The Chicago Bulls are reportedly entertaining a trade offer for an incoming free agent small forward Luol Deng, a source close to situation reported on Sunday.
The Bulls are moving Deng after all despite the statement of general manager Gar Forman that they won't include the talented swingman in any negotiation.
"We value Luol a lot," Forman said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" Tuesday on ESPN Chicago 1000 via ESPN Chicago. "And Luol is a big piece of the success we've had the last several years though we haven't gotten to our ultimate goal. We think Luol is going to continue to be a big piece, a big part of what we're doing.
"I know a lot was said about that we couldn't come to an extension last summer but if you guys really study the NBA, especially since this new CBA -- going into the CBA and since the new CBA has been in effect, it's very, very rare that extensions get done so the fact that one didn't get done was not an indicator of where we're at with Luol at all," the executive added.
However, several sources indicated the Bulls are now leaning towards giving away Deng in exchange for some young talent and draft pick. CSN Chicago.com reported that there at least six teams (Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers) interested to take Deng.
"His [Deng] upcoming [free-agency] status has resulted in the likes of the Cavaliers, Mavericks, Lakers, Raptors, Spurs, Grizzlies and Nets, among others, already expressing interest in Deng, according to league sources," CSN NBA insider Aggrey Sam reported.
Deng Aware of His Situation
Deng, who could make it to his third straight All-Star selection after averaging 19.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season, admitted that he's aware that he needs to come up with better statistical line because of his current contract situation.
"If I said I'm not, then I'd be lying. I'm being realistic. It's not greed, it's not anything. First of all, the first thing I do when I play this game, is be the best I can be. Money-wise, not money-wise, that's the best thing I want to be," Deng said.
"Playing, the fact that I know it's my contract year, I have to show people what I can do. It's not a selfish thing, and it's not the only reason. If it wasn't my contract year, I'd still be playing hard to show people," he explained to CSNChicago.com in a remarkably candid interview," the Bulls forward added.
For more NBA Trade News, read more at IBT Sports.
To contact the editor, e-mail: