Fantasy Basketball

2021 NBA Trade Deadline Initial Reactions

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The 2021 NBA Trade Deadline is finally here.

Below I will share my initial reactions to the trades as they are announced throughout the day.

This is always one of the wildest days in sports as rumors start flying, fake accounts spread fake news and our phone alerts go off all day with breaking news.

We have seen trades get announced after the deadline so make sure you follow along after 3:00 pm EST!

The Orlando Magic have traded four of the five players that started for them on Wednesday night!

2021 NBA Trade Deadline Initial Reactions

Orlando Magic Trade Nikola Vucevic to Chicago Bulls

Chicago will send two first-round picks, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. to Orlando for Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu.

Vucevic is an All-Star and one of the most underrated players in the NBA. However, I am not sure the Chicago Bulls are a team that should be buying right now.

Two first-round picks (2021 (top-4 protected) & 2023) are a lot for a team like the Bulls to part with. However, Vucevic is locked in through the 2022-23 season.

If you look a little bit closer at the current landscape of the Eastern Conference, you can start to understand why Chicago pulled the trigger on this one. The Bulls are currently one and a half games out of the eighth and final spot of the Playoffs. But at the same time, they are just three games back from being the #4 seed in the conference.

Adding Vucevic to Zach LaVine gives them two All-Stars and another scoring option. LaVine had been doing it all by himself this season on offense.

However, the Bulls were already one of the worst defensive teams in the league and Vucevic isn’t exactly known for his defensive prowess.

Overall, this trade helps Chicago stay competitive this season and possibly sneak into the second round of the NBA Playoffs. This team is not even close to being ready to compete with the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers or the Milwaukee Bucks.

Update – the Bulls also acquired Daniel Theis from the Boston Celtics and Troy Brown from the Washington Wizards.

Orland Magic Trade Aaron Gordon to Denver Nuggets

Denver will send R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris and a first-round pick to Orlando for Gordon and Gary Clark.

Gordon has one year left on his contract and his best season came back in 2017-18 when he averaged 17.6 points per game to go along with 7.9 rebounds as a 21-year-old.

He will be asked to do a lot less on a Nuggets team that features Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. It will be interesting to see what role he carves out for himself on offense.

I think Gordon has been overhyped the past few years, but on paper, he is an upgrade for Denver and should help them compete in a tough Western Conference.

Hampton is just 20 years old and a nice addition for the Magic. He should see plenty of minutes to end the season, alongside Michael Carter-Williams and Terrence Ross, with Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony injured.

Gary Harris’ career has been derailed by injuries and has one year left of his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Orlando Magic Trade Evan Fournier to Boston Celtics

Evan Fournier is on an expiring contract and the Boston Celtics just added a shooter for a pair of second-round picks.

Fournier is shooting 38.8% from three on a career-high 7.2 attempts, leading to a career-best 19.7 points per game.

His job just became so much easier with Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum running the offense.

Orlando continues to add resources while Boston tries to recalibrate and get back on track. There is no reason this team is 21-23.

Update – Jeff Teague was part of this trade and will be waived by the Magic.

Houston Rockets Trade Victor Oladipo to Miami Heat

Miami sends Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk to Houston and the teams will swap future draft picks.

Dipo was part of the four-team James Harden to Brooklyn trade after three full seasons with the Indiana Pacers.

Miami failed to land Kyle Lowry in a trade with the Toronto Raptors but Oladipo is still a nice get.

Oladipo should fit in nicely next to Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic.

Miami is primed for another NBA Championship run now and things could get even better. Rumors are swirling around LaMarcus Aldridge joining the Heat as well, after reaching a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

They also added Nemanja Bjelica in a trade with the Sacramento Kings.

Our own Travis Argo (@ArgoTravis) weighs in on the trade:

Victor Oladipo gets his wish and is heading to the Miami Heat. Pat Riley found a way to add an All-Star to the reigning Eastern Conference Champions.

He was able to make this move without having to give up his young shooters -Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro.

The addition of Oladipo will probably push Robinson and Herro to the bench adding great depth to an already deadly playoff team. This could give them the extra boost they’ll need to beat the Nets, Sixers or Bucks in the NBA Playoffs.

Oladipo is averaging 20.8 points, five rebounds, and 4.7 assists for the season. His scoring presence will relieve pressure from Jimmy Butler, Robinson, and Herro. Plus, the Heat gets a decent defender as well!

Toronto Raptors Trade Norman Powell to Portland Trail Blazers

Portland will send Gary Trent and Rodney Hood to Toronto for Norman Powell.

Powell, who has an $11 mil player option next season, is about to cash in on a breakout season. He is averaging a career-high 19.6 points per game and shooting 49.8% from the field (43.9% 3pt).

Among the 40 players who qualify and average 18+ points per game, Powell ranks 4th in eFG%, behind only Zion Williamson, Nikola Jokic and Zach LaVine!

New Orleans Pelicans Trade J.J. Redick to Dallas Mavericks

Dallas will send James Johnson, Wes Iwundu and a second-round pick to New Orleans for Redick and Nicolo Melli.

Redick is shooting just 36.4% from deep this season, but alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Redick might find himself knocking down some wide-open looks!

Redick is set to hit free agency this offseason.

Los Angeles Clippers Trade Lou Williams to Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta will send Rajon Rondo to Los Angeles to play defense with Patrick Beverley, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers also sent the Hawks a couple of second-round picks.

Luke Kennard could see some more shot attempts leading the second unit now with Williams gone.

Lou Williams has struggled this season and is a free agent in the offseason. Joining the Hawks should allow him some more freedom off the bench and could re-energize him.

Despite shooting right around his career percentages, Williams has just not been as aggressive on offense attempting just 10 shots per game with less than three attempts from deep.

Detroit Pistons Trade Delon Wright to Sacramento Kings

The Kings cleared some cap space here and actually got the better player in Wright than Cory Joseph. The Pistons wanted the extra draft capital (two second-round picks).



Both teams still are not good. I do love De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton though. Sacramento has something special in its backcourt.


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About Keith Lott

I have one goal, to help you win your league. It does not matter if you are a fantasy rookie or a veteran. Everyone has questions, and I have opinions. Lot(t)s of them!

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