NBA Rumors: Luol Deng

Deng already done in Cleveland? 

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
2:35
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have one game remaining in this highly disappointing season, and Luol Deng isn't going to play in it, per The Plain Dealer. In all likelihood, that means Deng has already played his last game as a Cav.

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Chances of an Ariza-for-Deng deal 

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
2:25
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Lets follow up quick on Marc Stein's report this morning that the Washington Wizards are among the teams talking to Cleveland about Luol Deng. What are the chances of a deal going down? Here's the latest.

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Two teams pursuing Luol Deng 

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
11:46
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ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reports this morning that the Cleveland Cavaliers are making recently acquired forward Luol Deng available for trade leading up to Thursday's deadline.

And already, two teams have emerged as potential suitors.

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Could Luol Deng be on the move again? 

February, 7, 2014
Feb 7
10:09
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The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng on Jan. 6 and quickly he found the team had a lot of issues. Deng says those reports are false, however even those on the outside knew problems existed. Well, the first action was taken on Thursday when GM Chris Grant was fired. Assistant GM Dave Griffin will now run basketball operations for the duration of the season and many executives believe the Cavs could be involved in several deals by the Feb. 20 deadline. Could Deng be moved after a short stint with the Cavs? It's possible if they don't think they have a chance to re-sign him to a new deal in July.

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Luol Deng refutes NYDN report 

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
10:09
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There was a report of of New York on Sunday claiming Luol Deng told their source that the Cleveland Cavaliers "are a mess." Deng read the report and he refuted that he's feeling that way towards the Cavaliers.

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Why Deng might leave Cavs 

February, 2, 2014
Feb 2
8:11
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From the outside, it has seemed like the Cleveland Cavaliers have been a dysfunctional group for a long time. Now that former Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has seen the franchise from the inside, he seems to have come to the same conclusion.

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Cavs' post-trade plans 

January, 12, 2014
Jan 12
9:28
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The Cleveland Cavaliers made a bold move by ditching Andrew Bynum and acquiring Luol Deng, but what are their long-term plans going forward? Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com asked GM Chris Grant if the Cavs would be looking to make another move before the trade deadline.

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Luol Deng's future with Cavs? 

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
10:06
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Luol Deng was given a non-negotiable three-year, $30 million offer last week from Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman that was swiftly rejected.

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Can Cavs keep Luol Deng? 

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
9:25
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been after Luol Deng for a long time and late Monday night they finally acquired him from the Chicago Bulls for Andrew Bynum's partially guaranteed contract ($6 million) and multiple draft picks. Deng will move into the Cavs' starting small forward position and they are hoping this will help boost the team into the 2014 playoffs. Currently the Cavs have a 11-23 record.

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To this point, the Chicago Bulls have resisted trading Luol Deng or cutting ties with Carlos Boozer via the amnesty clause, but that could be about to change.

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Fantasy Rumors: Keep an eye on Ross 

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
3:02
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Ross' growing fantasy value

If you need scoring and/or 3-point help, Toronto's Terrence Ross is suddenly an option to consider.

Up until recently, the 2012 lottery pick out of Washington was always somewhat of a tease on the court, with his jaw-dropping leaping ability often left on the bench. That all changed since the Raptors traded Rudy Gay, though, and Ross has benefited from the additional minutes.

Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun points out that Ross has started nine of the 10 games since Gay's departure and shot 48 percent from 3-point land during that time.

“Huge,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey told the newspaper of the contribution Ross has been making. “He’s really adapting well. When the teams are double-teaming Kyle [Lowry] and DeMar [DeRozan], he’s the beneficiary of it and I think he likes it. ...

“What’s next for Terrence is catching and attacking their feet. He’s coming. He’s made big strides, playing consistently at both sides of the floor. He’s getting there.”

In terms of fantasy, Ross is very much a specialist who isn't going to provide much more than points and 3s. He's not a big rebounder or steals guy for a rangy 6-foot-6 athlete. And though he shoots 79 percent from the free throw line, he gets to the stripe less than one time per game. For now, he's mostly just a catch-and-shoot option who serves as a floor-spacer, so keep that in mind before you add him to your roster.

