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Luol Deng Opts In With Heat

1:30pm: The move is official, the Heat announced (on Twitter).

1:03pm: Deng has apparently changed course, as agent Herb Rudoy tells TNT’s David Aldridge that he’s opting in, not out (Twitter link).

11:08am: The Heat expect Luol Deng to turn down his player option worth nearly $10.152MM and hit free agency, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter links). The deadline for him to do so is today. Stein also hints that the Heat also expect Dwyane Wade to turn down his player option worth $16.125MM, as Wade has hinted he’ll do. Goran Dragic, who already turned down his $7.5MM player option, is “basically a lock” to stay with the Heat, Stein writes, but the same isn’t true of either Deng or Wade.

Heat president Pat Riley made it clear last week that he wants Deng back, even in the wake of Miami’s choice of fellow small forward Justise Winslow with the No. 10 pick. Deng, 30, expressed his love for the Heat organization back in April, citing its medical staff. Still, that was before Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that Wade is open to leaving the Heat, throwing Miami’s offseason plans a curveball.

People around the league this spring expressed doubt to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders that Deng could find a salary better than what his option would give him for this coming season. Still, the Interperformances client will probably be able to find a deal that would lock in a greater total of money, albeit over a longer period of time, though that’s just my speculation.

Miami only has about $43MM in guaranteed salaries for next season, but new deals for Dragic, Wade and Deng threaten to push the team beyond the projected $81.6MM tax line. The Heat would pay repeat-offender tax penalties if they’re above the tax line at the end of the 2015/16 regular season.

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8 thoughts on “Luol Deng Opts In With Heat

  1. Rafael Pawlak

    Danger position for Miami.

  2. Deng is not a loss. That enables them to bring in a shooter and play Winslow more

    • Z.....

      Deng guards the other team’s best player every night and was actually our best shooter (besides Bosh) last season. He would be a great mentor for Winslow, and quite frankly, we still need him, as well as another wing

  3. Jeremy

    I think Deng would be a huge loss. Unless this enables them to bring in Monta Ellis (which I doubt)… his defense and added offense will be a huge loss. The Heat can / will compete next year.. they need his defense against the other teams star. Wade (assuming he stays) isn’t quick enough to defend against the elite anymore.. Deng still is.

    • Jeremy

      WHOO HOO! Awesome news… now we need to lock down wade and bring back James Jones / Mike Miller (hopefully both).. that roster may be the best in the east

      • Z.....

        I actually thought about that as an option, considering we need a 3 and D wing player, but I doubt Mike Miller would want to come back after the while lawsuit situation and then being amnestied. I would have hoped to trade chalmers, napier, birdman and McRoberts and try to sign Danny Green before resigning wade and Dragic, but that’s probably unlikely for a couple of reasons, one being the likihood of needing to take back some salary in those deals. Wish it were possible to sign him b/c that would literally be the perfect fit for us

  4. Z.....

    Hopefully, we can work out a deal to keep him, as well as obviously keeping D-Wade

  5. Z.....

    Get some! He has been one of my favorites in the league for a long time. Winning mentality, and he explained his decision by saying that he thinks we’ll be a terrific team next year. Will be great for continued presence around the young guys, and now Winslow

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