Mar 8, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Luol Deng (9) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Luol Deng rumors: No decision until Carmelo Anthony signs


The big fish in free agency are holding the rest of the free agents up.

With New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony being courted by the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat forward LeBron James ready to begin his process of choosing between the Heat or potentially leaving for a new team, several teams are in a holding pattern until those two players make their decision.

The small forward position is perhaps the most loaded of all positions this year with Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng, Washington Wizards’ swingman Trevor Ariza who are unrestricted free agents and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and Chandler Parsons of the Houston Rockets,  who are restricted free agents.

Sam Amick of The USA Today points to Deng as a specific player who won’t sign before Anthony makes a decision.

Still, Deng — who is seeking a salary of about $12 million annually — will have a long list of suitors and likely won’t make a decision until fellow small forward Carmelo Anthony makes his. The New York Knicks All-Star free agent finished his five-team recruiting tour Thursday in Los Angeles and is expected to make a decision in the coming days.

Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line last season while Deng averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 43.1% from the field, 30.2% from three and 79.1% from the charity stripe.  

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Cleveland Cavaliers Luol Deng NBA Free Agency New York Knicks