NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Luol Deng
5 Teams Who Could Trade for Luol Deng
Ever since point guard Derrick Rose went down with another knee injury, I thought that the Chicago Bulls should trade away forward Luol Deng. With the team going nowhere at 11-16 and Deng set to hit free agency this offseason, I feel like they should just get what they can for him right now.
At 28 years old, Deng still has plenty of good basketball left in him. If the Bulls are not willing to pay him at or near a max contract, they might as well trade him now, because that is what he will get on the open market.
Deng is a great on-ball defender that challenges LeBron James more than anybody in the entire league. His combination of length, speed and strength is a nightmare for players trying to score on him.
Offensively, Deng has a smooth game, and can score many different ways. He is by no means an elite outside shooter, but he is a threat to knock down a three. He is a nice mid-range shooter and does a very good job of getting to the rack and finishing.
This season, Deng is averaging 19.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 4.1 APG. He has been great all season long, and would be a welcomed addition to any team trying to make a playoff run.
The time is now for the Bulls to rebuild, and as long as they can get proper value, trading Deng would be a nice first step. Here are five teams who should definitely be looking into Deng.
5. Dallas Mavericks
The Western Conference is loaded this season. At 16-12, the Dallas Mavericks are certainly playoff contenders, but I struggle to imagine they will be serious competitors in the playoffs without a significant addition or two. Owner Mark Cuban is always looking to make a splash, and adding Deng would certainly do that.
4. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the most pleasantly surprising teams in the NBA. They have the third best record in a weak Eastern Conference at 15-13. With the conference being so down, now may be the time for Atlanta to pounce. They have an obvious hole at the SF position and Deng would fill that very nicely.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are tied for the best record in the NBA at 23-5. Point guard Damian Lillard and big man LaMarcus Aldridge have been incredible for Portland thus far and show no signs of slowing down. If they believe that now is the time to pounce, adding a guy like Deng could be the piece they need to compete for a title.
2. Phoenix Suns
At 17-10, the Phoenix Suns have been another surprising turnaround team. Led by their incredibly effective backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic and lock-down defense, the Suns appear ready to take their game to the next level. Adding a player of Deng's caliber can only help them take the next step.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been mentioned in Deng rumors for a long time now. He may not be enough to turn them into contenders this season, but in such a weak Eastern Conference, you never know. Deng's leadership would fit in well with the young and talented Cavaliers. If they could get him to sign a long-term extension up front, trading disgruntled young guard Dion Waiters for Deng would make a ton of sense for both teams.