Talk of post-season moves in the NBA is hotting up, here are three of the biggest stories from the last 24 hours.
Luol Deng to leave Chicago Bulls?
Before the play-offs all was rosy in Chicago, finishing ahead of Miami Heat to win the top seeding in the Eastern conference. The way they fell apart and were eliminated after Derrick Rose's injury has caused many to realise the team is well short of where they need to be. Luol Deng was one of their top early season performers, making his way into the All Star game, and inspired a win in their season opener against the Lakers, but suffered himself with injuries to his wrist forcing him to sit out matches. There is real speculation that the Bulls are considering trading the Brit to secure a high draft pick. The Daily Herald claim financial issues at Chicago relating to Deng's salary make him a candidate to be traded, and the Golden State Warriors - who have the seventh pick in the draft, have been discussed as a potential destination. (link)
Kevin Garnett to quit Celtics?
The Celtics surprised everybody by taking Miami Heat to a game seven in the Eastern conference finals, but as soon as they lost talk began to turn to whether coach Doc Rivers would be able to keep the talented team together. The 36-year-old is even considering retirement and has asked for more time to consider his future. What Boston do with their other key men like Ray Allen will depend partly on Garnett's decision, because if he did quit it would free up a $21 million yearly salary. Garnett has said he doesn't want to affect the Celtics plans negatively and will make his choice sooner rather than later. (link)
Gasol to stay with LA Lakers?
The Lakers will not lose Kobe Bryant, but debate raged all season over which of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol was worth retaining. Gasol was almost traded for Chris Paul back in December, and enjoyed a mixed season, performing well at times but criticised during the play-offs, particularly in the Lakers series with Denver. Lakers legend Magic Johnson is one who has demanded changes are made, and trading Gasol, seven years older than Bynum, is seen as the most logical option despite his upside. Yet Sports Illustrated are reporting that LA are intent on keeping their big three intact. Their source is Jim Buss, son of team owner Jerry Buss and Lakers vice president who stated in an interview the chances of all three playing together are 'very good', adding he was 'pretty satisfied' with the state of the roster overall. (link)