2021 NBA Trade Deadline Recap

The 2021 NBA trade deadline was perhaps the busiest in league history. A total of 16 deals were agreed upon on deadline day, with 46 players on NBA contracts (plus two more draft-and-stash players) changing teams.

Thursday was so jam-packed with deals that the league office was unable to officially process all the trades in the queue before the end of the day, leaving three of those 16 trades to be formally finalized on Friday.

Here’s a recap all of 2021’s deadline deals:


Trades made on deadline day:

The Bulls make a surprise splash for an All-Star center (story)

The Heat buy low on a two-time All-Star (story)

  • Heat acquire Victor Oladipo.
  • Rockets acquire Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and the right to swap the Rockets’ or Nets’ 2022 first-round pick with the Heat’s 2022 first-round pick (top-14 protected).

The Nuggets emerge as winners in the Aaron Gordon sweepstakes (story)

The Celtics make use of (part of) their massive trade exception (story)

  • Celtics acquire Evan Fournier.
  • Magic acquire Jeff Teague, either the Celtics’ or the Grizzlies’ 2025 second-round pick (whichever is less favorable), and the Celtics’ 2027 second-round pick.

The Sixers acquire a veteran point guard for their playoff run (story)

The Clippers get a play-maker, while Lou-Will heads home (story)

  • Clippers acquire Rajon Rondo.
  • Hawks acquire Lou Williams, the Trail Blazers’ 2023 second-round pick, the Clippers’ 2027 second-round pick, and cash.

The Raptors trade a guard — no, not that one (story)

The Raptors trade another guard — again, not that one (story)

  • Kings acquire Terence Davis.
  • Raptors acquire Grizzlies’ 2021 second-round pick.

The Kings and Pistons swap veteran point guards (story)

  • Kings acquire Delon Wright.
  • Pistons acquire Cory Joseph, the Lakers’ 2021 second-round pick, and the Kings’ 2024 second-round pick.

The Bulls acquire a backup center and the Celtics dump some salary in a three-team deal (story)

The Heat acquire a stretch four (story)

The Mavericks add some shooting (story)

The Nuggets acquire a veteran to back up Nikola Jokic (story)

  • Nuggets acquire JaVale McGee.
  • Cavaliers acquire Isaiah Hartenstein, the Nuggets’ 2023 second-round pick (top-46 protected), and the Nuggets’ 2027 second-round pick.

The Jazz fill their 15th roster spot with a sharpshooter (story)

  • Jazz acquire Matt Thomas.
  • Raptors acquire the Warriors’ 2021 second-round pick.

The Warriors dump some salary (story)

The Warriors dump some more salary (story)

  • Hornets acquire Brad Wanamaker, the Raptors’ 2022 second-round pick (top-54 protected), and cash.
  • Warriors acquire the Hornets’ 2025 second-round pick (top-55 protected).

Top trade candidates who stayed put:


Players waived on deadline day:

Note: Jeff Teague (Magic) and Vincent Poirier (Knicks) are expected to be waived, and Andre Drummond (Cavaliers) is working toward a buyout, but those moves have not yet been made official.


Trades made in the week leading up to the deadline:

The Bucks acquired a playoff-tested veteran (story)

  • Bucks acquire P.J. Tucker, Rodions Kurucs, and their own 2022 first-round pick (traded away in a previous deal).
  • Rockets acquire D.J. Augustin, D.J. Wilson, the Bucks’ 2023 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap their own 2021 second-round pick with the Bucks’ 2021 first-round pick (top-nine protected).

The Suns added a low-cost defensive specialist (story)

The Heat brought Trevor Ariza out of hibernation (story)

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 thoughts on “2021 NBA Trade Deadline Recap

  1. case7187

    The C’s have to be the biggest joke this season and all those rumors about doofus Danny being blacked listed by most GM really seemed true

    Why? They could of easily out bid the bulls for Nikola Vucevic but they kept telling him he wasn’t available it’s time to move on from this clown and Stevens

    Danny should’ve been fired the day he said this team can’t win a championship who says that crap in the middle of the season and it’s the team you built through the draft mind you

    • Ironmonger835

      I doubt he offered two first round picks for Vucevic. He probably low balled them like always and offered a shi**y offer.

      • Corporal Foxtrot

        Raps could have offered Powell,Baynes, Stanley & McCaw with a 2022 and a 2024 first rounder for Vucevic also. That’s the trade I would have preferred the raps to make but oh well. Let’s see who they sign in the off season.

    • Lars MacDonald

      GMs aren’t blackballing Ainge. That would be stupid and petty. If he were really blackballed, how did he get Evan Fournier?

      Also, trading for Vucevic would have been awesome, but Ainge couldn’t do it due to his marching orders from ownership to stay under the tax line.

      He also couldn’t do both Vucevic and Fournier without massive changes to the team, and chose shooting over rim protection. With Vucevic, he would have had to trade Smart, which he didn’t want to do.

      • x%sure

        As top-3 points out, Stevens believes in positionless BB. No centers. Celtic nation seems slow on this point, which has huge roster affect.

  2. Lil D MVC aka Uno

    This is awesome! Thanks for putting this together especially after such a crazy day.

  3. x%sure

    “Top trade candidates who stayed put:”

    I will have to cross-check this with Sillivan.

    • phenomenalajs

      Not sure anyone else needs to do QA/QC on that list, but I thought it would included Spencer Dinwiddie. At noon yesterday, he tweeted out “3 hrs…” with a crying emoji. I’m glad he wasn’t traded for a few reasons, not the least of which is how much he’s meant to the Nets’ team over the past few years. The Nets can use his DPE, which has a locked in value as opposed to the MLE, toward a player they pick up.
      I hope Spencer will be ready for the playoffs, then will opt in for next year. If they can’t hold onto him, they can do a sign and trade in the off-season.

      • x%sure

        Thanks for that.
        No I haven’t actually searched for that post, do not plan to. But there would be more than the 3 HR listed.

        Great post by Luke BTW, after all it was a post about what happened, not what didn’t.

  4. Corporal Foxtrot

    Bulls got better they get an A+ for acquiring Vucevic & Theis. Nuggets get a B+ for getting Aaron Gordon. Heat get a A for the way they finessed the rockets to get Oladipo. They also got Ariza earlier in the week. Houston got an F when you consider them losing Harden and not even getting Levert or Allen in return with picks. Now they basically lost Harden for picks & pick swaps! Honourable mentions go to clippers(for acquiring Rondo), celtics (for acquiring Fournier), raps (for not losing Powell for nothing), mavs (for getting Reddick) , bucks (for getting Tucker).

    • phenomenalajs

      As a Nets’ fan, I hope the value of those picks is minimal, but in the last trade the Nets made like this one two of those picks turned into Tatum and Brown. I’m much more optimistic this time around.

    • x%sure

      Nice list. Weak group of honorables except Celts and Raps, who should get a B at least. After all the Raps did what I told them to do… I said trade 1 guard and they traded 3! No problem going into battle with FVV, Lowry & Trent still.

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