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Winners and Losers of the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Who swung the best deal and who swung and missed at the NBA Trade Deadline this year?

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Winners and Losers of the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Who got better at this year’s NBA trade deadline, and who came out ready to make some noise in the postseason this year? We cover the biggest deals of this year’s deadline and give you our “Winners and Losers” below.

Boston Celtics

To Boston: Evan Fournier
To Orlando: Two second-round picks
The Celtics add some shooting, by acquiring a soon-to-be free agent who is shooting 33.8% from beyond the arc this season. Fournier is also said to be a good locker room presence. The price to up locker room morale and the shooting percentage in Boston? Two second-round picks.

Chicago Bulls

To Chicago: Nikola Vucevic
To Orlando: Two first-round picks, Otto Porter Jr., and Wendell Carter Jr.
The fire sale in Orlando began as they shipped off the 7-foot big man for two first-round picks. The Bulls sit at 10th in the East and were looking to make moves at the deadline with the goal of a playoff birth in mind. The Bulls also get Vucevic for the next two seasons, as he hits free agency in 2023, allowing the Bulls to focus on other roster needs now that they have their big man.

Miami Heat

To Miami: Victor Oladipo
To Houston: Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and a 2022 pick swap

The Heat have been in a bit of a slump since the All-Star break. Here’s hoping this will break them out of it. The defending Eastern Conference Champs will now have a formidable squad, adding Oladipo, who was averaging 20.8 ppg to a roster that includes Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat were on a 4 game losing streak, this move came just in the nick of time.

Portland Trail Blazers

To Portland: Norm Powell
To Raptors: Gary Trent and Rodney Hood

More than likely heading towards free agency in the off-season, Powell was one of the more sought-after names at the deadline. Averaging 19.6 ppg, and shooting 43.9% from downtown, adding Powell will up the Blazers’ firepower as they try and stay relevant in a contentious Western Conference.

Denver Nuggets

To Denver: Aaron Gordon
To Orlando: Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a protected 2025 first-round pick

Think the Orlando front office had been given a makeover to look like the set of “Lets Make A Deal” today? Sure seems like it. The former No. 4 overall pick heads to Denver and most likely to the playoffs, if he can remain healthy for the remainder of the season. I like this deal for Denver, who add another big man underneath to pair with Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets now have the outside threat with Murray and Barton and are going to be just nasty underneath with Jokic and Gordon.

Philadelphia 76ers

To Philadelphia: George Hill (from Thunder) and Ignas Brazdeikis (from Knicks)
To New York: Terrance Ferguson from Sixers)
To Oklahoma City: Austin Rivers (from Knicks), Tony Bradley (From Sixers), and second-round picks in 2025 and 2025 (from Sixers)

The three team deal that probably came together when the Sixers missed out on Kyle Lowry. But they do still come away with a guard in Hill. The journeyman has averaged 11.8 ppg for OKC this year and brings a veteran presence to this Sixers squad.

Dallas Mavericks

To Dallas: JJ Reddick and Nicolo Melli
To New Orleans: Wesley Iwundu, James Johnson and a 2021 second-round pick

Again the lower contending teams in the West adding pieces where they can. This time Dallas adds a veteran shooting Guard in Reddick. One of the more consistent players in the league Reddick is a career 41.5% 3-point shooter and in the final year of his contract. No doubt Dallas will try to lock him up beyond that, but for the foreseeable future, Dallas’s three-point game appears to be looking up with Reddick and Luka Doncic on the court together.

Los Angles Clippers

To LA: Rajon Rondo
To Atlanta: Lou Williams, two second-round picks, and cash

Clippers add the 14-year veteran in a swap for depth point guards. I have to say Atlanta got the better end of this one, getting a three-time Kia Sixth Man of the Year winner to bolster their depth as they look to hold on to a playoff spot. But Rondo is a proven playmaker and a veteran presence that will come in handy in a deep playoff run that the Clippers hope to have.

Hot Take: Trade Deadline Winners and Losers


The Bulls got a big center. With the right moves in the offseason, they can do more than try to make the playoffs.

The rebuild is on in ‘The City Beautiful’. The Magic dealt all that they could and got back a small fortune in draft picks. Two 1st rounds picks, two 2nd rounds picks, a 2025 first-round pick, and two former first-round picks (Wendell Carter Jr. and R.J. Hampton) were not capital the Magic had when they woke up with morning. They went all-in on the rebuild, now they just have to put all that loot to good use.

Western Conference Hopefuls
I’m talking about the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, and Mavericks. Teams that currently sit 5th, 6th, and 7th in the West. Each team got a little better today, there were no splash moves by either of those teams. But there were also no splash moves from the likes of the Lakers, Suns, and Clippers either. The Heat made the Finals as a 5 seed and beat the then-East-favorite Bucks in the 2nd round to get there. A chip and a chair are all you need.

The Brooklyn Nets
Again, a chip and a chair are all you need. But at the moment I have the East as a three-team race between the Bucks, Nets, and Sixers. But more accurately, the Nets and Sixers. The landscape in the East would have gotten that much harder for the Nets if the Sixers were able to land Kyle Lowry. The Nets front office has to be air high-fiving themselves from an acceptable distance on that one.

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Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and now Victor Oladipo? That’s a pretty good Big 3


Raptors and Pelicans
The Raptors for not dealing Kyle Lowry and the Pelicans for not dealing Lonzo Ball. Deals were there and could have been made for two players who will probably walk from their respective organizations in the offseason. The Raps look to have paid the price for trying to play the Lakers off the Sixers, instead ending up with nothing.

Sixers and Lakers
Sixers and Lakers could have both used Kyle Lowry. For the Sixers, it would have put them in the driver’s seat in the East. For the Lakers, it would have helped them keep pace in a wildly competitive West while Anthony Davis is sidelined. And when AD gets back you have an insane big 3 for a playoff run.

Boston Celtics
Evan Fournier is a good get, but the team needed a bigger deal to compete in the East. I don’t think trading Daniel Theis was what Boston fans had in mind.

Christian is husband, father and video editor working in New York City. Originally from the Greater Pittsburgh Area he is a life long fan The Steelers, Penguins and Pirates as well as Professional Wrestling.

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