The Atlanta Hawks were one o the first teams to be rumored as being interested in free agent swingman Luol Deng but they weren’t the team who walked away with him when it was all said and done.
Instead, the Miami Heat inked Deng to a fat, short-term contract with an option that allows for Miami to gain as much cap space as possible in 2016 to sign free agents. Despite that provision, the deal was still too rich for the Hawks’ blood and they couldn’t offer anything close to the Heat deal and still feel good about themselves.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks had interest in Deng but weren’t willing to come near the $10 million per season salary that he eventually got from the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon when the two sides struck a deal in South Beach.
Luol Deng, who was at the top of the Hawks’ free-agent wish list, agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Heat on Sunday.
The Hawks had talked to Deng and his representatives but it became clear over the past few days that the two sides were too far apart financially. The Hawks did not wish to pay $10 million or more annually for a player not deemed a franchise-changer.
Deng would have been a great fit for the Hawks but he fits better with Miami and they’re paying him more too — which always helps play the deciding factor in a contract decision.
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