• Paul George

Paul George (Photo : Getty Images)

The NBA trade rumors are ripe for the picking. Three players at varying stages of their career and in terms of importance are facing the crossroads. Just how strong is the possibility of Reggie Jackson, Jahlil Okafor and Paul George getting traded?

Among the three, Jahlil Okafor is probably the most likely to move. The Philadelphia 76ers have all the intentions to move him and now that he's finally getting some attention at the deadline, the Sixers have no reason to refuse.

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The most recent buzz still has Okafor linked to the Chicago Bulls with the only caveat is the Bulls' insistence to include Nikola Mirotic in the package. There has already been mutual interest between both sides. All it takes is one of the sides to cave in.

There were reports that the Indiana Pacers were interested in Okafor as confirmed by ESPN. The Sixers could use that as leverage for the Bulls to finally trigger the deal on their terms.

The Detroit Pistons have gone from "testing the market" on Reggie Jackson and now they are actually ready to deal. But the asking price reported is a "pick, prospect and expiring contracts."

Someone was traded for that package recently. A guy named DeMarcus Cousins. Jackson's trade value is at its low point and the possibility of Stan Van Gundy getting what he wants is slim. SB Nation illustrated SVG's position.

"The Pistons have a much stronger chance of pulling a great package for Andre Drummond or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. If the return is what really matters, Jackson is likely to stay in Detroit. But if Van Gundy just wants to move on from Jackson and lowers the price, there are teams that could rationalize bringing Reggie in."

The trade for Reggie Jackson may not happen at the deadline and there's no reason for SVG to hurry. He can always deal in the offseason if he wants to.

Paul George being traded is a long shot to begin with. What could convince Larry Bird to make a quick turnaround? A "Godfather offer" perhaps. This is not Vlade Divac we're talking about.

The biggest buzz about George centers on the Lakers who are, again, being pegged as the top candidate to reel in one of their hometown kids who have emerged to become superstars (DeMar DeRozan anyone?)

But no less than Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical mentioned this:

"Teams trading for George run the risk of losing the four-time All-Star to a Lakers franchise that will have the salary-cap space to sign him in 2018. The Lakers' hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations will be an interesting twist to George's free-agent recruitment, given that Johnson has been something of a George family icon going back to George's childhood in nearby Palmdale, Calif."

So the point of trading George is the idea that he can bolt in free agency at the summer of 2018. Larry Bird is not easily scared and he still has a full year. If the scare is real, the earliest could probably be in the offseason. At the deadline, Bird will still exhaust all options to be a buyer.