With a day left until the 2020-21 NBA trade deadline, the action should start to pick up starting today, with the time for negotiating and haggling finally nearing its end – and teams needing to decide what they’re actually willing to part with to land stars.
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.
Odds are, more than one of them will be dealt by the time the trade deadline arrives.
JaVale McGee (Cavaliers)
The Cleveland Cavaliers were probably elated to see JaVale McGee post his best game of the season on Monday, dropping 18 points, nine rebounds and two blocks as the team worked on finding a trade for the veteran big man.
Our own Michael Scotto reported yesterday that the Cavs were hoping to land just a second-round pick in exchange for McGee, which seems perfectly reasonable considering his play, playoff experience and salary (he’s on an expiring and owed merely $4.2 million).
Yahoo! Sports, meanwhile, reported that the Portland Trail Blazers are a team interested in McGee while the New York Post has the Brooklyn Nets as another contender attentive of the big man’s situation, though probably in case he gets bought out and not necessarily for a trade.
For the latest on the JaVale McGee trade front, click here.
Evan Fournier (Orlando)
After over six seasons with the club, Evan Fournier’s time with the Orlando Magic could be coming to an end, as playoff teams needing perimeter scoring are reported to have interest in plucking the swingman on an expiring contract from the 14-29 Magic.
The fact that Fournier is about to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason will undoubtedly be a factor in Orlando’s decision-making here, though Fournier himself dispelled the rumor that he told the Magic he wouldn’t be re-signing there under any circumstance:
I've never said such a thing. Straight up lie. https://t.co/oTkEMPnAlX
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) March 23, 2021
Sports Illustrated reported today that the Magic are committed to moving Fournier before tomorrow’s deadline and that the Denver Nuggets have engaged Orlando in talks for the veteran 2-guard.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks (via Bleacher Report) and the New York Knicks (via SNY) have also been mentioned as teams interested in Fournier, while the New York Times listed the French ball-handler as a “prime contender” to be dealt.
Keep an eye on Fournier’s situation over the next day-plus.
For the latest on the Evan Fournier trade front, click here.
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento)
In spite of reports indicating the Sacramento Kings aren’t interested in trading Harrison Barnes, who has two seasons left on his contract after this one, interest in the experienced swingman continues to remain high, as contenders view him as a versatile, floor-spacing forward who could help out on both ends of the floor.
Harrison Barnes has been drawing a lot of interest around the league, per league sources. A talented scorer and versatile defender, the #Kings’ forward is coveted for his selfless, team-first attitude. In other words, Barnes can significantly elevate a playoff team.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 24, 2021
Just yesterday, a report out of Denver indicated that the Nuggets had identified Barnes as a potential target to fill their hole on the wing, even though the Kings’ asking price remained unclear at that point.
Based on the most recent indications, including a report from Sports Illustrated today which said that although the Boston Celtics covet Barnes, there hasn’t been traction in trade talks, it would be surprising to see Barnes traded this week, but far crazier things have happened in the NBA, and a solid offer could make Sacramento change their minds quickly.
For the latest on the Harrison Barnes trade front, click here.
John Collins (Atlanta)
Another forward who it’d be surprising to see traded this week is Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins, who told a local radio station just yesterday that he expects to remain a Hawk through tomorrow’s trade deadline, and that he’d like to remain in Atlanta his whole career:
John Collins is asked if he expects to be a Hawk come Thursday night: "I expect to be; but, on the other hand, I understand that this is a business and my phone could be blowing up… but I do expect to be a Hawk."
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) March 24, 2021
John Collins: "I want to stay. I want to be true to Atlanta for my entire career… it means something to me. I want to be here. I want my future to be here."
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) March 24, 2021
That, plus the fact that the Hawks have surged smack dab into the Eastern Conference playoff picture thanks to their strong play over the past weeks, has helped change the thinking here as far as Collins’ future, both short-term and long-term, with Atlanta.
