Just like every other off-season, the 2021 NBA off-season has produced some of the most surprising trades. With teams looking to build upon the newly erupted format of ‘Big 3’, there have been movements containing major All-Star contenders. However, with teams fighting over marquee players, there have been some blockbuster trades ahead of the start of the 2021 NBA Season from October 19.
Since August 2, teams were allowed to negotiate their terms with free agents. Having said that, there were some who were one step in acquiring players to build an elite team. Want to know which are the top 5 NBA trades so far and why? We shall look at the same in this article.
Top 5 NBA Trades So Far
5. Lonzo Ball (New Orleans Pelicans to Chicago Bulls)
This 23-years-old player was regarded as one of the most promising rookies to step into the NBA. But season after season, Ball has been overshadowed by players like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. But now Lonzo Ball finds himself squared alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the players besides whom he can play the role of a perfect facilitator.
Lonzo Ball signed a 4-year contract with the Chicago Bulls worth over $85 Million. Not many are aware, but Lonzo struck 172 3-pointer last season, with a career-best accuracy of 37.8%. If he is able to build upon his form, not only can he lead a team like Chicago Bulls into the playoffs, but can also be in contention to be an All-Star.
4. Josh Richardson (Dallas Mavericks to Boston Celtics)
The NBA Veteran was included in a three-team deal that involved him being traded to Boston Celtics and Tristan Thompson being sent to the Sacramento Kings. The previous two years of Richardson at Mavericks have been disappointing, but his stint with the Miami Heat resulted in him being one of the best defensive-minded players.
Apart from that, Richardson can provide decent help in the back-court and can also knock down clutch 3-pointers from downtown. If he was paired alongside the right personnel, the 27-year-old will only go upon improving his previous tally of 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
3. Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards to Los Angeles Lakers)
In one of the most surprising trades ahead of the start of the 2021 NBA Season, triple-double king Russell Westbrook made his way to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the LA Lakers. The guard overtook Oscar Robertson to be the leading triple-double scorer in NBA’s history. Undoubtedly Westbrook will be an addition on both ends of the floor for the 2020 NBA Champions, but will his age catch up to him?
Knowing that Russell Westbrook has been deprived of an NBA Championship in his successful career, his aggressive tenacity could help the Lakers be invincible. And knowing that the likes of Carmelo Anthony also exist in the team, Westbrook could even get the much-required breaks in between fast-paced games.
2. Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors to Miami Heat)
Just when Jimmy Butler-led Miami Heat seemed to be falling out of shape, president Pat Riley was quick to make the acquisition of Kyle Lowry from Toronto Raptors, to form the Big 3 of Butler, Lowry and Bam Adebayo. Knowing that the 35-year-old is known for his aggressive and strong play inside the play, it would be a surprise to any fanatic to see Lowry fetch 30-point games often.
Furthermore, with Lowry playing alongside Adebayo, Butler and Herro, he would only be encouraged to take more shots from behind the arc to increase his scoring average.
1. Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics to Oklahoma City Thunder)
Many regard Boston Celtics as the winner in the trade of Kemba Walker as they managed to get rid of his hefty pay-check of $73 Million in the remaining 2 years. Although Walker averaged 20 points per game in the previous season and 19 points per game in the 2019 season, yet his credentials as a long-lasting and defensive player were limited.
With Celtics clearly indicating to make moves for a young point guard, Kemba Walker’s playing style would only benefit him playing alongside players like Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Derrick Favors.