HoopsHype Luol Deng rumors

September 9, 2014 Updates

The WSB-TV report throws the actions of both Ferry and Levenson into a harsher light. In a letter obtained by the station, minority owner Michael Gearon, Jr. calls on Levenson to discipline Ferry. Here are a few key passages: During the call, which we recorded so that notes could be made for our partners unable to participate live, our GM Danny Ferry discussed player personnel issues at some length. With respect to one potential free agent, a highly-regarded African-American player and humanitarian, Ferry talked about the player’s good points, and then on to describe his negatives, stating that “he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back.” [...] We were appalled that anyone would make such a racist slur under any circumstance, much less the GM of an NBA franchise on a major conference call. One of us can be heard on the tape reacting with astonishment. Our franchise has a long history of racial diversity and inclusion that reflect the makeup of our great city. Ferry's comments were so far out of bounds that we are concerned that he has put the entire franchise in jeopardy. Yahoo! Sports

As a minority partner with no effective say in decision-making, we were somewhat at a loss what to do next. So we consulted this week with two attorneys, one a very well-known and highly respected former African-American judge in Atlanta, and the other a highly regarded employment discrimination lawyer. They confirmed our fears and then some. The former judge put it pretty succintly, saying that any African-American who heard the comments would interpret them as meaning "all blacks are two-faced liars and cheats." The employment attorney opined that we as a team face significant exposure, possibly in the courts, but certainly in the court of public opinion, and, as we all know, within the league. She described the possible fallout as "devastating." We agree. [...] Yahoo! Sports

September 8, 2014 Updates

The trigger of events that led to the toppling of Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson began with general manager Danny Ferry referring to free agent Luol Deng as still having "some African in him" on an organizational conference call, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo Sports. "He's still a young guy overall," Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo. “He's a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way." Yahoo! Sports

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Ferry had received an undisclosed punishment, but would remain as GM. The disparaging racial reference to Deng triggered at least one team owner on the call to pursue an independent investigation into how the organization operated in regard to race. The search uncovered the 2012 email that Levenson sent to Ferry and two minority owners that ultimately led to Levenson's decision, under pressure, to sell his stake in the Hawks. Yahoo! Sports

Koonin told the Journal Constitution that the Hawks held a meeting in early June to discuss potential free-agent targets. According to Koonin, Ferry cited a background report that included an "offensive and racist" remark about a player. "Instead of editing it, he said the comment," Koonin said. Sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne on Monday that the player involved was Miami Heat swingman Luol Deng, who held free-agent discussions with the Hawks in July before signing with the Heat in the wake of LeBron James' return to Cleveland. The specific nature of Ferry's comments regarding Deng were not immediately known, but Koonin told the newspaper that the comment troubled others in the meeting, saying: "This is wrong. This should not be said. It's not appropriate in any world but not a post-Sterling world." ESPN.com

September 3, 2014 Updates

Luol Deng, the veteran NBA forward who is expected to fill the void at small forward for the Heat in the post-LeBron James era, has paid $4.6 million for a home on the Miami waterfront. The walled compound, built in 1928, occupies nearly three-quarters of an acre north of downtown Miami with a Mediterranean-style main residence, a two-story guesthouse, a pool, a boat dock with a lift and 107 feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay. Los Angeles Times

August 16, 2014 Updates

I saw you said they gave Michael Beasley's No. 8 to Shawne Williams. So I guess they're not going to retire Bease's number? (OK, so it means he's not coming back?) -- Henrique. A: An adjustment still could be made if Beasley is brought back, but that is an increasing longshot. But it's also not as if the Heat are mass producing Shawne Williams jerseys at this stage, either. While Beasley appears to be in the rearview mirror, the Heat still seems to be lacking on the wing, where the current options are Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Reggie Williams, James Ennis and Tyler Johnson. There simply is not a lot of one-on-one creativity there, no one, really, other that Wade who can score off the dribble. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 15, 2014 Updates

Luol Deng: It's official. I'm really looking forward to this new chapter with a special organization. I'm excited to have an opportunity to play here and contribute to the culture of success. Thank you to all the fans that have supported me and the new ones welcoming me to Miami. #Shukran Instagram

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Luol Deng. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the very, very best. We are thrilled to welcome him to the HEAT family.” NBA.com

July 14, 2014 Updates

“The whole process, it was strange. Nothing really happened the way we expected it to, and Lu being the professional that he was, he made the best out of every possible situation that he was put in. He didn’t want to rush through the process. He wanted to hear everything out and kind of look at every option, and look at the pros and cons of each option, and move forward from there. The Bulls’ offer when he was traded to Cleveland, it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer. In this situation, we still had options. Luol had choices to make. He made them. He decided this, and at the end of the day, while it’s $10 million, there’s no state income tax. So maybe you gain about a million dollars in that. But at the same time, it gives him options. He’s a free agent at the end of this year, and it gives him the opportunity to play out a year healthy, to play out a year in a situation where he can be highlighted,” agent Ron Shade told CSNChicago.com. "So what’s in the past is in the past. The Bulls’ offer is the Bulls’ offer. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, at that time, we didn’t feel it was the right offer to accept for Lu and right now he’s happy with the decisions that he’s made, and he knows it’s going to be great to help him further his career.” NBCSports.com

The Miami Heat continued to recover nicely from the departure of LeBron James, agreeing Sunday to sign free agent small forward Luol Deng to a two-year, $20 million deal. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed it to USA TODAY Sports, but spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. The second year of Deng's deal is a player option. USA Today Sports

July 13, 2014 Updates

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