Luol Deng Rumors

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Luol Deng
Luol Deng
Position: F
Born: 04/16/85
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:220 lbs. / 99.8 kg.
Salary: $10,151,612
In addition to Monday’s deadline on Wade’s contract option, fellow Heat starter Luol Deng must also decide whether or not to enter free agency. He was still undecided Sunday, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy. Like Wade, Deng has one year left on his contract and, like Wade, Deng might want a new contract for more years. On Thursday, Heat president Pat Riley all but confirmed Wade and Deng would both become free agents. Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who joined the team in February after a blockbuster trade, decided last week to become a free agent. He’s expected to sign a five-year deal with the Heat.
We reported that the Bernard Taylor investigation cleared you of any racial animus regarding your remarks about Luol Deng. Do you feel vindicated? Danny Ferry: That’s not really for me to say. But I do feel relieved. I’ve been asking the Hawks for many months to release the results of the Taylor investigation because I wanted everyone to have those facts. For whatever reason, the team refused to release the results until after the season ended. The Taylor investigation included 19 interviews of Hawks owners and employees, and a review of 24,000 emails—including every one I wrote and received as general manager.
Alston & Bird partner Bernard Taylor said in the letter, dated Friday, that the review of more than 24,000 documents and 19 interviews provided no evidence of “negative bias toward Mr. Deng, his race or his country of origin.” Foreman’s letter, also dated Friday, said Ferry was not the cause of the controversy. “At the heart of this dispute was an unfortunate disagreement amongst owners,” Foreman said.
The NBA will play its first exhibition game in Africa on Aug. 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa in a Team Africa vs. Team World Cup format. Miami Heat forward Luol Deng, who was born in what is now South Sudan, will captain the African team and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will captain the world team. Full rosters will be announced at a later date. “I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA’s first game in Africa,” Deng said in statement. “Coming from South Sudan and having participated in the Basketball without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honored to be part of this historic event.”
It has been a fairly good fit for both sides so far, though it was a major adjustment period for Deng, and the financial parameters already are in place. Deng is finishing up the first season of a two-year deal, and next season is a $10.2 million player option. It appears he wants to stay in Miami, but he is not ready to contemplate his future with the team still in the mix for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. “We’re talking about it early; I’m not thinking about it yet,” he said Monday. “We could go to Philly and win and the other teams lose and I’m here talking to you about opting in or opting out, then all of a sudden I’ve gotta get my mind right for the Atlanta series. I really don’t want to go there yet. When the season’s over and I sit down and relax, I can start thinking about that stuff.”
That seems like a good enough top six for Miami to vie for the Eastern Conference title next season. “On paper, it sounds great, but at the same time it’s all about chemistry and developing together as a unit and making each other better,” Deng said. “I think it will be a little easier knowing that guys are more familiar with my game. At the same time, you’ve got Bosh and McRoberts coming back. Training camp will be almost like brand new because you’re starting with Hassan and Goran, if he’s back. It’s another new team. But at least guys are familiar not only with your game, but your personality and where you like to play.”
The future is uncertain, and by getting two picks spaced four years apart, Phoenix maximized its chances of catching the Heat in a down cycle at least once. The Suns might have been able to snag Luol Deng in that same trade, but they never asked about him, according to sources familiar with the talks. That’s especially revealing in connection with the whirlwind of deals that accompanied the Dragic trade: the three-team blockbuster that ended with Brandon Knight in Phoenix, and the separate deal sending Thomas to Boston for another pick.
Taj Gibson thought about getting even when his longtime friend was shot in the head. Derrick Rose also lost a childhood friend to a gun, but he never wanted condolences. He and Gibson were simply talking about friends they’ve lost to violence. So did Bulls reserve Nazr Mohammed and former teammate Luol Deng. And so did several friends and siblings of Chicago teens who have been killed in recent years. They all appear in “You’re Not Alone,” an anti-violence video produced by Bulls center Joakim Noah and directed by award-winning author and documentarian Alex Kotlowitz. The video also serves as an invitation for people to talk candidly about the emotional toll of gun violence, much like several interview subjects did during the 8-minute film.
Deng and Ibaka believe it’s vital to make a social impact with their play and their platforms. Ibaka is set to star in a Grantland-produced documentary, to be released in March, that traces his journey from the Congo to the NBA and highlights multiple charity efforts in the region. Deng, who won the NBA’s Citizenship Award in 2014, has established foundations on three continents that include basketball camps for girls in London, food distribution programs in Africa and community holiday programs in Chicago. “It’s all part of it,” Deng said. “I just feel like we’re in 2015 and there are still so many [negative] things being said about Africa. But there’s so much greatness that people are missing. I just feel that while I’m here — it’s really part of why I exist — I can really bring some attention toward it.”
He lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else in his life. But it’s impossible to completely separate the organization Deng loves from the ordeal he loathes. Well after the playoffs ended that season, Deng still struggled with complications that required repeated hospital visits. “I still had migraines, was getting dizzy and couldn’t eat,” Deng recalls. “I lost 14 pounds in 10 days. I kept throwing up. I was eating only like Jell-O for two weeks. “I remember my friend coming over and was like, ‘It’s a spinal leak.’ My friend was calling the team doctor and her response was like, ‘I don’t think so.’ And my friend told the doctor, ‘If you don’t do (something), I’m taking him to a different hospital.’ So I called my agent and asked for a different hospital.” Deng said more setbacks ensued even after he had the procedure that stopped the fluid leak. “I finally got diagnosed with asthma, and I never had that in my life,” Deng said. “I couldn’t work out for months. Most of my summer, I couldn’t do anything.”
For a moment, Luol Deng was back in Chicago, back with the Bulls, back to one of those nauseating moments when word broke of another injury setback for Derrick Rose. “Honestly,” Luol Deng said Wednesday, “I was almost in tears. It’s different when you know the guy that well. He’s a tough guy. I think he’ll be fine. But it’s just three seasons in a row. He wants to do what he loves, but things keep happening. And honestly, a lot of people would deal with it differently. He just keeps going and keeps working hard.”
Ferry read a scouting report about potential free agent targets during a conference call with members of the Hawks’ three ownership groups and flippantly recited some insensitive comments about Deng’s African heritage that eventually forced him to take a leave of absence. “He said, ‘I don’t understand why it’s in the report, but I forgive Danny and I’m ready to move on,’ ” Brand said of Deng. “So that helped me. As a team, we felt like that’s a management issue. That was up there. We still got to play, we still got to get our fans back.”

Luol Deng not asking for trade

However, the Heat’s struggles have not made Deng want out. “I’ve had no issues,” he said. “My whole thing this year has been trying to get it right. It’s never been that I’m unhappy. Just because there are trade rumors– I’m not the one asking for a trade… I’m not the one starting the rumors or whatever’s going on. I know just as much as you, honestly.”
No deal is imminent, sources said, but it has become clear the Grizzlies are intent on upgrading their wing rotation. The teams behind third-place Memphis (25-10) in the Western Conference standings already have made notable in-season additions — such as Dallas (Rajon Rondo) and Houston (Corey Brewer and Josh Smith) — and Oklahoma City has yet to move into playoff position.