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Bulls GM says there are no plans to move Luol Deng

Jul 17, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT

Luol Deng AP

How far could this Chicago Bulls go fully healthy in the playoffs now?

It sounds like the plan is to find out.

Three seasons ago they won 62 games and made it to the conference finals, only to fall to the Heat. The next season it was 50 wins in a lockout-shortened season (the best record in the East) but the Derrick Rose knee injury meant a first round playoff exit. No Rose all of last season led to 45 wins and a second round exit where the Bulls never felt like a real threat to the best teams.

This coming season Rose will be back and rather than make a bunch of roster moves they plan to keep the band together — which means no Luol Deng trades, Bulls GM Gar Forman told the Sun-Times. In fact, they may talk contract extension.

“Well, we love Luol,’’ Forman, who arrived into Vegas on Monday to watch Summer League play, said. “We see Luol as a valuable member of this team moving forward, so the window is open to talk about an extension. We’ve had some conversations. Whether something gets done, I don’t know. But whether it’s this summer or next summer, those are conversations we’ll continue to have….

“I mean our goal has been to bring this group back, and I know [Deng’s] name was floated out there [in trade rumors], but we didn’t initiate calls,’’ Forman said. “We’ve gotten calls on some of our guys, but our goal has been to bring this group back healthy.’’

The Bulls will win a lot of regular season games with this roster healthy, likely finishing in the top three in the East. (Healthy being the key word, Tom Thibodeau can’t run Deng or Joakim Noah into the ground in the regular season.) But can this roster get out of the second round of the playoffs — could they beat the Heat or Pacers? What about a healthy Nets team?

I don’t know. I have my doubts about them and the Heat or Pacers, but we really don’t know.

Sounds like the plan is to find out.

  1. dsharpe8 - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    The made it out of the first round by beating Brooklyn, they didn’t lose in the first round this past season. Get your facts straight. Go Bulls!!!

  2. bs61014 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I look back at when the Bulls had a healthy Rose and lost to the Heat in the conference finals. They had sharp shooting Kyle Korver and big man Omer Asik.

    The Bulls needed one more piece then and they still do. The Bulls need another superstar that can score consistently.

    Too much was asked of Rose then, and too much will be asked of Rose this season.

    We all look forward to Rose’s return. I hope management doesn’t simply ride this wave of anticipation, rather than address what it takes to beat the Miami Heat.

  3. pacemakin21 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    I was thinking the same thing. Let’s see how the 1st half of the season goes. Maybe they will get a nice offer for him at the Trade Deadline. I just don’t see him being offered a big contract by the Bulls for another 4 years. Amnesty Booz next season and go after K. Love.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Interesting…for allllll the sh !t you guys give Booz, especially for his defense, you want to go after Love? Another scoring/rebounding PF with atrocious D? Booz has been good for y’all, and K Love would be a nice addition and upgrade, but I’m trying to find logic here.

      • skinsfanwill - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        That’s true. I actually think Booz is better than K. Love on that team. anybody can get a board in the west when all they do is run and gun. No true defense is being played over there. The East is another demon. Not sure if Love would last in that Chicago team defense.

  4. beardown2489 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Kurt is not even a fan of basketball. He’s a fan of celebrity. Hence, why he knows nothing about the bulls.

  5. caeser12 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Translation: Deng will be traded.

    • spursareold - Jul 17, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Werd.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Uh oooh! You know what that means. Deng, cease all home remodeling and get ready for relocation within 6 months.

  7. blueintown - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Love Thibs, but the manner in which he manages minutes is quickly shifting from minor weakness to glaring impediment. The Bulls will be what the Bulls have been under his watch for the foreseeable future: regular season overachievers with a high seed that bows out (with tremendous fight) in round two or three once the talent gap is exploited.

  8. asublimeday - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Bulls made it to the second round last year dawg

    • suckit619 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      He was too busy slurping LeBron to realize that.

  9. lenbias34pt - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I’ve always questioned the “playing to many minutes”, argument.
    180 seconds of extra court time is going to fatigue a world class athlete?

    The issue would be working out (with weights or practice) to much on non- game days. Does Tibs do that?

    I think Pop is a terribly over rated coach, but his idea to simply give a guy off is the course to take IF a player’s legs are fatigued. Otherwise 36 vs 40 minutes is a silly (unsubstantiated) argument.

  10. andyreidisfat - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    The bulls ha e the second best player in the nba and for that reason alone they are contenders. I have to agree with other posters though, perhaps winning a few less regular season games will have them healthier going into the post season.

    As far as klove he will be joining Noel and wiggins with my sixers next year :)

  11. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    If you’re counting defense as an equal half with offense then Luol Deng has been a superstar for several years now. He’s awesome on D and pretty decent on offense too. Maybe he’s starting to show some age with all the nagging injuries but you can’t just get rid of a guy like Deng. Just get him some more rest with Jimmy Butler playing so well.

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