The Cleveland Cavaliers gave up a lot when they traded for Luol Deng, and their intention at the time was to keep him. But now he seems unhappy and unlikely to stay. So with the Los Angeles Lakers apparently targeting the star in upcoming free agency, should the Cavaliers go toe-to-toe with the Lakers and try and keep their man or should they pursue LeBron James instead?
Both the Cavaliers and Lakers have had rough seasons and they both see Deng as a way to move forward, rebuild and be smart financially. But which team would be more enticing for Deng? Deng knows he will get a good financial package, but it seems winning is important to him. Although he’s been good for the Cavaliers, he has lacked a cutting edge that he has when his team is competitive. It’s clear Deng hates losing, and that perhaps means both teams are options he’d prefer to avoid.
The Cavaliers may look to bring James home or to target a younger, better option in Deng’s position in the draft, so they may perhaps avoid Deng themselves. Deng has provided leadership, consistency and experience to this young Cavaliers roster. The Cavs know him staying could be a vital part of their rebuilding plans, but sadly they have little say in the matter. The Cavaliers knew of his expiring contract and the issues it would bring, but then again it was always worth a shot, right?
Will Deng choose L.A., Cleveland or somewhere new, with a championship in mind?