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Report: Luol Deng ‘privately disappointed’ at lack of contract talks with Bulls

Oct 6, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT


Luol Deng is in the final year of his contract with the Bulls, one that will pay him more than $14 million this season. He’s a two-time All-Star who performs well at both ends of the floor, and someone considered vital to Chicago’s chances for success.

But whether due to disagreement over his future value or his reportedly high asking price, the Bulls have decided not to pursue talks with Deng about an extension. While Deng said at media day he’d prefer not to discuss the situation as it does or does not play out over the course of the season, he remains disappointed about the way things are being handled.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

As Rose returns to the Bulls after missing a full season, his most important teammate – Luol Deng – is privately disappointed over the franchise’s unwillingness to engage him in serious contract discussions. Deng could leave as a free agent this summer, could be traded before the February deadline – everything is so unsettled over his future.

It seems as though teams are more and more willing to allow their high-priced star players to leave in free agency without getting anything in return, if the decision has been made internally that they don’t want to pay what the player will command elsewhere, for whatever reason. We saw that in Utah this offseason with both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, and we saw it in L.A. with Dwight Howard leaving to join the Rockets. Sometimes, future salary cap space to use more wisely is preferred over a large contract handed out to a single player.

There’s certainly no guarantee Deng will be dealt at the trade deadline — with teams knowing that Chicago has no interest in retaining him long term, the offers that will come in are likely to be less than desirable.

Deng looked out of sync in the Bulls preseason opener, finishing 4-of-16 from the field while taking plenty of wild shots. The situation is less than ideal for him with his future in question, but he’ll need to put it in the back of his mind and not focus on it for Chicago to reach its potential this season.

  1. kb2408 - Oct 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    In this new NBA, players like Deng will not get max contracts this late in their careers. He still has plenty of game left, but unless a player is the elite of the elite he probably can expect only one max contract in his career. Franchises, for the most part, aren’t going to just throw around max dollars anymore. At most a team can probably only afford two max players on one roster.

    • spursareold - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Good teams will follow that pay pattern, but crappy teams will always overpay for aging namebrand stars.

  2. nflcinbengals - Oct 6, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Don’t be discouraged Luol, we’ll take care of you eventually!

  3. pudgalvin - Oct 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    You win championships with players like deng, if they’re making 7 million. Not if they’re making 14.

  4. newyorkshets - Oct 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Shut up and play. I swear do these players immediately become pussies after getting a few million dollars? Suck it up.

    • spursareold - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      It’s not just the money. He could legitimately have sued Chicago’s medical staff for that spinal tap that cause the infection that almost killed him during the playoffs last year. To top that off, the entire medical staff went on the road with the team. They didn’t leave one team doctor to treat his serious infection.

  5. antistratfordian - Oct 6, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    So much for being “privately” disappointed.

  6. earpaniac - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Exactly. He’s a nice player, just not a $14 million nice player.

  7. gmsingh - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Luol, why are you disappointed? Have you not met John Paxson?

  8. hwatt - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    ok but have these so-called ‘financial genius’ teams done after they let players walk? Not one of them has done anything, and the whole situation just leads to a watered down league. It’s not competitive, it’s just boring. 30 teams, one superstar each, just like Stern said he wanted. lame.

    I think the best teams will sweet talk a bunch of above average players into sticking together for less.

  9. therealhtj - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    “We saw that in Utah this offseason with both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, and we saw it in L.A. with Dwight Howard leaving to join the Rockets. ”

    Um, not exactly. The Lakers, or anyone else for that matter, would gladly pay D12 whatever the max allows. They decided to stick with an aging Kobe and sorry excuse of a head coach as opposed to keeping a top-10 player still at or near his prime.

    Jefferson and Millsap, nice players who commanded more than they’re worth on the open market but hardly max players, are apt comparisons to Deng.

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