Five potential trades ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft

James Wiseman
James Wiseman is at the center of NBA Draft rumors. Photo from Bleacher Report.

The 2021 NBA Draft is almost here. At this point, teams must have something in mind on who to draft. But there are also rumors of teams willing to move up and down in the draft board.

NBA Draft rumors 2021

There are a plethora of rumors surrounding the 2021 NBA Draft. Some teams hope to flip some of their picks to move up the draft board. And some teams want to trade their picks to get another star. So far, nothing has come to fruition yet.

Here are the five potential 2021 NBA draft trades that can take place on Thursday…

5. Warriors go aggressive with Lillard

Warriors would get: Damian Lillard
Blazers would get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, two 2021 first-round picks (Nos. 7 and 14), a 2023 first-round pick swap, a 2025 first-round pick swap, a 2026 first-round pick

The Warriors have expressed their willingness to trade their No. 7 and No. 14 picks for another star.

Damian Lillard is on their radar as a potential trade target. There has been growing tension between Lillard and the Blazers, especially after the signing of Chauncey Billups as their head coach. If the tension grew further, the Warriors can aggressively get Lillard in exchange for their two first-rounders and other assets.

As you can see, this will give them another star alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Golden State’s championship window is closing, and they need to act fast. This trade has the potential to become one of the biggest NBA draft trades of all time.

4. Rockets move up the draft board to get Cunningham

Rockets would get: 2021 first overall pick
Pistons would get: 2021 second overall pick, 2022 top 5 protected first-round pick


This deal is similar to the Doncic-Young trade in 2018. As we witnessed, the Mavericks and Hawks pulled off one of the biggest NBA draft trades ever. The Pistons and Rockets can pull off a similar trade.

However, this deal is purely dependent on Detroit’s perception of Cade Cunningham. Is he the all-star and franchise savior that a lot of scouts hype about? If not, then they can move down one pick in the draft board and still get Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. In addition, they get another top 5 protected first-rounder in 2022.

Meanwhile, the Rockets get what they want. A young trio of Cunningham, Porter Jr., and Wood is deadly enough to make some noise in the NBA.

3. Knicks get another star in Lillard to pair with Randle

Knicks would get: Damian Lillard
Blazers would get: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, two 2021 first-round picks (No. 19 and 21), 2022 first-round pick swap, 2023 first-round pick

The Knicks can go aggressive with Lillard should he continue to be disgruntled in Portland. Landing him gives New York another star besides Julius Randle.

In addition, this will make New York an attractive destination in the stacked free agent market in 2022. As you can see, this deal will take a lot for the Knicks to pull off since Lillard still has three years left in his contract. But it’s worth it for Lillard’s caliber as a player.

This is one of the potential 2021 NBA Draft trades that will surely make headlines for weeks.

2. Warriors add another splash brother with Beal

Warriors would get: Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans
Wizards would get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, two 2021 first-round picks (Nos. 7 and 14), 2022 second-round pick

As you already know, the Warriors are willing to shop their two 2021 first-round picks and some assets for a star.

Other than Lillard, they are also targeting Bradley Beal should he become available. Curry, Thompson, and Green continuously demand Golden State’s front office to get another veteran to win now, rather than getting more rookies.

Landing Beal will make them an instant championship contender once again. Meanwhile, the Wizards can finally move on from Beal and rebuild.

1. Thunder moves up the draft board at No. 3

Thunder would get: 2021 third overall pick, Kevin Love
Cavs would get: 2021 first-round picks (No. 6 and No. 16), 2023 first-round pick

It was reported that the Cavaliers are receiving significant interest with their No. 3 pick. While the Cavs got their hands in drafting a top-tier talent like Green and Mobley, they can move down the draft board to get more picks and offload Kevin Love’s big contract.

Oklahoma City can certainly do this as they have a plethora of draft picks in their arsenal, as well as cap space to eat Love’s contract.

In return, the Thunder gets a valuable pick that can potentially skyrocket them into playoff contention for years.

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About Jeremy Mallari 65 Articles
Jeremy lives and breathes basketball. He's an avid NBA fan for almost a decade now.

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