DENG SIGNS ON FOR EURO QUALIFIERS

Great Britain v Spain Luol Deng 568NBA All Star Luol Deng is set to return to the Great Britain team for this summer’s EuroBasket qualifiers, British Basketball officials have confirmed.

The Londoner, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month, sat out the 2013 European finals in Slovenia while recovering from meningitis.

But, for now, he will be available for a critical campaign.

“I had a really good discussion with British Basketball around Christmas and had some good feedback from the players about how Joe coached last summer,” he said.

“I’m really excited about playing with Great Britain again and hope to get my free agency sorted so I can make this happen. I’m eager to get back in that GB jersey and on the road to Rio 2016.”

The only doubt is that Deng will be a free agent come the summer and although he is likely to quickly agree a contract, nothing is certain until training camp opens in August.

“We’re pleased to say that Lu Deng has said that he will play this summer, subject to free agency being sorted,” said British Basketball chairman Roger Moreland.

“It’s a family, we understand those things are important, are very important, and it’s a big year for Lu, so we know how committed Lu is to the GB cause, and I think all of you do here as well.

“He’s made a huge investment over the last few years to the programme, and we’re delighted that he’s able to give us that commitment, subject to the free agency which I know you’ll all be aware of.”

Joel Freeland of the Portland Trail Blazers has previously signalled his intent to feature in 2014, which marks the start of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Byron Mullens of the LA Clippers, via his agent, has also kept open the option of participating with Ben Gordon of the Charlotte Bobcats considered unlikely to ever pull on a GB jersey.

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