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Rumors Roundup: Pelicans Asking for a First, Bjelica Trade Looms

A look at the rumors that are circulating as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches.

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New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The NBA Trade Deadline is upon us and several rumors are swirling. Here is a look at a handful of the latest whispers from around the league as tomorrow’s deadline inches closer.

According to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, the Raptors are positioned to join a short list of sellers. It appears that Toronto is prepared to part ways with Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell.

It looks like they’re going to trade away Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell, and those moves, coupled with the poor, trying season the franchise has endured in Tampa, will signal the start of some sort of rebuild. Why do I feel for them now? Because the Raptors could’ve done this at the start of last season. When they won the 2019 title, and celebrated their asses off (as is customary), they also lost Kawhi Leonard. HE was the primary driver of their championship, and when you lose a cornerstone like that, there can be a temptation to rebuild. In Toronto’s case, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka were on expiring contracts.

You know what that means? Time for Tobias Fünke:

In the Western Conference, NBC Sports Chicago contributor K.C. Johnson explained that the Pelicans are asking for a first-round pick in discussions regarding guard Lonzo Ball. Johnson went on to explain that an asking price of that magnitude could curb the Bulls’ interest.

As of Tuesday night, based on conversations I had with various league types, the Pelicans were asking for at least a first-round pick in any Ball deal. This new regime doesn’t appear to me to be the type to be sacrificing first-round draft capital, particularly on the front end of a large project to rework the roster. But I’ve been wrong before.

The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson explained that the Kings are poised to trade Nemanja Bjelica prior to the deadline.

The most likely player to be traded is Bjelica. The 32-year-old power forward enjoyed career years as a starter the past two seasons, but he hasn’t been happy since his role was reduced as part of the organization’s plan to prioritize Bagley’s development. A league source recently told The Sacramento Bee the timing of a Bjelica trade was “trending toward deadline day,” but a deal was still expected.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, a trade market is developing for Cavaliers center JaVale McGee.

Several contending teams are beginning to compete for Cleveland Cavaliers center JaVale McGee, and there’s a strong sense about a deal before Thursday’s deadline, sources said.

SNY’s Ian Begley revealed that the Knicks organization is not all-in on pursuing Cavs big man Andre Drummond.

There is at least one prominent voice among the Knicks who is in favor of acquiring Drummond. But, per SNY sources, a majority of organization doesn’t see Drummond as a fit.

We will continue to update this post/thread as the deadline approaches.