The Bulls ended their four-game losing streak with a win against the Pistons tonight, but they remain a team in flux. The “sense around the league” since the Bulls and Luol Deng stopped their extension talks in the summer has been that he would be available for the right offer, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Derrick Rose‘s injury might mean the Bulls would be willing to accept less in return for Deng, Johnson surmises.
The soon-to-be free agent brushed off a reporter’s question about whether he wants to stay with Chicago now that the team no longer has a realistic chance of winning the title this year, as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times observes.
“I don’t even have to answer that,’’ Deng said. “If you think I want to leave, you think I want to leave. If you think I want to stay, I don’t really need to answer that. I think people know where my heart is.’’
Johnson points to Deng’s repeated statements in the past about wanting to remain with the Bulls for his entire career. Coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t worried about all the trade talk getting to Deng, but the small forward believes the uncertainty could hurt the team, Cowley notes in the same piece.
“It’s definitely, I don’t know if you’d call it a distraction, it’s disturbing,’’ he said. “It’s going to create a tension, right reason, wrong reason, whatever it is.’’