Most teams did not have the kind of cap space needed to be flexible with their spending in 2021 NBA free agency, which saw many sign-and-trade deals take place.
The players ended up receiving the kind of contracts they wanted, while their former teams did not have to lose their coveted stars for nothing. That made it a win-win situation for all parties involved, as it should ideally happen, which is the basic purpose of a sign-and-trade deal.
On that note, here's a look at all the sign-and-trade deals that have taken place in the 2021 NBA offseason so far:
#1 Lauri Markkanen - Cleveland Cavaliers
Lauri Markkanen's move to the Cleveland Cavaliers was the most recent sign-and-trade deal that took place in the 2021 NBA offseason. The restricted free agent was the only premier prospect left in the market, and could have even ended up staying with the Chicago Bulls if not for the Cavs making a move to sign him.
Markkanen's value was too high for teams to consider making a move for him. Nevertheless, he still ended up signing a four-year $67 million contract, which seems like a winning situation for the sharpshooting forward.
There were three teams involved in this sign-and-trade deal. The Portland Trail Blazers received Larry Nance Jr., while Derrick Jones Jr. was the player the Chicago Bulls got in exchange for Markkanen.
The Bulls also secured a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers and a 2023 second-round pick from Denver (via Cleveland).
#2 Evan Fournier - New York Knicks
The Boston Celtics made sure they made the most of Evan Fournier's free agency after they chose not to re-sign the French swingman. Fournier was signed and traded to the New York Knicks, which helped the Celtics create a trade exception worth $17.1 million.
The Cs had signed Fournier and Josh Richardson with the $28.5 million trade exception they created via the sign-and-trade deal of forward Gordan Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in the last NBA offseason. Boston also attached two future second-round picks in the deal in exchange for cash considerations.
The expiry date for Evan Fournier's trade exception is 17th September 2022.