The 2013-14 NBA campaign is humming right along and the trade deadline will be here before you know it. While there have already been a few major transactions this season, there could be plenty more on the horizon.
Whether teams are looking to stock up for a postseason run or offload salary and veteran talent to acquire picks and future assets, there is almost sure to be at least one more major deal by the February deadline.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest talk concerning these possible moves in Sunday’s rumor roundup.
Dion Waiters Wants Out
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a problem on their hands, as second-year guard Dion Waiters reportedly isn’t happy with his role on the team and wants a change of scenery.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, Waiters would prefer to go to the Philadelphia 76ers (where he believes he could be the best player on the team), but the Cavs are exploring a number of other options.
Head coach Mike Brown isn’t on board with these rumors, calling them “laughable” as per Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
Waiters is averaging 14.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season, extremely similar numbers to his rookie statistics. A change may benefit both him and the team, but that may not be happening anytime soon.
Unless Cleveland receives a Godfather offer for his services, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft will likely remain put.
Bulls Keeping Deng
The Chicago Bulls may be devastated by injury and have little hope of competing for a championship, but they aren’t giving up on the current season.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Bulls are adamant about be keeping Luol Deng, who has been the subject of numerous trade rumors, for the rest of the season.
Deng is playing out the last year of his contract while being paid over $14 million for his services, costing the Bulls even more due to their status as a luxury tax paying franchise.
In spite of those factors, Chicago brass feels Deng is worth holding on to. The 10-year veteran has played his entire career in the Windy City and won’t stop trying to lead the Bulls to greatness, even if the odds are stacked against him.
"When things aren't going your way, you work harder and try to get things right. You can't just let it beat you up. When you get in the gym, watch film, try harder and harder until you get it right."
Deng may be able to guide the Bulls to the postseason in a weak Eastern Conference, but it's hard to see the club going further than the first round without a true star like Rose in the lineup. Perhaps Chicago will have a change of heart as the deadline nears and will be more willing to move the veteran swingman.
Asik Not Going Anywhere
Omer Asik has been unhappy for months and it seems that his misery will be extended indefinitely after the Houston Rockets decided to pull the plug on trade talks involving the big man.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the franchise wasn’t able to find a suitable offer by its self-imposed deadline and is instead going to work on getting Asik back in uniform and playing meaningful minutes in the rotation again.
As per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, head coach Kevin McHale stated that having a second center would be a great asset against a lot of teams:
“He’s a big part of what we do and can be a big part of our success. There’s a lot of nights that second big body playing with Dwight gives you an advantage. And we need that.”
Asik’s decline in production this year finally resulted in trade requests in mid-November. His numbers dropped from 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game down to 4.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 18.3 minutes.
The four-year veteran has been sitting on the bench since requesting trades, but will now be asked to come in and contribute at a high level. It’s an awkward situation and one that the Rockets may be better served still trying to find a way out of.
The Boston Celtics are one possible landing destination for the big man, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News noted his presence would make the C’s a true force in the Atlantic.
It’ll be very interesting to see where Asik lands before February’s deadline, as it is hard to imagine him truly remaining in a Houston uniform at the end of this season.