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Report: Atlanta makes pitch to Luol Deng

Jul 4, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

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Luol Deng (along with Pau Gasol and others) is among the free agents in the green room, waiting for Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James to get off the stage so they can get their turn. Deng is in a second tier of free agent who has interest from teams but it is on a condition.

The Atlanta Hawks have changed that.

As much as the Hawks might like to be, they are not in the Carmelo/LeBron sweepstakes and they have turned their focus to Deng, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Deng was expected to speak with Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer about the possible partnership on Thursday night. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

The Hawks are slated to have about $11.5 million in salary cap room once the free agency moratorium lifts on July 10. Their recent agreement with former Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha on a four-year, $12 million deal appears to have helped their efforts to land Deng. The two players were together with the Chicago Bulls from 2006 to 2009 and had a very good relationship. The same goes for Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who was with Deng in Chicago from 2010 to 2012. Deng spent his first nine seasons in Chicago before he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January.

Deng would start at the three and give the Hawks an interesting starting five of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Deng, Paul Millsap and Al Horford with Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Scott, rookie Adreian Payne, Pero Antic, Dennis Schroder and others off the bench. The Hawks were clear and away the third best team in the East until Al Horford was injured last season and they would take a step forward with that group. It has to be a tempting offer for Deng.

But he is going to wait until the Carmelo/LeBron situations play out, to see what other teams make a run at him.

The Clippers would like to make a sign-and-trade for Deng and he is intrigued by that idea. The Heat have interest but there are questions about what they can pay. Dallas and Houston also are reportedly interested, as might the Wizards be if they don’t bring back Trevor Ariza.

  1. sportsnut101 - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Deng turned down 3yr 30 mill
    So maybe 4yr 40 mil gets it done

  2. saint1997 - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Do you think players factor in attendance into their decision making? I think Atlanta is a great fit but I’m pretty sure they have one of the lowest attendance rates in the league. If I were a FA I’d be much more tempted by Portland for instance, who have had sell outs for the past 5-ish years. Not saying Deng is a fit for Portland I’m speaking hypothetically and curious, because it rarely seems like players talk about that

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      It’s way, way, way down the list. The list of importance is generally:

      1. Money
      2. Money
      3. Money
      4. Team quality
      5. Lifestyle in city
      6. Money
      7. Weather
      18. Attendance

      • saint1997 - Jul 6, 2014 at 12:55 AM

        haha thanks, I’ll quote you on that list

  3. adoombray - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Atlanta was the third best team that wasn’t trying to tank. In the East, more teams were tanking than not, and it was harder to lose than it was to win. Since everyone has become convinced that the best way to keep your NBA job is to lose as much possible and call it “rebuilding” Atlanta went to the playoffs by default. You had teams like Boston dumping their role players just because even someone like Jordan Crawford was a good enough player to help a team make the playoffs.

  4. JMClarkent - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I think Deng is on the downside; I don’t know how excited I would be to invest big money I to him.

  5. muhangis - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    I second that JMC. Helin is sometimes trippin.

  6. mungman69 - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Deng should have a year or two left and the Hawks could challenge in the East if things fall right

  7. enigma2742 - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:45 AM


  8. 1friendofthepeople - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    Deng and ATL are a perfect fit

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