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NBA 2020-21: 5 most impactful trades of the season so far

James Harden to Brooklyn Nets was one of the biggest trades to take place this season.
James Harden to Brooklyn Nets was one of the biggest trades to take place this season.
Arhaan Raje
ANALYST
Modified 09 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The NBA's 2020-21 season has seen some of the biggest stars on the move. Most of the trades have been a roaring success so far.

The likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul headlined some of the blockbuster trades that have taken place this season. They have also done justice to all the hype about them and the big-money moves with their excellent showings for their new teams so far.

On that note, let us take a look at five of the top trades that have created the most impact this season. The assessment will be based on the player's performances and their respective team's progress as well.

So without any further ado, let us begin.

NBA 2020-21: Top 5 trades of the season

#1 James Harden

(Houston Rockets to Brooklyn Nets)

James Harden
James Harden

James Harden's move, which saw him leave the Houston Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets, was one of the biggest transactions in the history of the NBA. He decided to end his eight-year partnership with the H-Town after they failed to build a championship-contending team around their former talisman.

Harden's trade request was approved by the Houston front office and he subsequently joined forces with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this season. So far, he has played 34 games for them and has been their best player during that stretch.

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Along with keeping his scoring averages intact, Harden has donned the role of a playmaker as well. He is averaging 25.4 points, 11 assists and 8.7 rebounds per contest so far.

The Nets were 7-6 before acquiring James Harden and weren't performing as well. Since his acquisition, the Nets managed to win in 27 games out of 34 that he featured in. Harden also managed to churn out results for them in the absence of Kyrie and Durant on multiple occasions, which just further proves why his trade move should be labeled the best this season.

#2 Chris Paul

(OKC Thunder to Phoenix Suns)

Chris Paul
Chris Paul

Chris Paul has been instrumental in helping the Phoenix Suns become one of the most successful sides in the NBA this season. They currently have the second-best record at 36-14 and are ranked 2nd in the stacked Western Conference ahead of the two mighty teams from LA, the Nuggets and the Blazers.

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Despite being 35-years-old, CP3 has provided the Suns' offense much-needed boost, which has been key to their successful campaign so far. He has been a great mentor to the likes of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton as well, helping them achieve their optimum potential this season.

Not only has CP3 flourished with his leadership, but he has also produced brilliant performances for the Suns throughout the campaign. He is averaging 16 points, 8.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game so far, with a team-high player efficiency rating of 24.11.

#3 Jrue Holiday

(New Orleans Pelicans to Milwaukee Bucks)

Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action
Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action

The Milwaukee Bucks were looking for a solid player to provide valuable support to their star duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton before the start of the season. They turned their attention to Jrue Holiday to fill that role and acquired him as a part of a four-team trade deal.

Jrue didn't only fill that role for them, but he also became the third superstar in the team. His value to them has been almost as much as the two stars. The Bucks even dropped five games when he was ruled out due to covid protocols, proving just how important he has been for their campaign so far.

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He recently signed a max contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks a few days back, which will now see him extend his stay for another four years. He is averaging 17.3 points, 5.4 assists and a career-best 1.8 steals per contest so far.

Holiday has done an exceptional job on both ends of the floor and could be the key to his side's hopes of toppling the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers in the post-season.

#4 Russell Westbrook

(Houston Rockets to Washington Wizards)

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

The Washington Wizards traded star player John Wall for Russell Westbrook before the start of this campaign in a bid to bolster their playoff qualification hopes. Apart from that, they also wanted Bradley Beal to stay with them for as long as possible, and adding a former MVP like Westbrook seemed like a great way of doing that.

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With a shortened off-season and barely any time to prepare for the new campaign, it did take a while for Westbrook to fit into the Wizards' style of play. As a result, Westbrook endured a slow start to the campaign for his new side. However, as the season progressed, Brodie came into his own and is now averaging a triple-double per game so far (21.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 10.6 assists per game).

His performances and leadership have kept them in the hunt to land a play-in tournament spot this season. The Wizards are currently four games behind the tenth-placed Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.

#5 Dennis Schroder

(OKC Thunder to LA Lakers)

Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action
Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action

The LA Lakers traded for Dennis Schroder this season as they wanted to add a ball-handler to their ranks to allow LeBron James to play more freely this season. Not only has Schroder done that, but he has also quickly turned into one of their most reliable players so far.

Schroder is exactly the kind of player Jrue Holiday has been for the Bucks. He has taken pressure off the likes of the team's two leading stars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Schroder has been excellent playing in the point-guard position for the Lakers, making brilliant plays and organizing the Purple and Gold's offense and defense with great efficiency.

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His work ethic has been commendable as well and he has now established himself as the third superstar in the team due to his stellar performances. The German is averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest. The Lakers front office even offered him a contract extension due to his solid showings. However, Schroder reportedly turned down the offer as he is keen to explore his options ie free agency.


Published 09 Apr 2021, 00:09 IST
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