Sports Illustrated today reported that the asking price for Collins remains very high heading into the home stretch prior to the deadline, but that the Charlotte Hornets could be a team to watch on that front:
Atlanta is still discussing Collins, though it doesn’t appear the Hawks are willing to part with Collins for anything less than a combination of young players and draft picks. Collins made an impassioned plea to remain with the Hawks on Tuesday, and rival execs say Atlanta has not operated like a team eager to move him. A team to watch is Charlotte, which could cobble together a Devonte’ Graham/Cody Zeller/draft pick package. The Hornets desperately need frontcourt help and likely would be willing to pay the 23-year old Collins, a restricted free agent this summer, more than the four-year, $90 million extension he turned down last fall.
Regardless, it looks like the explosive, floor-spacing power forward will be with the Hawks past Thursday.
For the latest on the John Collins trade front, click here.
Norman Powell (Toronto)
A player trending in the opposite direction as far as a trade before tomorrow goes, Norman Powell, according to multiple reports, is looking likelier and likelier to be traded by tomorrow’s deadline.
Sports Illustrated went so far as to say league execs straight-up expect Toronto to trade their high-scoring wing, reiterating a report from ESPN:
Powell is starting to enter expected to be dealt territory, per several execs who have spoken with the Raptors. Will be an interesting couple of days in Toronto. https://t.co/AVvuLromLE
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) March 24, 2021
As far as potential landing spots, the Philadelphia 76ers were mentioned as a team interested in Powell yesterday, while our own Scotto reported that a Powell trade to the Nets has been discussed prior to this month.
The Raptors are a team to watch in general, as they could be headed for a firesale by the trade deadline.
For the latest on the Norman Powell trade front, click here.
Lonzo Ball (New Orleans)
Although interest in Lonzo Ball appears to remain high-league wide, the New Orleans Pelicans reportedly are split on what to do with the talented young guard, who will hit unrestricted free agency this offseason (via The Ringer):
Kevin Connor on Lonzo Ball: Everything I’ve heard is that the Pelicans are split on whether what to do here.
Granted, Ball is playing some of the best basketball of his career, but the thinking from New Orleans here might be: Do we really need to spend a lot financially at point guard when we already have Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram to do so much of the ball-handling and playmaking for the team? Why not move Ball now and get something of high value in return, rather than lose him for nothing in a few months?
The Ball situation will be a fascinating one to monitor ahead of the trade deadline, as he could end up on a contender by tomorrow.
For the latest on the Lonzo Ball trade front, click here.
Victor Oladipo (Houston)
Arguably the likeliest player to be traded by tomorrow is Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo, who could end up on his third team of the season by the trade deadline.
Sports Illustrated was emphatic about that in their most recent report today:
It’s no longer a question of if Houston will move Victor Oladipo, but to who, with the Rockets motivated to move a player who is likely to exit via free agency this summer. The Knicks interest in Oladipo may be overblown, per league sources, and Miami is said to be lukewarm about packaging any of its young shooters (Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson) in a deal for a player they could pursue via free agency. Houston, though, will move Oladipo somewhere before Friday.
ESPN essentially said the same yesterday, too:
The Houston Rockets are progressing on several fronts in talks to trade guard Victor Oladipo, and there’s strong confidence they’ll execute a deal ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, sources tell ESPN. The Rockets are increasingly comfortable with the offers on Oladipo in the marketplace, which include young players and first-round pick combinations that the franchise believes are suitable returns to make a deal, sources said.
The problem for the Rockets is: Why would the Miami Heat or Knicks, two prime candidates to land the athletic 2-guard by all reports, trade something of huge value for him now when they can just sign him in free agency in a few months?
If Oladipo was playing more like his former All-Star self, then maybe New York or Miami would be more willing to trade for him now, but Oladipo’s efficiency, or lack thereof, definitely has potential suitors concerned about giving up too much for him.
