That's Right, Another Luol Deng Trade Idea...But With Sprinkles



This might be long-winded, but here goes. There has been a few trade rumors that have spawned over the past week. Now the validity of such rumors can come into question, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate on them.

1. (per Aggrey Smith) "So is trading Deng, who will be headed into the final year of his contract, as teams that could be interested--including Central Division rivals Cleveland and Detroit, according to league sources"

So we know there is interest in Deng. Let's not pretend there isn't a debate at the Berto Center about whether or not to trade Deng (to save some money) . They were close last year with GSW's 7th (Barnes), but balked when they had to take back some salary (Biedrins or RJeff). With both DET and CLE having tons of cap space, they could flip back a lower salary contract or eat the entire contract.

2. (per Chad Ford) "The Mavs are likely to trade the pick to help create the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency."

Right now, DAL doesn't have enough cap space to offer Dwight (or CP3) a max deal. They will have to go about it in one of two ways:

The Mavs will want to have some decent role players around if they are to have a Dirk+Dwight pairing. They can't go with all Undrafted FAs and 1yr vet-mins and expect to be competitive. My guess is they go with option #2.

3. (per Bob Finnan of Ohio's News Herald) "One rumored deal for the Cavs would be to send three of their draft picks to Dallas (Nos. 19, 31 and 33) for veteran small forward Shawn Marion ($9.3 million next season) and the Mavericks' No. 13 overall choice. Marion, 35, has lost much of his athleticism and isn't the high volume rebounder he once was. The Cavs are expected to decline, even though having the 13th pick would be attractive."

Reading the tea leaves from our Cavs counterpart FearTheSword, it sounds like the Cavs (specifically Kyrie Irving) are getting frustrated with all the losing/tanking. A report came out right after the final home game (fan appreciation night). Well, Irving bolted, Byron Scott tried to cover for him saying he bruised his right heel, but then Irving dropped this...

"That’s what I have? Oh, when was someone going to tell me that?" Irving said. "I’m hurt again? Damn. How long am I going to be out, 4 to 6 weeks?" Asked when he was injured, Irving said he was fine. "They said I have a bruised heel, but I’m fine," he said. "I felt it in the first half. Felt something in my heel, but I’m OK." He was healthy enough to play 36 minutes.

Combined with Aggrey Smith's report above, we can presume CLE is looking to win now, and have identified their weakest area, SF. They know Otto Porter is there waiting for them at #3 (before they won the lottery) and now that they have won it, are still inquiring about improving the SF position, which one could glean they aren't high on Porter.

Aww Man...another Luol Deng trade proposal?

There are two camps: Keep Deng and trade Deng. I'm in the camp that doesn't want to just sit on our hands again. If the Bulls brass don't want to spend just a little more money to improve the team, I would rather they cut costs, bring in new blood, and try to reach a new ceiling. Obviously there are no guarantees this will work, but I just feel the ceiling of the current 'core' has been reached and if we just continue putting out the same team/effort, we'll continue to play 2nd fiddle behind Lebron/MIA.

How many times during the season (in the past 2-3 years) when there was a miserable offensive performance, we've said 'Deng doesn't cut it' or 'we need another (super)star'? I personally don't believe we need another (super)star. I think we just need some more offense, another scorer/shot-creator/playmaker, get Rose some help so the scoring load doesn't rest on his turf toe, spasmed back, bloody groin, sprained ankle, and torn ACL knee.

I would LOVE to keep Deng and start Butler next to him...IF the Bulls would add some more talent (yes, that means salary) around the team. Just re-signing Nate and/or Marco would suffice. But if they're going to completely trash the bench and replace them again with brand new vet-min players, we'll be at this very same place next year. So if that's the case, I say fuck it, trade Deng, get some prospects and try to create a new path with a new ceiling instead of staying on the current one that has peaked.

So where the hell is your trade idea?

