The Chicago Bulls haven’t been as bad as the Los Angeles Lakers are when it comes to dangling a major player and then pulling him back during trade talks, but they’re getting close with Luol Deng. After putting him on the trade block for what seemed like a millisecond, the Bulls denied that they’d be seeking out a trade that would ship Deng off to another team.
But according to New York Daily News Mitch Lawrence, something has changed and the Bulls will indeed be moving Deng before the February 20th deadline. Lawrence cites a source close to the team’s plans who tells him that the Bulls will attempt to find a deal that moves Deng and his expiring contract elsewhere.
This is both surpassing but not that unexpected when you look at the Bulls and their work behind-the-scenes with Deng. Chicago has stated they want to work out an extension with Deng but that must not be happening if they’re as willing to move him as Lawrence suggests. Chicago may also have some other plan in mind that makes Deng expendable, like signing Carmelo Anthony in the offseason.
If Chicago made a run at Anthony, they’d need to amnesty Boozer, gets rid of Deng and move Taj Gibson’s contract. Two of these three things look to be happening, but remember that just because the Bulls want to move Deng, doesn’t mean they’ll find a deal they’re happy with before the deadline.