Bulls Looking, But Not Close to Deng Deal
When asked yesterday about reports that the Chicago Bulls offered Luol Deng to the Washington Wizards in exchange for the No. 3 pick and Emeka Okafor’s ending deal – both sides of the deal found it almost laughable. Both sides admitted there were talks regarding the No. 3 overall pick, something Chicago does every year, both sides deny that there were ever any serious discussions about players being moved. The Wizards would love to add a veteran small forward that ensures a playoff run, and Deng surely looks the part of that, but both sides say the talks went nowhere and that nothing was really pending on this front.
The irony of the rumor is that two entirely unrelated league sources mentioned trading Deng as “inevitable” for the Bulls at some point this season and that if the right players were available to Chicago, they might fast track that decision.
The Bulls’ stance on Deng has been that he is entering his final contract year, which lines up with Chicago’s plans to be a serious salary cap player in 2014. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau often refers to Deng as his favorite player and the Bulls have told third-year swingman Jimmy Butler that he’ll likely start at the two-guard spot next season. The math says Deng likely plays out his deal in Chicago. However, it seems clear that the Bulls are listening to options.