NBA Trade Rumors: Luol Deng To Trail Blazers, Nicolas Batum To Cavaliers in Solid Deal for Both Teams
By Lou Ramon Aguila | February 9, 2014 3:45 PM EST
The Cleveland Cavaliers could trade recently acquired small forward Luol Deng before the February 20 trade deadline, according to multiple news sources.
Cavs appears on their way to another disappointing season despite adding several pieces to their roster in the offseason. With their playoff hopes slipping away, the Cavs could pull off a major overhaul by trading everybody in their team except All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
Blazers could get Luol Deng before Feb. 20
Many teams have already inquired for the availability of youngsters Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and even veteran power forward/center Anderson Verajao. However, the Cavs might also want to part ways with Deng, who was the last major move done by Chris Grant before he was dismissed from his General Manager position.
Deng, on the other hand, is not happy with all the theatrics happening in his new team. Traded by the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Andrew Bynum (who was later waived to create more cap space), Deng was expected to help the Cavs make a second-half surge towards the playoff qualification.
However, he found out the Cavs are just a mess, telling a close friend that he's not happy with his current situation right now.
"As Deng recently told one close friend, "the stuff going on in practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front office back in Chicago. It's a mess," New York Daily News NBA insider Mitch Lawrence reported.
There are also reports circulating about Deng's intention to bolt out from Cleveland at the end of the 2013-14 season, leaving the Cavs without getting a compensation.
"And the general toxicity in the air around this team - where rumblings of player discontent with Mike Brown are getting louder by the day - makes you wonder if they have any hope of re-signing newly acquired (and shell-shocked) Luol Deng in free agency."
"That's right: What was supposed to be a season exciting enough to make LeBron James think seriously about leaving Miami to come back to the Cavs has descended into such farce that sources close to the situation are already saying that there's little-to-no chance Deng will agree to stay once he hits free agency," ESPN reported.
Deng for Nicolas Batum
Deng has carved a reputation as a two-way player with the ability to make an impact on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. This season, Deng is averaging 17.6 points, 3.2 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the field.
Letting Deng walk away without compensation is big blow to the new front office team, so the Cavs are expected to explore every trade possibility with roughly two weeks left before the midseason trade deadline.
A very intriguing trade rumors being talked about right now is the swap involving Deng and Portland Trail Blazers' small forward Nicolas Batum.
The Blazers are certainly one of the most surprising teams this season, thanks to All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. However, adding another star to their roster would certainly give them a solid shot to be a contender in the postseason. On the other hand, the Cavs could get another do-it-all player in Batum in exchange for Deng, who obviously loves to play for a title contender than a rebuilding ball club.
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