5 NBA Players Most Likely to Be Traded Before the Trade Deadline

Published 03/25/2021, 6:57 AM EDT
Dec 23, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) defends during the first quarter at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has finally entered the business side of things now. With only 24 hours left to the deadline, teams are desperate to make changes in their sides.


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While teams with underwhelming records are busy exploring packages for their star player, contenders are trying to answer their problem areas in the roster.

These 24 hours could be make or break for a couple of teams in the league. With numerous trade rumors about multiple players spread all over the media, take a look at five players most likely to be traded before the deadline.


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5) Norman Powell

The Toronto Raptors have fallen off a cliff this season. After nearly making it to the Eastern Conference finals last season, the Raptors lost some key players in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in free agency.

With the front-court duo out of the picture, the Raptors saw a major dip in their defensive efficiency, making them vulnerable to other teams. But the lack of defense opened up opportunities for multiple young players to step up.

Mar 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell (24) drives to the basket between Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) and center Jarrett Allen (31) during the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest surprise for the Raptors this season has been Norman Powell. After having a decent 2019-20, Powell has stepped up his output, averaging 19.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game shooting 43.9% from the three point line. With a disappointing record, Toronto are possibly out of the playoff picture and are clearly a seller in the trade market.

Given how his stock value has sky-rocketed, he is one of the favorites to be traded before the deadline. Based on his performances lately, he can be a solid addition to any team.

4) Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon is one of the most athletic players in the NBA. After spending six and half seasons with the Orlando Magic, the 26-year-old is ready to move on to a new challenge in the league and has requested a trade.

With the Magic, Gordon experienced had some decent seasons, but given how the franchise has struggled so far this season, Orlando are in for trading some of their starters for assets and younger prospects.

Mar 18, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) looks to pass between New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and center Nerlens Noel (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 18, 2021, in New York. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams have emerged as favorites for the athletic forward- Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. The Celtics are clearly lacking depth in their front court and a player like Gordon can be much-needed upgrade. Given his ability to guard multiple positions, the 26-year-old will improve Boston’s defense drastically.

The Nuggets could also use a player of Gordon’s ability. Given his defensive ability and scoring potential, the Nuggets might pull off the trigger on a probable trade.

Irrespective of which team he goes, one thing is certain- Aaron Gordon won’t be in Orlando Magic in the next 24 hours.

3) Victor Oladipo

The Rockets have had a pretty disappointing year so far. After trading away talisman James Harden, Houston saw a promising backcourt duo of John Wall and Victor Oladipo. Given the experience both the players have, it looked like the Rockets were set, at least for a season.

But injuries have massively hurt the Rockets. Oladipo also hasn’t stepped up his output too, averaging 20.8 points, 4.7 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game. The 28-year-old made his intensions of leaving Houston clear as he turned down a two-year contract worth $45 million.

Jan 22, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) dribbles past Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (right) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With Oladipo angling for a move, the Rockets have engaged in trade talks for the 2-time All-Star. Two favorites have emerged so far- New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.

The Knicks are in desperate need of a point guard, and Oladipo certainly fits the billing. He can definitely take some load off of Julius Randle and help the Knicks make a massive playoff push. With the Heat, the 28-year-old can be a key player for a deep playoff run. Given the dearth of experience of the backcourt, an experienced star like Oladipo will be a great fit with his scoring and defending potential.

2) Lonzo Ball

The New Orleans Pelicans have been disappointing, to say the least. Despite having players like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans have a disappointing record of 19 wins and 24 losses.

While Pelicans might be having a down year, Lonzo Ball has certainly stepped up this season. After a decent debut season with the Pelicans, the 23-year-old has transformed into a legitimate sharp shooter for the team.

Jan 8, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) brings the ball up court against Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) during the third quarter at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ball is currently having a career year, averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game shooting 38.5% from the three point line. But given his limited role with the Pelicans, Lonzo is clearly looking for a different destination. He even declined a rookie contract extension with the Pelicans.

Two teams have emerged as possible suitors for Ball; the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. The Bulls have been one missing a good point guard in the team and if they bring in Ball, the Bulls will have a promising trio of Lonzo Ball, Coby White and Zach LaVine. The Knicks, on the other hand, could use the playmaking skills of Lonzo Ball in the long run.

1) Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry is arguably one of the most revered point guards in the league. Playing for the Toronto Raptors for nine seasons now, Lowry is arguably the best player in Raptors’ history. He was one of the key players in their championship run in 2018-19 as well.

But the current scenario in the Raptors has made them potential sellers going into the deadline. They are already in talks for a probable trade for Norman Powell, and it looks like Lowry is next in the trading block.

Feb 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 35-year-old is having a good season with the Raptors. In 37 games, he averaged 17.4 points, 7.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. Considering his experience in a playoff team, Lowry can be an amazing addition to any team.


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Multiple contending teams are missing just a single piece from winning it all. This has prompted teams like 76ers and the Heat being linked to the 6-time All-Star. Both the teams should be ready to give up some important young players for the trade.


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With time running out, teams are desperate to add crucial players to the side. Can these five players find themselves in a different team before trade deadline?



Aditya Mohapatra

1185 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.