The Cleveland Cavaliers are still in talks with several teams for a potential mid-season acquisition. Unsurprisingly, one player being floated as a possible trade chip for the Cavs is All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas.

The pint-sized Thomas was one of three players (Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic are the others) the Cavs acquired in a blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in the offseason. Expectations were high for Thomas to produce right away once he got cleared from a hip injury, but things turned counterproductive instead for the Cavs, who sported an 8-14 record since he was inserted in the lineup.

Thomas is not safe from trades

Brian Windhorst of ESPN believed the best place for Thomas right now is in the NBA’s developmental league, playing for the Cavs’ G-League affiliate, the Canton Chargers. He cited the Cavs’ defensive struggle while he’s on the floor. The team gave up more than 120 points five times in January.

Although the Cavs never expected much from 5-foot-11 Thomas defensively, the drop-off in his point production (28.9 PPG during the 2016-17 NBA season to 15.4 PPG this year) and a historically poor defensive rating (117.5) are causing panic within the franchise.

The Cavs had a deal in place for George Hill last week, but negotiations fell apart because the veteran guard wanted them to exercise the team option on the second year of his deal. Cleveland will continue to explore that route in an effort to bring stability in the backcourt.

As for Thomas, the Cavs could use him in a trade package for a bigger deal.

Cleveland has been zeroing in on Los Angeles Clippers stars DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams for the past few weeks. Many insiders are reporting that the Cavs front office is very much determined to get those two game-changers on board before the trade deadline. Some even believed that Thomas, despite his blooming relationship with team owner Dan Gilbert, isn’t safe from being traded.

While he’s not playing at an All-NBA level right now, Thomas’ expiring contract ($6.3MM) is an attractive asset for any team looking for help on a rental.

More out of Central Division newswire

The Chicago Bulls are expected to be active in the days leading up to Feb.8 trade deadline despite already shipping stretch forward Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. The Bulls, who received a package consists of Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen and a first-round pick, would explore deals designed to shed salaries or acquire more future assets. Chicago is reportedly willing to dangle any player on their roster, except Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, and Zach Lavine.

The Milwaukee Bucks are another playoff contender eager to add more talent before they begin their playoff push.

According to veteran NBA insider Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, the up-and-coming Central Div. powerhouse reached out to the Charlotte Hornets, inquiring about the availability of rookie guard Malik Monk. The 19-year-old Monk is one of several lottery selections from the recent draft class whose games are undergoing a rough transition in the NBA. It should be noted that the Bucks have already exceeded the salary cap; however, they can use the $5 million trade exemption that was created when they shipped Roy Hibbert to Denver last season. Monk, the No.11 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, averages 5.1 points per game while shooting 33.7 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from beyond the three-point line after a prolific college basketball career in Kentucky. He’s also having a hard time covering his man on the defensive end largely because he’s a bit undersized (6-foot-3) by NBA standards for a shooting guard.