Dec 23, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) sits on the bench during a timeout in the first half against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. The Suns won 117-90. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Players to Watch Before the Deadline

Every week, more and more players are being added to the trade block as teams try to determine the shape of their rosters for the rest of the season. Some players have been on the block for a few months and others, due to a lack of interest for the game, decreased production and injuries have made headlines recently. Below, we take a look at the latest NBA trade rumors and five players who will garner the most interest before the trade deadline in Feb.

Andrew Bynum

As reported last week by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, the Los Angeles Lakers are at the forefront of trade discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers regarding Bynum’s services. Bynum was suspended by the team due to conduct detrimental to the team and looks to have played his last game in Cleveland. He’s expected to be waived or traded before Jan. 7 when the second half of his $12.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed. The Lakers have emerged as one of the few teams willing to trade for Bynum only to waive him afterwards. If Bynum is waived, teams like Miami, Los Angeles Clippers and even a team like Portland could be one of his landing spots.

Pau Gasol

For the past few weeks, Gasol has been linked to the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets. With Kobe Bryant out, the Lakers have been counting on Gasol to lead them, but he hasn’t been healthy and his play has not improved much under Mike D’Antoni in second season in Los Angeles. It doesn’t look like D’Antoni is going anywhere and with the latest rumors of the potential Gasol-Bynum swap, the Lakers could be giving in to the idea of tanking, finally.

Dion Waiters

Back in November, Chris Broussard of ESPN reported Waiters could be on his way out of town due to dysfunction in the locker room between him and Kyrie Irving. He’s only in his second season and yet a fresh start could be in order for him. Depending on the severity of Irving’s knee injury he suffered on Tuesday, the team could go the route of trading Waiters and get an expiring contract in return for even more cap space this summer to make a run at LeBron James. Ultimately, if Irving is out for a significant amount of time, trading their second-leading scorer in Waiters could be seen as a sign of tanking.

Rajon Rondo

Rondo has yet to play to this season and teams remain interested in trading for him as he rehabs from his knee injury. The latest rumor comes out of New York, where the Knicks are hoping Rondo will force his way there like Carmelo Anthony did in 2011. The Boston Celtics are five games under .500 and still have the eighth seed in a poor Eastern conference. Rondo’s return will improve the team, but by how much? And what are his expectations for the team under Brad Stevens? With the current Knicks team in complete disarray, Rondo could be the one player who helps keep Anthony in New York this summer.

Luol Deng

With Derrick Rose out and all hope lost for the team this season, the Bulls are weighing the option of trading Deng for young players and draft picks. Deng, a free agent after the season, could be a valuable asset for a team that is a piece or two away from contending. CSN Chicago lists the Cavaliers, Mavericks, Lakers, Raptors, Spurs, Grizzlies and Nets as options for the Bulls.

Tags: Andrew Bynum Dion Waiters Luol Deng NBA Trade Rumors Pau Gasol Rajon Rondo

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