Two time All-Star forward Luol Deng fully plans to test the unrestricted free agency market when his contract expires next summer, according to Deng’s agent Herb Rudoy. Here are details courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:
“Luol has taken the position that he will definitely go through the free-agent process,” said Rudoy, Deng’s Chicago-based agent.
CSNChicago.com reported overnight Monday that the Deng contract extension talks had stalled. Rudoy said Tuesday that Bulls’ management informed him last week that no further talks would take place this offseason or during training camp.
Deng has spent the entirety of his nine-year career with the Bulls, although his production has tapered off a bit in recent seasons. Deng’s shooting percentage dipped from .466 in 2011-2012 to .416 and .426 each of the last two seasons, respectively. The Bulls apparently have been preparing to replace Deng the 28-year old at some point in the near future anyway, drafting wings Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell and signing Mike Dunleavy as a free agent this past summer.
While Deng may have already hit his ceiling, he is still a capable NBA-caliber starting small forward. Deng’s is a virtual lock for averages of about 16 points and six rebounds per game, and with his length he is still a respectable defensive player.
Deng may not get a contract that rivals the six-year, $71 million deal he got back in 2008, but he will almost certainly end up with a nice contract. The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks are two teams that could immediately use Deng’s skill set and will have both the cap space and roster voids for his services.
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