There are some big names in the 2014 free agency class, but not all of them will actually consider leaving their current teams. Of the guys who are actually available for some team to swoop in and grab, Luol Deng is probably the best one out there. He has had a rocky couple of years in Chicago, and it seems as if he will seriously consider leaving.
There is also the issue of money, which the Bulls are pretty honest about. They don’t go into the luxury tax, and they could potentially send an offer to Deng that would offend him and his agent. So, what do the Bulls think of it? Well, their GM says that he is a priority for them, via ESPN Chicago:
“We value Luol a lot,” Forman said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” Tuesday on ESPN Chicago 1000. “And Luol is a big piece of the success we’ve had the last several years though we haven’t gotten to our ultimate goal. We think Luol is going toto be a big piece, a big part of what we’re doing. I know a lot was said about that we couldn’t come to an extension last summer but if you guys really study the NBA, especially since this new CBA — going into the CBA and since the new CBA has been in effect, it’s very, very rare that extensions get done so the fact that one didn’t get done was not an indicator of where we’re at with Luol at all.”
“Lu is valued here and continues to be a big part of what we’re doing,” Forman said. “Obviously once we get into the offseason we’re going to have to sit down with Luol and have to come to terms on another contract, but Luol is a big piece of what we’re doing, and he has been, and our feeling is he’ll to be.”
The Bulls are saying the right things, but a lot can change between now and July of 2014. If you ask me, I think Deng goes to someone like the Lakers or Cavaliers, but only he and his agent know what’s going on. This could be one of the major storylines as the season winds down. With Rose out, Deng will be the main guy in Chicago, and he can prove his worth this season.