Bulls Reportedly Considering Trading Luol Deng for a High Draft Pick

by June 18, 2012

According to the Daily Herald, the Chicago Bulls’ front-office is dangling Luol Deng as trade bait should a team want to trade a high draft pick: “So why would the Bulls even think about trying to trade Luol Deng for a high draft pick? That does appear to be one of the strategies under consideration right now, league sources confirmed. A draft camp meeting with North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes was mentioned on the team’s website, but there’s probably no single target. And yes, it does seem odd that Deng would go from leading the NBA in minutes per game to trade bait. That can be explained, however. The Bulls are disappointed Deng is planning to wait until after the London Olympics to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. Really, though, missing the first month or two of next season is irrelevant in the long run. The Bulls have plenty of love for Deng. The issue here is being backed up against the luxury tax and trying to create flexibility for the future. Next season, Deng, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah will make roughly $56 million combined. If those four could lead the Bulls to the NBA Finals, there would be no problems. Even forgetting about how injuries might spoil next season, the team’s greatest strengths the past two years were Rose and depth. The Bulls will have to ditch the depth unless they can move one of the high-salaried players. Rose is going nowhere, obviously, and there’s virtually no interest around the league in Boozer. Of the other two players, Noah is arguably tougher to replace as a mobile 7-footer who can anchor the defense. So that leaves Deng as the best candidate to be shopped. A trade is no sure thing, since Deng has two more years left on his contract at a hefty $27.6 million and could miss the start of next season.”