Ever since the trade went down a day ago, former Chicago Bulls All-Star Luol Deng has been very quiet. There were reports all over the media and television that he rejected a contract extension of $30 million for three years. That was one of the reasons he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum according to the reports coming out of Bulls’ camp.
Now, with all the smoke cleared and things having calmed down, Deng has spoken and has a different take on how things went.
Doing an interview with the Chicago Tribune for the first time since being traded, Deng wanted to make two things clear — he was not bitter towards the Bulls, and despite the rumors of him demanding $15 million a year, that was not true. He denies coming up with that number, or any number, over the summer. He and his agent sat with general manager Gar Forman to discuss a contract extension, but no deal was reached. They wanted to wait to see how the season would go with Derrick Rose being healthy.
Then, Deng proceeded to speak about the new $30 million dollar deal that was presented to him. He had an ultimatum, take this deal or leave it. There was no negotiations, just a straight up offer. Deng declined the offer and three days later, he was traded. He says he is not bitter towards the organization and he misses Chicago dearly, but he just wanted to set the record straight and get all of this off his chest so everyone could move on.
Deng will be missed in Chicago. His teammates loved him and Bulls fans loved what he brought those nine years. But now, Deng has a new opportunity in Cleveland and he will make the best of it.