Luol Deng: Top 5 Landing Spots For SF In Response To Derrick Rose’s Injury
5 NBA Teams That Could Trade For Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng
The Chicago Bulls have been thrown for a loop. Derrick Rose is the face of the franchise, but after suffering a torn right meniscus the Bulls' starting point guard's season will come to a close after just 12 games. Now, Chicago has a few decisions to make when it comes to the rest of the roster. Without Rose the Bulls don't stand a prayer when it comes to the NBA title, which leaves the front office with a ton to think about.
First and foremost; what becomes of free-agent-to-be Luol Deng?
In a contract year, Deng has been involved in constant trade rumors all season long and Rose's injury has only added fuel to the fire. Deng is only 28 years old and has proven his worth over the last 10 years in the NBA on both the offensive end and the defensive end. Furthermore, Deng's style of play meshes perfectly with any team that is playoff bound. However, the elephant in the room with this small forward is his contract -- Deng is owed $14.3 million this season.
While the Bulls may ask for a draft pick or two in return, any team trading for Deng must have at least one semi-hefty contract. With that being said, here are five teams that should make a play at the two-time All-Star small forward.
No. 5: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers have some cap flexibility and could really use a play-making small forward like Luol Deng. Any trade between these two teams would likely have to include Anderson Varejo, who the Bulls don't necessarily need, but Chicago's entire roster is in flux following the injury to Derrick Rose.
No. 4: Oklahoma City Thunder
At first, the Oklahoma City Thunder was a team atop my list of possible suitors for Luol Deng. However, Oklahoma City's financial commitment to Serge Ibaka really makes this trade difficult. With that being said, the Thunder have been desperate for a swingman since James Harden was dealt and Deng is one of the better slashers in the NBA.
No.3: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves look to be playoff contenders for the first time in quite a while, yet it's clear that this Kevin Love-led team has a major void at small forward. Plugging Deng in a line-up with Love and Ricky Rubio would create a fearful trio. Expect the Bulls to ask for one of the Wolves' many point guards in return if a deal with Minnesota is executed.
No. 2: Dallas Mavericks
Not many people are talking about the aging Dallas Mavericks, who currently stand at 9-5 on the season. Mavericks management knows this team can compete in the postseason and an addition like Deng would only help Dirk Nowitzki when it comes to getting open looks. On top of that, Shawn Marion's contract is up after the season just like Deng's, which makes the trading process incredibly smooth.
No.1: Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are an ideal trade partner for the Chicago Bulls. Despite a semi-impressive 7-6 start, the Suns are in full-blown "tank" mode if you ask me. By trading for Deng's expiring contract, the Suns would clear their pockets to be big players in the upcoming free agent class. Meanwhile, the Bulls would likely ask for shooting guard Goran Dragic in return, who is a shot-maker and could help Chicago's often stagnant offense. Phoenix would likely hesitate to deal Dragic considering he's averaging a career-high 16.7 points per game this season, but the Suns are in no position to compete and would be foolish to not prepare themselves for a rather impressive free agent class.