One of the biggest names on the NBA free agent market this summer will be veteran small forward Luol Deng. The two-time All-Star will become an unrestricted free agent this July with the Cleveland Cavaliers not high on the prospect of bringing him back.
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cavs haven’t shown much interest in retaining the veteran:
Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that the Cavs could increase their chances of retaining free agent Luol Deng should they hire Griffin to be their coach, but the Cavs tried trading Deng at the trade deadline three months ago and haven’t expressed much interest in bringing him back.
With the Cavs winning the NBA draft lottery for the third time in four years, the struggling franchise will have a shot to bring in a potential star in the making at the small forward position. Jabari Parker (Duke) and Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) will both be there for the taking for the Cavs in the 2014 NBA draft making Deng expendable to say the least.
Deng was acquired by the Cavs this season in exchange for troubled center Andrew Bynum and draft picks. The move was expected to vastly improve Cleveland’s squad, but unfortunately the team was still unable to turn it around even with Deng in the fold alongside Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
Although Deng will likely have a number of different suitors in free agency, teams are wary of the injury problems he’s had over the past few years. If healthy, Deng can be a solid contributor on both ends of the floor for any team in the league, but at 29, he might not receive the lucrative long-term offers he’s expecting.
Over the past few months, rumors have circulated around the league that the Los Angeles Lakers could show interest in the veteran forward. Deng’s asking price could be too high for the storied franchise, but if the market isn’t what he expects, then Los Angeles could prove to be a viable option.
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