It is my scout’s honor not to be super ridiculous on the NBA Trade Machine but I’ll try my best to not be so cliche. Here are five trades that the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline needs. The 2021 NBA Trade Deadline falls on March 25th, 2021 at 3 PM EST.
Victor Oladipo – Houston Rockets
Oladipo has recently been traded from Indiana earlier this season to Houston in a three-team deal that sent James Harden to Brooklyn. He declined a 2-year contract extension $45.2 million deal from the Rockets, per sources. The Rockets are in the middle of a historic season. Well losing 20 games in a row with a team that once featured John Wall, James Harden, and DeMarcus Cousins. They now sit with Christian Wood, John Wall, and Oladipo as their best effort. Something needs to be done in Houston to change the direction and suffering for first-year head coach Stephen Silas.
Best case scenario – Oladipo gets his wishes to play for a franchise that is positioned to win and have him play a significant role doing so. Word on the street is the Miami Heat are interested and can they bring in Oladipo and part ways with Tyler Herro. The Heat signed Avery Bradley and Maurice Harkless this past offseason and yet have cracked the rotation enough. Recently, the Heat traded for Trevor Ariza who also joins Andre Iguodala as another savvy veteran. Leads me to believe Miami may move past their offseason signings for an upgrade they desperately need.
John Collins – Atlanta Hawks
Now, this comes at a time that the Hawks fired their Head Coach and handed over the job to Nate McMillian. The Hawks are 8-1 under McMillian. The issue here is Collins denied a contract extension this past offseason. The rumor was the Hawks offered him a $90 dollar deal but Collins felt like he was worth more. More rumors had it that he was upset the team focused too much around Trae Young. The Hawks turned their season around in time to possibly lock in a playoff spot without the play-in tournament. With Collins seeking more money at this point, he’ll become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Atlanta could make the move to trade now and get some pieces together for the playoff push.
Best case scenario – Finding his way to Golden State. This might be a bit farfetched but here is the deal. First, Collins’ contract is currently around $4M dollars. This means the Warriors can straight-up trade Kevin Looney for Collins. This would the BEST scenario for Collins who would be next to James Wiseman, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, and eventually Klay Thompson. Doesn’t sound exciting for anyone else besides Warriors fans right? The Warriors would be looking to pick twice in the first round in the 2021 draft. Perhaps a pick to Atlanta would entice them? If the Timberwolves can’t land a top-three pick in the 2021 draft that pick goes to Golden State. Sure, this doesn’t benefit Atlanta one bit this season but a top 10 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft looks nice this year. (2021 March Madness Hub has you covered in case you’re lost)
Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic find themselves with a new problem coming into Monday before the NBA’s trade deadline. Fresh off the press is that Gordon has requested a trade from the team that drafted him at number four. He has proven to be a more versatile player that can shoot and defend as his career has gone on. He’s shooting 40-percent from the three-point line this season. The only issue is that Gordon has played in 23 of the 42 games Orlando has played this season. Including a streak of 15 games in a row missed due to injury.
Best case scenario – Denver Nuggets gaining a third-option. In all fairness, Hoops Hype had this one right and I have to agree (took off the Orlando Magic fan goggles too). The idea? Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier for Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, RJ Hampton, Bol Bol, Denver’s 2021 first-round pick (top 10 protected), and Denver’s 2026 first-round pick swap. This would give Orlando some much-needed love for a full rebuild and Denver an opportunity to add a skilled player in Gordon. The comparison of a Jerami Grant is fair and Gordon seems to fit that role perfectly in Denver. Anyone wanna see some mile-high alley-oops from Jokic to Aaron Gordon? I’m down.
Andre Drummond – Cleveland Cavaliers
The biggest question we will find out later this week is Kyle Lowry going to be in another uniform? The most attractive part of Lowry’s contract is that it expires at the end of the season. A couple of teams can use Lowry’s veteran point guard leadership especially deep into the playoffs. Here is to the assumption that the Toronto Raptors are moving in a different direction after this season. So technically, if Masai Ujuri is in a mood to ship Lowry away here we go!
Best case scenario – Honestly, this is a bit on the reverse side of things. The best-case scenario is if the Raptors can unload Norman Powell to the Cavaliers in return for Andre Drummond. This keeps Lowry to the end of the season and a reinforced frontcourt with Drummond. But IF Masai gets fancy and turns the other way to trade Lowry The Athletic is reporting “sources” that Miami and Philadelphia are courting the veteran guard.
Boston Celtics – Danny Ainge do something!
Celtics fans if you’re here this far along thank you. I know you’ve been through season after season of disappointing Eastern Conference playoffs losses. Isn’t it time to make the leap? LeBron James left for the Western Conference and the luck of the draw is facing a weirdly good Miami Heat team in the NBA bubble last season in the end. Currently a sub-500 team in the season where your General Manager signs Tristian Thompson, Jeff Teague, and banks on Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. Now there is nothing wrong with the fabulous duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Best case scenario – I’m going to contradict myself here but this is how bad I want Danny Ainge to help a brother out. Make a play for Aaron Gordon or John Collins and just give up your first-round next year? The difficult part is will teams demand Jaylen Brown or will Kemba Walker be Ainge’s sacrifice? It seems to be a seller’s market as most teams are selling high while trying to buy low. I’m not the only one saying something similar as Andrew Hughes from Hardwood Houdini. Obviously, the BEST Ainge looks to be able to offer is going to be Smart’s $13M dollar deal and a team willing to take on Tristian Thompson’s $9M a year. This would allow a more flexible cap space to work without giving up any of the trio Brown, Tatum, or Walker.