Chicago, IL - According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, the Chicago Bulls will “definitely” look to trade small forward Luol Deng by the trade deadline. There have been rumors swirling all season as to whether or not the Bulls would end up dealing Deng, but nothing concrete has been heard as of yet. If Deng is indeed put on the trade block, there will be a lot of interest from contending teams looking to make the acquisition for a run at the playoffs.
Deng has played in 23 games with the Bulls this season, averaging 19.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Those numbers look very good for any team that could use a boost to their starting lineup prior to the playoffs. His defense is top notch and he is more than capable of guarding the NBA’s top tier scorers and giving them some trouble.
One of the main concerns about Deng is his health or lack of it. Deng has missed nine out of Chicago’s last 12 games due to injury, and missed quite a large chunk of games last season as well. All that being said, there will be teams willing to give up a fair trade to bring him in despite those concerns if Chicago really does decide to trade him.
If the Bulls end up trading Deng, his new team will have to find a way to lock him up with a new contract or risk losing him to free agency this offseason. Rumors have been quoted as saying that Deng would like to go through the free agency process and pick his new team. It’s very possible that a team could keep him around before he hits the market by offering him a lucrative long-term contract.
Overall, the Bulls are in an interesting place and have a lot of decisions to make in the coming weeks. Derrick Rose has requested that the front office not make any moves and try to win with this current group assuming he can come back, but it’s still uncertain if Rose will return this year. Don’t be surprise to see the Luol Deng trade rumors begin heating up once again.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.