With the NBA trade deadline just a few days away, rumors are floating all over the internet. It’s very safe to say that the Cleveland Cavaliers season hasn’t gone as planned, so depending on what report you’re reading, they might be buyers and they might be sellers at Thursday’s deadline. But the most interesting deal that I’ve come across involves the recently acquired Luol Deng.
The former All-Star forward was acquired in a trade just a few weeks back, but with the Cavs sinking fast in 2014, some are speculating that Deng could once again be on the move. The team rumored to be interested in him? The Phoenix Suns.
Initially, it was thought that Deng would be locked up long-term in Cleveland. With the team seemingly preparing for a run at a star player this summer, Deng figured to be a very solid complementary piece moving forward. But now with the team nearly in shambles, hopes of the playoffs fading fast, and rumors of Kyrie Irving wanting out of town — no one really knows what direction the Cavs are heading in.
Given that one of the options is becoming sellers at the deadline, Deng’s name has come up in trade talks. The Suns reportedly are the front-runners in ‘sweepstakes’ for the forward, mainly because they have multiple draft picks available to trade as well as the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor.
If the Cavs want to fully abandon ship in 2014 and just focus on the upcoming draft and next season, dealing Deng would be a good way to do it. There are no guarantees that he’ll want to stay in Cleveland long-term anyway, so this could be a real good chance for the Cavs to acquire some extra assets moving forward. Above all else, let’s be honest — the Cavaliers aren’t doing anything in the playoffs, even if they make the field. It’s all about the future in Cleveland once again, it’s just a matter of what route the franchise decides to take.