As cliche as it may sounds, it’s time to expect the unexpected. The NBA offseason is starting to heat up with the draft scheduled for Thursday night and the start of free agency set for only four days after that.
While the 2021 free agent market might not contain the most appealing collection of talent, we are staring at one of the deepest drafts in recent years, as well as a league stuffed with eager front offices. A handful of teams are feeling the pressure to take the next competitive step during the 2021-22 season, and that pressure could lead to one hell of an active summer.
For example, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman tweeted on Monday that has already seen more trade discussions than usual start to surface across the league.
Sounds like there is a lot of trade discussions going on, more than usual. Obviously no deals made yet but offers get better/more realistic in days/hours leading up to the draft.
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) July 26, 2021
Spotrac’s Keith Smith took things one step further by saying the league could see a record number of deals in the coming days/weeks.
Had people on both the agent and team sides say they expect a record number of trades this offseason. Poor FA class, limited cap space, teams wanting to go for it are all the main reasons why.
Also mentioned: revenue losses weren't as bad as projected. Teams are willing to spend.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 25, 2021
Seemingly right on cue, news dropped later on Monday that the Grizzlies and Pelicans agreed on a pretty significant deal. The two teams swapped draft picks and Memphis received an additional draft pick for taking on the salaries of both Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams. New Orleans added big man Jonas Valanciunas, but the ability to clear cap space to make a run at a high-impact addition was their biggest add.
No other deal has come across our social media timeline yet, but it appears to be only a matter of time. And that has to be nothing but encouraging for a team like the Chicago Bulls. Without a first-round draft pick in their back pocket, hitting the trade market hard could be a key way for them to improve this team’s depth. The organization may not be drowning in assets, but veterans like Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young have drawn interest in the past. Also, even if Chicago does not have the type of talent to really get a trade conversation started, more deals could mean more ways to become a third party. At end of the day, increased movement simply provides more room for this front office to get creative. I’m all here for that.
“The Next Two Months Will be Big” – Karnisovas Knows How Much is Riding on This Offseasonhttps://t.co/UGvRFLynUW
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 19, 2021
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 7, 2021