For the latest on the Victor Oladipo trade front, click here.
Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn)
Although it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to return late this season from a knee injury or not, the Nets are still having trade discussions with various teams on a potential Spencer Dinwiddie trade ahead of tomorrow.
Our own Scotto reported yesterday that Brooklyn is having such talks with Miami, in a potential exchange of Dinwiddie for Avery Bradley, an excellent defense-first player for a contender like the Nets, one who has close ties with Kevin Durant and assistant coach Royal Ivey.
That trade might hurt the Heat some in the short-term (though, really, perhaps not that much, considering Bradley has hardly played this season), but it would give them a leg-up in re-signing Dinwiddie as a free agent this offseason, in what projects to be a weak free-agent class overall.
Adding a healthy Dinwiddie for cheap now could prove savvy for Miami in 2021-22, as the Heat desperately lack another reliable scorer/ball-handler alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
For what it’s worth, Dinwiddie is having fun with trade rumors on social media:
Got out of the first rehab session and was trending. Yippee 🙄
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) March 23, 2021
For the latest on the Spencer Dinwiddie trade front, click here.
Kyle Lowry (Toronto)
Whether or not Kyle Lowry gets traded by tomorrow will come down to the player’s decision-making himself, as the Raptors won’t move their franchise’s unquestioned GOAT without his consent, even if he doesn’t have a no-trade clause on his contract.
Now, Lowry could be swayed financially to accept a trade by pulling off a wink-wink deal with whoever does acquire him promising to give him a max extension this offseason. Although Lowry can’t officially be extended right now, his agent could negotiate such a deal behind the scenes.
And that’s reportedly what Lowry is seeking, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The Sixers and Miami Heat are having talks with the Toronto Raptors to acquire the six-time All-Star point guard in a trade. However, Lowry, 34, wants some indication that a potential destination is willing to give him a two-year extension at a minimum $25 million a year, according to sources. He’s making $30 million in the final year of his Raptors deal.
Lowry might be getting up there in age (he’s about to be 35), but his play remains at a high-level, so seeing him land a big short-term deal, be it from the Raptors or a team trading for him, would not be shocking whatsoever.
Toronto is talking to various teams on the Lowry front, with ESPN indicating that the 34-year-old is trying to have an open mind about potential trade destinations. Nevertheless, Sports Illustrated is still calling the Heat the current front-runners in the Lowry sweepstakes:
Miami is the frontrunner for Kyle Lowry. The Heat have been aggressively pursuing Lowry, showing a willingness to part with Robinson in a deal. Miami is limited with what it can offer in draft compensation, but rival executives believe a Robinson-headlined deal will be more appealing than anything Philadelphia, the Heat’s competition for Lowry, can offer. Robinson’s three-point shooting has tailed off this season (38.2%) and the 26-year old can be a free agent this summer.
Still, it’ll seemingly be up to Lowry whether he gets traded or not by tomorrow’s deadline, and that decision might not even be fully made yet.
For the latest on the Kyle Lowry trade front, click here.
Aaron Gordon (Orlando)
Orlando Magic swingman Aaron Gordon has consistently come up in trade rumors often over recent years, but by all accounts, this could truly be the season he finally gets dealt, as reports say the explosive forward formally requested a trade from the club himself.
The latest reporting on the matter says that the Rockets have had serious talks with Orlando about trading for Gordon (via ESPN), as have the Nuggets (via The Athletic), though the Magic’s asking price might be a bit too high to make a move to Denver super likely right now.
The Celtics are another team that has been mentioned as a potential Gordon suitor recently, though Sports Illustrated reported today that Boston could be using Gordon to make the Kings more willing to discuss Barnes deals with them.
Nevertheless, with so many interested parties and a willingness from both the Magic and Gordon to finally move on from each other, Gordon is looking very likely to get dealt by tomorrow.
For the latest on the Aaron Gordon trade front, click here.