We’re right there," Williams told Brandon Sudge of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "A couple of possessions (go our way) and the game is ours. It’s a focus thing, not an effort thing or a chemistry thing. Our problems now are things we can fix.

"We’re not in panic mode. We’re determined to get over that hump. It’s never too late. Everyone has been seeing the shift."

One move Atlanta could make is to trade Chennedy Carter, the former No. 4 pick in the 2020 draft, who has been suspended since after their 118-95 loss to Las Vegas back in July for conduct detrimental to the team.

According to The Next's Spencer Nusbaum's sources, though, the Dream is "highly unlikely" to trade Carter before the trade deadline, despite their being "no timetable yet" for her return to the team.

As for Indiana, Tony East of Forbes suggested that they either move on from Jessica Breland, whom they signed back in February, or use the deadline to "free up a roster spot...to add a free agent" later.

"Shyla Heal, the eighth overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, is still a WNBA free agent after being waived by the Dallas Wings in early June and could be worth taking a look at, for example, though there are dozens of free agent options that could make sense for the Fever," East wrote.

Looking beyond the Dream and Fever, there aren't any credible rumors pointing to potential moves teams might make leading up to the deadline, signaling that Saturday may be a fairly quiet day on the trade front and WNBA fans should settle in at 8 p.m. and watch the Chicago Sky host the Minnesota Lynx.