The 2013-14 season is young and there is still plenty of basketball to be played, but there are a handful of teams putting prized commodities on the market.
Some clubs are simply looking to rid themselves of a massive contract while others are hoping to appease a certain player who is unhappy in his current situation. Whatever the case may be, the storylines are developing by the hour, and the news is pouring in.
With the season nearly one month underway, teams are starting to get a grasp of where the measuring stick falls for them and how they can improve to make a playoff push.
Here's a quick look at the latest rumblings around the NBA surrounding notable players.
Trade rumors have swirled around Luol Deng at a dizzying speed, and he addressed how he plans to ignore that unnerving feeling of being on the market, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.
Per the report, Deng has stated multiple times that he would like to retire as a Bull but faces a contract that expires at the end of this season.
The 28-year-old has donned the Chicago red and white ever since entering the league in 2004, and he quickly developed into one of the league's premier swingmen. He's averaging 16.8 points per contest thus far in 2013-14—numbers almost guaranteed to spike via Rose's absence.
It's awfully hard to see where the offense would originate from in Chicago without Deng. With no Rose in the fold, Deng would unquestionably be the go-to scorer on the wing and in the backcourt.
As we saw last season, the Rose-less Bulls are still more than capable of getting into the playoffs and threatening a bit when they get there. Trading Deng—and not getting valuable offense from it—would be a huge sign that Chicago is aiming toward 2014-15 first and foremost.
While Deng is content where he's at and loathes a potential trade, the same cannot be said for Omer Asik. The Rockets center was replaced by Dwight Howard over the offseason, spurring a trade demand from Asik on Nov. 14, according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen.
The Rockets have made some moves in that department, according to the New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence, as they've reportedly had talks with the Portland Trail Blazers in a deal that would send Robin Lopez to Houston.
They can send back Robin Lopez in a deal, but don't have the "stretch four" the Houston is looking for as it searches for a home for its disgruntled backup center. The Rockets want a power forward who can shoot threes to pair next to Dwight Howard.
Despite the efforts of both Houston and Asik to find a new home for the center, he's proven to be valuable at times for the team this season. The 27-year-old is averaging 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 points per game.
Perhaps his best performance of the season came on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies, when he played all of the fourth quarter—with Howard mostly on the bench due to free throw issues—and shut down Zach Randolph to help the Rockets secure a 93-86 win. He totaled 10 rebounds in 21 minutes.
The writing seems to be on the wall with Asik and Houston. He's unhappy playing primarily in a backup role, and the Rockets could get more out of him on the trade market than they're getting on the court. But with him still contributing big time in certain stretches, don't expect them to rush to a deal.
The 2011 NBA Finals MVP is firmly entrenched in Dallas for this upcoming season, but it became known what his initial plans are after his contract expires after the season is over.
According to the Star-Telegram's Dwain Price, Nowitzki will see out his contract and become a free agent over the summer.
Nowitzki has shown an endless amount of loyalty to Dallas by staying there throughout his entire career, and it would be nothing short of shocking to see him sign anywhere else this upcoming offseason. Dallas has both Vince Carter and Sean Marion coming off the books this summer, which would free up some cash to add championship caliber talent to surround Nowitzki.
Even though Mavs fans may cringe at the very thought of Dirk sitting across the table from another NBA general manager or owner, there's no reason to do so at this point. However, if Mark Cuban and company don't make sufficient strides to bring more talent in, he may be enticed by a move elsewhere to chase a second ring.
The Mavericks have gotten off to a strong start in 2013-14 and currently sit at 9-6.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!