At last, we have arrived at the 2021 NBA trade deadline, a week that will undoubtedly be full of intrigue and excitement for just about every fanbase in basketball.
With rumors swirling on a daily basis at the moment, let’s not waste any time.
Below, check out the 10 players who have appeared the most in NBA trade rumors over the past few days, ranked by the number of appearances on our Trade Rumors Page.
Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn)
Just three days ago, our own Michael Scotto reported that the Brooklyn Nets would be willing to move Spencer Dinwiddie for a package that includes a role player who can help off the bench and a future second-round pick (via HoopsHype):
Dinwiddie can be obtained for a role player off the bench who can contribute this season as Brooklyn chases a title and a future second-round pick, league sources told HoopsHype. According to executives around the league who spoke with HoopsHype, the belief is a team that is over the cap would make the most sense totrade for Dinwiddie because the team would be able to monitor his rehab progress from a partially torn ACL and acquire his Bird Rights, which would allow him to be signed while going over the salary cap.
And since then, there have been two more reports regarding Dinwiddie’s trade market, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting that the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors having interest in the 27-year-old and Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer mentioning Detroit, the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls as potential landing spots for Dinwiddie.
The aforementioned non-playoff teams make sense for Dinwiddie, as they are planning for the future and don’t need a player who can contribute this season.
But as far as why playoff-caliber teams like Miami or Toronto would be interested, consider the following: Trading for Dinwiddie would mean acquiring his Bird rights, thus giving whoever does land him a leg up in re-signing him this offseason, which could prove important considering he’s a top free agent this summer in what’s considered a pretty weak class overall.
For a price as cheap as a role player and a second-rounder, landing Dinwiddie might hurt the Raptors or Heat in the short-term but could pay off big long-term, as Dinwiddie has established himself as a high-level guard over recent campaigns.
For more on the Spencer Dinwiddie trade front, click here.
Nemanja Bjelica (Sacramento)
Sacramento Kings big man Nemanja Bjelica is now the likeliest Kings player to be traded, per Bleacher Report’s Fischer, who reported the following on the floor-spacer’s trade market earlier today:
Nemanja Bjelica seems like the King most likely to be traded. With a salary at just over $7 million, and many playoff contenders searching for perimeter shooting as always, the circumstances are ripe for change. “They want to move him, and Bjelica told them he wants to be moved,” said the assistant general manager. Sacramento is holding out for a younger player and a second-round pick in return, sources said. Barnes was often mentioned as the Celtics’ ideal addition this deadline, but multiple league sources mentioned Boston as a top suitor for Bjelica.
Bjelica’s numbers might be way down this season (he’s shooting just 28.6 percent for the year), but that could be due to his role and unhappiness in his situation.
As a stretch power forward, Bjelica should still be able to help out contenders thanks to his shooting touch.
For more on the Nemanja Bjelica trade front, click here.
Andre Drummond (Cleveland)
There has been some movement lately as far as trade scuttle surrounding Andre Drummond, first coming from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are still confident they’ll be able to find a trade for the All-Star big man, rather than have to buy him out.
Because if interested parties wait for Drummond to get bought out, he’s very likely headed either to the Los Angeles Lakers or Brooklyn Nets, meaning trading for him might be the only way to prevent that from happening and actually land him.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor further reported yesterday that two teams remain in on a Drummond trade: the Dallas Mavericks and Raptors. O’Connor also shared that the Cavaliers’ asking price is a mere second-round pick, though that would change if teams were to send Cleveland more bad salary in exchange for Drummond.
For a price that cheap, perhaps the Cavs do manage to trade Drummond instead of having to resort to buying him out, though his $28.8 million salary will continue to make things tricky.
For more on the Andre Drummond trade front, click here.
LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)
Every recent indication on the LaMarcus Aldridge front is that a buyout is likelier than a trade – and if a buyout for the former star big man does take place, it’ll be the Heat who are in the driver’s seat to land his services.
Miami did have trade talks for Aldridge with the San Antonio Spurs before trading for Trevor Ariza, but they went nowhere, according to the Miami Herald.
Since then, both The Ringer’s O’Connor and the New York Times’ Marc Stein mentioned the Heat as potential frontrunners for landing Aldridge:
After completing its trade for Trevor Ariza, Miami is expected to remain in contention for LaMarcus Aldridge in the buyout market — provided San Antonio is unable to construct an Aldridge trade by March 25, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 17, 2021
Regardless, Aldridge will undoubtedly interest multiple contenders if and when he does get bought out from San Antonio, so Miami will have its work cut out for them to land the much-needed big man.
For more on the LaMarcus Aldridge trade front, click here.
Kyle Lowry (Toronto)
The Heat aren’t just after Aldridge, as the latest reports from a variety of sources indicate that they’re also leaders in the pursuit for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, giving the struggling 17-25 Raptors reason to move him now rather than lose him for nothing.
According to O’Connor, Lowry’s preferred destination if he does get traded is with the Heat due to his friendship with Jimmy Butler while ESPN’s Zach Lowe has also heard that Miami has kept tabs on a potential Lowry trade, though he doubts the Heat would be willing to include the inconsistent-but-young Tyler Herro in such a deal, making a reasonable trade package for Lowry from Miami difficult to surmise.
It’s not just Miami who is after Lowry, however, as reports, including one from Charania, also have the Philadelphia 76ers pursuing the All-Star point guard, which makes a lot of sense considering their need for another playmaker outside of Ben Simmons:
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.