Who does Andrew Bynum's suspension impact most?

Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller have already seen a bump in minutes in the two games since Bynum's suspension, but both former first-rounders have a lot to prove before they can be fantasy relevant in traditional leagues.

It's the rise in production of Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, who will undoubtedly have a bigger workload with Bynum's 20.0 MPG no longer in the lineup, that is a much bigger deal.

Varejao and Thompson are double-double candidates every night out on the floor, even more so than before, but each carries their own element of risk.

Varejao provides higher shooting percentages (FG and FT) than Thompson and is more of a factor in terms of blocks and steals. However he hasn't played more than 31 games in any of the last four seasons. If you own him, now could be the time to sell high, before the oft-injured big man goes down again.

Meanwhile, Thompson is mostly just a points (12.0) and rebounds (9.7) guy who won't hurt you as much at the free throw line (68.5 percent) as he has in previous years, but he's also a much safer option going forward.

Is Tobias Harris finally on track?

It took nearly two months into the season, but Harris finally is playing like the player so many expected in his second season with Orlando. And if you didn't trade for him by now, it may be too late; anyone with Harris on their team would now need quite an enticing trade offer to part with him based on what he's done over the last five games.

During that stretch, he's averaging 16.4 points, 7.6 rebounds 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals per game. While it's come mostly against poor competition (Utah, Sacramento, New York, Detroit, Atlanta), the encouraging thing is he's done it while struggling from 3-point range (27.8 percent).

If the 3-ball starts to fall for Harris, who has jacked up 3.6 attempts over the last five games, he'll become even more of a fantasy force.

Bumps and bruises
Lineup matters

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On Saturday, Luol Deng missed his eighth game this month (fourth consecutive) due to a sore Achilles tendon. The 28-year-old forward said that he and the Bulls are treating this injury more cautiously than they likely would have in the past, when he habitually pushed through injuries.

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Bulls getting healthy 

December, 24, 2013
12/24/13
9:47
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The Chicago Bulls have been ravaged this season with injuries, including the one to Derrick Rose that will sideline him until 2014-15. There is some good news on that front as their starting backcourt should be available for the next game against Brooklyn on Christmas day.

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Could Pierce be on Bobcats' radar? 

December, 21, 2013
12/21/13
1:37
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If you think about the best defenses in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies are four that typically come to mind. Miami and Oklahoma City are two others. But the Charlotte Bobcats? They can usually be found near the bottom of the league. Last season, for example, they finished last, giving up 108.9 points per 100 possessions.

That's all changed this year under first-year head coach Steve Clifford, as the Bobcats currently have the fourth-best defensive efficiency in the league (97.9), trailing only Indiana, San Antonio and OKC. The problem is their offense, which ranks 28th in the league (96.1), and one way they could address their offensive woes is by acquiring a small forward who can put the ball in the hoop.

Their current options are slim. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is injured and out of the lineup, recovering from a broken finger, and his replacement, second-year man Jeff Taylor, went down Friday with what looked to be a serious Achilles' injury.

According to 82games.com, small forward is far and away the team's biggest weakness this season (-4.2 PER), and that figures to be increasingly true as the Bobcats now must rely on Chris Douglas-Roberts and Anthony Tolliver as fill-ins.

One way to fix the problem, and to take a little pressure off of Kidd-Gilchrist once he returns, would be to bring in a proven scorer who could improve the offense and possibly slide MKG to a sixth-man role.

This is only speculation, but Paul Pierce figures to be readily available following today's news that Brook Lopez is out for the season with a broken foot. That's probably Charlotte's best option.

Here are a few others the Bobcats could target:

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Luol Deng not available? 

December, 21, 2013
12/21/13
7:10
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Luol Deng's future with the Chicago Bulls has been part of the rumor mill for a couple months now with his contract set to expire in June and management's preference to not offer him an extension. Some have speculated the Bulls will trade Deng instead of losing him for nothing in July, however at this point they have decided to not put him in the market, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst.

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