HoopsHype Luol Deng rumors

April 16, 2014 Updates

James, who didn’t utter a peep about his intentions before becoming a free agent in 2010, uttered one at mid-season when asked if he could see himself leaving Miami. “At this point I can’t,” said Bron. “Now,” says an NBA GM, “you’ve got Luol Deng, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat. “And then we’re done.” Forbes.com

Growing up in Egypt was not easy. At first, the brothers and sisters split up and stayed with different relatives. Eventually, the older siblings got jobs and made enough money so the nine children could live together in a two-bedroom apartment in Alexandria, four boys in one room, five girls in the other. "School was tough,'' said Deng, recalling almost daily beatings by teachers. He and his brother were the only black kids in the school, he said, and there were issues because of their skin color and religion. Raised in a Catholic home where Dinka was the spoken language, they studied the Koran and spoke Arabic. He appreciates learning all that now, but back then it was difficult. Cleveland Plain Dealer

But now, just three years later, a political struggle threatens to break apart all that was gained. That's why Deng felt so compelled to record the public service announcement for The Enough Project. "What I really want is for South Sudan to have peace and move forward,'' he said. "There's been fighting for so many years. We're so rich as a country in terms of resources and so talented in terms of who we are as people, but we've never given ourselves a fair chance to show the world what we're capable of. All we've been doing for so many years is fighting wars. The only way we're getting opportunities to show what we can do is by escaping as refugees and becoming something in a different land, which is very tough to do.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Deng, 28, said he hopes winning the award brings more attention and awareness to the violence still going on in South Sudan. “Honestly, it’s one of those things that will never stop,” he said. “If I make one person happy or make their life better, I think that’s enough. “I can’t say I’m going to make 1,000 people’s lives better and then you stop right there because there’s always the next person. It’s just one of those things I enjoy doing. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and nobody needs help. But we all know that’s not going to happen.” Morning Journal

April 15, 2014 Updates

Luol Deng of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been voted the 2013-14 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, named after the second commissioner of the NBA and presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. The two-time All-Star forward recently recorded a public service announcement for the EnoughProject.org, urging peace during a time of renewed conflict in his native South Sudan. In the video, he tells young people, "Look around you, and reach out. Make peace among those who are fighting. Forgive one another and encourage others to forgive. Build trust with people who fear each other. You are young, and if you are wise, you will build bridges with people your age that will last a lifetime. It is not too late to start...but it is not too soon either.' NBA.com

April 8, 2014 Updates
April 4, 2014 Updates

Q: How much do you think the team’s current play has been influenced by Luol Deng’s leadership? Brian Windhorst: It’s hard to say. I don’t think Luol Deng’s been good, at all. It was a good trade and it helped them. They used creative cap management and, to me, that was excellent general managing. But it hasn’t been a terrific home run. The Bulls offered him $10 million a year and he said no. I think that’s about what he should be getting. But I know that to stay in Cleveland he’s going to want more than that. I just think there are better ways to go than that. ESPN.com

March 18, 2014 Updates

UK Sport recently cut funding for British basketball to zero and are expected to confirm that decision at a press conference in London tomorrow. That would leave a gaping hole in the sport's finances and would make the cost of insuring NBA stars Deng and Freeland - who have both suffered injuries this season - a big issue. It cost Great Britain around £300,000 to insure Deng to play at the 2012 London Olympics. But it is likely to cost even more this time around. Daily Star

March 14, 2014 Updates

Meanwhile, the Lakers don’t expect LeBron James to leave the Miami Heat if he opts out of his contract. The Lakers aren’t thrilled about Carmelo Anthony should he opt out of his deal with the Knicks. The Lakers wouldn’t want to spend a max-level contract on Cleveland’s Luol Deng and on Toronto’s Kyle Lowry. Kupchak had suggested earlier that the Lakers may use their financial flexibility more conservatively both to save up for a star-studded 2015 free-agent class and because of recently-imposed harsher penalties for high-spending teams. Los Angeles Daily News

March 3, 2014 Updates
February 23, 2014 Updates

The morning after Joakim Noah yelled, “F*** you, f****t” at a fan in Miami during the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, the Bulls held their media availability at the team’s hotel. The big names on the roster were each surrounded by a scrum, and Noah's epithet was a hot topic. Luol Deng was asked his impression, and the vet nervously tiptoed through his response as if he was navigating a minefield. Here was a young guy who’d seen a lot in life. He’d crossed cultures, defied probabilities, been under the microscope of one of the nation’s highest-profile college programs and spent his career in a top-three media market. But “f****t,” gays in the locker room and homosexuality in general were entirely different matters. ESPN.com

Deng has rebuffed all talk about an extension with the Cavs, and might want to sign with a contending team in free agency. Since coming to the Cavs, he looks like he’s either lost much of his explosion and athleticism he once had or his Achilles is worse than he is letting on. News-Herald

February 22, 2014 Updates

We’re surprised the Cavs did not move Luol Deng. He’ll be gone on July 1, no later than a minute past midnight, and despite an Achilles injury that prevents him from practicing on most days, he’ll be high on everyone’s free-agent list. The Mavs, Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Charlotte are all interested. Why not stay in Cleveland? Kyrie Irving doesn’t make players around him better and Dion Waiters is a me-first player. New York Daily News

Deng has rebuffed all talk about an extension with the Cavs, and might want to sign with a contending team in free agency. Since coming to the Cavs, he looks like he’s either lost much of his explosion and athleticism he once had or his Achilles is worse than he is letting on. News-Herald

February 20, 2014 Updates

Deng admitted that UK Sport's controversial decision to cut funding was part of his motivation in opening the academy in Brixton. Basketball saw it's funding cut by the sporting body just 18 months after the London Olympics, but UK Sport decided it couldn't justify the ongoing expenditure given basketball's slim medal prospects. Deng spent his formative years in Brixton after moving to England from Sudan before heading to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA. The Daily Express

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