Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng was dealt from the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, marking the first time in his 10-year career he played for a team other than the Bulls. Now, as an unrestricted free agent, Deng will likely be joining his third different team in the last few months.
Deng is expected to drew plenty of interest and by all indicated he already has – the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat are all reportedly in pursuit of Deng – but he likely won’t sign until after New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony comes to a decision.
Sam Amick of The USA Today doesn’t see the Heat as a real player for Deng because of the money.
A sign-and-trade for Deng that would send him to the Los Angeles Clippers also has been discussed, although it appears the Clippers’ steep asking price on a possible return is likely too high. The Miami Heat also have serious interest, but if LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ultimately re-sign, it remains to be seen if they will be willing to pay what it might take to add Deng. He could be a possibility if James signs elsewhere as well.
Deng is an excellent defender and a capable shooter. It looks like the Hawks may currently be the front runner to sign him.
Deng, 29, 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 last season.