2021 NBA: Date & Time, Big Questions, Players Involved
|Photo: Clutch Points|
NBA Trade Deadline: Date and time
• Date: March 25, 2021
• Time: 3 p.m. ET
NBA trade deadline is Thursday, March 25. The cutoff point is 3 p.m. ET, though the news of some trades may emerge shortly after that deadline.
NBA Trade Online: Big questions of the teams
|Butch Dill/Associated Press|
Atlanta Hawks: Are we comfortable paying John Collins max-type money in free agency? Is there enough of a body of work with so many injuries to evaluate the roster, ESPN reported.
Boston Celtics: Does the $28.5 million trade exception have more value before the trade deadline or in the offseason? Are we willing to rent a player like Victor Oladipo or P.J. Tucker even if that means trading away future draft assets?
Brooklyn Nets: Is the injured Spencer Dinwiddie part of the future? Are we comfortable paying him starter-type money as a free agent in 2021? Do we have the green light to use the $5.7 million disabled player exception even if that means our tax bill will increase?
Charlotte Hornets: How does Malik Monk fit in long term? Can we acquire more draft assets or improve the team with the $4 million in cap space and open roster spot available?
Chicago Bulls: Do we parlay the $28.5 million Otto Porter Jr. contract into a player long-term? Should we take the temperature on Zach LaVine and the trade market?
Cleveland Cavaliers: What is the market for Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee?
Dallas Mavericks: Are we willing to take back a contract that is not expiring that can help the roster now but at the cost of cap space in 2021? Do we have enough offense around Doncic?
Denver Nuggets: Is Michael Porter Jr. untouchable? What can our $9.5 million trade exception bring us back in the way of bench scoring?
Detroits Piston: The future of Wayne Ellington. Do we entertain offers for a second-round pick like with Derrick Rose?
Golden State Warriors: Are we sellers or buyers at the trade deadline? Do we hold on to Kelly Oubre Jr.? Is there a player worth exploring with the $9.3 million disabled player exception? Which player is expendable if we need to create a roster spot or convert the two-way contract of Juan Toscano-Anderson?
Houston Rockets: What is the return value for Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker?
LA Clippers: What is the risk/reward of trading Lou Williams? Do we have confidence in Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard to fill his role? What is a position of need for the final roster spot?
Los Angeles Lakers: What is a position of need for the final roster spot? What is the length and dollar amount of an extension for Dennis Schroder that we are comfortable with?
Memphis Grizzlies: How much value does the expiring contract of Gorgui Dieng have? How long do we continue to wait on Justise Winslow? Do we go big-game hunting with the first-round picks from Golden State and Utah?
Miami Heat: How much trust do we have in the roster that went to the NBA Finals? Under .500, but has dealt with injuries and COVID-related absences. Is this team good enough when healthy? How should we prioritize the $7.5 million trade exception?
Minnesota Timberwolves: Besides Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, which player(s) on this roster are expendable? Are we comfortable that D'Angelo Russell is part of the future? How do we evaluate this roster with Towns having played only a few games this season?
New Orleans Pelicans: Do we make a trade to accommodate JJ Redick, or one that is best for the team? Which players outside of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram fit long term?
Oklahoma City Thunder: How much value does George Hill have in the locker room and especially with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander? Do we take an aggressive approach with Hill from a trade standpoint? If there are no takers for Trevor Ariza at the deadline, do we entertain a buyout?
Orlando Magic: Is it time to take an aggressive approach with Aaron Gordon? What about the expiring contract of Evan Fournier?
Philadelphia 76ers: Do we move or waive Terrance Ferguson to open up a roster spot? Are the games with Seth Curry in the lineup pre-COVID-19 a good enough sample to evaluate the roster? How aggressive should we be with the $8.2 million trade exception?
Portland Trail Blazers: Do we fill the final roster spot with a replacement for Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum?
San Antonio Spurs: Do we hold on to DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay if we are competing for one of the final playoff spots?
Toronto Raptors: Is this team good enough to get out of the first round? If not, do we start looking at trade options for Kyle Lowry? Do we make a play for Andre Drummond if it costs us Norman Powell?
Washington Wizards: Do we start weighing different trade options when it comes to Bradley Beal?
NBA Trade Deadline: NBA players who will be trade targets in 2021
There are some players whose names are bound to come up in trade speculation regardless of how adamant their teams are about keeping them. There are other stars and potential stars who might be available at the right price, but are in a more murky place. This is the part of the list with most of the big names.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Washington won eight of 12 games before the break, and it continues to maintain that its franchise player isn't going anywhere. Beal is averaging a league-best 32.5 points on 59.1 percent true shooting. He's 27 years old and started in the All-Star Game. It is understandable that the Wizards want to do everything they can to build around him, especially if he seems content to play out the season before reevaluating things. One has to wonder, though, just what kind of offer would convince them to pivot from their plan. Could they get the same type of package the Rockets got for James Harden? Would they really turn that down?
