Luol Deng is open to signing an extension with what he calls an “amazing organization” in Cleveland, as he tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Talks between the club and Herb Rudoy, Deng’s agent, have yet to begin and might not start up for a while. Still, Deng is impressed with the way the Cavs treat their players, and he’s excited about the team’s up-and-comers, particularly Kyrie Irving, for whom he believes “the sky is the limit.”
“If we sit down and something comes up in time, I’m more than open to it,” Deng said about the possibility of an extension. “I’m not the type of guy who wants to be chased. I’m going to play hard and work hard and look for what the best situation is for me.”
There’s more on Deng and another small forward who could hit free agency this summer, as we detail:
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com has spoken with people close to LeBron James who “pretty much laugh at and dismiss” the notion that the four-time MVP would return to Cleveland this summer. James himself has kept quiet this year on the issue of his potential free agency, and as Smith points out, the Heat were a surprise choice in 2010, so it’s hard to gauge the superstar’s thinking.
- If James does consider the Cavs, it would please Deng, who appears to be recruiting the Heat star in his comments to Spears, even though they play the same position. “I really think for Cleveland that LeBron knows the way he left, and he apologized for it already,” Deng said. “…And at the end of the day, he is a great basketball player and I think for him to come back to Cleveland is not only a great story, but you can’t hold grudges forever.”
- Smith hears the Cavs could have a difficult time re-signing Kyrie Irving, who has interest in returning close to New Jersey, where he grew up. Irving could become a restricted free agent in 2015 if he and the Cavs don’t agree to an extension this year, but Cleveland would have the right to match any team’s offer, so as long as the Cavs view the point guard as a maximum-salary player, they wield control.