The 2014-15 NBA regular season has featured plenty of excitement and unpredictability thus far, and the result has been an increase in trade rumors surrounding some of the biggest names in the sport.
Top players, such as Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, have been discussed in blockbuster deals, and teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly been looking to add talent and depth to the power forward and center positions.
Here are the latest NBA trade rumors from around the league.
Brooklyn Holding onto Deron Williams for Now?
At 14-16 overall this season, the experiment with the Brooklyn Nets hasn’t worked as predicted, and the franchise is reportedly ready to trade several of its high-priced stars for players with more long-term upside.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, 30-year-old point guard Deron Williams is one of the top candidates to be traded, but there are holdups in possible deals:
The Sacramento Kings' insistence on a trade package for Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams that includes center Mason Plumlee has pushed talks into a hiatus, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
After the teams' front office officials again talked on Wednesday, both sides insisted they weren't budging on Plumlee's inclusion into a proposed trade and agreed there was no use discussing the deal further in the near future, league sources said.
Williams has been dealing with a calf injury that cost him two games and that likely also helped cool off trade chatter. As the veteran regains his elite form, expect teams in need of a point guard to once again begin inquiring about his availability. In 28 games, Williams has averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Over the last several weeks, Wojnarowski has made it clear Williams is very available.
There are several teams in postseason contention or on the cusp of being a contender that need depth and talent at point guard. As the season progresses, the Nets should be able to get an even better deal as teams become more desperate.
If Brooklyn is serious about trading Williams, a deal will get done before the deadline.
Cleveland Kicking the Tires on the Lopez Brothers?
The Cleveland Cavaliers were thin in the low post well before center Anderson Varejao went down for the season with an Achilles injury, via Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, but the team has now reportedly ramped up its search on the trade market.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Cavaliers are interested in acquiring one or both of Brook and Robin Lopez:
League sources say the Cavs have an interest in both Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (clearly on the market) and Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez (Brook's twin brother). But salaries would make any sort of move involving the Cavs and either Lopez brother unlikely.
It is a pipe dream on the fiscal side, due to the money the franchise has tied up with LeBron James and Kevin Love, but there are ways to make a deal work. If Cleveland is desperate enough as the season drags on, acquiring one of the Lopez brothers will become more of a viable option.
There is some concern that a team with as much talent as the Cavaliers is only 18-12 this season, but it takes time for big personalities and talented players to come together. James, Love and point guard Kyrie Irving are still learning to play together.
Adding talent in the low post will be a legitimate concern as the postseason approaches, but the team must be patient. There will likely be a more affordable deal closer to the trade deadline, and the hope is that the team will be in a much better position when negotiations heat up.
Lance Stephenson Not Drawing Attention from Indiana?
The Charlotte Hornets signed free agent Lance Stephenson this offseason with the hope that he would bring the same tenacity and grit that he brought to the Indiana Pacers. After a lackluster 10-22 start, the team is now ready to start making trades.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that Charlotte called Indiana about a possible deal for Stephenson, but the Pacers were not overly interested:
One of the reasons Charlotte was forced to table the conversations was Stephenson’s pelvis injury. With the 24-year-old guard still out without a clear timetable, the franchise will not be able to get a full return until he is back and playing at an elite level.
Through 25 games with the Hornets, Stephenson has averaged 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Charlotte was expecting much more from the shooting guard after his breakout season in Indiana, but he has not lived up to the hype.
It will be hard to get a return worthy of what the team paid to sign Stephenson, but the ability to move on from a player may be worth it in order to restore the long-term stability of the locker room.
Stats via NBA.com.