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Luol Deng’s agent explains move to ex-rival Heat

Jul 14, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

LAS VEGAS — Ex-Bulls All-Star small forward Luol Deng’s decision to sign with his former rival, the Heat, might strike some as odd.

But his Chicago-based agent, Ron Shade, explained that perhaps the Heat’s knowledge of Deng’s game, makes Miami a surprisingly good fit, especially with the departure of league MVP LeBron James to Cleveland.

“I think Miami, obviously losing probably losing the greatest player in the game currently, their team is going to change a bit. The comfort that he had is when we sat down with (Heat president) Pat Riley and since we’ve talked to him, he’s said they know Lu. They’ve played against him. They’ve seen Lu at his best moments and his worst moments, and I think they understand that while Lu isn’t going to fill in for LeBron, Lu can step in and replace some of the things that LeBron did,” Shade told “They’re not looking for Lu to be LeBron. They’re looking for Lu to be Luol in LeBron’s place and that means they know Chris (Bosh) is going to have to be better, Dwyane (Wade) is going to have to be better and Lu can be better. I think that’s the main thing that they see, that the weight is going to be evenly distributed between those three guys and looking forward to the camaraderie that they can build. The truth of the matter is, they still can be a contender in the East.”

[RELATED: Doug McDermott drops 31 in Bulls’ latest summer league game]

Deng, who was also pursued by the likes of Washington, Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix, was widely expected to garner a long-term contract of upward of $12 million, and after the Bulls traded him to the Cavaliers following his rejection of a three-year, $30-million contract offer in January, the South Sudan native accepting a two-year, $20-million deal — with a player option in the second year — could seem a bit curious, something Shade admits, though he presented the rationale in the situation.

“The whole process, it was strange. Nothing really happened the way we expected it to, and Lu being the professional that he was, he made the best out of every possible situation that he was put in. He didn’t want to rush through the process. He wanted to hear everything out and kind of look at every option, and look at the pros and cons of each option, and move forward from there,” Shade said. “The Bulls’ offer when he was traded to Cleveland, it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer. In this situation, we still had options. Luol had choices to make. He made them. He decided this, and at the end of the day, while it’s $10 million, there’s no state income tax. So maybe you gain about a million dollars in that. But at the same time, it gives him options. He’s a free agent at the end of this year, and it gives him the opportunity to play out a year healthy, to play out a year in a situation where he can be highlighted. So what’s in the past is in the past. The Bulls’ offer is the Bulls’ offer. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, at that time, we didn’t feel it was the right offer to accept for Lu and right now he’s happy with the decisions that he’s made, and he knows it’s going to be great to help him further his career.”

[MORE on Bulls from CSN Chicago and Aggrey Sam]

  1. chris3141084 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    I don’t know about the next guy, but I LOVE reading the same paragraph back to back. It really drives the point home.

    • miamatt - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Deja Vu all over again.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        There’s been a change in the matrix.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        groundhog day

      • bringin1234 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        LOL, @fan this made me laugh

    • bucrightoff - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the exact same article twice in a row. This site needs a proofreader in the worst way.

      • handsomerob86 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        The sad thing is I bet this happened cause he was using a word processor in a effort to avoid misspelling and grammar mistakes that commonly plague PFT…

        I am not sure any of their bloggers proofread even once before posting.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      So nice, I had to say it twice

      So nice, I had to say it twice

  2. borisalessandri - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    So Deng and James basically just switched places with each other

    • thehawg - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      I look at it as a trade with the Heat getting additional 12 million to upgrade the roster. Still rather have LeBron though.

    • sonnysuave - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Hopefully, Lebron isn’t faced with the same organizational dysfunction that Deng pointed out! It’ll be interesting to see if Waiters is still a loose cannon w/ the same attitude problem.

  3. leeeeroyjenkins - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    My god if I wrote this as a college essay I would be in trouble

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      not with the new dumbed down American schools and universities…

    • sonnysuave - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      PBT probably has a 500-word minimum on articles… hence, the identical paragraphs, lol.

  4. handsomerob86 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    This comment “He decided this, and at the end of the day, while it’s $10 million, there’s no state income tax. So maybe you gain about a million dollars in that.” If my agent made that kind of shaky math, I would fire him immediately.

    Illinois has a 5% state income tax, Chicago has no city income tax. But that only applies to half the games. Other games you file based on the state your playing in. So basically Deng gets half of 5% of his income back or 250K. That’s definitely money, but it isn’t “about a million dollars” kind of money. I wouldn’t be surprised if his agent is some buddy of his. Amazing. How can you trust a guy who can’t even do the 5 minutes worth of research to figure out the difference between a Florida income and a Illinois one? Not me, but you know the old saying: A fool and his money are soon parted.

