If the Atlanta Hawks want a player who can take them to the next level, Luol Deng is not the guy this team should consider signing in the offseason. There is a reason the Chicago Bulls shipped off Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first place. He’s not a player who makes a difference in terms of wins and losses, which is why the Hawks should not pursue him when free agency starts.
Just look at what happened to the Bulls after they managed to send him away in early January. Chicago went from a team that was barely fighting to stay in the playoff hunt with Deng to a top four contender in the Eastern Conference. How about the Cavaliers? They must have gotten better following the trade for the small forward, right? Nope; the Cavaliers managed to somehow get worse by adding Deng to the lineup, and he was supposed to be the player who could take this team into the playoffs at the time Cleveland traded for him.
So why would the Hawks want to add a player like this to their team? It literally makes no sense from both a basketball standpoint and for financial reasons. Deng will not only demand way too much money for his services, but he’s also not the player the Hawks need at this time in order to get them to the next level. A star is what Atlanta lacks — not a 29-year-old small forward who only averaged 16 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game on a bad Cleveland team. Plus, there are far too many options out there for GM Danny Ferry to consider before even thinking about bringing Deng to Atlanta.