Less than a month into the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers are already being linked to trade rumors around the league. The latest trade buzz in the rumor mill, per usual, should be taken with a massive grain of salt.
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reports that sources around the league believe that Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau is growing impatient with his team’s slow start and may look to trade a young piece to bring in a veteran that can help the team win now. Bucher mentions that Thibodeau’s first look would be for a player that he is familiar with, listing Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng.
There is a lot of information to process with this report, but Deng being mentioned is solely because he fits the criteria of player that Thibodeau would reportedly be looking for. Bucher does not specifically say that there have been any discussions of a deal that would send Deng to Minnesota.
The Timberwolves have gotten off to a slow start, going 4-7 through their first 11 games. But they still boast one of the most promising, young cores in the NBA. Breaking up that core for anyone other than a star-caliber player would be baffling. Trading a member of that core for a rapidly aging Deng and his four-year, $72 million contract? I’m not sure the most trigger-happy general manager would even consider making that deal.
Also of note, Deng cannot be traded until December 15 anyways because he signed a new contract back in July. If Thibodeau really is as impatient as this report suggests, it is hard to imagine him waiting around another month to pry Deng away from Los Angeles reunite with his old small forward.
Of course, this report comes from the same person that stated back in 2007 that Kobe Bryant’s mind was made up and he would never put on a Lakers uniform again. I think we all remember how that turned out.