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NBA Trade Rumors: Jan. 30–Feb. 5

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Early whispers turn to low rumbles as the February 23 trade deadline approaches. Movement from Milwaukee and Charlotte already.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Orlando Magic Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

We kick of this week’s NBA trade rumors with another actual trade. On Thursday the Charlotte Hornets traded centers Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Miles Plumlee. Milwaukee signed Plumlee to a 4-year $50 million contract this past offseason, but the sixth-year player has struggled to find a place in their rotation, appearing in only 11 of the team’s last 20 games.

Recently, Keith Smith of Real GM ranked Plumlee’s contract as the third least tradable contract of 2017. Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a statement that Plumlee will bring “additional physicality and rebounding to our frontcourt rotation.”

In acquiring Hawes and Hibbert, the Bucks add more depth to their frontcourt. Gery Woelfel, who covers Milwaukee for the Racine Journal Times, suggested that the move may be a precursor for a Greg Monroe trade:

Trade rumors have surrounded Monroe for a while. The 26-year-old has been playing better as of late. He averaged 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game in January after averaging only 9.8 and 6.6 in 19.9 minutes up to that point.

We reported earlier this week that the Orlando Magic were looking to trade Serge Ibaka. Keith Smith of Real GM reported that the Magic want a wing scorer in return.

Writing for Sporting News, Sean Deveney listed the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets as teams interested in trading for Ibaka, who is averaging 15.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 38.5 percent from three. The Magic gave up Victor Oladipo and rookie Domantas Sabonis to acquire the former Oklahoma City Thunder star. Ibaka is a free agent after this season and is not expected to re-sign with Orlando.

On Tuesday John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports reported that the Phoenix Suns have had discussions with the Sacramento Kings about DeMarcus Cousins:

Gambadoro reports the discussions have centered around involving small forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first-round pick this year and possibly more. The Suns own all of their future picks and also own two future Miami Heat first-round picks from the Goran Dragic deal.

Sacramento has the need for a lead point guard and 2017’s draft class has point guards near the top of many mock drafts, including Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.

Gambadoro said Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker would not be in the deal.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, however, reported that any trade involving Cousins would be unlikely.

Sources close to the Kings said the team continues to receive inbound calls on several roster players, but characterized anything involving Cousins as unlikely. The Kings plan, according to sources, is to offer Cousins a Designated Veteran extension in July that could be worth more than $200 million. There is a growing sense that Cousins would sign it. The narrative around the situation has been that the Kings will wait out that process and decide the future of Cousins after they get an answer on the extension.

Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the New York Knicks continue to look for a way to move on from Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks, sources say, have continued to engage the Cavaliers, LA Clippers and Boston Celtics in trade talks, believing those are all the teams Anthony would find appealing enough to surrender his trade-blocking ability if a deal could be struck.

Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, told reporters that he has not provided the Knicks with a list of places he would be willing to go. Writing for Hoops Hype, Alex Kennedy suggested on Friday that the nine-time All-Star would not waive his no-trade clause during the season since the future of Knicks’ president Phil Jackson is not guaranteed.

The executive I spoke to suggested that Anthony might refuse to waive his no-trade clause and see what happens in the offseason with Jackson. If the Knicks and Jackson decide to part ways, then Anthony gets to stay in New York (which he truly wants to do), a lot of the behind-the-scenes drama goes away and he can see how things go with whoever replaces Jackson. Perhaps the replacement’s long-term vision is different and includes Anthony?

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News also reported that “league sources indicate that Anthony will likely still be on the team once the Feb. 23 trade deadline passes.”

On Thursday Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves had offered Shabazz Muhammad to the Phoenix Suns for forward P.J. Tucker. Muhammad is averaging 9.0 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting. His scoring has picked up recently, as he has scored 15 or more points in six of his last nine games. Several teams have been interested in trading for Tucker. A few weeks ago ESPN’s Stein reported that the Clippers offered a future second-round pick for the 31-year-old defensive specialist.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler wants out of Denver.

According to two people with knowledge of Chandler’s situation, the player who came to Denver as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal six years ago wants to be traded. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

Chandler is reportedly frustrated with inconsistency regarding his role. The 29-year-old, who is averaging 15.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season, hadn’t started a game since January 12 when Amick published his report. He was back in the starting lineup and played 41 minutes in the Nuggets’ win over the Bucks on Friday night.

There have been many rumors surrounding Philadelphia 76ers centers this season. On Thursday Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported that the Bulls have been inquiring about the availability of Jahlil Okafor.

So far, there's more interest on the Bulls’ side than the 76ers’ side, according to sources, but the Bulls are interested in Okafor's services. Because salaries have to match and Okafor is on a rookie-scale deal, one wonders how it can work if the 76ers aren’t enamored with some of the Bulls’ young players who've yet to fully blossom. The Bulls could conceivably open up talks to a third team if need be, considering it isn’t likely they’d want to part with any future first-round picks as they’re still deciding how they are to proceed with franchise direction in the next couple seasons.

Okafor, a Chicago native, is averaging 11.4 points in 23.1 minutes per game this season. He would add some low-post scoring to the Bulls who currently start former Trail Blazer Robin Lopez at center.

There are lots of rumors flying around, and we’ll probably see more player movement between now and the February 23 trade deadline. Check back next week for the latest rumors from around the league.