Bulls GM still hopes to re-sign Luol Deng
Luol Deng and the Bulls were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension, and as a result the two-time All-Star will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season.
Deng is finishing out a high-priced deal that will pay him $14.2 million this year, and Chicago was unwilling to re-up at a number close to that price, while Deng would rather test the waters to see what his true value might be before committing long-term to a lesser contract.
Deng was reportedly disappointed with the lack of extension talks before the deadline to reach a deal had passed, and it’s unclear if those hard feelings will have a carryover effect in negotiations this summer.
From the Bulls’ perspective, however, it’s all business. And GM Gar Forman said he still sees Deng as part of the team’s future.
The season-ending injury suffered by Derrick Rose has thrown a wrench into the team’s plans to contend for a title this year. It’s more than possible that Deng could be traded before the season is finished if Chicago starts to fall out of playoff contention and decides rebuilding with cheaper pieces -- and getting something for Deng instead of letting him walk -- is a better option.