NBA Rumors: 2 Central Division Players Who Could Be Traded Before The Deadline

The NBA Trade Deadline is less than a month away and there is lots of chatter surrounding practically every team in the NBA.  At this point in the season, most teams know (or at least think that they know) if they are going to be contenders this season and should look to add to their core, or if they have no legitimate chance at a title and should offload some expiring contracts for future assets.  Here are 2 players from the Central Division who have had their names brought up when discussing potential trades:

For Atlantic Division click here.

Coby White - Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the NBA and expect to be playing meaningful basketball well past the trade deadline.  The Bulls starting lineup has a number of ways it can hurt you offensively, with the resurgence of Demar Derozan starting at power forward, All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Zach Lavine, and former 2nd overall Lonzo Ball having his best all-around season to date.  However, former Celtic Javonte Green has started 18 of the 29 games he's been available, so the Bulls could use an upgrade there if they're going to be contending for a title.  Their bench also lacks depth, specifically in the frontcourt, so the Bulls will be active ahead of the deadline looking to bring back multiple players for a package that will likely include backup point guard Coby White.  Jake Fischer reported that Coby White is likely available, and given the lack of assets the Bulls have outside of their starters and Alex Caruso - whom they will not be trading - the Bulls don't have much of a choice if they hope to bring back some impactful players in a potential move.  Chicago also might be tempted to make a move sooner than later, given their recent 3-game losing streak.

Ricky Rubio - Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers could make lemons out of lemonade if teams around the league see value in trading for point guard Ricky Rubio's expiring contract despite his season-ending injury, and according to Bleacher Report's Tim Daniels, that's exactly what the Cavaliers are trying to do:
The 31-year-old Spaniard is in the final season of his three-year, $51 million contract, which includes a $17.8 million base salary for 2021-22. That gives him some value on the trade market despite his unavailability for the remainder of the campaign.
It's been said that the Cavs are looking to package Rubio with a protected first-round pick in exchange for some backcourt help, as both Rubio and Collin Sexton are out for the remainder of the season but the Cavs currently occupy the 6th seed in the East, putting the team in a cautious buyers position.  It will be interesting to see what protections the Cavs are or are not willing to place on the pick and for who.  The Rockets Eric Gordon is rumored to be one of the players that Cleveland management will be targeting, and Houston may be able to get an unprotected first-round pick elsewhere if the Cavs are insisting on placing protections on the pick.

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