Luol Deng Contract Talks With Chicago Bulls Reportedly Stalled

by September 10, 2013

Earlier this summer, the Bulls began negotiating a contract extension with forward Luol Deng. Those talks have grinded to a halt, according to CSNChicago. Deng is about to enter the final year of his deal in the Windy City: “But when the talks were revisited, the Bulls opted to put those plans on hold for the time being and risk the team’s longest-tenured player becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. ‘We were optimistic,’ the source said of the mentality Deng’s camp had heading into the late August meeting, approximately two weeks ago. ‘Our goal was to get an extension done this summer. If that’s not what they want to do, so be it. We’re not upset, Luol isn’t upset. We’re just looking forward to this season and next summer,’ continued the individual, who acknowledged that Bulls management expressed how much they value the two-time All-Star, even stating their desire to see him retire in a Bulls uniform. ‘They were willing to wait and risk losing him next summer as an unrestricted free agent.’ While the likes of Miami’s LeBron James and New York’s Carmelo Anthony, other top players at his position, could opt out of the final years of their contracts and join Deng on the open market, he could still command significant attention as a free agent. A rival executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity, previously said earlier this offseason that he could envision Deng being offered a multi-year contract extension in the range of a $12-million annual salary if he indeed became an unrestricted free agent next summer. That would jibe with what comparable players, such as Golden State’s Andre Iguodala (four years, reportedly $48 million) and Detroit’s Josh Smith (four years, reportedly $56), received this summer. Entering his 10th NBA season, Deng will be 29 next summer, and beyond the forementioned James and Anthony, he compares favorably to other potentially available small forwards.”