Complete Guide to the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA Trade Deadline is coming up this week on Thursday, March 25th at 3 p.m. ET and we are giving you the complete guide.

First up will be 1 trade proposal for each of the Finals contenders (Jazz, Suns, Lakers, Clippers, Blazers, Nuggets, 76ers, Nets, & Bucks) that make the most sense and addresses their biggest need(s).

  • Utah Jazz
    Utah Jazz acquire PG Michael Carter-Williams from the Orlando Magic in exchange for C Udoka Azubuike & SG Miye Oni.

    The Jazz have a pretty complete team, but they lack a primary ball-handler off the bench. Joe Ingles has been handling those duties but over the past couple of weeks that has proven to not be the best way to go for Utah. The former Rookie of the Year in Williams comes to Utah to provide experience off the bench as a Point Guard and making the right plays to kick out to shooters on the perimeter which the Jazz desperately need.

  • Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns acquire SG Wayne Ellington from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for SG E’Twuan Moore & a 2022 2nd-Round pick.

    Phoenix is similar to Utah in where they do not have a major need anywhere. They have great depth on the wing and recently acquired Torrey Craig in a 3-team trade with Milwaukee and Houston. The Suns also have good backups at PG, SG, & C so acquiring a guy like Wayne Ellington would simply be for depth purposes. Abdel Nader has held it down at the backup 2 spot and Langston Galloway has played well whenever he has gotten run. Ellington can provide depth in the instance any of those guys go down or need a rest.

  • Los Angeles Lakers
    Los Angeles Lakers acquire F Danuel House & SG Ben McLemore from the Houston Rockets in exchange for G Wes Matthews, G Alfonzo McKinnie, 2023 2nd-Round pick & 2025 2nd-Round pick.


    LeBron James is out for 3-4 weeks with a High-Ankle Sprain according to Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN. Not to mention that Anthony Davis has been out with a Calf/Achilles issue for almost a month and will likely not return around the same time LeBron does, the Lakers are in a major bind. Without either of those guys, they look like a lost team although coming out of the All-Star break, they were on a 4-game winning streak and looking great. Prior to all this, they needed to address major needs at Center, Wing Spots, 3-Point shooting & possibly another playmaker off the bench. They address both the wing spots and 3-Point shooting by acquiring Danuel House and Ben McLemore who are both formidable defenders, as well as really good shooters from outside. They are rumored to be a top destination for C Andre Drummond if he is bought out from Cleveland that will address another major need in L.A. as they look to repeat as Champions.

  • Los Angeles Clippers
    Los Angeles Clippers acquire PG Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for G Lou Williams, C Mfiondu Kabengele, F Terrance Mann, 2022 2nd-Round Pick (via Hawks) & 2023 2nd-Round Pick.


    The Clippers have desperately needed a true Point Guard for 2 years now. Beverley is a great defender and can bring the ball up the court, but lacks the playmaking ability needed to fully maximize the Clippers’ potential. Lonzo Ball has had a breakout season shooting over 40% from 3 and being the great playmaker he is. Ball is set to be a free-agent this offseason and will be commanding $18-20M AAV and the Pelicans will be unable to provide that with Ingram on the books and Zion getting an extension within the next couple of years. Lonzo would give the Clippers the playmaker needed and a real shot at winning the Championship this year.

  • Portland Trail Blazers
    Portland Trail Blazers acquire F Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic in exchange for C Zach Collins, SG Rodney Hood & 2022 1st-Round (lottery protected).


    This trade helps the Blazers get a dependable 4 with plenty of potential and would also help free up some cap space heading into the offseason this year by offloading Hood. Enes Kanter has been holding down the Center spot and Jusuf Nurkic will be coming back from injury soon. Gordon has the ability to stretch the floor for Dame and McCollum to drive to the basket and it would help Portland tremendously.

  • Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets acquire PG Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for SG Gary Harris, SG Will Barton & 2021 1st-Round Pick.


    This will likely be one of a few major trades at the deadline this year. The Nuggets are starting to blossom with Jokic leading the way and even through this success, they have a big issue at the 2 spot. Harris and Barton have been major disappointments over the last couple of years due to injuries and lack of production. By acquiring both Kyle Lowry & Norman Powell, this solves all of their major problems and with Jamal Murray and Lowry having the ability to play off the ball and handle Point-Guard duties, there won’t be a chemistry issue whatsoever.

  • Philadelphia 76ers
    Philadelphia 76ers acquire SG Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for G Shake Milton, F/G Terrance Ferguson & F Mike Scott.


    Philly may be the favorite to win the title this year as long as Embiid stays healthy and they fortify their status as contenders by acquiring Norman Powell. Powell has had a great year on both sides of the ball and would give the 76ers even more depth than they already have. They will likely face the Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals and will have the depth and production on Offense and Defense to be able to beat Brooklyn in a series.

  • Brooklyn Nets
    Brooklyn Nets acquire C Mason Plumlee and F Sekou Doumbouya from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for G Spencer Dinwiddie, 2021 2nd-Round Pick (via Hawks) & 2025 2nd-Round Pick (via Warriors).


    As if the Nets didn’t need more help, they get Mason Plumlee who is having an awesome year and Sekou Doumbouya who has a lot of upside, but hasn’t put it together year on the court. They trade away Dinwiddie who hasn’t been on the court since the beginning of the year due to a torn ACL, but they have enough depth at those spots to be able to get some help in the paint with Plumlee. This would most assuredly help them against a team like the 76ers and Embiid.

