Doubt remains over whether Deng will re-sign in the summer.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are unlikely to find a suitable trade deal ahead of the deadline as they continue to pursue a first-round pick in return for Luol Deng.
According to Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, it is understood that the Cavs are still holding out for a first-round pick, although no team is willing to discuss a deal due in large part to doubts over whether or not Deng will re-sign in the summer.
Cleveland has still been pursuing a first-round pick for Luol Deng today, but no one will make that deal without a promise he’ll re-sign.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
The 28-year-old moved to Cleveland last month in a deal which took Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks to the Chicago Bulls, although Bynum was immediately waived as part of Chicago’s push to create cap savings.
Despite some early issues, Deng and the Cavs have begun to turn things around and are now pushing for a playoff spot, although given the fact that he is approaching free agency this summer, there are no guarantees that he will re-sign.
That is also proving to be an obstacle for interested parties who are put off by the possibility of signing Deng now only to lose him in the summer if he decides to move on, and it now looks likely that he will remain in Cleveland with less than an hour to go until the deadline passes.
The Cavaliers currently occupy 10th place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 22-33 so far this season after a six-game winning streak has moved them to within three games of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Deng is averaging 14.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as he looks to continue to integrate himself into the team and improve his production.