    • bringin1234 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Rob, he was probably taking an offer that allows him out after next season. He and his agent felt he was worth well over 10 mill which is what he turned down in Chicago. So honestly if he has a good year, he opts out and gets more money elsewhere, if he has a bad year, he can opt in and try again.

      • handsomerob86 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        From context, he is clearly talking about this year, its in the second quote.

        “The Bulls’ offer when he was traded to Cleveland, it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer. In this situation, we still had options. Luol had choices to make. He made them. He decided this, and at the end of the day, while it’s $10 million, there’s no state income tax. So maybe you gain about a million dollars in that. ”

        That’s talking about this year, followed by his discussion of options for next year. The agent is comparing Chicago’s offer for this year to Miami’s offer for this year when he is speaking about the million dollars.

        I have no doubt that the opt out made the deal more preferable, but that is not what the lines I quoted referred to.

      • bringin1234 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Difference of months. Yes Chicagos was a take it or leave it, but Deng wanted more at the time. He can spin it how he wants it. Chicago fans miss him no matter what, but he thought he was worth more than 10 mill

      • blackhawks2013 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:35 AM

        Agree with you Bringin. Deng was looking for more than $10 mil. Next year there is no James or Anthony or Parsons to compete against. Love is the only big name next year. With a good year Deng will get his big contract, maybe even from Miami.

      • bringin1234 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        at least hes taking Lebrons roster spot and not teaming up. After the rivalry we had with them….during the regular season…. its going to be weird seeing him in a Heat uniform.

    • handsomerob86 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      I can’t believe the thumbs down on the comment. I guess lots of people got lazy agents as buddy’s?

    • xmen1906 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Question handsomerob86 – Why does he have to pay taxes in the state he played? I really didn’t know this

      • Gordon - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Taxes are owed in the state where they are earned (generally). There are other issues related to where you live vs. where you work, but that is the gist.

        I think Deng made a calculated error when he turned down the Bulls 3 year offer, & his agent is trying to spin it as a positive. I’m sorry, but it’s highly unlikely he will get more money after he opts out. There are teams that had plenty of money, but none would offer more than the Heat.

        The Heat made a great signing, as Deng is a fantastic team player who can help the Heat a lot. I think Miami fans will really like him. He seems like a really good dude and a very hard worker.

  5. antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Good for Lu. Good for Miami. Luol couldn’t have picked a better group of guys for a Deng bang. I mean that in the nicest way possible.

    • kinggw - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      Wow. Deng bang? I don’t even know where to begin

  6. lakerade - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    The impending lockout to renegotiate the CBA and the effects of a new TV deal looms large. Case in point: only Bosh and Melo got long-term deals this summer.

    • therealhtj - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      And Nick Young. At least they’ll have a new amnesty at their disposal by the end of that deal.

  7. rrhoe - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Let me make sure I got this: Deng replaces LeBron and Wade,Bosh and Granger all hop into the hottub time machine and all will be well in Miami,right……

  8. antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Hey, if Chicago could replace MJ with Pete Meyers and still win around the same amount of games, Miami should be able to replace LeBron with Luol and still get back to around 54 wins. Right?

    • therealhtj - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Sure – who’s Scottie Pippen on the Heat?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        Wade and Bosh

    • justanacehole - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM


  9. csbanter - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Deng can spin this anyway he wants but the fact is Chicago offered him more and he blew it by not taking the money…..

    • spursareold - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      They didn’t offer him more. 3yrs/30M is $10M per year, exactly what he got from the Heat, on a per year basis.

      • csbanter - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Before the 3 year $30 mil offer the Bulls were trying to work out a deal in the $50 mil range for a couple of years now, and Deng didn’t want that. So now he get the Lebron leftover stipend.

      • Gordon - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        $30 million guaranteed versus $20 million guaranteed. It’s basic math. He took less money, how hard is that to understand?

    • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Maybe Deng just didn’t want to be in Chicago any longer.

      • Gordon - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        That’s actually a realistic possibility. He was apparently upset with the offer he received, and his belief that his serious illness during the playoffs two years ago was not handled correctly by the franchise.

        Congratulations for making a statement that might actually be correct, for a change.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        Oh, just because you disagree with me doesn’t mean I’m incorrect, Gordy.

  10. cantonbound13 - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    King Deng?

  11. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Luol=absolutely fantastic defender. Any one who wants to contend in the east should have been throwing money at him. He is the only player I’ve seen in the last 4 yrs to slow LBJ down.

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