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
We now know that Ben Simmons was on the table for James Harden earlier this season. So we've got to assume that he's potentially on the table for Beal. With Joel Embiid playing at an MVP level, Simmons has been slightly less of a priority in Philly this season. That's not to say he isn't a great player - he's still averaging 12.9 PPG., 8.3 RPG, and 7.9 APG while playing top-notch defense. In fact, he might be the only player on the trade market that the Wizards even consider worthy of dealing Beal for. If he isn't dealt for Beal, he'll probably stay put in Philly as they are still contenders with him as well.
Michael Porter Jr. , Denver Nuggets
If Bradley Beal is on the table, then Denver is at least having a meeting about offering Michael Porter Jr. for Beal. While Beal is miles better than Porter at the moment, if Porter stays healthy (a big "IF"), Porter could end up being the same kind of offensive dynamo Beal is right now...plus he's 6-foot-10 and fits well with Nikola Jokic. MPJ has missed half of the season with coronavirus-related issues, but when he's played (9 games), he's been great, averaging 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and has 56-49-81 shooting splits in only 27.0 MPG. If he doesn't get dealt for Beal, Denver is right to keep him as an "untouchable".
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine is a bit of a mix between Beal and Simmons in terms of being a trade prospect. Like Beal, he's one of the best scorers in the NBA (26.9 PPG), but he's in a situation where it's probably time for him to move on. Like Simmons, he's one of the only known potential trade targets that could potentially be the centerpiece of a trade for Beal. It would obviously take LaVine and Patrick Williams and a couple of draft picks to get Beal.
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
Will the Magic please just trade Aaron Gordon? This is probably the third or fourth straight year where he's been a potential trade deadline target, and it's getting to the point where it'd be ridiculous to not deal him. Gordon, who has the toolset to be a Draymond Green type of force as a small-ball four, has spent the majority of his tenure with the Magic playing alongside athletic teammates who cannot shoot (e.g., Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz), which, in turn, has caused Gordon's offensive game to sputter as his points per game (13.8) is down for the third straight season. Gordon would be an excellent fit for teams with an excellent shooting backcourt like the Blazers, according to YardBarker.
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
Despite being deemphasized by the Hawks this season - his usage and PPG are the lowest they've been since his rookie season - Jumpin' John Collins is still having an efficient season on the offensive end, averaging 16.7 PPG on 54-40-80 shooting. And whether it's direct tied to him or other factors, the Hawks are distinctly better with him on the court than they are with him off the court as seen by his plus-16.9 points per 100 possessions differential. From his point of view, he should probably be playing more than 30.9 MPG and have a larger offensive role. That, combined with his frustration with Trae Young, which spilled over into a locker room dispute earlier this season, makes him a sneaky trade target for a team like the Mavericks that fancies itself a stealth contender, but can't seem to recreate the offensive spark it had last year.
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons
Remember when the Pistons could have traded Derrick Rose at peak value last season but didn't? And Blake Griffin at peak value the season before? Folks, there's a reason franchises like the Pistons have sucked for the past decade. Instead of getting a protected first-round pick for Rose at last year's deadline, the Pistons will probably yield a couple of second-rounders this season as Rose's game has declined a bit (14.2 PPG and 4.2 APG this year versus 18.1 PPG and 5.6 APG last year) and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Keep an eye out for teams like the Clippers and Knicks with Rose.
Lou Williams, LA Clippers
Back in the 2005-06 season, Lou Williams was Allen Iverson's "rookie". Unfortunately for Lou Will, his career appears destined to have a very Iversonian-like end to it as he's not only struggled immensely since the lemon-pepper wings fiasco in the Orlando bubble but has been completely deemphasized by the Clippers this season (his MPG are down from 28.7 to 19.6 and his PPG are down from 18.2 to 9.4 compared to last year). While this deemphasis of Lou Will has certainly hurt his trade stock, he could still be a valuable spark plug for a contending team, just not the Clippers. Because he's an expiring contract and his salary ($8M) is easy to move, Williams could be a player who is dealt to a non-contender, then bought-out and scooped up by a team like the Sixers later this year.
