NBA Trade Rumors: Kings are ready to move on from Marvin Bagley III
The NBA All-Star break is a foundational part of the season, an entertaining and gratifying retreat from months of competition embedded right in the middle of the schedule. While it is intended to reward the games’ best players and give the fans a memorable showcase, it also serves as an opportunity for the elites to connect and brainstorm on future iterations of their ideal starting five. For players in smaller markets or on losing teams, it can also serve as a time to make and receive recruitment pitches.
While relationships and conversations from 2021’s NBA All-Star Game may take years to marinate and become reality, the time away from the court has also given GM’s across the league a chance to tinker with their squads for the home stretch of the season.
Let’s take a look at four of the juiciest NBA trade rumors as the league's March 25 trade deadline approaches.
Warriors are eyeing Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo is playing the 2020-21 season under a microscope. The former All-Star was traded to the Houston Rockets in order to facilitate James Harden’s move to Brooklyn. With the Rockets struggling to win games and Oladipo rejecting a two-year deal from them, his future is being widely discussed.
Oladipo is 28 and still an impactful, difference-making player who could appeal to a team like the Golden State Warriors. With Klay Thompson injured, Steph Curry could use some help from a scoring guard. Oladipo likely isn’t the Warriors’ first choice, but he may be their best available choice.
The Magic Rebuild Continues
The Orlando Magic have been in a rebuild for years now. In 2021 they find themselves second to last in the Eastern Conference at 13-23, and playing without two key young stars in Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz. Aaron Gordon is sidelined with an ankle injury, and there is little reason for optimism this year.
As a result, teams looking for veteran guard play are making calls for Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross. Two teams being mentioned as potential suitors are the Charlotte Hornets and the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are firmly in the playoff picture, but also clearly a rung below the favorites in their respective conferences, and Fournier and Ross are both established professionals that would benefit any second unit.
The Magic have a surplus of guards under contract, and if they can find a suitable trade piece to combine with their core of Fultz, Isaac, Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic, they may have to pull the trigger on a deal.
Is P.J. Tucker Philadelphia bound?
P.J. Tucker is a highly sought after acquisition for a number of teams looking to beef up their defense and perimeter shooting. The Houston Rockets are a sinking ship looking to discard older pieces for young talent or draft picks, and Tucker is almost certainly going to be on the move by the deadline.
While we originally thought a team like the Milwaukee Bucks would be first in line to claim his services, it is now looking like the Philadelphia 76ers may be the likeliest landing spot for Tucker. For a team that is already in first place in the Eastern Conference, an addition like this would make them that much stronger.
And while the 76ers hold the number one seed, the Brooklyn Nets are the favorites everybody is looking to beat. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense for teams to go after the player that the Nets’ Kevin Durant has said is the toughest one-on-one defender in the league for him.
Kings are ready to cut ties with Marvin Bagley III
One player that hasn’t made a big name for himself yet in the NBA, but is a talented young center with oodles of potential, is Marvin Bagley III. The Sacramento Kings have allegedly made Bagley available, and the 2018 second overall pick out of Duke is surely enticing to somebody.
Bagley is just 21 years old and has the skill set to be an impact player in the NBA. Things haven’t been ideal in Sacramento, but it’s still too early in his career to give up on his enormous potential.