2021 NBA Trade Deadline is One to Remember
The 2021 NBA Trade Deadline was earlier this week, and there was plenty of action around the league.
The recent events due to COVID-19 were expected to make this year’s deadline active, and that was certainly the case.
One of the biggest moves in the league was the Denver Nuggets landing Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic. Gordon had requested a trade from Orlando, and the Nuggets were able to land the former number four pick in the NBA Draft.
In exchange for Gordon, Denver sent Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a protected first round draft pick. Gordon is expected to join the starting rotation in Denver and could help the Nuggets make another playoff run in the Western Conference.
The Magic weren’t done making moves before the Trade Deadline, also finding the Chicago Bulls as a trade partner. The Bulls are not a team expected to make a deep playoff run this season, but that didn’t stop them from being aggressive this season.
Chicago was able to land All-Star center Nikola Vucevic in a deal for Wendell Carter and Otto Porter Jr. The Bulls now have a talented big man to pair with Zach LaVine, and Vucevic is under contract for next season as well.
The Los Angeles Clippers are another team that was looking to make a big move at the trade deadline, and they sought out the ultimate veteran. Los Angeles was able to acquire Rajon Rondo from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams.
Playoff races across the league are heating up now that we are almost in April, and several of these moves could have a significant impact on the standings over the next two months.
Buyout Market Now Begins
Now that the Trade Deadline has come and gone, there is just one way to improve rosters heading into the postseason. Contending teams must wait for other veterans to be bought out by their current teams and then look to sign them via free agency.
This process happens every single year, but it appears that this season could have more buyout options than usual, especially when it comes to the big man position. LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond are the two biggest targets, and it appears that each player already has a new team in mind.
The San Antonio Spurs bought out Aldridge after a disappointing run with the team. It took him little time to decide that he wished to join the Brooklyn Nets, giving the Eastern Conference favorites even more depth and experience.
Drummond has been seeking a buy-out from the Cleveland Cavaliers for weeks, but the team hoped to trade the center. After failing to find a trade partner before the deadline, Cleveland has decided to part ways with Drummond.
According to Drummond’s agent, he will be signing a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are currently without their two biggest stars due to injury, and adding Drummond could play a role in defending their NBA title.
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