During the offseason in any sports you’re prone to hear any and everybody’s name in some kind of trade rumor, whether valid or not. Remember the summer where Kobe was rumored to be on his way to Chicago? So if there were once rumors about Kobe, what makes you player x so special. Which brings me to Luol Deng who is basically admitting that all the talk of being moved is getting to him. Here’s what Deng had to say to an ESPN reporter.
“I believe there is always to some extent truth behind rumors, but as an athlete, if you get caught up in them, you are really wasting your time because it’s not something you can control. If it’s not true, a GM could always come out and say it’s not true. But if a GM doesn’t come out and say it, there are probably talks. And there should be. If I was a GM I would be shopping players around, too. I’ve got to show that I’m doing something. As much as I want to stay on the team — I love Chicago, I love the Bulls — at the same time, I know the business part of it. Sooner or later, all the rumors are going to come up.”
From that quote, it would be easy to jump on Deng as being an overly sensitive athlete, but he does admit to understanding it is a business, the only thing I would criticize is his stating his undying love for Chicago and wanting to stay on the team. None of that would matter if he was offered an opportunity to go to a team with a better chance at a title. Would he still hold that same love for the Bulls? What about when it comes to contract time, is he going to be willing to take a pay cut for the ‘love’ of Chicago and the Bulls?
I’d venture to say no. I appreciate his candor, however, I can see his words being used against him one day. And whether right or wrong, that’s the way the business that Deng is involved in works.
It would be interesting to see if they do move Deng who the Bulls would bring in. Though a solid player, Deng doesn’t provide enough scoring for the Bulls in my opinion, and though he stands 6 foot 9 inches, he’s merely an average to above average defender. You would think the Bulls would want someone younger that can average 20 points, something Deng has never done in his 8 years as a pro.