Central Notes: Deng, Bulls, Pacers

The Cavaliers reportedly had interest in trading for Luol Deng this past summer but were rebuffed by the Bulls, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. As of now, Deveney adds, it doesn’t appear that anything on that front will change anytime soon, and unless Chicago can obtain a 2014 draft pick, there isn’t much sense in moving Deng. Here’s more out of the Central Division tonight, including much more from Deveney:

  • That same piece explores the trade value of Carlos Boozer, who according to one general manager isn’t really being sought after by any team at this point. While the Bulls still have the former Duke product on their books until 2015, Deveney opines that the Knicks might become desperate enough to make a move for him to shore up their struggling front court.
  • Deveney also writes that Joakim Noah still has high value around the league despite his battles with injury over the last few seasons. The Knicks would appear to be another logical landing spot for the 6’11 center, although the Pelicans, Thunder, and Mavericks are expected to be in pursuit should the Bulls place Noah on the trading block.
  • Lastly, with reports that Nikola Mirotic – whose draft rights are still owned by the Bulls – has developed into a star in Spain, Deveney says that if Chicago were to package his rights in a deal including Deng, Noah, or Boozer, they would be looking to get a star player in return. According to one scout, Mirotic is currently the “best player who is not in the NBA right now.” If Mirotic weren’t included in a deal involving any of those three, the Bulls would supposedly settle for cap relief, draft picks, and/or young talent.
  • Sam Smith of Bulls.com opened his mailbag and dissects trade suggestions sent in by his readers.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen thinks the Pacers currently have the requisite pieces in place to make a title run this season. However, considering Indiana’s vow to remain under the tax threshold, the team isn’t likely to maintain the same type of depth after this year, especially with Danny Granger‘s contract set to expire and Lance Stephenson due for a new contract.
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