Apr 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) drives during the first quarter of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Luol Deng's Name Surfacing In Pre-Draft Trade Rumors

With the NBA Draft this Thursday, this figures to be an interesting week to say the least for the NBA.

Generally, this is the week that most teams lay the foundation for their off-season blueprint by mapping out trade opportunities and targeting prospective free agents.

The NBA has already seen one significant trade. That was the trade that sent head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future first round draft pick.

There figures to be plenty more trades between NBA teams in the days leading up to and during the draft.

The Chicago Bulls could be one of the teams making a trade.

Rumors are surfacing that the Bulls could potentially trade small forward Luol Deng prior to or during the draft.

NBA insider Ric Bucher posted the following tweet on Sunday night:

Bucher lists Deng as one of three NBA veterans that could be traded by Thursday. Bucher expands upon his information by suggesting that the Cavaliers have an interest in Deng but remain hesitant to part ways with the first overall selection in the NBA Draft.

The fact that Deng and first overall selection were just mentioned in the same sentence is somewhat baffling.

Deng is a respectable NBA veteran, however his valued worth is nowhere near the value of the first overall selection. Though, the value of a top ten draft pick may not be out of the question.

Nonetheless, trading Deng is something that makes sense for the Bulls. The benefits to the Bulls are twofold. The first benefit is that it provides Jimmy Butler with a secured spot in the starting lineup. Butler is expected to be a starter next season and trade of Deng would mean that the former Marquette forward can remain in his true position with the Bulls.

The second benefit would be that trading Deng would create significant wiggle room for the Bulls financially. That is reason enough for the Bulls to consider trading Deng as the additional financial flexibility would allow the team to make needed improvements during the free agency period.

Expect Deng’s name to be mentioned in trade rumors with the draft quickly approaching later this week.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Jimmy Butler Luol Deng

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