Even though NBA franchises are still in the midst of locking up their draft selections and the free-agency period is currently in a frenzy, there's always the possibility of some big trades taking place at this time of year.
Each team will be looking to improve its roster over the summer, and sometimes the easiest—albeit, somewhat expensive—way to do so is via trade.
With plenty of top-tier players rumored to be the focal point of trade talks, there's plenty of buzz circulating around the Web right now.
Let's delve into some of the juiciest trade gossip that's recently surfaced.
Pierce to Clippers a No-Go?
There's been plenty of talk regarding former Celtic Paul Pierce. The 16-year veteran spent one season with the Brooklyn Nets last year, and according to Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com, it looks like he may be on the move again:
The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in conversations with the Brooklyn Nets to try to construct a sign-and-trade that would reunite small forward Paul Pierce with Doc Rivers, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Rivers, the Clippers' president and coach, has had several conversations with Pierce since he became a free agent July 1.
It would certainly make sense Rivers would want to bring in his former star. Pierce still has plenty to offer, as he averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season.
Well, apparently the Nets aren't interested in the Clippers' offer, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN:
Nets not interested in players Clippers proposing (J Dudley, M Barnes, Reggie Bullock) in sign-&-trade for Paul Pierce, source says— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 3, 2014
If Rivers truly wants Pierce, it looks like he'll have to muster up a better deal.
Deng on the Move?
Luol Deng is a free agent after he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Deng spent his first 9.5 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and was quite a productive two-way player during that span.
It appears the Clippers took notice.
Los Angeles is looking to be a busy team this offseason, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, both Rivers and Deng could be interested in a deal:
Free agent Luol Deng intrigued with Clippers sign-and-trade possibilities, sources tell Yahoo. He's expected to speak with Doc Rivers today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2014
Right now, it looks as though the Clippers are the team to strike first. If the deal looks even on both sides, Deng could be on the move via sign-and-trade in short order.
Lin to Philly?
The Houston Rockets' interest in LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony has been widely noted by now. Jeremy Lin looks like the odd man out if the team does acquire one of those top-tier free agents, according to a tweet from Jake Fischer of The Boston Globe:
Hearing that Rockets & Sixers are in fluid trade talks surrounding Jeremy Lin. HOU waiting to unload Lin's deal if it signs Melo or Lebron.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 2, 2014
Lin has been productive for the Rockets, averaging 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season. The Philadelphia 76ers are a team in flux and could use another solid presence alongside Michael Carter-Williams in their backcourt.
The Sixers have plenty of cap room, and the Rockets will certainly be looking to offload Lin's 2014-15 base salary of just under $15 million, according to Spotrac.com, in an effort to create space for either James or Anthony.
This deal could be close to complete; however, we'll have to continue to wait, as the Rockets' ability to sign one of their coveted free-agent targets will ultimately decide Lin's fate for the coming season.