The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors are dominating the potential trade scene in the NBA. Of course, it wouldn't be a normal NBA season without the requisite scuttlebutt from the Los Angeles Lakers.
All three teams figure heavily in the latest news on the NBA trade front. Here's a breakdown of the most recent rumors concerning each.
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry Being Shopped "Hard"
Per Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld, the Toronto Raptors are "working hard" to trade Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan by the trade deadline:
The Raptors already completed one blockbuster deal on Dec. 9, when they sent swingman Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to the Sacramento Kings for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes.
In obvious attempts to cut major salaries, the Raptors and general manager Masai Ujiri are continuing to try and put the team in position to add meaningful pieces through the draft and free agency next offseason. If Toronto is bad enough this season, it will improve its chances of landing one of the top collegiate players in what figures to be a stacked 2014 draft class.
By dumping big salaries like Gay's player option for $19.1 million in 2014-15 as well as DeRozan's flat-lined $9.5 million through 2016-17 (player option in final year), the Raptors will free themselves to chase big fish in future free-agent ponds.
Does Dion Waiters Want out of Cleveland?
It seemed that Waiters has reached his breaking point as it relates to coming off Mike Brown's bench in Cleveland. Rumors surfaced that the 22-year-old had requested a trade and preferred to land with the Philadelphia 76ers, per Bleacher Report's very own Jared Zwerling.
Waiters has since denied requesting a trade. Though Philadelphia is Waiters' hometown, he told ESPN:
It doesn't make sense. This is the team that drafted me. People come up with their own things, man. I know what I said and what I didn't say. That's one of the things I absolutely never said.
Even though Waiters may not have asked to be traded, that doesn't mean the Cavs aren't shopping him. Per Zwerling, the 76ers and Chicago Bulls have emerged as the top suitors for Waiters' services.
Both teams desperately need a perimeter player who is capable of creating his own shot. That is something Waiters can certainly do. Per NBA.com, Waiters is 16th in the NBA in drives to the basket, though he has only converted on 40 percent of his shot attempts in this scenario.
Lakers Reportedly Aren't Shopping Pau Gasol Any More
After a blowup between Gasol and head coach Mike D'Antoni, there were rumors that the four-time All Star was available to interested teams. Those issues have seemingly calmed down for the time being, and per ESPN's Marc Stein, Gasol is no longer on the trade block:
If one had a dollar for every time Gasol's name appeared in a trade rumor, you'd probably be able to take yourself and a date to the movies and buy popcorn.
It seems to be a yearly occurrence. There's still two months remaining before the trade deadline arrives, so don't be surprised to see Gasol's name dangled again. One of these days, an actual deal may really happen.
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