The Hawks are thinking about making a run at Luol Deng this summer, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Atlanta pulled the trigger on a trade earlier tonight for John Salmons‘ non-guaranteed contract, a move that will eventually help further their financial flexibility by giving the club over $15MM in cap room to spend on free agents this offseason.
Deng was shipped to Cleveland at the deadline and is reportedly less-than-thrilled at the idea of re-signing with the Cavs. The Lakers and Suns are reportedly considering going after Deng, and the Mavs, Celtics, Magic and Bobcats are all said to have interest in the veteran forward as well. If he were to join Atlanta, Deng could help address the team’s lack of depth at the small forward position.
Reports have claimed the Hawks are interested in trying to convince Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James to sign together in Atlanta, but the team is still probably lacking the cap space required for such a scenario to come to fruition. Deng represents a more reasonably priced, albeit less talented, option than a superstar pairing. His agent has suggested a contract similar to Andre Iguodala‘s four-year, $48MM pact would be a reasonable price for the 10-year vet, and Wojnarowski (on Twitter) pegs his market value somewhere between $10MM and $12MM a year.