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NBA trade rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls teammates could be on the move

The trade deadline – which marks the last real opportunity for teams to stockpile talent for the stretch run or embark on a rebuild – is almost here. Let’s break down the hottest rumors in advance of Thursday afternoon.

This is the time of year when the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders, if not on the court then at least on paper. 

Teams at the top of the standings want to shore up their rosters in time for the playoffs, while the cellar-dwellers generally look toward the future by unloading veterans, bad contracts, or stars that just want to take their talents elsewhere. 

With the deadline looming at 3:00 pm ET on Thursday, February 8, trade rumors are swirling around some of the top talent in the association. Here are some names that could be on the move and how those potential trades could materialize.

DeMar DeRozan - Chicago Bulls

Even before Zach LaVine went down, the Bulls were expected to be active at the trade deadline. After all, they are a franchise stuck in neutral and clearly not going anywhere with the core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. Now that LaVine is out for the year, Chicago certainly isn’t going anywhere in 2023/24.

LaVine won’t be moved now that he is injured, but DeRozan could be switching locations in the near future. The former USC standout is due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so the time is now for the Bulls to unload him if they want to get some assets in return.

The Warriors, Lakers and Heat could be among the interested teams.

If the Bulls really ignite a fire-sale, it is likely that Caruso would be involved. He is on a team-friendly contract and can be an effective piece for any contender on both ends of the floor. Golden State, Miami and the Lakers could also be in play for Caruso; the same goes for Boston, Cleveland and Sacramento.

Dejounte Murray - Atlanta Hawks

Like Chicago, Atlanta is one of the most interesting teams to monitor at the trade deadline. The Hawks are currently in play-in tournament position in the Eastern Conference and have won four of their last five games, so they may want to add pieces. At the same time, it’s not like they are on the verge of contending anytime soon.

Assuming the Hawks decide to be sellers, Dejounte Murray is their most coveted offering. Murray (21.4 ppg, 5.2 apg, 5.1 rpg) has been good, but the backcourt pairing with Trae Young has not really worked out the way the Hawks envisioned when they mortgaged three first-round picks for Murray in 2022.

The Lakers have reportedly been the most active team when it comes to engaging in talks with Atlanta, but there is also a chance that Murray gets reunited with his former team in San Antonio. New York and Milwaukee also appear to be among the interested trading partners.

Read more: 2023/24 NBA Championship odds

Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors

Rumors surrounding Klay Thompson’s future in Golden State heated up a few days ago following an emotional post-game interview in which he was asked about being benched late in games. The struggling veteran has been a non-factor for head coach Steve Kerr’s team down the stretch in recent weeks.

Unsurprisingly, Thompson’s status is a polarizing one. Some analysts have been adamant about the Warriors trading the four-time NBA champion, whereas others are on the completely opposite end of the opinion spectrum.

If Thompson is being shopped, a poor outside shooting team like Cleveland or Philadelphia could be in the mix.

Bruce Brown - Toronto Raptors

If you are saying to yourself, “I thought Bruce Brown just got traded,” well, you are absolutely correct. He went from Indiana to Toronto in the Pascal Siakam trade.

Nonetheless, Brown could be on the move again. The Raptors are obviously in complete rebuilding mode and new face of the franchise, Scottie Barnes, is the only piece that is off limits. Brown is relatively young (27) and is an outstanding two-way player, so lots of teams remain interested in his services.

Under NBA rules, Brown can be traded again but can’t be combined into a larger deal with other Raptors teammates. Although that could be a snag, the Knicks and Lakers continue to be linked with Brown. Philadelphia is also in play.

Kelly Olynyk - Utah Jazz

The Jazz are well inside the play-in tournament cut line in the Western Conference, but they are a mediocre 26-26 and nowhere close to being in a position to win even a single playoff series. As such, they should be willing to sell.

Kelly Olynyk is a productive floor-stretching big man and is expendable since Utah also has Lauri Markkanen, John Collins and Walker Kessler in the front court.

Now that Joel Embiid is sidelined for at least a month and probably for the entire rest of the regular season, the 76ers are likely interested in a center. Boston, Houston, Miami and New York are possible destinations as well.

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