Lowry’s salary ($30.5 million) could make things tricky as far as salary-matching for a trade, but unlike Drummond, he has proven to be a winning player who is worth the sacrifice, so if the Raptors really are willing to part with him, contenders would figure out ways to land him that would be legal financially.
For more on the Kyle Lowry trade front, click here.
John Collins (Atlanta)
It remains to be seen whether the Atlanta Hawks would actually go through with trading the young and promising John Collins, but if they do, one thing is for certain: It won’t come cheap for whoever wants him.
One of the teams most often connected with Collins in trade scuttle has been the Boston Celtics, though any such trade between the two teams would likely have to include other huge pieces, as Bogdan Bogdanovic (via The Ringer) and Jaylen Brown (via The Athletic) have both been mentioned in reports tied to a potential Collins trade, making it difficult to see such a blockbuster actually going through.
The Ringer also mentioned the Kings, Mavericks, Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves as having an interest in Collins, so the market is definitely out there for him, it’s just a matter of a team being willing to part with major pieces to land him.
For more on the John Collins trade front, click here.
Lonzo Ball (New Orleans)
After his enigmatic father LaVar Ball went on a radio station in Los Angeles and said that Lonzo Ball wants out of the New Orleans Pelicans, multiple teams have been tied to the talented point guard in trade rumors, including the Los Angeles Clippers (via the New York Times), as well as the Bulls and Hawks (via The Ringer).
Regardless, the New York Post reported yesterday that Ball’s actual preference would be to finish out the season with New Orleans and then focus on free agency this offseason to find a new home:
Despite LaVar’s bold remarks on Los Angeles radio, The Post has learned Lonzo doesn’t feel the same way about being dealt Thursday. The Pelicans have had a disappointing season — 18-24, in 11th place in the West. However, Ball’s preference is to fight for a playoff berth with New Orleans and put his focus on his first free agency, one NBA source said.
Ball is currently playing some of the best basketball of his career, so it’s not surprising to see so much interest in him ahead of the trade deadline, but maybe the best path forward for both the 23-year-old and the Pelicans might be to stick together until the offseason, and then figure out their respective next moves with relation to each other.
For more on the Lonzo Ball trade front, click here.
Victor Oladipo (Houston)
Despite an up-and-down season that has already seen him suit up for two teams, Victor Oladipo’s name remains a popular one in trade rumors, with most recently, the New York Times naming him as the likeliest big name to be traded this week:
Around the league, Houston's two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo is increasingly regarded as one of the (if not THE) most decorated players to be traded in the next four-plus days
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 21, 2021
Bleacher Report added that a team to keep an eye on for Oladipo are the Hawks, who have been playing excellent basketball since making Nate McMillan their head coach:
One latest potential Oladipo suitor to keep an eye on is Atlanta. The Hawks have made Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cam Reddish available, sources said, as the front office is purportedly searching to upgrade its crowded wing rotation.
Oladipo’s efficiency may be pretty bad this season, but he’s still putting up nearly a 21/5/5 stat line while playing hounding defense, so it’s easy to see why contenders would still be interested in attaining his services ahead of the trade deadline.
For more on the Victor Oladipo trade front, click here.
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento)
Although there was an expectation earlier this season that Harrison Barnes could see himself traded by the Kings, as his career-best level of play was going to certainly interest contenders as Sacramento found themselves fall out of the playoff race, that no longer appears to be the case.
Three separate respected reporters – Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Lowe – all said this past week that the Kings are planning to hold onto Barnes through the trade deadline unless they’re blown away by an offer.
Here’s what Lowe had to say on the topic just today:
The Kings are open to listening on everyone aside from De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, but it’s going to take a lot to pry away Barnes and Richaun Holmes, sources said. Both are in the meat of their primes – Holmes is 27, Barnes 28 – and the Kings are telling teams they don’t consider themselves that far from being a real playoff team, sources said. They are not in as much of a rush as you might think to deal good, in-their-prime guys for prospects and picks.
For what it’s worth, the 17-25 Kings are 25th in net rating this season (-5.1), so they probably aren’t that close to making the playoffs as presently constructed.
Nevertheless, it looks like Barnes will be staying put through Thursday.
For more on the Harrison Barnes trade front, click here.
Aaron Gordon (Orlando)
A player who could really help out contenders for the stretch run of the season is Aaron Gordon, whose versatility on both ends of the floor is quite unique as a guy who can defend multiple positions, as well as handle the basketball and create for others out of the frontcourt.
And according to The Athletic, the Orlando Magic swingman has formally requested a trade from the club, which it’s hard to blame him for, as his name has popped up in rumors pretty much every recent season:
Aaron Gordon is ready for a relocation, as sources tell The Athletic that he asked Orlando Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman for a trade through his representative in February. But will he land in Boston before the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday? The Celtics have certainly been trying.
Besides the Celtics, other clubs who have been reported to have an interest in Gordon are the Rockets (your guess is as good as ours as to why a rebuilding Houston team would want a veteran like Gordon right now), the Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, the latter two of whom could really his services on the defensive end come playoff time.
Regardless, after years of constant scuttle surrounding his future with the team, it looks like Gordon could finally be on the move from Orlando. Now, we’ll finally be able to truly answer the question: How would Gordon do on a contender where he’s tasked with less responsibility as a scorer and more as just a role player?
For more on the Aaron Gordon trade front, click here.