When the Chicago Bulls traded All-Star forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, it was said shortly after that the team tried to re-sign Deng before shipping him out of town. This isn’t untrue, as the team offered Deng a three-year, $30 million contract which was rejected.
But Deng’s agent Herb Rudoy told the Chicago Sun-Times that the contract which was offered was one the Bulls knew Deng would say no to. Rudoy doesn’t imply anger at this tactic, but does state he believes the Bulls had an agenda before trading Deng to Cleveland and had no intention of re-signing his client.
“I think the purpose of it was for us to say no,” Rudoy said of the offer. “They probably had some deal in the process already. That was the purpose — to make an offer that we absolutely would turn down without question, and then get into their trade process. Again, that’s fine.”
All sides won in the deal as Deng got to move to Cleveland, compete on a talented team and stay as far away as possible from the Bulls doctors who nearly killed him. Chicago received three draft picks, including a first-round pick and sliced $20 million from their books.
There’s a chance Deng will go back to Chicago in the offseason, just don’t mention that notion to Rudoy.