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Trade Deadline: DEFCON Central Division

A quick look at the league, division by division, at where all the teams in the NBA are as the trade deadline hits zero hour. DEFCON indicates how close they are to a major move, with 5 means standing pat and 1 means already have a deal in place. Here’s the Central Division.

Cleveland Cavaliers:
Why They’ll Make A Move: Because if they don’t prove to LeBron they can win a title this year, he may walk leaving their franchise is in complete ruins and collectively sending the state of Ohio into a depression that would make “Atonement” into Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Why They Won’t: They have the best team in the league, the best player in the league, and they’re going to need space to re-sign that player.

Verdict: Currently talking to Phoenix, Washington, Golden State, and potentially the People’s United Republic of Uzbekistan.*

DEFCON: 1

*not a real country, much like the Warriors are not a real franchise

More after the jump.

Chicago Bulls:
Why They’ll Make A Move: They have to either create enough room to sign two free agents or bring in an impact player that will help convince one of the top free agents to come in. Also, Kirk Hinrich’s contract is like a red hot gigantic chain around their necks, and the relationship of their coaching staff to Tyrus Thomas is the polar opposite to that of the fans to Tyrus Thomas.

Why They Won’t: Because they’re only willing to pull the trigger if the deal is right, and this is the team that signed Ben Wallace, let Ben Gordon go, and gave Luol Deng a huge extension.

Verdict: Behind the Knicks for the McGrady deal and unable to find suitors for Hinrich, but Thomas is readily available and wanted.

DEFCON: 3

Milwaukee Bucks:
Why They’ll Make A Move: Because they can. They have good young players at reasonable salaries and enough cap room to absorb someone.

Why They Won’t: They don’t have THAT much room under the cap, none of their big contracts are movable (Bogut too valuable, Redd hurt), and the market just isn’t there.

Verdict: All’s quiet on the northern front.

DEFCON: 5

Detroit Pistons:
Why They’ll Make A Move: They’re a terrible team with veteran players that can still contribute with sizable contracts that are closer to the end than the beginning of their term.

Why They Won’t: Because Hamilton and Prince are no longer drumming up interest, no one sees them as final pieces, and because their cap situation puts them into pretty tight conditions.

Verdict: Haven’t heard a thing out of them, though Ben Wallace is rumored to be out there.

DEFCON: 4

Indiana Pacers:
Why They’ll Make A Move: Everyone likes Troy Murphy as a Plan C in the Amar’e-Jamison sweepstakes. And due to the fact that their team is quite possibly the worst in the league if you factor in talent, playmakers, and upside. Getting worse would take an achievement in FAIL the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Chicago Fire.

Why They Won’t: Larry Bird has written off this season just like he wrote off last season, and outside of Murphy, their players are untouchable, in the bad way.

Verdict: Murphy could end up being the midnight hour target if the Suns decide they haven’t gotten an offer good enough to move Stoudemire.

DEFCON: 3