The Indiana Pacers are reportedly interested to trade for Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star small forward Luol Deng before the trade deadline, multiple sources reported on Wednesday.
"Forward Luol Deng's reluctance to commit to a long-term extension with any team before July free agency makes it unlikely that the Cleveland Cavaliers can find a willing trade partner before Thursday's NBA deadline," Yahoo Sports reported.
Already boasting the toughest defense in the NBA, the Pacers are looking to add more punch to their offense by acquiring Deng, who is averaging 17.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season.
The Cavaliers previously acquired Deng after sending disgruntled center Andrew Bynum and drafts pick to the Chicago Bulls in January. However, there are reports the All-Star forward is not interest to commit a long-term deal with the Cavs, prompting the team's front office to shop him before he hits free-agency this summer.
The Pacers, who coincidentally already acquired Bynum, are among the teams rumoured to be interested in trading for Deng. Indiana has been shopping small forward Danny Granger and could still send some future draft picks to sweeten up the deal.
The Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons are two other teams that expressed interest on Deng. The Mavs are currently in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, while the Pistons are looking to re-tool their roster after last summer's acquisition Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings fail to live up their hypes.
"The Cavaliers have had conversations with several teams, including Dallas, Detroit and Indiana about Deng, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Nevertheless, there's no traction on a deal and no team seems inclined to give up valuable assets for a player who could walk away in free agency," the site added.
The Mavs might have no enticing talents to woo the Cavs. On the other hand, the Pistons have tons of talents to work out a deal. The Cavs previously showed interest in getting Smith last summer, and it won't be a stretch to see J-Smoove playing alongside Kyrie Irving for the remainder half of the season.
Young center Greg Monroe is another player that could be dealt to Cavs, who are looking to acquire a solid interior presence after their Bynum experiment ended up as a disaster.
To contact the editor, e-mail: