DENG DISAPPOINTMENT AT BULLS EXIT

Luol Deng 568 Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago BullsGreat Britain forward Luol Deng had confessed his sadness at his trade from the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers for multiple draft picks, along with the contract of quickly-waived Andrew Bynum.

It comes sixth months before the Londoner was due to become a free agent with the Bulls opting to get value for the two-time All Star rather than run the risk of him leaving without compensation.

Deng rejected a fresh deal last week which would have been worth $10 million per season after what he described as abrupt talks with GM Gar Forman.

“My thing is in the summer, I never came with a number,” Deng told reporters. “I heard on the radio that I asked for 15 (million). I would never ask for a number. We came to Gar last summer and we wanted to sit down and talk. And Gar didn’t want to talk. (The Bulls) felt like they wanted to wait and see how everything goes with Derrick (Rose).

“Three days before the trade, Gar called me upstairs and put three years, $30 million on the table. Take it or leave it. No negotiation. I said no and that was it. But 15? That’s the only thing that upset me. I’m not upset with the organisation. I want everyone to understand that.

“If I was a GM, would I make that move? Maybe.”

Instead, with Rose out injured, Chicago is blowing up their roster for the future, while also avoiding the luxury tax.

“We have great respect for Luol Deng, as a player and a person.  He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, and he has also done great things in the community,” said Forman.  “On behalf of the entire Bulls organisation, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago.”

In addition to sending Bynum’s contract to Chicago, the Cavaliers also conveyed to the Bulls a future draft pick via the Sacramento Kings (Sacramento’s conditional regular first round selection in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 otherwise, Sacramento’s 2017 regular second round pick if it falls between 31-55).

Cleveland also conveyed to Chicago the Portland Trail Blazers’ 2015 and 2016 regular second round draft picks, which were held by the Cavaliers.  In addition, if Cleveland is not in the NBA Draft Lottery in 2015, the Bulls have the right to switch regular first round selections with the Cavaliers.

“The moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship,” said Forman.

Deng, currently in his 10th season in the NBA, came to the Bulls in a Draft-night deal with the Phoenix Suns in 2004.  In 637 (591 starts) regular season contests, he holds career averages of 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 2.5 apg in 35.9 mpg.

The Cavs’ new arrival, however, will fit the defence-first scheme of Cavs Mike Brown.

“We are very excited for Luol to join the Cavaliers organisation, ” Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said in a statement.

“We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this. Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team. He’s a tremendous defensive player that can impact the game on both ends of the court with a team-first mentality and is a high-character leader.”

Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

 

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