2021 Trade Deadline Deals

The NBA trade deadline is one of the most exciting days of the year. NBA players moving cities, fan bases happy and pissed off, overreactions … the NBA trade deadline is truly something magical.

Join the NLJ NBA writers as they grade each deadline deal, starting with the biggest deal of the day. These deals are only deals that happened on March 25. To stay up-to-date on all NBA moves, visit and bookmark the NLJ NBA Transactions page.

Now, enough set-up. We know why you’re here.

Oladipo traded to Miami

Victor Oladipo (All rights reserved.)
Miami Heat Franchise Logo Houston Rockets Franchise Logo
Victor OladipoAvery Bradley
Kelly Olynyk
2021 Pick swap
NLJ Grade

Heat: A

Oladipo is a better version of Avery Bradley. Miami had to pay just Kelly Olynyk and a draft swap to make that upgrade. Easy decision.

Rockets: F

Rockets got fleeced.

Grade by: Zeke Palermo

Clippers Trade for Rondo

Rajon Rondo (All rights reserved.)
Los Angeles Clippers Franchise Logo Atlanta Hawks Franchise Logo
Rajon RondoLou Williams
NLJ Grade

Clippers: B+

They added a veteran guard whose playoff resume speaks for itself … but lost a lot, giving up two 2nd round-picks and cash.

Hawks: B

At first glance, this is a great addition as Atlanta needs a scorer off the bench and a vet who can help this team as they look to enter the playoffs. Lou Williams is now the Hawks 6th guard, as depth hasn’t been their BFF. Overall, a great move and got more bark than bite.

Grade by: James Macey

AG Gets His Wish, Traded to Nuggets

Aaron Gordon (All rights reserved.)
Denver Nuggets Franchise Logo Orlando Magic Franchise Logo
Aaron GordonGary Harris Jr.
RJ Hampton
2025 first (protected)
NLJ Grades

Nuggets: A+

Nuggets fill a void at the 4-position as Aaron Gordon has played extremely well this past week leading up to the deadline. A young, athletic forward who can help Denver make a fun in the postseason.

Magic: A+

It’s clear that Orlando is offloading everyone and rebuilding. What a better way to rebuild than a promising young talent in RJ Hampton. Gary Harris is a bit of a question mark, but his salary made this deal work. Not sure how he will fit in the rotation.

Grade by: James Macey

Bulls become buyers, trade for Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic (All rights reserved.)
Chicago Bulls Franchise Logo Orlando Magic Franchise Logo
Nikola Vucevic
Al-Farouq Aminu
Wendell Carter Jr.
Otto Porter Jr.
2021 first (top-four protection)
2023 first
NLJ Grades

Bulls: B+

Bulls finally get a true big man to work with LaVine. The move won’t win them any rings, but makes them a much more serious contender in the East.

Magic: B

Orlando begins their rebuild with two first from Chicago, but have to take on Porter’s awful contract. Good move to start the rebuild. 

Grade by: Zeke Palermo

JJ Redick traded to Dallas

JJ Redick (All rights reserved.)
Dallas Mavericks Franchise Logo New Orleans Pelicans Franchise Logo
JJ Redick
Nicolo Melli
James Johnson
Wes Iwundu
cash considerations
2021 second-rounder
NLJ Grades

Mavericks: B

The Mavericks get Redick to stretch the floor for Luka, but I am not too sure what he brings to the table that Tim Hardaway Jr doesn’t. Expect Redick to replace Richardson in key moments.

Pelicans: B

Getting rid of Redick’s salary is a huge win & getting a 2nd-round pick is nice as well. This was clearly to get assets for a potential Lonzo trade in the summer.

Grade by: Brandon Rosenthal

Raptors trade Norman Powell to Blazers

Norman Powell (All rights reserved.)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is POR.png This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TOR.png
Normal PowellGary Trent Jr
Rodney Hood
NLJ Grades

Blazers: A+

By far my favorite Trade today is Norman Powell to the Blazers. He’s having the best season of his career, a great three point threat, and Portland adds another offensive option to cater to Lillard, McCollum, and even Melo. This move was made because the Blazers want to win now. This team fully healthy is scary

Raptors: B+

Additions of Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood essentially help a struggling Raptor team who is looking to make a final push at a playoff berth. Both will thrive in Toronto.

