Ready for the next batch of NBA rumors? Fans of the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder will likely find the latest scuttlebutt interesting.
We're quickly approaching the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline. With it comes rumors of potential deals and team outlooks for next season.
Let's dive in.
Nikola Mirotic and Rudy Fernandez Could Both Be in NBA Next Season
The possibility of Nikola Mirotic joining the Chicago Bulls next season seems more likely with each passing day. Jorge Sierra of Hoops Hype discusses the recent strong play of Mirotic and his current team Real Madrid during the Spanish Cup.
The strong play of the team's stars has not gone unnoticed in the NBA. With Nikola Mirotic, the tournament MVP, already widely presumed to be leaving for Chicago next season, now comes news of renewed interest in Rudy Fernandez from the States, with Oklahoma City being one of the teams inquiring about his contract situation, according to a source.
Fernandez has had one stint in the NBA. He played four seasons (three with the Portland Trail Blazers and one with the Denver Nuggets). NBA officials know what he can do against NBA talent.
The Bulls own the rights to Mirotic, but of course haven't seen him extensively against NBA talent. Still, his potential and upside is exciting. Bulls executive vice president John Paxson is still cautious when speaking about Mirotic's Chicago arrival. He told Nick Friedell of ESPN.com:
"It's still too early. We still have things we have to do. He still has a significant buyout with Real Madrid. So there's still some things we have to [get through] and we can't do it until this summer."
Bulls fans may not realize how good of a position the franchise is in right now.
Sure there is the uncertainty about Derrick Rose's physical condition, but Jimmy Butler has proven to be at least serviceable at shooting guard, and Taj Gibson has been solid at power forward. Because of Gibson's play, the team is free and likely to amnesty Carlos Boozer at the end of the season.
The team could even explore dealing him before the deadline if an opportunity to save a few bucks presents itself.
The Bulls will also have a real shot to sign a significant free agent during the offseason. The team is in position to be very good in the 2014-15 season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder is obviously looking at Fernandez as a potential instant-offense player off the bench. Fernandez's skill set would be ideal for that role.
It'll be a few months before we know for sure what will come of this talk, but stay tuned.
Milwaukee Bucks Eyeing Eric Gordon
Per Gery Woelfel of the Racine Times Journal, Bucks officials were taking a look at Gordon when the Pelicans visited Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Rest assured, Bucks officials will be closely scrutinizing Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, subject of trade rumors.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) February 13, 2014
If Bucks brass were eyeing Gordon on Wednesday, they had to like what they saw from him. The 25-year-old had 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting and six assists in a 102-98 Pelicans win.
Gordon has been healthy this season, which is a departure from his last two campaigns. His 1,594 minutes played this season is already more than the time he spent on the floor during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons combined.
Will the Bucks attempt to pry him away from the Pelicans? We shall see.
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