NBA Trade Rumours: Randle a possible Raptors trade target?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

The NBA’s Feb. 18 trade deadline is a month away and the hot stove is beginning to warm up. Here’s some of the latest buzz.

Randle on Raptors’ radar?

The Skinny: ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle wrote about the possibility of a Toronto RaptorsLos Angeles Lakers deal involving DeMar DeRozan and Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Lou Williams.

Analysis: The spectre of DeRozan’s impending free agency is bound to lead you down the path of potential trade partners for the Raptors guard, so take this with a pinch of salt.

The piece is speculative so there isn’t that much to go on other than the fact that DeRozan is a Los Angeles native, the Lakers are interested in him and would be able to sign him to a max deal should they trade for him. However, those are all things the Raptors could do should they decide to keep him at the deadline.

With that said, the haul Doolittle is proposing isn’t outlandish as Randle is the young, athletic power forward that most teams covet, Clarkson is an exceptionally-talented scoring point guard and Williams ... well, Raptors fans are very familiar with what Williams brings to the table.

It’s a fun deal to consider, but it doesn’t seem all that likely.

Bulls looking to deal a big?

The Skinny: According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, the Chicago Bulls are looking to trade one of Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah, with Noah being the player the Bulls most wanted to trade, before his injury, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Analysis: With the emergence of Nikola Mirotic last season and the promise that rookie power forward Bobby Portis is showing this season, it’s no surprise that the Bulls are looking to deal one of their five quality bigs.

There's been speculation that Noah and Chicago head coach Fred Hoiberg don't get along too well, leading to the former defensive player of the year getting benched. However, the injury to Noah would make it very difficult for the Bulls to trade him, even if he was the No. 1 candidate to be dealt as Stein reported.

Chicago is deep up front and could still be a player in the trade market, as any one of their big men could make for strong trade bait and offer a solid return.

Lakers looking to deal Hibbert to a contender?

The Skinny: The Lakers are actively trying to find a trade partner with which to send centre Roy Hibbert to a playoff team, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is reporting.

Analysis: This sounds like a win-win for the Lakers as they try to offload a player who wasn’t going to figure heavily into their re-build and do a good guy right by getting him onto a team that will give him a shot at winning. According to the report, the Lakers could make the deal look more attractive by eating some of that kicker money.

Here’s hoping it works out for both sides.

Wojnarowski buzz

The Skinny: In his latest column, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports mentioned three big names that have popped up in trade discussions: Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay, the disgruntled Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers centre Timofey Mozgov.

Rudy Gay: The specific deal Wojnarowski talks about here is one involving Gay heading to the New Orleans Pelicans for a package involving Eric Gordon and Alonzo Gee. According to the report, the Kings don’t want those two, which is not so hard to believe. Still, the main takeaway from this is that Gay is being shopped again and, Sacramento likely isn't going to get appropriate value for him should it pull off a deal.

Markieff Morris: The Morris saga has been one of the more interesting storylines this season and, as the report says, the Suns are working on “multi-team trades” to send him packing, with the Cavaliers in the mix as a possible third team to act as a “facilitator.” Regardless what the exact specifics of the deal are, Morris needs to leave the desert ... the sooner the better.

Timofey Mozgov: Looking nothing like the player he was in the half season he spent with the Cavaliers last year, Mozgov has seen his role within David Blatt’s rotation reduced mostly due to on-court struggles that have appeared to stem from confidence issues. Wojnarowski reports that Cleveland is making calls on what the market would be like for Mozgov and there could be something there in the surprisingly-poor Western Conference. It’s hard to think that such an integral piece to the Cavaliers’ road to the NBA Finals last season could already be traded, but that appears to be very plausible right now.