NBA

2021 NBA Offseason: Instant analysis of biggest reported trades

The 2021 NBA Draft sets off an accelerated offseason in the NBA.

The draft, which takes place on Thursday, July 29, precedes the free agency period, which is set for Monday, Aug. 2. Leading up to the draft, there has been a deal that saw the Boston Celtics send Kemba Walker and the No. 16 overall pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford and a reported deal between the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans.

On draft night, a number of teams have begun to engage in trades that involve both picks and players.

Below, find each reported trade along with instant analysis for what the deals mean for the teams involved.

Note: Trades are not made official until agreed upon on a league call, signified by an official announcement from each team involved.

Report: Celtics acquire Josh Richardson from Mavericks for Moses Brown

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Boston Celtics are acquiring a versatile defender in Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks.

Charania would later report that the Celtics are sending young, promising center Moses Brown in return to complete the deal.The move allowed the Celtics to fit Richardson into a Traded Player Exception (TPE) just a day before it expired, while it gives Dallas some more cap flexibility ahead of free agency in their pursuit of All-Star guard Kyle Lowry.

Grading the deal:

Celtics: A-

Mavericks: B+

- Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)

Report: Kings acquire Thompson in three-team trade with Celtics, Hawks

The deal originally reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was that the Boston Celtics would send Tristan Thompson to the Atlanta Hawks for Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando and a 2023 second-round pick. Moments later, Wojnarowski sent out an update that stated the Sacramento Kings were getting involved to make it a three-way deal, scooping in to acquire Thompson while sending Delon Wright to Atlanta.

The trade works out for all parties, although the idea of Thompson in Atlanta was intriguing.

Nonetheless, the Kings get some much-needed frontcourt depth with starting center Richaun Holmes set to hit unrestricted free agency. The Hawks add a trusty ball handler and playmaker in Wright to play behind Trae Young and the Celtics clear the congestion in their frontcourt and free up some cap space with the move, likely to create some room to try and re-sign free agent shooting guard Evan Fournier.

It's not a blockbuster, but this deal helps all three teams in different ways.

Grading the deal:

Kings: B+

Hawks: B

Celtics: B+

- Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)

Report: Westbrook is headed to the Lakers

Russell Westbrook is reportedly set to become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to reports from The Athletic's Shams Charania and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have reached an agreement to acquire Westbrook and two second-round picks from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Westbrook, 32, is coming off of a season in which he averaged 22.2 points, a league-leading 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds over 65 games with the Wizards. The 2020-21 season also saw Westbrook become the league's all-time triple-double leader, surpassing Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson on May 10.

At this point, we know what Westbrook's limitations are, he'll turn 33 this season and hasn't been the most efficient shooter in his career. Spacing has long been an issue for this Lakers team, and it will still need to be addressed.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll look at the positives in that Westbrook is a one-of-one, coming off a season in which he averaged a triple-double for the fifth (!) time in his NBA career, breaking the all-time record in the process.

For the Wizards, plenty of production is coming in return. Harrell, the 2020 Sixth Man of the Year, posted averages of 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in a reserve role, while Kuzma is coming off of a season in which he averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds over 68 games.

Caldwell-Pope appeared in 67 games (all starts) for the Lakers last season, averaging 9.7 points while shooting 41.0 percent from deep.

As for contracts, Kuzma has two years remaining and a player option for the 2023-24 season, Caldwell-Pope will become a free agent in 2023 and Harrell will enter free agency in 2022.

Grading the deal:

Lakers: B

Wizards: B

- Gilbert McGregor ( @GMcGregor21 )

Report: Hornets land Mason Plumlee

Have the Charlotte Hornets found their answer at center?

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Charlotte will trade the No. 57 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Mason Plumlee and the No. 37 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Hornets, who missed the 2021 NBA Playoffs after losing in the Nine-Ten Game of the inaugural Play-In Tournament, have been linked to a number of centers through the draft and in free agency. In Plumlee, they get a versatile big who averaged 10.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 56 games (all starts) with Detroit in 2020-21.

Charlotte gets flexibility, as it can still draft a rookie big man but isn't pressured to, and doesn't have to overpay for a free agent center. The No. 37 pick in this draft has some value as well.

For the Pistons, the move sheds around $8 million of salary and allows All-Rookie performer Isaiah Stewart to slide into a starting center role full-time.

Grading the deal:

Hornets: A-

Pistons: B+

- McGregor

Report: Rubio on the move again

Ricky Rubio is reportedly being dealt on draft night for the second straight year.

According to ESPN's Wojnarowski, the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to acquire Rubio and a 2022 second-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Taurean Prince.

Rubio, 30, averaged 8.6 points and 6.4 assists over 68 games (51 starts) in his return to the Timberwolves in the 2021-22 season. The 30-year-old has one year remaining on a three-year $51 million deal signed in the 2019 offseason and will enter free agency after this year.

Prince, who has one year and $15 million remaining on his contract, is coming off of a season in which he averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds over 41 games with the Brooklyn Nets and Cavs. In 29 games with Cleveland (six starts), Prince averaged 10.1 points while shooting 41.5 percent from beyond the arc.

For the Wolves, they clear some cap space (perhaps with another deal in mind), but also alleviate some of the pressure associated with the logjam in the backcourt. Rubio was a fan-favourite, but there were too many guards and not enough minutes to share between him, D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Malik Beasley, Jaylen Nowell, Josh Okogie and Jordan McLaughlin.

This could also be a part of a bigger move for the Cavaliers, who add a savvy veteran point guard in Rubio to join two young guards in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. Rubio's addition comes after Matthew Dellavedova returned home to play in the Australian NBL in the 2021-22 season.

Grading the deal:

Timberwolves: B

Cavaliers: B-

- McGregor

Report: Suns swap Carter, pick in exchange for Nets' Shamet

And we're off.

In the first reported deal of the draft-night window, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Phoenix Suns have dealt Jevon Carter and the No. 29 pick in this year's draft to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for sharpshooting guard Landry Shamet.

Shamet, who reportedly established a great relationship with Suns head coach Monty Williams during their time together in Philadelphia, averaged 9.3 points per game for the Nets while knocking down 2.1 3s per game at a 38.7 percent clip.

Carter, a hard-nosed defender at the guard position, averaged 4.1 points over 60 games with Phoenix last season but the added value is the No. 28 pick, which means Brooklyn will have two first round picks in this draft if it doesn't attempt to make a move using its draft capital

Grading the deal:

Suns: B+

Nets: B-

- McGregor

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