  • Milwaukee Bucks
    (Made their deadline trade by acquiring F P.J. Tucker from the Houston Rockets).


    Now we move onto the teams who are not contenders but can make some moves necessary to POSSIBLY become a contender down the stretch. Those teams are the Mavericks, Warriors, Hawks, Heat, & Celtics).


  • Dallas Mavericks
    Dallas Mavericks acquire C Andre Drummond from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for C Dwight Powell and F James Johnson.


    Dallas has been linked to Drummond for some time now and with good reason. They are getting no production from their big men this year and need to address that spot right away. Drummond thrives in the pick and roll and with Luka running the offense in Dallas, they can shoot up the Western Conference standings with those 2.

  • Golden State Warriors
    Golden State Warriors acquire F Bogdan Bogdanovic & 2021 2nd-Round Pick (via Heat) from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for F Kelly Oubre, G Kent Bazemore & PG Brad Wanamaker.

    Golden State is rumored to be interested in Bogdanovic and it makes a ton of sense for them. He has been a disappointment in Atlanta but he would fit much better next to Steph and Draymond and not to mention the Warriors are looking to trade Oubre, who is on an expiring contract. Bogdan would help shore up their Wing depth, provide even more shooting, and play solid defense.

  • Miami Heat
    Miami Heat acquire F/C LaMarcus Aldridge from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for F Andre Iguodala, F Moe Harkless, G Avery Bradley & C Chris Silva.


    Miami is in on Kyle Lowry but I don’t see how they can acquire him without giving up either Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson, so instead they go with Aldridge who is a proven veteran that fits on any team. Miami is one of the few teams that have constantly been mentioned in talks for Aldridge and have the necessary contracts to match in a trade with the Spurs.

  • Boston Celtics
    Boston Celtics acquire F/C John Collins, PG Rajon Rondo & C Bruno Fernando from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for G Marcus Smart & 2021 1st-Round Pick.


    The Celtics are getting the best seasons of their careers from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown but have nothing to show for it sitting in 6th Place in the East with a 21-21 record. Danny Ainge needs to attack the Trade Deadline in full force after years of doing nothing. Boston needs 2 things right away: A big man who can produce every night and a true Point Guard who can be a primary playmaker off the bench. The Hawks have been shopping John Collins and are also interested in trading for Marcus Smart. This trade is a match made in heaven and Atlanta throws in Rondo to make the contracts match and this gives the Celtics the playmaker off the bench they need.


    Other teams to watch during Trade Deadline as possible buyers:

  • New York Knicks:

    The Knicks have had an awesome season with Julius Randle leading the way. I would like to see them get another Wing player that can be productive consistently to help take them to another level.

    Players to watch:

    – Evan Fournier
    – Kelly Oubre
    – Wayne Ellington


  • Charlotte Hornets:

    Unfortunately, LaMelo Ball is likely out for the season due to a Fractured Right Wrist. The likely Rookie of the Year was having a great year for the Hornets and helped lead them to being eligible for the Playoffs if the season ended today. The Hornets have quite a few expiring contracts and trade chips that will allow them to make a trade at the deadline. They can use more shooting as well as a backup pass-first Point-Guard.

    Players to watch:

    – Evan Fournier
    – Michael Carter-Williams
    – Wayne Ellington
    – Kelly Oubre
    – Delon Wright
    – Nemanja Belica


  • Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls are in an interesting situation. They have been rumored to have made an offer on Lonzo Ball which doesn’t make too much sense with Ball becoming a Free Agent after the season and they have Zach LaVine and Coby White in their backcourt. Instead of more backcourt help, the Bulls should look to solidify their Wing depth going forward.

    Players to watch:

    – Harrison Barnes
    – Danuel House
    – Kelly Oubre


  • Toronto Raptors

    Even though the Raptors are struggling this year, they are still in on some available Big Men at the deadline. It will be interesting to see if Toronto decides to trade guys like Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell or if they want to go all in at the deadline and be buyers.

    Players to watch:

    – Andre Drummond
    – Richaun Holmes
    – Hassan Whiteside


  • Other teams to watch during Trade Deadline as possible sellers:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

    Players to watch:

    – Andre Drummond
    – Javale McGee
    – Kevin Love
    – Larry Nance Jr.


  • Orlando Magic

    Players to watch:

    – Nikola Vucevic
    – Aaron Gordon
    – Evan Fournier
    – Mo Bamba
    – Michael Carter-Williams


  • Detroit Pistons

    Players to watch:

    – Mason Plumlee
    – Wayne Ellington
    – Delon Wright
    – Sekou Doumbouya


  • New Orleans Pelicans

    Players to watch:

    – Lonzo Ball
    – JJ Reddick
    – Eric Bledsoe


  • Oklahoma City Thunder

    Players to watch:

    – George Hill
    – Mike Muscala


  • Sacramento Kings

    Players to watch:

    – Harrison Barnes
    – Marvin Bagley lll
    – Nemanja Bjelica
    – Jabari Parker
    – Richaun Holmes
    – Hassan Whiteside


  • Houston Rockets

    Players to watch:

    – Victor Oladipo
    – Danuel House
    – Ben McLemore
    – Sterling Brown


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