Grade by: James Macey

3-Team Deal: 76ers trade for George Hill

George Hill (All rights reserved.)
Oklahoma City Thunder Franchise Logo New York Knicks Franchise Logo Philadelphia 76ers Franchise Logo
Austin Rivers
Tony Bradley
Terrance FergusonGeorge Hill
NLJ Grades

Thunder: C+

OKC keeps stockpiling picks.

76ers: B+

Philly gets a veteran that can run the backcourt with Simmons late game. 

Knicks: C

Knicks get a good dunker? Not sure why they are apart of the deal.

Grade by: Zeke Palermo

3-Team Deal: Celtics Acquire Wagner

Mo Wagner (All rights reserved.)
Boston Celtics Franchise Logo Chicago Bulls Franchise Logo Washington Wizards Franchise Logo
Mo Wagner
Luke Kornet
Daniel Theis
Jevonte Green
Troy Brown Jr.
$1.3m (from BOS)
$250k (from WAS)
Daniel Gafford
Chandler Hutchinson
NLJ Grades

Celtics: C

This was a money move, plain and simple. The Celtics get under the luxury tax which is good for the future but slightly frustrating for the present considering they traded away a starter in Daniel Theis (more playing time for Rob Williams though Celtics fans!). Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet may contribute but ultimately, this doesn’t move the needle. Sending 1.3m to sweeten the deal also isn’t a good look.

Bulls: B+

Daniel Theis will be a great backup for Vucevic and he can also play alongside him in the frontcourt. Javonte Green offers upside athletically and as a Celtics fan, I’m sad to see his dance moves and overall positivity go to the windy city. Troy Brown has shown flashes of being a competent NBA player in his three seasons in Washington and that’s pretty much all I have to say about him. Overall, the Bulls did well on the day as a whole and this trade only solidified it as they look to make a run to the playoffs.

Wizards: C+

Daniel Gafford afford was a good player coming out of college and I still feel like he can be a quality NBA player. He’ll get an opportunity in Washington and it’s a gamble worth taking. His only competition should be Alex Len and Robin Lopez for minutes.  Chandler Hutchison went to school 30 minutes away from where I live (Mission Viejo High School) and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of him. I’m not sure why Washington felt the need to involve themselves in this trade but trading Gafford’s upside for Wagner seems legit.

Grade by: Sean Curley

Miami Gets Depth, Acquires Bjelica

Nemanja Bjelica (All rights reserved.)
Miami Heat Franchise Logo Sacramento Kings Franchise Logo
Nemanja BjelicaMoe Harkless
Chris Silva
NLJ Grades

Heat: B+

Harkless and Silva have plajed a combined 207 minutes all season for Miami. Bjelica replaces now-Rocket big Olynyk.

Kings: C

Kings don’t get much better but add depth.

Grade by: Zeke Palermo

Orlando ships Fournier to Boston

Evan Fournier (All rights reserved.)
Boston Celtics Franchise Logo Orlando Magic Franchise Logo
Evan FournierTwo 2nd Rounders
NLJ Grades

Celtics: B+

Finally, Danny Ainge made a move at the deadline. Evan Fournier is a solid scorer who is averaging a career best 19.7 points on 38% shooting from three. Fournier gives Boston another offensive option and some help to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Magic: C+

Picks are a great addition in trades, but giving away a 20 ppg scorer for two second round picks is very insulting and helps in no way shape or form to an organization. The trend of the rebuild in Orlando is in full effect and they are willing to do anything to offload their talent.

Grade by: James Macey

JaVale is back in Denver

JaVale McGee (All rights reserved.)
Denver Nuggets Franchise Logo Cleveland Cavaliers Franchise Logo
JaVale McGeeIsaiah Hartenstein
2023 second (protected Nos. 31-46)
2027 second
NLJ Grades

Nuggets: A

Adding McGee could come as a shock to some, but Denver fans know that Jokic needs help. Giving Jokic rest is huge looking at it from a playoff perspective. Gives Denver rim protection, rebounding, and toughness down low

Magic: B-

Haven’t seen much of Hartenstien, but Cleveland has been a very weird franchise this year as many have no clue what direction they want to go in. Getting rid of you like McGee on a non contending team is a huge plus though.

Grade by: James Macey



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