Skip to content

Report: Cavs may hold off on contract talks with Luol Deng in hopes of pursuing LeBron James

Jan 13, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT

LeBron James Cavaliers Getty Images

When the Cavaliers ridded themselves of an unhappy Andrew Bynum and traded for Luol Deng, it was a short-term decision aimed at helping the team compete for a playoff spot in the miserable Eastern Conference this season.

Deng is an unrestricted free agent this summer, so the deal amounts to nothing more than a half-season rental for the two-time All-Star’s services.

Cleveland can of course discuss a contract extension with Deng that will keep him there for the foreseeable future, but may not do so until some other high-profile free agent options have been exhausted — and that includes checking in with LeBron James.

From Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Luol Deng is open to discussing a contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he also understands why the Cavs might want to put off those talks to first focus on trying to sign another All-Star small forward.

LeBron James.

“He’s a great player, why wouldn’t you look at him?” Deng told Yahoo Sports. “If he wants to come back home, that’s great for him and great for this organization. He’s a great player. Why not?

“I’m all right with that. I’m here to do what I can do and be Luol Deng. I don’t really worry about it. I don’t have the mindset that I can control what everyone else thinks. I just do what I can do and try to be the best at what I do.”

Deng also said in the same report he’d be open to discussing a long-term deal to stay with the Cavaliers, although there is something deeply wrong with the team as currently constructed.

Cleveland lost by 44 points in Sacramento on Sunday, and yes, you read that correctly. The Kings rank 27th in the league in defensive efficiency, so they would have trouble beating a D-League team by that much.

A squad featuring Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Deng in the starting lineup shouldn’t suffer anywhere close to a fate like this, so it speaks to the problems that have been rumored with chemistry surrounding Irving and his teammates. Mike Brown, who failed in his last stint as head coach with the Lakers, appears to have no control over this Cavaliers team at the moment, either.

Cleveland will of course pursue James in free agency, but he isn’t leaving Miami to come back to a mess like this. If the Cavaliers want to land Deng or any other All-Star free agent this summer, they will need to figure out what the root of the problem is, and act quickly to turn things around.

Latest Posts
  1. LeBron scores 36, Cavaliers bounce back to get overtime win over Bulls

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:23 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

    It wasn’t perfect, but the Cavaliers will take the hard-fought victory after the opening night embarrassment.

  2. Cavaliers officially sign Anderson Varejao to contract extension

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Varejao is one of LeBron James’ favorite teammates

  3. Jimmy Butler turns down Bulls’ extension offer, will hit restricted free agency

    Oct 31, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Jimmy Butler Jimmy Butler

    Butler’s agent claims the Bulls wanted him to take a hometown discount.

  4. Steve Ballmer, celebrating Clippers’ win, shocks son (video)

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

    Clippers owner continues to go crazy while watching games

  5. David Blatt admits he flubbed Cavaliers’ rotation against Knicks

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    New coach didn’t give reserves enough playing time in Cleveland’s opener

  6. LeBron James’ powder toss returns to Cleveland (VIDEO)

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Pregame rituals were really the best part of the game for Cavs fans.

Featured video

The list of championship contenders
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. B. Beal (7715)
  2. K. Durant (7058)
  3. K. McDaniels (6990)
  4. K. Leonard (6701)
  5. J. Butler (6332)