Luol Deng has been a fairly consistent player for the Chicago Bulls over the last few years. However, he hasn’t shown he can carry this Bulls organization on his own, and is nothing more of a glorified role player. He had the opportunity to really make his mark when Derrick Rose went down last year in the playoffs, but he failed to lead the Bulls over the 8th-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Now, Deng is out with a hamstring injury, and first round pick Jimmy Butler has stepped in and played really well. Could this be a good time to shop Deng around the league?
Jimmy Butler reminds me a ton of Luol Deng as a young player. He’s inconsistent with his jumper, but he can jump out of the gym, rebound, hustle, and play stifling defense on quality players (see Kobe Bryant). There’s no doubt in my mind that the Bulls could trade Deng and get a scoring 2-guard, and not lose anything at the 3 with Butler. The Bulls desperately need a guy that can create his own shot and play alongside Derrick Rose. Deng isn’t that guy, not to the caliber the Bulls need.
It’s never bad to have depth, and the Bulls certainly have it. When Derrick Rose comes back, this team is going to be even better, but still. Can they beat the Miami Heat in a 7-game series? I still don’t think they can. They need a true “Robin” to Rose’s Batman and fill in the hustle guys like Butler. Deng is your best trade chip, and it’s time to seriously consider it. Butler is a first round pick and is earning the trust of his coach.
I don’t have anyone in mind to take a look at but…I think the time is coming where the Bulls should seriously consider this.