Cavs Hope To Keep Luol Deng Long-Term

January 8 at 3:35pm CDT By Luke Adams

WEDNESDAY, 3:35pm: Asked today about re-signing, Deng said that he hopes Cleveland can be a long-term destination, but declined to go into further deal, as Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer outlines.

Deng also tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that he and his reps were never seeking $15MM annually in extension talks with the Bulls, and while he’s not upset with the organization, he’s bothered by that figure leaking (Twitter links). For what it’s worth, only one report suggested Deng was seeking $15-16MM per year, while most others pegged his desired figure in the $12-13MM neighborhood, as we noted below.

TUESDAY, 3:53pm: The Cavaliers didn’t waste any time today talking about how much they want newly-acquired Luol Deng to be a part of their future. While Deng has yet to put on a Cavs uniform, GM Chris Grant has already indicated that the goal is to keep the veteran forward around “long-term,” according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link).

Deng reportedly turned down a three-year, $30MM extension offer from the Bulls, but the Cavs are expected to revisit the topic of a contract extension with the 28-year-old. Still, negotiations won’t begin immediately, according to Grant, who says he wants Deng to get acclimated in Cleveland first (Twitter link via the Plain Dealer).

If the Cavs offer Deng an extension, they’ll only be able to tack on three years to his existing deal. While that could work for the team, Deng may prefer to hit the open market, where he could receive a five-year offer from Cleveland or four-year offers from rival suitors.

In his piece today evaluating the swap between the Cavs and Bulls, Grantland’s Zach Lowe noted that finding the right price point for Deng in free agency won’t be easy. Lowe suggests that the Cavs shouldn’t make a five-year offer, and should probably only go up to four years if that final season is at least partially non-guaranteed. With Deng’s Bird rights in hand though, Cleveland is now invested in finding a workable deal for the former Bull, who is said to be seeking at least $12-13MM annually.

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