The Cavs and Herb Rudoy, the agent for Luol Deng, haven’t begun talks on an extension, but Rudoy has already made public reference to Andre Iguodala’s four-year, $48MM contract with the Warriors as the sort of deal he feels his client deserves. Sources tell Bob Finnan of The News-Herald that they believe Rudoy will ask for more than even Josh Smith is receiving each season in his four-year, $54MM deal with the Pistons.
Finnan also hears that if the Cavs don’t sign Deng to an extension, they face much slimmer odds of re-signing him as a free agent this summer. Deng, who’s making $14.275MM this season, could only tack three years onto his existing contract if he were to sign an extension. The maximum amount he could earn over the course of those three seasons is nearly $49.5MM, though the comparisons to Iguodala and Smith are most likely tied to average annual value, with Iguodala making $12MM a year and Smith $13.5MM. Those numbers fall in line with most reports we’ve heard since last offseason that indicate Deng sought $12-13MM salaries in ill-fated extension talks with the Bulls, but Finnan’s report makes it sound like Rudoy intends to ask for more than that.
Deng could sign for a much greater starting salary if he waits until free agency, and he could come away with a deal for as long as five years if he re-signs with the Cavs. Such a lengthy agreement seems unlikely, since Deng, a 10-year veteran, turns 29 in April and led the league in minutes per game the past two seasons.
Finnan compares Deng to Smith and concludes that Deng’s the better player. If executives around the league agree, the Cavs may have to make a hefty financial commitment to keep him away from rival suitors. A majority of Hoops Rumors readers don’t believe the Cavs will be able to convince him to stay.