NBA Trade Deadline: 2021
Ah, the NBA's trading deadline. That time of the season where GM's from contenders and pretenders alike come together in efforts to either save or salvage their teams postseason aspirations.
This season, much like everything else this past year has been a bit more unusual than what basketball fans are accustomed to. Opening day was December 22nd, 2020 – just over two months since the final game of the 2020 NBA Finals, where the Lakers were crowned for their 17th championship, tying the Boston Celtics all-time. This was the fastest turnaround to a new season in the HISTORY of sports. So it is natural to assume a few players, especially those on contenders last year inside the NBA's bubble may be feeling a little burnt out from the quick startup.
Of course, every season, the majority of NBA teams strive to make finishing touches on their rosters to gear up for the ultimate goal – holding up the Larry O'Brien trophy in front of the world in June.
The annual All Star game which is typically held in mid-February, was held on March 7th this year in Atlanta. While it was originally scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, the NBA scrapped plans for the event at the start of the season as a precaution due to COVID-19, but eventually reconciled, with Atlanta as the most formidable host. Despite the God-awful all star threads, which were Indiana Pacers themed - clearly indicating the NBA were too lazy to create newer jerseys in the theme of HBCU's but that is a topic for another day.
Our historic shortened 72 game season's final key date for contenders/ pretenders alike will be March 25th, 2021. Many names have been circling around the trade market from possibilities to certainties of players being moved prior to the deadline, or just being outright bought out by their respective franchise. Some of the names included have been Andre Drummond (CLE), Kyle Lowry (TOR), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Victor Oladpio (HOU) as well as LaMarcus Aldrige (SA) all of whom are former All-Stars.
However, the only notable official blockbuster transactions processed to date have been Derrick Rose (DET) back to the Mecca at Madison Square Garden, reunited with Tom Thibodeau for a third stint together, as well as a buyout from Detroit which sent former All Star high flyer Blake Griffin to join the newly formed big three in Brooklyn.
Contenders are looking to gear up for a serious run at the title, as even with the Nets dominating with a sidelined Kevin Durant, the consensus around the league is the championship path is wide open, for a variety of reasons we can touch on another day.
Truthfully we have no idea if a headlining trade will occur, but what we do know is WHEN the last possible date for teams to pull the trigger and place all their chips in is - March 25th at 12pm (PST). After that teams are unable to move players until after an NBA champion is crowned for the 2021 season. Keep an eye out for these teams to be extremely active in the days leading up to the trade deadline/ buyout market as the days follow: LAL, LAC, BKN, CHI, HOU, ORL, DAL, POR, BOS and NYK. Don't sleep on other teams as well, even if they may be pretenders!
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