The NBA trade deadline is still two days away, but several players have been moved already.
DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks swapped reserve players, the Orlando Magic sent one of their best players to a contender in the Toronto Raptors and the Portland Trail Blazers exchanged one young center for another with the Denver Nuggets.
These deals barely scratch the surface of some of the bigger trades that could happen before Feb. 23. Here are the eight biggest trade deadline rumors.
Timberwolves ‘actively shopping’ Ricky Rubio
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported last month that the Minnesota Timberwolves are “actively shopping” Rubio. The former fifth overall pick is averaging the fifth-most assists in the league to go along with 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. Teams desperately in need of playmaking will be interested.
Rubio, 26, has been made expendable after the team drafted Kris Dunn in the first round last June. Dunn is Minnesota’s franchise point guard, which is why the Timberwolves are seeking a bridge guard in exchange for Rubio.
Bulls, Pelicans interested in trading for Jahlil Okafor
According to Kennedy, the Philadelphia 76ers have had trade talks with the Bulls, Pelicans, Trail Blazers and Nuggets about a Okafor deal. With Portland and Denver acquiring centers, the Bulls and Pelicans are the teams to watch about acquiring the former third overall pick.
Okafor, 21, is averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. The Sixers sat Okafor recently due to a potential trade, and he didn’t travel with the team awhile back as a result of trade chatter.
Here’s something to keep in mind about the Bulls possibly trading for Okafor:
Nets, Pelicans have discussed trade involving Brook Lopez
Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reported Monday that the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans have discussed a trade of Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Tim Frazier and a 2018 protected first-round pick for Lopez.
The Pelicans are looking for a center to pair with Anthony Davis in the frontcourt, and Lopez, a former All-Star, is a worthy choice. The former 10th overall pick is averaging 20.5 points and 1.7 blocks per game and is shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range, which ranks fifth in the league among centers.
Lakers have shopped Lou Williams
A general manager confirmed to Hoops Hype that the Los Angeles Lakers have “shopped Williams and seem likely to move him prior to the deadline.”
As Kennedy explains, moving Williams is ideal for the Lakers:
As previously mentioned, the Lakers have a lot riding on this year’s lottery, so moving Williams increases the likelihood that they keep their 2017 and 2019 first-round picks, gives the younger backcourt players more minutes and brings in assets (such as another young player or a pick).
Williams, 30, is leading the team in scoring despite coming off the bench this season. He is averaging 18.4 points in just 24.2 minutes per game.
Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari are available
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported Tuesday that Denver, even after sending Jusuf Nurkic to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee, isn’t done dealing yet, and both Chandler and Gallinari are available.
Chandler, disappointed with his role, is reportedly seeking a trade out of Denver. The 29-year-old forward is having a career year averaging 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Gallinari, who is the Nuggets’ leading scorer with 17.2 points per game, can opt out of his contract after the season and become a free agent.
Bulls, Celtics could revisit Jimmy Butler trade discussions
The Bulls and Boston Celtics discussed a Butler deal last summer but nothing ever materialized. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, there are rival executives who believe the teams could revisit trade discussions for the three-time All-Star.
Oh, and there’s also this from Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype:
Boston, which owns the Nets first-round picks in 2017 and 2018, has the assets to pull off a blockbuster trade for the 27-year-old forward.
Multiple teams interested in trading for P.J. Tucker
Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported last month that Tucker is “garnering a lot interest from contending teams.” The Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Timberwolves all have interest in acquiring the defensive-stopper who is in the last year of his contract with the Phoenix Suns.
Tucker, 31, can defend multiple positions and is shooting 33.6 percent from 3-point range while averaging 7.0 points per game off the bench.
Clippers eyeing trade for Carmelo Anthony
The New York Knicks reached out to the Celtics, Clippers and Cavaliers about a Anthony trade, but Los Angeles is the most realistic destination for the nine-time All-Star. ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne and Marc Stein reported last month that the Knicks and Clippers are seeking a third team to complete a Anthony trade that would allow Los Angeles to keep its top three stars.
Anthony would go to a winning team in a trade to the Clippers, but the 32-year-old forward has a no-trade clause in his contract with the Knicks and is considering staying in New York despite all the drama that has unfolded between him and team president Phil Jackson.