Deals are starting to come together hot and heavy in the NBA with the trade deadline approaching.
Some teams are buyers while a few teams are trying to play the role of sellers, but no huge deal has been made to this point.
Whether it's talk of an NBA superstar getting dealt to a team that can lock him up to a long-term contract or multiple role players who can help a potential playoff team this season, rumors are sure to keep swirling up until the deadline officially comes to a close at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.
It appears no player is safe from recent rumors as at least one big name that has already been traded this season could be finding a new home after the deadline.
Quite a few deals have been discussed on Wednesday and here are just a few of the more intriguing ones.
Luol Deng Could be Moved Again
The Cleveland Cavaliers worked hard earlier in the season to bring in Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in hopes that the small forward could be re-signed as an important piece for the team's future.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that plan is going to come to fruition.
The Cavs have apparently already been shopping around Deng, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports:
As they evaluate their team and try to make a deal to help them get into the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are making recently acquired Luol Deng available ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, multiple league sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs traded three future draft picks and Andrew Bynum to the Chicago Bulls to acquire Deng on Jan. 7. But the deal hasn't yet worked out how either side hoped.
The rumor was confirmed by Ken Berger of CBS Sports, who said the news is simply due to the fact that the Cavaliers believe he will walk in the offseason:
In Cleveland, concern is so high that Luol Deng won't re-sign that the Cavs have made him available to several teams, sources confirm.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2014
Should the Cavs trade Deng?
Putting it simply, Cleveland has made a deal that might have backfired. The Cavs put a lot of stock in the fact that Deng would mesh with the young core of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, but it appears he is unhappy with the situation and won't remain with the team after this season.
Though he has shown flashes of greatness with the team, like a 22-point, four-assist game against the Sacramento Kings recently, the uncertainty surrounding him staying could land him with a new team for the rest of the season.
As for teams that might be involved in the talks for acquiring Deng, Sam Amico of Fox Sports provides a short list of options that could acquire the forward:
The Golden State Warriors make more sense in this situation, as the team has a shot to make the playoffs at No. 7 in the Western Conference for the time being.
Whether or not Deng lands on either one of these teams, he could once again be a hot commodity during the offseason if he decides not to re-sign with any of the involved teams.
Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen Might Be On the Move
This deal looks like one of the most likely scenarios to get done before the deadline, but it could have hit a slight speed bump as one team is asking for more than the other.
On Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Chase Budinger of the Minnesota Timberwolves could be dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Tayshaun Prince.
Now, it looks like the Grizzlies want more out of the T-Wolves and are asking for Tony Allen as well, according to Berger:
The Grizzlies and Timberwolves have gained momentum on a deal that would send Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen to Minnesota, sources say.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2014
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders provides a little background on the situation and gives his two cents on the possible deal:
It makes sense that the Wolves want Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince. Both vets have a ring. Good way to show Kevin Love they want to win now.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2014
With that said, I don't know how much better Minnesota is with Allen and Prince.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2014
The possibility of this trade makes sense for both sides, but Memphis will have to get more out of Minnesota. A first-round pick or an expiring contract would help, but something else will need to happen to get this deal done.
Though it's not an exciting one, it will boost the bench for Minnesota and could be the move it needs to put it over the top. At just three games outside of the No. 8 spot in the West and a three-game winning streak, one small shakeup could pay dividends.
And as Kennedy points out, it also shows Kevin Love that they want to win now. Anything the T-Wolves can do to convince Love to stay is huge, even though he's still likely gone after 2015.
Cavs Taking Calls on Dion Waiters
Out of every deal being discussed, this one is probably least likely to get done. But every rumor is worth evaluation this close to the trade deadline.
Dion Waiters has been playing well as of late, averaging 16.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists over his last five games, but he's still being rumored as a possible trading piece for the Cavaliers.
Though he suffered a knee injury on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer, Waiters appears to be just fine, as he tweeted out following the game:
Thanks for the prayers & concerns nothing is torn thank the man above for that. Just sore as hell but I'll be fine. #Beliveland— Dion Waiters (@dionwaiters3) February 19, 2014
As for the rumors about Waiters, Amico reports the most recent news on the situation:
Plenty of teams also calling #Cavs about Dion Waiters, with at least one offering 1st-round draft pick, sources say. Deal seems unlikely.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 19, 2014
Luckily for Waiters, it doesn't look like he'll have to deal with a sore knee and a broken heart if he was traded away from Cleveland. The young star is continuing to materialize with the Cavs and could be a crucial component for their future success with Irving.
Any trade involving Waiters will have to be one that the Cavs can't turn down. Don't expect this to be something done immediately, but if Cleveland misses the playoffs, his name could come up again over the summer.
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