The Chicago Bulls are reportedly talking a contract extension with veteran forward Luol Deng, according to Yahoo! Sports. General manager Gar Forman has meet with representatives from Deng’s side this week in effort to negotiate parameters for the extension.
According to the report, two deals that have already taken place will come into the conversation in regards to just how much Deng will demand. The Detroit Pistons‘ deal with Josh Smith and the Golden State Warriors‘ deal with Andre Iguodala are both going to set the bar for Deng’s potential deal.
Many executives around the league told Yahoo! that they believe Deng’s value lies between the two of those deals. Smith will get a 4-year, $56 million deal while Iguodala will earn $48 million over the course of a 4-year deal as well. Thus, Deng’s side is likely to demand anywhere from $12-$14 million per year.
After nine seasons, Deng is no where near worth that type of money. If the Bulls were talking around $7-$9 million per year, then I would say go for it. At this point, he just isn’t as valuable as his people believe. Not to mention, injuries have been a problem and he still has done nothing about the torn ligament in his wrist over the past two seasons.
Deng has been an integral part of the Bulls’ roster for years now, and continues to be overlooked and underrated by many. He is a fan favorite and as hard of a worker as anyone in the NBA. Yet, with the emergence of Jimmy Butler and the drafting of Tony Snell, Deng is more than expendable if he were to ask for the type of salary Smith and Iguodala received.
Chicago should begin to shop Deng, quite honestly. His deal expires after this year and another team could likely be enticed by that fact. The Bulls have to do a couple of things yet this offseason in order to put themselves in a better position, and extending Deng to a pricy contract is not one of them.