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NBA AM: Bulls Seriously Considering Trading Deng?
Posted By Lang Greene On June 18, 2012 @ 9:14 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Bulls Contemplating Trading Luol Deng? The Chicago Bulls have finished with the league’s best regular season record the past two years, but are nearing a crossroads when it comes to their financial flexibility, or lack thereof, under the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Bulls currently have $76 million in salary cap commitments on the books for the 2013 season putting them in luxury tax territory. Part of the cap figure, $12.5 million of the amount, contains the non-guaranteed contracts of Kyle Korver ($5 million), Ronnie Brewer ($4.3 million) and C.J. Watson ($3.2 million). In 2014, the team has $63 million already locked in for just six players.
According to the Daily Herald’s Mike McGraw, the team’s current salary projection may force Bulls general manager Gar Foreman to entertain offers for All-Star forward Luol Deng as we approach this month’s draft.
Citing league sources in the report, the Bulls would be interested in obtaining a high draft pick in return for a package that would send Deng out in exchange.
Over the past few weeks, the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors are two teams who have been linked to expressing interest in acquiring veteran players in exchange for their lottery picks in this year’s draft. The Warriors own the No. 7 overall selection, while the Raptors are set to select at No. 8.
Deng averaged 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds this season while missing twelve games due to injury, but the eighth year veteran also shot his lowest percentage (41 percent) from the field since entering the league in 2005.
Deng is expected to compete in the London Olympics for Britain this summer despite suffering from a torn ligament in his wrist. The delay in putting off surgery for the injury could cost Deng an early part of next season. Also worth noting, the Bulls are expected to be without Derrick Rose for most, if not all, of the 2013 season. The decision of Deng to delay the surgery has reportedly been a sour note amongst the Bulls’ front office.
Cole Aldrich, Learning From The Sidelines : As one of the youngest teams in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder find themselves in a very strong position to win a championship this year. The impressive part about Oklahoma City’s current run is their rise has been earned by besting the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs during this postseason – teams who’ve had a stranglehold on Western Conference Supremacy going back to 1999.
Thunder second year center Cole Aldrich has been watching the team develop from the confines of the bench, logging just 20 minutes during this year’s playoffs. But even with the lack of playing time, Aldrich sees the
“You’ve just got to be a professional,” Aldrich told HOOPSWORLD on maintaining his poise despite not playing often. “That’s the biggest thing, to just be ready when or if your name is called and just work hard in practice and shootarounds, be positive on the bench, the little things. If you talk to Brian Cardinal or guys that may not have played extended minutes, no matter how big your role is on the court you’re still a huge role in the team’s success. You’re always in shoot around pushing guys to get better in practice, to do all the little things”.
Also not lost on Aldrich regarding the Thunder’s success is their collective youth. All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are just 23 years old and have been successful going toe-to-toe with future Hall of Famers throughout the playoffs.
“It’s crazy because Kevin’s maybe a month older than I am,” Aldrich said. “I think I’m older than Russ so it’s really fun to watch those guys succeed and to have our team succeed with them.
“Unbelievable, unbelievable,” Aldrich added. “To be, Kevin’s in his fourth year. Russell’s still young. To deal with all the things going on in the Finals, it’s unbelievable to see those guys do it and deal with that success.”
There’s little doubt, win or lose in this year’s finals, that the Thunder will be perennial fixtures near the top of the league’s standings for the foreseeable future with Durant and Westbrook leading the way – barring injury.
“I sure hope so,” Aldrich said. “I sure hope so. We’ve got a good locker room of guys that understand their role. A bunch of guys that really love the game and work hard every day. I think that’s the biggest thing. We don’t take days off. Coaches will say, tomorrow’s your recovery day and just about everybody’s in the gym. Everybody is just hungry to get better and hungry to be together as a team.”
But for now, even though he doesn’t find himself in the nightly rotation, Aldrich is learning about the big stage on the sidelines waiting for his number to ultimately be called.
“It’s different,” Aldrich said. “You learn stuff when you’re playing; you learn stuff when you’re sitting on the bench. We sit on the bench all the time, Royal [Ivey] and I do all the time and we talk and you see something that’s happening and you talk to the guys that are playing and you say ‘Hey you know, Perk, this is what’s happening. You’ve got to there earlier’ or just little things like that you just see the game from a whole different perspective because you’re away from it yet you see everything.”
The Thunder trail the Miami HEAT 2-1 in the finals with game three set for Tuesday night.
Bid To Purchase Memphis Grizzlies, Not In Jeopardy: Last week it was announced technology magnate Robert Pera reached an agreement to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies from Michael Heisley for an estimated $335 million. The only thing standing in the way of the transaction becoming official is the vote of the NBA Board of Governors which will likely be issued sometime this summer.
As part of the board’s confirmation process, Pera’s net worth will be dissected at length to validate he has the necessary financial liquidity to operate the franchise in an efficient manner. Pera was once estimated to be worth more than $1.5 billion by Forbes magazine but the stock price of his company, Ubiquiti Networks, has plummeted nearly $23 per share over the past month, which led to a report by the New York Daily News which insinuated Pera’s deal to purchase the Grizzlies was in serious jeopardy.
However, according to a report by Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal, the deal is not in jeopardy of falling through and an announcement won’t be handed down for at least another six to eight weeks.
The Daily News reported Pera’s net worth dropped to $200 million after last month’s turbulent performance in the stock market, but initial estimates project Pera’s wealth is still in the $800 million neighborhood.
The Memphis Grizzlies have reached the postseason the past two campaigns, winning 59 percent of their regular season contests in the span, after a four season playoff drought. The team has $63 million in salary commitments already on the books for the 2013 season which doesn’t include expected qualifying offers for O.J. Mayo, Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur. Small forward Rudy Gay is a talent drawing interest from numerous teams around the league if the Grizzlies decide to bring in a new collection of talent while limiting long term debt. Gay is owed $53.6 million through 2015.
NBA Chats: There are two NBA Chats scheduled for today starting with HOOPSWORLD’s Bill Ingram at 11am. Bill’s chats do fill up fast so getting in early is always wise. HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Brotherston returns to hold down his weekly chat at 3pm EST. You can always find the next NBA Chat here:http://www.hoopsworld.com/upcoming-chats and if you are looking for Previous Chats try here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/previous-chats
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