By Nick Shepkowski-
(CBS) A big to-do was made about an internet rumor Sunday night that had the Bulls sending Carlos Boozer and potentially C.J. Watson to the Lakers in exchange for Pau Gasol. Even though the latest rumors were shot down by the team and seem by most to have no traction, dealing with constant trade talks grows old in the Bulls locker room.
“It’s tough,” Joakim Noah said after the Bulls 90-79 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday afternoon, a game that saw him finish with a game-high 17 rebounds.
“To be a player that, you play your heart and soul out for an organization but at the same time you know that at any moment you can be traded,” Noah added.
Noah has also been said to be a key part of any trade that would result in the Bulls acquiring Magic center Dwight Howard.
Despite the most recent report being picked up by Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com on Sunday night, Luol Deng denied hearing about the rumor until it was brought up after Monday’s game.
When asked about how constant trade talks affect him as a player and the mood in the locker room, it was obvious Deng is no stranger to hearing the rumors.
“No we didn’t talk about it but I’m sure soon I’ll be in a trade and it will all go away,” Deng said sarcastically. “Someone has always got to write about something.”
Deng went on to downplay discussions players have with each other about potential trades.
“None of us in this locker room are like that, we leave that job for the guys upstairs.”
Deng added that he has no desire to be dealt, but that no player really ever does while Joakim Noah noted that dealing with trade rumors with his name attached is simply part of the norm for an NBA player.
“I think a lot of players deal with that and that it’s part of the process,” Noah said.
As for adding another piece before being a true championship contender, Luol Deng doesn’t believe that to be true whatsoever.
“We believe that we’re good enough and we can win with everyone here,” Deng said. “Things always come up but at the end of the day whoever is in this locker room is who we’ll go out there and play with.”
In addition to covering the Bulls for 670TheScore.com, Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer on The McNeil and Spiegel Show, weekdays 9am-1pm on 670 The Score. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @Shep670.