By Sean Sarcu @seansarcu on July 14, 2014
The Miami Heat found their positional replacement for the departed LeBron James in signing Luol Deng to a two-year contract for $20 million. Deng had plenty of other suitors in free agency, but Miami was linked to him almost from the beginning. Here are 5 reasons why Deng chose to sign with the Heat.
After spending the first ten years of his career primarily with the Chicago Bulls and having a short cameo with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it'd be understandable if Deng wanted to go somewhere where the weather wouldn't be a constant annoyance. Miami is beautiful, and there are few better places to wind down and relax during the grind of a long NBA season.
Deng would never say so himself, but it seems all but assured that he hated playing in Cleveland. Before LeBron returning to the Cavaliers turned into a genuine possibility, Deng could have signed there on a long-term deal for quite a chunk of cash. He chose not to, and this ultimately led him to the Heat.
The last two seasons for Deng have involved playing for an almost talentless (Derrick Rose-less) Bulls team and struggling with a weak roster in Cleveland. Miami isn't loaded with quality players, but Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade at the top still constitutes one of the best duos that Deng could have joined this offseason.
In the weak Eastern Conference, a core trio of Deng, Bosh and Wade will be more than enough to make the playoffs. The only teams that are definitively better than Miami in the East are Cleveland and Chicago; a third seed in a weak conference isn't a bad place to start if you're looking to make a deep postseason run.
Deng's deal is for only two years, which means he will be a free agent once again precisely when the cap is expected to balloon. This is the same reason why James' contract with the Cavaliers is for only two years. Deng will make a pretty penny these next two seasons and should then be able to capitalize on his foresight with an enormous contract in 2016.
Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.
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