It is less than three weeks to go before the NBA's trade deadline and the Cleveland Cavaliers have become the center of trade rumors these past few days. Most analysts believe that the Cavaliers are going to pull off one or two major trades before February 8 as a result of their current struggles.
Cleveland (27-17) has remained third in the East behind the conference-leading Boston Celtics (34-12) and second-place Toronto Raptors (30-13). The team is only a game ahead of the fourth-seeded Miami Heat (26-18) and are closer to the ninth-seeded Detroit Pistons (22-21) than to the Raptors at the moment.
Rumors abound that the Cavs are in for a blockbuster move any moment from now. One of the latest speculations around the league is a potential deal with the Sacramento Kings for disgruntled point guard George Hill, and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose is reportedly going to be the centerpiece of Cleveland's offer.
Amico Hoops' Sam Amico reported that a package including Rose, Channing Frye, and Iman Shumpert could be sent to the Kings in exchange for Hill.
However, there are no indications of Sacramento's interest for Rose, as Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania noted that the Kings are planning to play their "young core" of De'Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, Skal Labissiere, and Willie Cauley-Stein "moving forward."
Aside from being a former MVP, the 29-year-old Rose is also a three-time All-Star, one-time All-NBA First Team member, and the 2009 Rookie of the Year. His struggle with injuries has made him a shell of his former self, though.
Rose has only played his eighth game this season during the Cavaliers' 104-103 win over the Orlando Magic at the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night. He scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds, and had an assist and a block in only 13 minutes of playing time for head coach Tyronn Lue.
For the season, Rose is averaging 13.6 points, 2.6 boards, and 1.6 assists in 25.1 minutes per game, the lowest numbers of his so far nine-year career.
Rose had been linked to "retirement stories" in December after he asked the Cavaliers for an indefinite leave of absence that began on November 24 of last year. During that time, Rose said that he was "re-evaluating his future in the NBA" after being sidelined again by an ankle injury with no timetable of a potential return, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Rose came back to the Cavs in early December and began working out with the club's medical and coaching staff for a possible return on the court. In an interview that month, he told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears that he was still "in love with the game" and was not mulling retirement. He had also dismissed rumors that he was "depressed," saying that he was slowly "improving physically."
Rose finally suited up for the team once again in the Orlando game after missing more than two months of action.