With an already busy trade season that has seen multiple trades go down including Derrick Williams going to the Sacramento Kings and Rudy Gay joining him shortly afterward, it appears more trades are bound to happen, and the Chicago Bulls seem to be in the middle of a few possible ones.
Luol Deng has seemingly been at the center of the Bulls' trade talks following Derrick Rose's season-ending injury. And while Chicago continues to slide, losing six of its last eight games, it looks like a possible trade could be on the horizon for a young player that might be on the move.
Below are the updates for the Chicago Bulls' trade rumors.
He's been hearing the rumors all season, but they were clearly amplified when Rose went down for the season. Following his former MVP teammate having a second season-ending surgery, Deng came out and made a straight forward statement about the trade talks surrounding him, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
"I don't pay attention to any of that," Deng said. "I just focus on what I can control."
Since that time, rumors surrounding Deng haven't come to fruition, but they have continued. As Johnson pointed out in his article, the moment that contract extension talks ended last summer between the Bulls and Deng, the possibility of a trade seemed imminent.
But despite the trade rumors swirling around Deng, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that General Manager Gar Forman isn't looking at trade possibilities at this time. Cowley also included a quote from Deng that made it appear he was confident he could help turn the Bulls' season around:
‘‘Just got to stay positive. I think we’re going to get better as the year goes on. Hopefully, guys can stay healthy. It’s a long season. We learned in the past it’s really who is the healthiest team and the team that has the best rhythm at the end of the year that’s going to win it.’’
Despite trade rumors this season, Deng has played well when he's on the court. The 10th-year player has averaged 19.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists on the season, but injury concerns could cause a hiccup if the Bulls plan to trade him.
Out of all the assets the Bulls have, Deng would appear to be the easiest to move to a contending team.
The problem remains that contending teams may not be able to offer enough, but it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers have a piece they are looking to move and the Bulls might be on their short list.
Chris Broussard of ESPN reported late last month that the Cavaliers are looking to shop Dion Waiters and the Bulls could be in the discussion:
Sources: Cavs shopping Dion Waiters. They've spoken w/Chi, NYK & Philly. No deal imminent. Waiters is open to being traded.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 27, 2013
Following that tweet, Broussard made it abundantly clear what Cleveland would be looking for if it made a deal with any of the teams listed:
Sources: Cavs' targets 4 Waiters - Shumpert (NYK), Deng (Chi), Evan Turner (Philly)— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 27, 2013
As Broussard pointed out, no trade is imminent and his report isn't doesn't issue any interest from the Bulls side, but could a straight up deal actually occur?
Mark Strotman of CSNChicago.com pointed out that a one-for-one trade wouldn't be possible, citing salary differences between the two players:
Waiters, in his second season, is making $3.9 million, whereas Deng is making $13.3 million in his final year of his current contract. The Cavaliers would need to include more than $9 million to make the trade work.
Should the Bulls move Luol Deng before the trade deadline?
While another player has not been added to the trade discussions, a look at Dion Waiters' numbers this season could make him a good fit for the Bulls. In just his second year in the NBA, Waiters is averaging 14.4 points per game and has averaged 15.7 over his last 10 games.
The downside of Waiters appears to be his shooting percentage, as it sits at .420 for the season and at .414 for his career. But over the last 10 games, the Cavaliers 2012 fourth overall pick has seen that percentage climb to .460.
The possibility of Waiters coming to Chicago is still just simply a rumor, but if the Bulls are willing to listen, they could end up with another young piece that could help the team in the future.