LeBron James’ Replacement: Luol Deng to Miami Heat

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By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 14, 2014 3:40 PM EST

This is not exactly what Pat Riley in mind before the offseason but he’s moving forward to try to salvage the next season for the Miami Heat. After extending star Chris Bosh to a max deal, the Riley and the Heat have now signed veteran forward Luol Deng to a $20 million contract for two years.

Reuters
NBA: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers

Deng is expected to start at small forward—the position of LeBron James, who jilted Miami in this offseason to re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The $10M/year a deal appears to be a bargain for Deng, who was one of the most sought after free agents this summer. Other top SFs signed like James and Carmelo Anthony, who re-signed with the New York Knicks, are already off the market.

Other suitors reportedly interested in Deng were Texas teams, Dallas and Houston plus the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavericks got Chandler Parsons while the Rockets settled for Trevor Ariza.

Deng’s acquisition came in the heels of other offseason acquisitions for the Heat, which re-signed point guard Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen. Also joining the Miami are forwards Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts, both of which committed earlier in the offseason.

Miami will be the third team in Deng's 10-year-NBA career after the Chicago Bulls (2004-2014) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-2015). The 29-year-old averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists in his career.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
NBA: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers
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