Forget about Lowry, Norman Powell is the Raptors guard teams covet
The NBA trade deadline is just over a week away on March 25. Let’s look into some of the biggest - and juiciest - rumors swirling around the Association right now.
Trevor Ariza's Return
The former NBA champion has not played in a game since the league shut down last March. However, the 35-year old had an impressive 21-game run in 2020 with the Portland Trail Blazers. Now his name is starting to hit the rumor mill.
On Tuesday, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Miami Heat were in talks with the Oklahoma City Thunder about acquiring Trevor Ariza. The Thunder are looking for second round picks for Ariza, which is a reasonable price for a savvy 3-and-D vet who could push a playoff team over the top.
Sources: The Heat and Thunder are discussing a trade that’d send Trevor Ariza to Miami. OKC is seeking a second round pick for Ariza from the numerous playoff teams with interest.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) March 17, 2021
A different guard in Toronto drawing interest
For months now, Kyle Lowry has been constantly mentioned in trade rumors. Now a new name has emerged on the Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell. ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast, "It might take me more hands than I have to count how many teams have inquired about Norm Powell."
Powell is on the last locked-in year of his deal with a player option for the final season. Since the player option is only $11.6 million, he is almost guaranteed to look for more lucrative offers in the free agency market. Considering Powell’s hot streak recently, he is likely to get a big deal from a team in need of an athletic, two-way guard.
These reasons are why the Raptors may look to deal the young guard even though they are currently in the playoff race. The Raptors are not real title contenders and can get some value for the 27-year old before he likely leaves for nothing.
Barnes to Boston makes sense
The Boston Celtics are active in trade deadline talks with their $28.5 million trade exception from the sign-and-trade deal with Gordon Hayward last offseason. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated recently reported that the Celtics have interest in Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes.
It makes a ton of sense for Boston to add a similar style player to replace Hayward. Barnes is averaging a career high in rebounds, assists, and filed goal percentage and is exactly what Boston needs to help them get over that hump in the East.
Magic is in the air
The Orlando Magic are everywhere in trade rumor discussions as possible sellers. Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are the only two "untouchable" players on this roster. That leaves popular targets like Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, Nikola Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon on the market.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Gordon is involved in trade talks with suitors like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers. The Bleacher Report also reported that the Denver Nuggets are interested in the 25-year old.
New NBA trade talk via @ShamsCharania:— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 15, 2021
◾️ Lakers & Nets Andre Drummond's top buyout suitors
◾️ T-Wolves & Blazers showing interest in Aaron Gordon
◾️ Rockets staying engaged with Bucks, Heat & Lakers on PJ Tucker
◾️ Much more in Shams' Inside Pass ⤵️ https://t.co/QNSc8hD2CR
The Denver Nuggets would be the most intriguing landing spot for Gordon. If the Nuggets can work out a deal to keep the Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr. nucleus to go with Gordon, their offense could become an unstoppable force in the West.