We are exactly at the one-month mark until the 2020-21 NBA Trade Deadline, so it’s time for a special edition of our trade rumor rankings series.
Usually, we release a new part of this series every Monday, but as we approach the trade deadline, we’re going to start picking up the frequency of our trade rumor rankings articles.
And judging by some of the names that are starting to be bandied about, that’s probably a good idea on our part.
Below, check out the five players who have appeared the most often in our Trade Rumors Page over the previous days ranked by order of appearances.
Kyle Lowry (Toronto)
Kyle Lowry is on an expiring contract and although he’s a Toronto Raptors legend, that hasn’t stopped team president Masai Ujiri from dealing a player of his caliber before. That, plus the fact Toronto made a long-term commitment to Fred VanVleet last offseason, has led many to believe Lowry’s days with the Raptors could be numbered.
And considering Lowry is still a very productive floor general, averaging 18.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game while shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc, interest in acquiring him will be high on the trade market.
Three teams already being discussed as potential landing spots for Lowry include his hometown Philadelphia 76ers, as we well as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, all franchises with high aspirations this season.
However, if recent reports are to be trusted, Lowry’s preference would be to end up back home in Philadelphia (via The Philadelphia Inquirer):
A source said Lowry would like to be in Philly. The source believes the Sixers and Raptors might be able to get something done. But if it comes to that, Toronto would most likely want some picks, young players, and veterans with expiring contracts for Lowry, who’s making $30 million this season.
The report continued to say the following:
Kyle Lowry would be a perfect fit for the 76ers. The same can be said about the Miami Heat. The best spot for the Philly native and Toronto Raptors point guard, however, is the Los Angeles Clippers. According to sources, those three teams could become potential trade destinations for the former Cardinal Dougherty High School and Villanova standout. That is, of course, if Lowry opts to not finish the season with the Raptors.
Even at almost 35, Lowry is still one of the best point guards in the game and, more important, one that has proven he can help lead a team to a championship.
If Toronto is serious about moving Lowry, the market for him will heat up quickly, with contenders likely to battle it out for his services.
For more on the Kyle Lowry trade front, click here.
Austin Rivers (New York)
There hasn’t been any concrete reporting on Austin Rivers’ future with the New York Knicks recently, but in talking to the media recently, the two-way guard essentially sounded like he’s preparing to be moved (via the New York Post):
Knicks guard Austin Rivers arrived as a veteran team leader who was set to close games as a backup. On Wednesday, in his first remarks since the Derrick Rose trade, he sounded like a man about to be traded, sometimes frustratingly forging into the past tense of his Knicks stint. […] “I can’t control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player and what I can bring to this team every day. That’s being ready at all times no matter if my name is called or not and to help the young, young guys be ready to play. I’ll just continue to be ready to play here as long as I’m here, for however long.”
Rivers has had a somewhat quiet season, averaging 7.3 points and 2.2 rebounds over 21 games, shooting 36.4 percent from three in the process. He hasn’t seen action for the Knicks since Feb. 13, either.
Even so, Rivers has a lot of playoff experience and defends his position well, and is only set to earn $3.5 million this year, while sources told HoopsHype his 2021-22 is fully non-guaranteed, making him even more appealing of a pickup for a contender looking for backcourt depth.
New York shouldn’t have a hard time finding him a new home over the next month.
For more on the Austin Rivers trade front, click here.
Bradley Beal (Washington)
Although every sign indicates Bradley Beal is going nowhere this season, that hasn’t stopped his name from constantly popping up in trade rumors –and this week has been no different.
New York-based ESPN radio host Michael Kay said on his show Tuesday that he had heard William Wesley, better-known as World Wide Wes, who works for the Knicks’ front office, is using backchannels to push Beal’s camp to request a trade this season (via the New York Daily News):
“The Knicks have World Wide Wes on their side,” Kay said. “And he’s been in the ear of some of Beal’s people and he’s kind of nudging them that this might be a time to push for a trade.” World Wide Wes, whose real name is William Wesley, was hired by the Knicks in June to work with his longtime associate Leon Rose. It’s Wesley’s first official job with an NBA team after decades as a behind-the-scenes power broker who leveraged relationships into influence. World Wide Wes, who has James Dolan’s ear, is an animated figure on the sidelines this season, both on the road and at MSG, but has never spoken publicly.
That’s a pretty hefty accusation, one that could get the Knicks into a ton of trouble if it’s found out to be true, but in reality, it’s not all that surprising; that type of backchannel recruiting likely happens often in the NBA, especially when involving the huge names on the market.
Nevertheless, the Washington Wizards are playing much better recently and Beal is leading the league in scoring. The odds of him being traded within the next month are minuscule.
For more on the Bradley Beal trade front, click here.
Andre Drummond (Cleveland)
Two teams were recently connected to Andre Drummond over the past few days: the Dallas Mavericks and the Knicks.
The former were mentioned by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, who reported the following:
For now, Dallas appears first interested in adding a center to help supplement Porzingis, sources said. The Mavericks have circled Andre Drummond as the Cleveland Cavaliers look to move in a different frontcourt direction of their own, but Dallas has expressed no interest in parting with Porzingis in those particular talks. “They want a big to pair with him,” one league source said. “Obviously with physicality, rebounding, toughness.”
While the latter were mentioned by Marc Berman from the New York Post, who wrote as follows:
According to an NBA source who has been in touch with the Knicks, the club has made no decisions, but are “analyzing” whether making a play for on-the-block Cavaliers center Andre Drummond makes sense from a chemistry and winning standpoint. The Knicks are the NBA’s lowest-scoring team.
A lot is made of Drummond’s salary, expiring but paying him $28.8 million this season, and his sometimes lackluster effort defensively, but the 27-year-old is a double-double machine who is an elite finisher out the pick-and-roll and is an absolute force on the glass – on both ends.
So there’s no question he’d help a frontcourt-needy contender if he were to be traded to one in the next month.
For more on the Andre Drummond trade front, click here.
Kristaps Porzingis (Dallas)
For the first time since his move from New York to the Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis has started to pop up in credible trade rumors, and although Mavs owner Mark Cuban denied them, more than one outlet reporting them lends credence to the potential they’re worth believing.
First, Bleacher Report’s Fischer reported the following on Tuesday:
In fact, Dallas has quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis, according to league sources, as the Mavericks have begun reevaluating whether the 25-year-old center can truly support Doncic as the second option on a contender. “They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster that’s not named Luka,” one person with knowledge of Dallas’ thinking said. “You know [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson]; they’re always tinkering.” “They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an assistant general manager told B/R. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”
Then, Ian Begley of SNY reiterated that Dallas has discussed Porzingis trades with several teams while gauging his value. One of those teams? The Golden State Warriors (via SNY on YouTube):
Ian Begley on Kristaps Porzingis: (The Dallas Mavericks) have talked to several teams just quietly gauging his value on the trade market. One team they talked to was Golden State. I don’t know if things have gotten far. I don’t know if they’re serious about moving him, but they’re at least gauging his value around the league right now.
Porzingis is performing well this season, averaging 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, but his three-point percentage has remained a paltry 35.2, and there are very legitimate questions about his ability to be a true contender’s No. 2 option.
And considering Dallas’ slow start to the season (15-15 and No. 9 in the West to this point), it’s easy to see why the team would be sniffing around to see what they could get in exchange for their floor-spacing, shot-blocking big man.
For more on the Kristaps Porzingis trade front, click here.