The Bulls Are About to Pay Luol Deng Handsomely

by July 30, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

I think it’s more than fair to say that Luol Deng’s contract negotiations with the team are going a lot better than fellow Chicago Bull Ben Gordon‘s. In fact, according to several published reports, Luol is about to become a rather rich young man.

The Chicago Sun-Times breaks it down:

The Bulls and forward Luol Deng are expected to finalize a six-year, $71 million contract Wednesday, with a formal signing likely Thursday. A source familiar with the negotiations said talks were accelerated when Dengโ€™s agent, Jason Levien, flew to town Tuesday to meet with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager John Paxson.

The new deal for Deng, a restricted free agent, has incentives that could increase the total value to $80 million.

That’s a lot of scratch for Luol Deng, but then again, in today’s NBA where someone like Rashard Lewis could finance a small war if it so fancied him, it is not entirely surprising.

Whether or not Luol is a franchise-caliber player remains to be seen (and I’m leaning towards the “not”), but the Chicago Bulls are going to pay him like one. And somewhere on a lonely street in Chicago, Ben Gordon is furiously kicking dust.