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Report: Bulls not looking to trade Luol Deng. Why would you think that?

Dec 20, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Luol Deng isn’t going anywhere fast — and we don’t just mean because he’s in a walking boot right now trying to rest his Achilles (he hopes to be back Christmas Day).

We mean on the trade market.

Ever since Derrick Rose went down injured it has been the conventional wisdom that the Bulls would use now to retool the roster — not rebuild from scratch Derrick, relax, just retool — and that meant seeing what they could get for Luol Deng on the trade market.

But that is not the case; Deng is not on the market reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Despite being mired in a season that has been derailed by injuries, the Chicago Bulls are determined not to trade impending free-agent forward Luol Deng, sources told…

Despite failing to come to terms on a contract extension before the season, the Bulls remain optimistic they will re-sign Deng next summer.

Deng is in the final year of a contract paying him $14.3 million. The two-time All-Star has averaged a career high 19.6 points per game with a good True Shooting Percentage 54.2 percent. This has been the best season of his career. Plus coach Tom Thibodeau really loves him on the defensive ends.

Still, is it really the Bulls plan to bring him back at more than $10 million a season and keep playing him in front of Taj Gibson? Would the Bulls really be willing to match what some other teams will be willing to pay Deng this summer?

More likely, the Bulls don’t want to take back long-term salary in a deal and would be more willing to play out the season with Deng and let him go rather than eat up future cap space.

Because of the salary demands and the fact that expiring deals are not the great trade chip they once were, the Bulls may not be getting offers they find attractive in the wake of the Rose injury — I’m sure teams came in hoping for a fire sale and making lowball offers. Still, you have to think they will consider this more seriously close to the deadline. This is an All-Star player and the Bulls will expect compensation commiserate with that, but you have to think they will listen.

Unless the new plan is to really bring back Deng, keep Carlos Boozer another year and try again to make a run with this core group. Not sure that’s the wise play in Chicago, but it is an option.

  1. holleywood9 - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Maybe u say u aren’t looking to trade someone to up the amount people will have to give to get him from you??? Let’s hope that’s the plan

  2. fballlvr22 - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    The Bulls are in basketball hell.

    • zerole00 - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Like heck they are. Their owner is just cheap despite the Bulls being one of the most profitable teams in the NBA.

      • blueintown - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        How is the owner cheap? Seriously. Specific examples.

      • brianscalabrine - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        @blueintown – Considering the article stated that last year was the first year ever that they went into the luxury tax, I’d say that’s a pretty good example.

      • blueintown - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Not having the talent to pay is a reason for not going into the luxury tax. Who should they have given more money to in order to force the tax on themselves? If you’re not winning a championship, why the hell would you want to pay a luxury tax? They wouldn’t have had to pay the luxury tax, but they did so they could sign Kirk Hinrich. That’s your example of cheap ownership? Try again.

      • philtration - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        blueintown is right.
        Blowing money on the luxury tax without winning at least one title is dumb.
        How many rings have the Knicks won in the last 40 years?
        What are the Nets doing this year?

        The Bulls have been far more successful than most of the teams in the NBA under Jerry Reinsdorf and that includes the teams that just piss away money on mediocrity.

      • stayhigh_247 - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM

        Reinsdorf was cheap, as u put it, when MJ played for him, you think he’s gonna change now? As a business owner that still makes a profit while not having to splurge i.e Brooklyn, why would he change? And just because you’re throwing brinks trucks at guys doesn’t mean they want to play for you (Dwight/Lakers) or that they are gonna get you a ring (Dwight/Houston) at the end of the day, he has shareholders who want to make more millions than last year, so what you and I think is meaningless to him.

      • blueintown - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:05 AM

        Okay, stayhigh. Enlighten me as to how Reinsdorf was cheap when MJ was there. Was it when he continued to pay MJ his NBA salary even after he decided to retire for a year and a half despite having absolutely no legal obligation to do so? Was it when he funded the building of the state of the art multi million dollar largest of its kind United Center without any public funding? Was it when he gave MJ a one year deal worth $30m at a time when the NBA team salary cap was a little over $24m? Or was it the next year when he gave MJ $33m of the $27m in cap space? Maybe it was when he was the first NBA owner to outright buy a private plane for his team?

