NBA Trade Rumors: Rudy Gay To Lakers, Ricky Rubio To Kings, Luol Deng To Timberwolves

NBA trade rumors recently exploded when Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau stated to the media that he may be willing to trade one of his core players for a veteran who can help the team right now. Thibodeau also added that he would prefer to acquire one of his former Chicago Bulls players since he wants someone who is already familiar with his system. FanSided explains that Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng would be the Timberwolves' target if a deal is made with the Lakers.

According to Yibada, Los Angeles may have their eye on Rudy Gay, the Sacramento Kings' small forward who has been the subject of numerous trade rumors in recent weeks. The Lakers are interested in unloading Luol Deng and his large contract, but the team would still like to have a veteran small forward to play the bulk of the minutes until the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Brandon Ingram, has developed his game further.

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio is another player who has been mentioned frequently in the rumor mill. The team used the No. 5 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft on point guard Kris Dunn, and rumors have been swirling ever since that the Timberwolves are ready to move on from Rubio and hand the lead guard duties over to Dunn. Kris Dunn has gotten off to a slow start in his rookie year, which seems to have cooled some of the Ricky Rubio trade rumors.

However, Sportsrageous reports that Rubio may have asked the team for a trade, citing the Timberwolves' lack of progress during his tenure in Minnesota. The article reveals that one of the teams Rubio would like to go to is the Sacramento Kings, who are not strong at the point guard position.

Recent NBA trade rumors are buzzing about a possible deal between the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves. The structure of this rumored trade proposal is as follows: the Lakers would receive Rudy Gay, Ricky Rubio would head to the Kings, and the Timberwolves would acquire Luol Deng. Once Deng becomes trade-eligible on December 15, this would be a legal transaction per NBA trade and salary cap constraints, as confirmed by the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.


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The Los Angeles Lakers signed Luol Deng over the summer to man the small forward position until rookie Brandon Ingram is ready to take over. That plan sounds good on the surface, but Deng has not played well during his first season in Los Angeles, and the team is already looking for ways to get out from under the four-year, $72 million deal they gave him this past July. Rudy Gay would be a very good alternative to Deng, and Gay is in the final year of his contract, although he does have a player option for 2017-18. Based on the production Rudy Gay offers, as well as his shorter and less expensive contract, it appears this would be a good deal for the Lakers.

If the Sacramento Kings made this trade, Ricky Rubio would become their starting point guard. The team signed journeyman small forward Matt Barnes during the off-season, presumably as a potential replacement for Rudy Gay if he is dealt. Arron Afflalo can also play small forward, so the team would be able to cover that spot pretty well in the event Rudy Gay is shipped out. Gay has not been a good fit in Sacramento, and rumor has it that the team has coveted Ricky Rubio for quite some time, so this looks like a swap that would be of interest to the Kings.

Now we come to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Many NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a deal where Ricky Rubio is sent out, and one of Tom Thibodeau's former players is brought in, which in this case would be Luol Deng. However, there are reasons to believe that this is not a trade that Minnesota would agree to. Ricky Rubio may be on his way out eventually, but with Kris Dunn struggling to adjust to the NBA game, the Timberwolves are said to be hesitant to unload Rubio until Dunn is farther along as an NBA point guard. In addition, Luol Deng plays the same position as young superstar Andrew Wiggins, so there really isn't a place in the lineup for Deng if he went to Minnesota.

The latest NBA trade rumors are hinting at a potential deal between the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers and Kings would say yes to this rumored proposal, but the Timberwolves would not -- Kris Dunn is simply not ready to be a starter, and Luol Deng would be a poor fit in Minnesota, so Tom Thibodeau's quest for a productive veteran will likely continue.

[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]