Extension Talks Stall For Luol Deng, Bulls

11:19am: Deng's agent tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that his client "will go through free agency process next year," suggesting that extension talks have been shelved permanently (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Shams Charania of RealGM.com tweets that negotiations between the two sides never reached the "financial stage."

8:43am: Negotiations between the Bulls and Luol Deng's camp on a contract extension have stalled, reports Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com. A source tells Sam that the Bulls have opted to put extension talks on hold for now, as Deng enters the final year of his current deal.

Word first surfaced back in June that the two sides may be talking about a new contract, though at the time agent Herb Rudoy denied that any discussions had taken place. A couple weeks later, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Deng and the Bulls continued to negotiate, which GM Gar Forman confirmed several days later. According to Sam's source, Deng's camp was optimistic about getting something done this summer, but won't mind heading into the season without a new deal.

"We’re not upset, Luol isn’t upset. We’re just looking forward to this season and next summer," said the source. "[The Bulls] were willing to wait and risk losing him next summer as an unrestricted free agent."

While the club doesn't seem to be in a rush to lock Deng up long-term, Sam's source acknowledged that the Bulls expressed how much they value the veteran forward, indicating that they'd like to see him spend the rest of the career with the team.

If Deng does hit free agency next summer, he'd likely be in line for a deal in the neighborhood of the four-year, $48MM pact signed by Andre Iguodala this offseason. Assuming Chicago doesn't trade him this season, the Bulls would hold Deng's Bird Rights, giving them the upper hand to sign him.

Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors examined Deng as an extension candidate in August.

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