Heading into Thursday's NBA Draft, a number of stars are on the trading block.
The Bulls Luol Deng is one of the biggest names that is being shopped this season. Deng has been one of Chicago's best players over the past couple of years, averaging 16 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists since the 2004-2005 season. But even he understands why Chicago is thinking about dealing him.
If I was a GM I would be shopping players around, too. I've got to show that I'm doing something, said Deng about the possibility of being moved. I believe there is always to some extent truth behind rumors. But as an athlete, if you get caught up in them, you are really wasting your time because it's not something you can control.
This isn't the first time Deng's name has been mentioned in trade rumors. A few years ago, he was nearly sent to the Lakers in a deal for Kobe Bryant.
Now, it seems that Deng is close to being traded once again. Where will the Bulls star end up?
Here are the most likely trade destinations for Luol Deng:
Chicago would be more than willing to part ways with Deng in exchange for Dwight Howard. Before this season's trade deadline, the Bulls were reportedly set to send Deng, along with Omer Asik, Carlos Boozer and a draft pick, to the Magic for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu.
The biggest obstacle in such a deal seems to be Howard. The center is hesitant to commit long-term to the Bulls. Howard reportedly doesn't want to play in Chicago, fearing he will be Derrick Rose's sidekick.
The All-Star has just one year left on his deal, and the Bulls would be unwilling to trade for him if he won't sign a contract extension. Howard would like to be traded to the Nets, but Brooklyn has yet to offer a package that Orlando is willing to accept.
Howard seems to change his mind daily about where he would like to play, so it's possible that he could have a change of heart and accept a trade to the Windy City. If D12 signs off on a move to the Bulls, there's a good chance Deng will be playing for the Magic next season.
Golden State Warriors
Over the weekend, the Warriors looked like the most likely destination for Deng. The Bulls reportedly are willing to trade Deng for a lottery pick, and the Warriors can offer the Bulls the seventh overall selection.
Golden State has shown interest in the small forward. Warriors East Coast Scout Speedy Claxton watched Deng train with the British national team in Houston this past week. Deng is known as one of the better defensive players in the NBA, and Golden State is determined to get better on that side of the ball.
However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Bulls have told Deng that he won't be going to the Warriors. That could change of course, with the draft still three days away.
Los Angeles Lakers
If Deng is actually moved to Los Angeles this time, it won't be for Kobe Bryant. A swap featuring Pau Gasol and Deng is certainly possible within the next few days.
The Lakers could move either Gasol or Andrew Bynum before the start of next season. L.A. wouldn't give up Bynum for Deng, but they'd likely think about moving Gasol for him. The Lakers have had interest in acquiring a defensive minded small forward like Deng or Andre Iguodala.
The Bulls would rather part with Carlos Boozer in exchange for Gasol, but the Lakers won't make such a deal. Chicago might prefer to get a draft pick or a young player for Deng, but Gasol might end up being the best they can get for the small forward.