As far as second-tier free agents are concerned, Luol Deng was near the top of many teams’ lists this off-season. Interestingly enough, he is leaving behind the situation in Cleveland that looked far different than it does now with LeBron James returning home. He was even rumored to be a possibility to join James down in Miami, but with that option off the table, Deng will land elsewhere.
Deng, coming off a season in which he averaged 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, stands to be a solid option for a team that has the right fit for him. A solid player for many years on Chicago Bulls’ playoff teams, Deng can provide a nice boost, even if somewhat understated, to a number of teams.
The team that might be emerging as the favorite for Deng in the aftermath of the James move to Cleveland is the Phoenix Suns. According to Ken Berger of CBS:
League sources also say stars now align in post-decision world for Luol Deng to land in Phoenix. Several teams still in mix.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2014
The Suns have quietly been an intriguing team this off-season coming off a nice 2013-2014 season. If they had different ownership and maybe a different location, they could have had the flexibility to make a crazy move like adding James and Carmelo Anthony. Obviously they were not able to persuade all of the interested parties to pull that off, but it shows the wide range of options they have now to build a contending roster. Deng might be the first piece in that process.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout the remainder of the NBA Free Agency period for the latest news, rumors and signings from around the league.