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Reports: Heat still frontrunners to land Luol Deng; Hawks, Mavericks, Suns in mix, too

Jul 13, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Arron Afflalo, Luol Deng Arron Afflalo, Luol Deng

Since losing LeBron James, Heat President Pat Riley has been aggressive in putting together what in the East should be a playoff team, a good team, led by two passing and floor-spacing big men in Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts.

But they need a small forward to fill James’ slot, and they are still trying to make that Luol Deng.

Those negotiations were hot and heavy Saturday and will pick up again Sunday reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Heat, sources say, want to do a two-year deal with Deng in the $20 million range to team him with the freshly re-signed Chris Bosh and soon-to-be-reupped Dwyane Wade. Sources say it’s possible Wade’s looming deal with the Heat might not be finalized until next week while negotiations with Deng continue.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has pretty much those same details.

The question is money — remember Deng turned down three years, $30 million from the Bulls. He wants more than $10 million a year and so far nobody is going there.

Both the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks — two teams that have quietly had good off-seasons — are trying to get in on Deng too. The Hawks would be an interesting fit. Remember Atlanta was the third best team in the East until Al Horford went down, and a front line of Horford, Paul Millsap and Deng with Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the backcourt could do some damage in the East. However, some reports say talks with Atlanta have died down, and money is likely the reason.

The other team trying to get in the Deng running that also would be an interesting fit is Phoenix — he would bring them defense and his scrappy scoring style fits with their offense and deep backcourt.

Deng’s agent would be wise to try and get these teams into a bidding war (and try to get more years), but if he will not settle for what the market seems to offer this could drag out.

  1. saint1997 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    I think Deng would be a great fit in Atlanta personally. It’s funny how the landscape of the NBA has really shifted this offseason, more than people expected. Still I think that makes it less likely for future moves. Take KD for instance, I don’t think he’ll go back to DC to ‘go home’ because then he’s just following what LeBron did

    • chicagosports2014 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM


  2. loubearkane - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Deng should go where he can get the most years and one last big payday.

    • therealhtj - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Pretty sure that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. That and not looking too stupid for turning down the Bulls extension last year.

  3. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    I still have faith in Riles to put together a playoff team..however I dont see us eing a legit contender until we have another star to pair with chris bosh (yes wade is a star, but its based off what he did vs what he can do.)

  4. lazegowizfan95 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    He need to resign Wade get Deng and 2 solid bench players at the 2 and the 4 like Rodney Stuckey and Dejuan Blair they’ll be contenders again if the do
    Starting 5
    Shabazz Napier
    Dwayne Wade
    Loul Deng
    Josh Mcroberts
    Chris Bosh
    Key Role players
    Rodney Stuckey
    Danny Granger
    Dejuan Blair
    Norris Cole
    They would be legit contenders In my opinion

    • blueballzny - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      All of those key role players you listed are garbage

      • lazegowizfan95 - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        lol naww Stuckey and Granger can still put numbers on the boards and Blair is a high energy guy he did good with the Mavericks last season off the bench ya’ll sleep

  5. kinggw - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Deng would be a nice addition, but I’d rather have Stephenson. He’s younger, does a lot of things Deng does, and most importantly leaves the Heat prepared for life without Wade.

    • thehawg - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Lance would be cheaper also. Also more entertaining.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      You cannot neglect the SF position in this era. You can’t do it in the East or the West.

  6. johnheisman - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Excerpt from Deng’s essay:
    I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming (home) to whoever pays me the most.

  7. spillz121 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Hard to accept 20 mil for 2 yrs after turning down 30 mil for 3 yrs. After the second half he went through in Cleveland and looking at what he’s being offered now, he should have taken that deal from the bulls. But hindsight is 20/20.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Riley can be very persuasive.

  8. jpthecyberhedgehog - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Dallas being quiet about anything is rare. Deng will be a nice addition for Miami.

  9. scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Deng is a nice player. But I’d rather see Miami go big. Make a play for Monroe. Front court of Monroe, Bosh, McBob, Hamilton is a solid core they can build around.

    • handsomerob86 - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      I like this. Don’t think they would get Monroe, but this is the kind of move that would make them legitimate contenders as longs as Wades knees held out.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Here’s a mention of Hamilton’s play last night. BTW he can also shoot the 3-ball better than your average 7-footer.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      Sure, that’s fine. And I’ve seen similar posts from Miami fans talking about how they’d rather have someone else at another position instead of Deng. But I think some people in Miami are forgetting a small detail… LeBron is on another team in the East. All of a sudden, “how do we deal with LeBron?” rockets up the priority list.

      • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Bigs and depth. That is how you beat LeBron. With Birdzilla close to signing you have Birdzilla, McBob, Bosh, Hamilton. Riley will make a play at Boozer when he’s amnestied. A Greg Monroe signing would be huge.

        Imagine that front line. You bring back Rio, so PG is deep if not all that talented with Rio, Chalmers, Napier
        You have Wade, Granger, and Ennis on the wing.

        That right there is an Eastern Conference contender.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Not just with bigs – you need an elite defensive big.

        LeBron has never lost in the playoffs to a team without one. Ben Wallace, Garnett, Howard, Chandler and Duncan.

        Miami doesn’t have that. They need to think of something else.

      • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Meant Rio, Cole, and Napier

  10. csbanter - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    What happens if the Heat finish with a better record then Cleveland ?

    • thehawg - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      The Heat would be a higher seed.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Then LeBron opts out and comes back to his second home to relive his college years.

  11. jzone954 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Miami needs to land Eric Bledsoe period. Deng is a nice stop gap but I truly believe Riley’s last hoorah before he sets off into the sun will be Trying to land the last big fish in 2016. To pair with Bledsoe and Bosh. They wil be nice and legit.

  12. blueballzny - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Dallas has had a good off-season? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve read. They struck out on every free agent they went after. Not only that, but they were robbed by the Knicks on draft day. Any team that went from starting Jose Calderon at the 1 to Ray Felton, who was without a doubt the worst starting point guard in the league last year, got considerably worse. Tyson Chandler is no longer a good 5, and he’s been breaking down the last 2 years.

    Dallas should look at how the Lakers are rebuilding by acquiring draft picks instead of continuing to swing and miss year after year on free agents. Dirk only has 2-3 years left. When he’s gone it will be a while before they are relevant again.

  13. seasickcecil - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    It has happened. Heat get Deng 2 years 20 million.

  14. seasickcecil - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Second year player option.

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