Hopefully that wasn't too much fluff because here's my 3-team CHI-DAL-CLE trade proposal:

  • CLE: CLE's 19th+33rd ...for... Luol Deng

CLE does this because they get a proven veteran all-star SF who will bring stability, leadership, and defense to the team. Not only is this offer cheaper than DAL's offer above, but Deng is better than Marion...which makes it more enticing.

  • DAL: Marion+DAL's 13th ...for... CHI's 49th+2014 2ndRounder

DAL does this to create cap space for a Dwight/CP3 run. They don't get a 1stRounder, but they get two seconds (including one in next year's 'better' draft class). 2ndRounders aren't guaranteed contracts so they won't affect the salary cap.

  • CHI: Luol Deng+CHI's 49th+2014 2ndRounder ...for... Marion+DAL's 13th+CLE's 19th+33rd

This trade ultimately saves the Bulls about $11mil in payroll and tax, they pick up 4 prospects, get new blood/energy into the team, and the starting unit won't drop off dramatically with Shawn Marion into the fold.

Who would you draft with those picks?

The Bulls can fill our needs, including picking up some players with potential down the road. With these picks, I would like them to draft:

#13 Jamaal Franklin (6'5.25, 191lbs, 21yrs old, San Diego State) - I love Franklin because I think he has the potential to be a star. Out of all the SGs in this draft class (including McLemore and Oladipo), I think he will eventually be the best...maybe even the best player in this draft...yes I said it. Looking at his efficiency numbers, he won't impress anybody. But I like to think that was attributed to him being the main playmaker and shot-creator for his team. He is what baseball calls a 5-tool player. He led his team in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals per game. Not only that, but his best asset is probably his intangibles: motor, competitiveness, intensity, and toughness... on both ends of the floor (which sometimes hurts him as well). I compare him to a Tyreke Evans and ceiling of a bigger Russell Westbrook.

#19 Gorgui Dieng (6'10.75, 230lbs, 23yrs old, Louisville) - If he and Steven Adams fall to us, I would take Dieng. Adams might have the higher reward, but that comes with the higher risk (to be a bust). Dieng being a main cog with Louisville's National Championship team, I think he'll be an instant contributor as a backup Center for us. He's a very good defender, rebounder, shot-blocker, and has developed a nice jumper. I compare him to Taj Gibson.

#20 Giannis Adetokunbo (6'9, 196lbs, 18yrs old, Greece 2nd Division) - These next two guys will be more 'potential' picks. Giannis played in the 2nd division of Greece's team. At 6'9 196lbs, body-wise he looks like Kevin Durant running up and down. Don't get your hopes up, his game is nothing like KD's. He can't shoot, but what he does do is handle the ball and is a fantastic passer. That probably comes from his freakishly huge spider-like hands.



Being the tallest player on the team at 6'9, he's played all 5 positions, but his game is primarily on the perimeter. If he's not handling the ball and passing it, he uses his height, length, and athleticism to attack the rim. In the NBA, his position will be SF. I compare him to Nicolas Batum.

#33 Mike Muscala (6'11, 230lbs, 21yrs old, Bucknell) - It's hard to call a soon-to-be 22yr old Senior a 'prospect with potential', but it's not because of his lack of skill, it's because he wouldn't get any playing time with us with Noah, Dieng, Boozer, and Taj. Everything about Muscala's game tells us he's ready now, except he did it all in the Patriot League at Bucknell where he was usually the biggest kid there. He's pretty much the complete package when it comes to his skills. He has a very good low-post game. He doesn't take jumpers, but his 79% FT shooting would indicate he could develop that jumper. He rebounds well (especially offensively), is a good passer for a Center, and plays defense. I compare him to Roy Hibbert.

2013-14 Season:

C. Noah $11.1 (Dieng $1.7, Muscala $.8)

PF. Boozer $15.3 (Taj $7.6, Malcolm $.9)

SF. Marion $9.3 (Giannis $1.2)

SG. Butler $1.1 (Franklin $1.2)

PG. Rose $17.6 (Kirk $4.1, Teague $1.1)

Payroll: $73mil (per shamsports)

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