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Warriors’ latest small forward star target: Luol Deng

Jun 23, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls' Deng goes to the basket against the Miami Heat during second half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago Reuters

Andre Iguodala. Danny Granger. Rudy Gay. The Warriors have been chasing a small forward for weeks trying to get a hold on an All-Star upgrade at that position. You can recognize what they’re going for. Stephen Curry runs the show. The star small forward anchors the perimeter defense, Andrew Bogut handles the defensive load down low. Makes sense, and it’s a popular approach. So naturally the next name on their list is Luol Deng. From the Contra Costa Times:

Per the NBA rumor mill, the Chicago Bulls are entertaining giving up Luol Deng to get into the NBA draft lottery. According to sources, Golden State hasn’t talked with Chicago about Deng yet. But Deng is on the Warriors’ short list of veteran small forwards they’d be interested in.

Chicago would have to take some of the Warriors’ baggage in return, such as Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins, along with the No. 7 pick. The Bulls may get better offers. Trade talks, from the Warriors end, have been fairly slow. But things won’t pick up in earnest anyway until next week, as the June 28 draft nears.

via Warriors Notes: Could Deng or Dion Be Fits for the Warriors? – Inside the Warriors – with Marcus Thompson.

That last part is significant. The Bulls are up against the luxury tax, which owner Jerry Reinsdorf abhors terribly. He’ll avoid it at all costs. And if the Bulls are going into the tax, they’re going into the tax for Omer Asik. Even for a lottery pick at No.7, they are unlikely to surrender an All-Star and take on Andris Biedrins contract. They’ve already got to cover up Carlos Boozer‘s weaknesses on a big contract. Jefferson’s not a bad fit but that’s still quite a drop down.

The Bulls will try and get into the luxury tax cheap, teams will try and get Deng cheap, and neither are likely to happen unless something funky goes down.

(HT: HoopsHype)

  1. icewinna0 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Warriors need a physical guy like this. I don’t know y Bulls would trade him though he’s an alstar. Get rid of Boozer Chicago!

  2. ndirishfan1 - Jun 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    The Bulls as currently constructed are not going to overtake Miami (unless LeBron gets injured). Four guys on the roster account for roughly 56 million. Rose is clearly staying, Noah is the anchor of the defense, nobody wants Boozer, so that leaves Deng as the lone tradeable asset.

    If they can get a little cap relief and pick up a solid player, Chicago can get younger through the draft and potentially address a need through free agency. The Bulls front office is notoriously cheap, if they go over the cap it likely won’t be by much. However, in owing 56 million to four players, the Bulls probably weren’t going to spend any money in free agency.

    If the Bulls ship out Deng’s 14 million contract, they can pick up a rookie for well less than half of that and spend some of the Deng “savings” elsewhere – in free agency or save it and spend it on Asik and Gibson when their deals come due.

  3. wistonwilson - Jun 23, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    As a devoted Bulls fan, I hate this trade for Chicago. Luol is the glue that holds the Bulls defense together and brings professionalism and accountability. I know he is a perennial injury risk but acting as the team’s Qui Gon Jinn, I believe dealing him would be a mistake.

  4. crazycane - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    My fellow Bulls fans fall in love with players who do everything good and nothing great. Luol Deng couldn’t get by the 76ers for crying out loud! He had a terrible series and the Bulls have reached their ceiling with him. Cut him loose now that his stock is at an all time high and begin to create room for the 2014 season and beyond.

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