Lithium-ion traction batteries are increasingly used in transportation, such as electric vehicles and buses. To reduce the life cycle cost of traction batteries, material recycling is a technical route that must be considered. Deep discharge is one of the necessary steps in battery disassembly and material recycle; however, the thermal stability and internal material changes caused by deep discharge can affect the subsequent recycling processes. In this paper, we study the influence of deep-discharge rate on the recycling process of a commercial traction battery with LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2 cathode and a graphite anode. Combine with multi-analysis methods, we systematically explored the evolution of an electrode structure under different deep-discharge current densities. Our results show that the deep-discharge current density has different effects on the internal structure of the battery and may affect its thermal safety.