        Did the 90’s really make Bulls fans eternally delusional? They bark about three things on a consistent basis: How cheap Reinsdorf is, how they don’t and never did want LeBron James because he sucks, and how this team can win the NBA championship. Three things that are easily refutable by opening your eyes and acknowledging reality.

    • brianscalabrine - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      I disagree. If they ever (1) got a PF that is elite on both ends of the floor, or (2) even let Deng walk , move Butler to the 3, prayed day and night Rose could stay healthy, and got an elite SG, they are a top-3 team in the East.

      Considering in today’s Eastern Conference that 45 wins will probably get you the 3 seed, I would say that they aren’t far off from being back to where they were a couple years ago. It just depends on what they do with their post-Boozer cap space.

      • maracineanu16 - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        You are soooo right bro on everything. And by the way Helin – how can You compare Lu’ with Taj???????? C’mon, the first one is a 3 and the second one is a 4 or even more of a 5

  3. brianscalabrine - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    The media keeps mentioning amnestying Boozer. I think everyone would agree that this would be a very logical option. He is one of those players in the league that gets his numbers, but makes so many bonehead plays on both ends of the floor that his numbers are very deceiving.

    But this is Reinsdorf we are talking about here. I will believe it when I see it. The way Chicago’s front office is, I would not be surprised if they let Deng walk, kept Boozer for the final year of his deal, and signed another 1 or 2 very cheap contracts.

    • maracineanu16 - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      unfortunately this is a possible scenario, although I think the Bulls will amnesty Booz’ and having some cap space – will try to bring back Lu’ and lure someone of the top free agents the in 2015 and of course they will Mirotic next season to fulfill the PF spot

  4. scottychicago - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    who told you that Deng plays in front of Taj Gibson? the writer must not watch the Bulls a whole lot.

    • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      @scottychicago – I think he just meant in Thibodeau’s rotation of who comes off the bench in frontcourt positions. Not that Taj comes in for Deng strictly.

  5. khmerog - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    As much as I feel bad for the Chicago Bulls fan I don’t really feel that bad (if that makes sense). They got enough Champion banners considering they got lucky with drafting Jordan (sigh @ Portland). I feel bad for Luol Deng because the media always talks about him being traded etc. but he still comes to work and plays hard each time. The Bulls compete every night but without Rose healthy they will go as far as second round with the roster right now. Maybe they should just sing or trade for a bunch of young prospects and develop them and lose games so they will get a high draft pick in the 2014 draft.

    • philtration - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      They got “lucky” in drafting Jordan and they got “lucky” in drafting Rose and they got “lucky” in making a draft day trade that brought them Scottie Pippen for Keith Lee and they got “lucky” promoting Phil Jackson to Head Coach and they got “lucky” in winning championships…
      Does any team other than the one you follow ever do anything that is not just “luck”?

      If the Bulls are so damn lucky then why will Rose miss two straight seasons?
      Why did their 1st round pick (Jay Williams) have his career end after one season due to a motorcycle accident?

    • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      @khmerog – The Bulls didn’t get “lucky” with Jordan, anymore then they got “lucky” by drafting Pippen, trading Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright, drafting Horace Grant, or drafting Toni Kukoc. They had the smarts to trade with Portland to get him in the first place. None of that is luck!

  6. tmdill18 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    “Playing him in front of Taj Gibson”. Are you really that clueless while covering the NBA? Gibson is a 4 and Deng is a 3. I’m a Pacer fan, and I would love to see Gibson guarding George rather than Deng. Deng is one of the best defending wings in the league. Gibson is a limited average PF.

  7. sicko123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Gar Foreman play things too safe, never tries to do any bold moves, never makes any trades, he and John Paxson does Draft Well though I will give them that but how come they have yet to land another star in Chicago? Are they even trying or are they delusional enough to think that this current team with Rose can beat Miami in a Series? SMH…I do like Butler and the Rookie Tony Snell

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