Heyman on Cubs' trade bait

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Heyman on Cubs' trade bait

With Bob Nightengale's column at USAToday coming out this morning discussing how the Cubs are reportedly open for business on everybody, potential deals for Theo Epstein and Co. has been a hot topic of debate.

David Kaplan weighed in and actually would be on board with dealing Starlin Castro if the package coming to Chicago was right.

Expanding on that all a bit, CBSSports' Jon Heyman has a list of 45 MLB players that could be on the move at the trade deadline, including seven Cubs.

Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster come in at Nos. 2 and 3 on the list, behind only Zack Greinke of the Brewers. Alfonso Soriano is at No. 15.

All three of those names are fairly obvious. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Dempster, and if the Cubs could figure out what to do with the remainder of Soriano's contract, he may be dealt, too. Given Garza's value, some teams may be desperate, but the Cubs are also reportedly working on inking the righty to an extension.

Beyond that, some interesting names make the list -- Paul Maholm, David DeJesus, Reed Johnson and Carlos Marmol.

Marmol would figure to be gone if he could raise his value and Heyman brings up valid points on Maholm and DeJesus, two veterans that have performed well and could be minor moves that help a contender. Johnson isn't a starter at this point in his career, but he's a valuable bench player and one of the top fourth outfielders in the game.

One name that is not on this list is Geovany Soto, which is a little surprising. Given that the Cubs already have Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, Soto doesn't have as high of value with the Cubs as he would have with another team -- such as the Rays or Nationals -- that is searching for some veteran help behind the dish.

This is just one national writer's take on what could happen in the next two months, before the MLB trading deadline. For all we know, none of these guys could be dealt, or all seven and then some could find their way out of Chicago. It's impossible to predict, but Heyman's right, these guys do have some value.

NBA Trade Deadline: Bulls deal Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to Thunder

NBA Trade Deadline: Bulls deal Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to Thunder

The Bulls turned into sellers ahead of the NBA's trade deadline.

According to CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill, the Bulls have traded Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne. The Vertical first reported the trade.

Both Gibson and McDermott had been on the trading block, as Goodwill reported last week.

Payne, 22, was drafted by the Thunder in the first round (14th overall) in the 2015 NBA Draft. In 20 games this season, Payne is averaging 5.3 points, 2.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Lauvergne, 25, was acquired by the Thunder from the Denver Nuggets prior to the 2016-17 season. In three seasons, Lauvergne is averaging 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

The 31-year-old Morrow is averaging 5.8 points in 40 games this season.

Bulls GM Gar Forman and VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson will meet the media following today's 2 p.m. deadline.

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

The last time the Blackhawks faced the Arizona Coyotes was the first game the current top line of Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik were thrown together.

Yeah, the combination's worked out well. So has the Blackhawks' game in general, as they've won seven of eight including that Feb. 2 game. Now the Blackhawks will try to keep the momentum rolling with their lines and their game when they host the Coyotes Thursday night at the United Center.

The Blackhawks' current run of success started in the desert and part of that has been finding more consistent lines. Everything else has gradually improved off of that, from goal scoring to puck possession.

"I think it's puck possession, puck control, pace to the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we were very inconsistent in that early and we were defending way more than we were accustomed to. You're vulnerable for penalties, you're vulnerable for quality scoring chances against and not generating enough. I think that's the progression in our game now, it seems like all four lines are having the puck and having some zone time and having some rush chances, zone chances and it seems like every line's contributing there, and that's the big difference."

[RELATED: By the bye - Blackhawks keep rolling following break]

The Blackhawks' top line didn't have immediate chemistry but Quenneville kept them together and let them work on it. But as Toews said, it was about the group keeping the all-around game going, points or no points.

"Sometimes you just gotta work until things start clicking," Toews said. "Everyone seems to start paying attention when you start scoring goals, regardless of [the fact you're] doing things right. It's nice that we're scoring but we have to stick with what's making us a successful line at both ends of the rink right now."

Corey Crawford will start vs. the Coyotes. Niklas Hjalmarsson did not skate this morning but is expected to play. Quenneville said Michal Rozsival could draw into the lineup.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Rozsival-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries 

None

Coyotes lines (via Arizona Republic)

Tobias Rieder-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata
Brendan Perlini-Christian Dvorak-Shane Doan
Max Domi -Alex Burmistrov-Ryan White
Jamie McGinn-Jordan Martinook-Josh Jooris

Defensive pairs

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn
Alex Goligoski-Anthony DeAngelo
Jakob Chychrun-Connor Murphy

Goaltender

Mike Smith

Injuries

Lawson Crouse (lower body), Brad Richardson (tibia)