The NBA trade deadline could be interesting this season with the addition of the Play-in Tournament, giving more teams a chance to make the playoffs. Free agency also was shortened this season due to the compressed schedule between the Disney World bubble and the start of the 2020-21 season.
From James Harden’s move to the Brooklyn Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks’ recent acquisition of P.J. Tucker, teams have been making moves over the past few months. The buyout market also could be hot, as it kicked off with Blake Griffin’s exit from Detroit.
Here are the latest deals and rumors ahead of the 2021 NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET on March 25.
NBA trade deadline primer:
The Orlando Magic have reportedly traded Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, and a first-round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Gordon was open to a change of scenery as the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons inquired about a deal prior to the trade deadline. The Magic valued Gordon, according to Haynes, and attached a substantial price tag to his availability.
More details on the trade can be found here.
Bulls acquire Mo Wagner, Troy Brown from Wizards
The Chicago Bulls remained active before the trade deadline, acquiring forward Troy Brown and center Mo Wagner from the Washington Wizards for forward/center Daniel Gafford and forward Chandler Hutchinson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Washington is trading Troy Brown and Mo Wagner to Chicago for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Brown and Wagner are in their third seasons in the league.
Magic trade Evan Fournier to the Celtics
Orlando’s rebuild continues. After sending center Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls, the Magic have reportedly traded Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics for two second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 28-year-old forward will help provide the Celtics with scoring as Fournier is averaging a career-high 19.7 points this season on 46.1% shooting from the field. He’s on the last year of a five-year, $85 million contract.
Cavaliers trade JaVale McGee to Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are finalizing a deal to acquire JaVale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 25, 2021
The 33-year-old McGee will give the Nuggets an athletic backup center to MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. McGee started 68 games for the Los Angeles Lakers on their championship run last season before being dealt to the Cavs.
Cleveland has a wealth of centers since acquiring Jarrett Allen from the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season. Allen assumed the starting job from two-time All-Star Andre Drummond, who could also be on the move at the deadline. Drummond has not played since Feb. 12, when he and the Cavs agreed to seek an alternative landing spot for him.
McGee played sparingly in a Cleveland frontcourt that also includes Larry Nance Jr. The veteran brings averages of eight points and 5.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game to Denver, where he played from 2011-15, prior to a career renaissance that has seen him win three rings with the Lakers and Golden State Warriors over the past four seasons.
The Sacramento Kings made another move Wednesday by acquiring point guard Delon Wright from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Cory Joseph and two second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Detroit Pistons are trading guard Delon Wright to the Sacramento Kings for guard Cory Joseph and two second-round picks, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
The picks are reportedly the Los Angeles Lakers’ well-traveled 2021 selection and the Kings own selection in 2024.
The deal represents a decent back-up point guard upgrade for the Kings, with Wright currently averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. He joins a crowded Kings backcourt featuring De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and rookie Tyrese Haliburton.
Wright is under contract for next season as well, while Joseph’s $12.6 million contract option remains likely to be declined at the cost of $2.4 million, per ESPN.
Kings acquire Mfiondu Kabengele
The Sacramento Kings acquired power forward/center Mfiondu Kabengele from the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal sends a future second-round pick and cash to Sacramento, while Los Angeles gets a future second-round pick.
The deal satisfied an expiring trade exception and gets the Clippers $2.6 million under the hard cap with a roster spot available, Wojnarowski reported.
Kings used a trade exception that would’ve expired today on deal. Both second-round picks are heavily protected and unlikely to convey, sources said. Kings get a young forward to evaluate — and cash; Clippers create a roster spot. https://t.co/MpqjAm4UOX
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 23, 2021
Kabengele, 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, is in his second season in the league after being selected by the Brooklyn Nets with the 27th overall pick of the 2019 NBA draft. He averages 4.1 minutes per game in clean-up duty.
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