The 2021 NBA trade deadline passed with it's usual flurry of transactions, as teams found their identity as buyers and sellers on a wild day of player movement.
With a number of contending teams looking to get in on the action, the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets added key pieces while the Los Angeles Lakers resisted the urge to make a trade in response to LeBron James and Anthony Davis spending time on the sideline.
Brooklyn are tied with the Lakers as the favourites to win the title overall, with the buyout market looming as another avenue for the Nets to add to a roster that acquired Blake Griffin in recent weeks. From a betting standpoint, the Milwaukee Bucks loom as the challengers for the Eastern Conference crown, with the addition of PJ Tucker via trade boosting their rotation for the run to the playoffs.
2021 NBA Championship odds (Via William Hill)
|Los Angeles Lakers||+280|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+6000|
|Golden State Warriors||+10000|
The Lakers remain the betting favourite in the West, despite the fact they look set to be without their two marquee stars for the coming weeks. Currently in the fourth seed in the Western Conference, Los Angeles could be faced with a difficult first round matchup if the skid continues. An interesting wrinkle to deadline day was the acqusition of Rajon Rondo by the crosstown rival Clippers, with the veteran guard playing a critical role in the Lakers' 2020 Championship.
Adding former All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, the Miami Heat are the ninth favourite to take the title. The health of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo has led to an inconsistent first half of the season for Miami, though their run to the Finals last season highlights their bonafides as a difficult playoff matchup.
In what was perhaps the biggest storyline of deadline day, legendary Raptor and six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry stayed with Toronto, as a deal could not be struck to send him to one of the top contenders. Toronto are currently languishing in the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference after a tumultuous campaign that has been impacted by the Tampa Bay relocation due to the pandemic and a series of players and coaches being sidelined under health and safety protocols.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.