It’s been over seven months since, surprisingly, Luol Deng left the Chicago Bulls to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the free agent might be on his way back to the windy city.
The South-Sudan born star is not short of offers, although his demand for at least $12 million a year is yet to be agreed, especially when teams are balancing options since free agency opened on 1 July.
Last week, the 29-year-old met with Miami Heat’s president Pat Riley, he had a conversation with Los Angeles Clippers coach/exec Doc Rivers, as well as the Atlanta Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Washington General Manager Ernie Grunfeld contacted Deng, and the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly been in touch as well.
Despite the signings of Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger this week, the Heat says the team remains interested in Deng.
“We’re not desperately eager at all – the money’s not going to go anywhere. We would be nervous if the phones were not ringing,” said Ron Shade, who works in partnership Herb Rudoy, Deng’s agent.
Nevertheless, Deng, who joined the Cavaliers in an exchange that sent Andrew Bynum to Chicago, might be on his way back to the team that acquired his rights in the 2004 NBA draft.
“Like I say, Luol is a professional. He will hear every reasonable option and give it serious thought. We won’t close any door on that possibility at all,” Shade explained.
The South-Sudan born spent most of ten-year NBA career at Chicago, and took over the leading scorer role when Derrick Rose was ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
Deng averaged 19 points in 23 games for Chicago this past season, before being traded to Cleveland.