Mar 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng (9) runs during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland won 90-76. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Luol Deng rumors: Deng needs a strong season to cash in in 2015

The Miami Heat suffered a huge blow when the game’s best player, LeBron James, decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat answered by re-signing guard Dwyane Wade and big man Chris Bosh, then inked Cleveland Cavaliers’ free agent forward Luol Deng to a two-year, $20 million deal.

The Heat know Deng can’t replace James but are hoping he can improve enough after a rough year in Cleveland to keep them near the top of the Eastern Conference. Deng is looking to have a big year because he can opt out of the deal and test free agency again after the season.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explains Deng needs a strong season to cash in in the offseason.

Deng turned down a multi-year extension with the Bulls last season valued at roughly $10 million a season, prompting his trade to the Cavaliers. After a ho-hum showing in Cleveland, Deng got considerable attention as a free agent but did not command that upper tier money his camp expected after several All-Star appearances.

Deng needs to have a strong season in Miami if he hopes to cash in. The structure of his deal with the HEAT allows for him to opt-out in July, something he will likely do if he can out-play his contract.

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. Over the course of his 10-year career, Deng has averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 45.7% from the field, 32.9% from beyond the arc and 77.3% from the free throw line.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Luol Deng Miami Heat NBA Rumors

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