The Miami Heat have lost LeBron James; however this team is still trying to form some variation of a Big Three.
The Heat have already re-signed Chris Bosh, are working on a deal to bring back Dwyane Wade and it’s now being reported by CBS’ Ken Berger that Miami is considered the top option for Luol Deng.
Deng is no LeBron, and Miami won’t be competing for titles with him, Wade and Bosh as the team’s core. But in a horrible Eastern Conference, those three are good enough to make the Heat a lock for the playoffs and capable of winning a round or two once there.
Heat president Pat Riley reportedly met with Deng last week and the small forward made it clear he would not take a discount to play in South Beach.
Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that Deng will not take a salary significantly below his market value, believed to be above $10 million annually, merely to sign with the Heat.
With LeBron out of the picture, Deng won’t be asked to take a pay cut or to even have a diminished role. The small forward will be called upon to be a key contributor on this team, something that likely appeals to him.
Deng is fresh off a solid season with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 16.0 points (43.1 percent shooting from the floor), 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
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