Luol Deng latest: Team GB star 'patient' as free agent waits for a new NBA team
29-year-old has already been sounded out by multiple teams about a new deal
Wednesday 02 July 2014
Team GB star Luol Deng may still be without a team but with a number of teams chasing his signature, he is happy to wait and see what the market offers him.
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The 29-year-old is out of contract after he parted ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the season. Deng had spent his first nine-and-a-half years in Chicago, before a January trade sent him to the struggling Cavaliers.
The Sudanese-born forward was below his best in a poor Cavaliers team, averaging just 14.3 points in a career low 33.8 minutes-per-game.
But despite his late season woes and with free agency underway in the NBA, Deng already has no shortage of offers for his considerable talents.
Deng has already been contacted by the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers and he remains a strong favourite of the Miami Heat – though they still need to tie up contracts for their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
However, Deng, who earned $14.7m last season, has already said he will not take a pay cut to join the Heat, who will challenge for a third title in five years should the Big Three resign next season.
Because of Deng’s unwillingness to take a significant pay cut, deals to the Mavericks and Clippers may be out of the question as they too are unable to offer anywhere close to his previous salary. The Miami Heat are one of the teams interested in Deng - but they need to resign their 'Big Three' first
Another option for Deng could be a return to Chicago. He was traded so the Bulls could make a run at the now out-of-contract superstar Carmelo Anthony, who is being chased by a number of franchises. Deng did not want to leave and would likely welcome a return to the team, should the situation allow.
"There's always going to be a part of him that belongs to Chicago, and part of Chicago that belongs to him," his agent Ron Shade told USA Today. "There were no hard feelings (about the trade). Moving forward, he'd look to have an amicable relationship (if he played with the Bulls).
"He's going to hear everyone out."
The Washington Wizards are another club said to be interested in Deng’s signature, though they too are restricted by finances.
Deng has been in Europe on holiday and is expected to return to the USA sometime today or tomorrow.
Posting on his Instagram account, the Team GB star offered a cryptic message, simply saying: "Decisions…"
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