On Monday evening, the Chicago Bulls and free agent small forward Mike Dunleavy reached a deal in principle. The verbal agreement is reportedly worth $6 million over the next two seasons.
So, what does the Bulls’ first move of the free agency period mean for Luol Deng?
Okay, well for starters, the comparison between Dunleavy and Deng isn’t much and Chicago didn’t exactly investment all that much into their latest signing, but still — the small forward position is quickly clogging up in the Windy City. Oh, and not to mention the Bulls spent their first round selection on Tony Snell, a budding small forward out of New Mexico.
This isn’t a matter of competition, Deng will remain the starter at the small forward position if he returns to Chicago, but the rumors have been aplenty this off-season. Reports prior to the draft indicated that Deng was on the trade block and then shortly thereafter, it was reported that the two sides were working on a contract extension. Since then however, things have remained quiet and in turn, the drafting of Snell and the signing of Dunleavy has created a domino effect that may be sending mixed messages in Deng’s direction.
The Bulls will be a team to keep an eye on next season, mainly because of the return of former MVP Derrick Rose. However, it remains to be seen if Deng will be apart of that. Head coach Tom Thibodeau wants Deng to return, but the front office may not be on the same page.
The additions of both Snell and Dunleavy are interesting and could they be an early tell into what the team plans to do with Deng? Only time will tell.
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