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Admit it, you forgot that Kevin Love was even in the NBA this season, didn't you? Who's to blame you though - he's only appeared in two games and is out with a calf strain. He's also on a fat contract that still has two years remaining after this season, so interest in the sweet-shooting, championship stretch-four is at an all-time low. With his trade value so low and the Cavs in the middle of an interesting rebuild, a team like the Nets or 76ers could swoop in a acquire him at a discount...that is, assuming they believe he can still be an impact player.
JJ Redick, New Orleans Pelicans
JJ Redick began his NBA career sitting on the bench for Stan Van Gundy...if he doesn't get traded before the deadline, he might end his career the way it started. For whatever reason - perhaps he hates spacing and good shooting around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram - SVG has relegated Redick to the bench and slashed his minutes (only 19.9 MPG). It's clearly having an impact on Redick's ability to get in a rhythm as he's shooting a career-low 29.8 percent from three at the moment. With the Pelicans likely missing the playoffs in the Western Conference, New Orleans should do right by Redick and send him to a contender who will happily utilize his elite shooting and floor spacing skill set.
Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans
Same situation, and Ball was reportedly available in January. Since then, though, he has completely turned his season around. Since the beginning of February, Ball has shot 43.4 percent from 3-point range on eight attempts per game, and the Pelicans' offense has soared, especially when their much-criticized starting lineup has been on the court. Given his continued brilliance as a passer and a defender, perhaps the best move New Orleans could make is not trading him. At the very least, the price has gone up., CBS reported.
PJ Tucker, Houstons Rockets
PJ Tucker is basically all that remains of the micro-ball era in Houston. And he's probably not very thrilled about it as his contract issues with the front office are well-documented. Hence, Tucker is ripe to be traded this deadline as Houston is a fringe playoff team, and Tucker is not a part of their long-term plans. What teams could utilize Tucker's tough defense, deadly corner three-point shooting, and all-around bȧdass-ness? Answer: Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Tucker would be a great small-ball four for the Nets. He'd be a good fit for either of the LA teams. And he'd give the Bucks and Sixers some added toughness that they could certainly use come playoff time.
George Hill, OKC Thunder
George Hill is a perfect complementary guard for playoff teams looking to solidify their rotations. He's efficient (51-39-84 shooting splits). He can play off of superstar wings who need the ball in their hands. And he can defend both guard positions. While he does have some limitations to his game that start to get exposed the deeper a team gets into the playoffs, he'd be a perfect third guard for a contender. I couldn't think of a better fit for George than the Clippers as he'd be perfectly content subbing in for the foul-heavy Patrick Beverley, playing hard defense and shooting wide open threes off of penetration from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies
While the Grizzlies are certainly trying to make the playoffs this season, they might be willing to sell on a player like Kyle Anderson at the deadline and maximize his trade value. Anderson is having a career-year this season, averaging 12.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG while posting an impressive plus-6.2 points per 100 possessions on/off stat line. Standing 6-foot-9 and having an off-beat playing style, Anderson's playmaking and feel for the game would make him a very good bench player on a number of contenders.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons
If Wayne Ellington is still on the Pistons after the trade deadline, everyone in Detroit's front office should be fired on the spot. Ellington, a free agent after the season, is having the best season of his career as a 33-year-old, averaging career-highs in PPG (12.5), field goal percentage (51.6), and three-point percentage (50.5). He's actually playing so well that it's going to cause Detroit to win too many games and get worse lottery odds if they aren't too careful. Ellington should be a prime target for teams like the Lakers, Sixers, Nets, and Clippers.
Victor Oladipo, Houston Rockets
Victor Oladipo is an interesting case for the Rockets. On one hand, he's playing relatively well since arriving in Houston, averaging 22.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG in five games. On the other hand, Oladipo is going to want a huge contract this offseason, and the Rockets clearly seem intent on reducing their payroll in the post-James Harden era. Is Oladipo a player that Houston wants to build around? If not, then there's no reason to not trade him to a contender and/or team that believes they can re-sign him in the offseason and try to get some more draft capital in return. Oladipo is ineligible to be traded until March 4, 2021, which will give the Rockets exactly three weeks to move him bbefore the trade deadline.
Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andre Drummond is having a surprisingly good season across the board, averaging 18.1 PPG and an NBA-high 14.7 RPG while also being second in defensive rating, third in defensive win shares, and top-10 in steals per game, and top-20 in blocks per game. Oh, and he has a top-10 usage percentage, currently ahead of the likes of Kevin Durant, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell. He's deserving of All-Star consideration, but at the same time, he's an expiring free agent and somewhat redundant now that Jarrett Allen is a Cavalier. Thus, don't be surprised if contenders like the Clippers and the Nets inquire into Drummond's availability as the trade deadline approaches.
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