TUESDAY, 4:44pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.
“Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise,” team president Pat Riley said in the statement. “He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the very, very best. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Heat family.”
SUNDAY, 1:36pm: The Heat are set to sign Luol Deng, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. It’s a two-year, $20MM deal and includes a player option on year two, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
Deng will now help the Heat kick off of a brand new era that they hoped they would never have to see. Fortunately for Miami, even though LeBron James is returning to Cleveland, Chris Bosh will be sticking around on a max deal and it sounds as though Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem will be re-signing as well. Miami may not be world beaters this season, but they at least have some continuity and a good chance at returning to the postseason.
This morning it was reported that Pat Riley & Co. were in the lead for the small forward with the Mavericks, Suns, and Hawks also in the mix. The Ron Shade client was said to have been turning down offers that had an average annual value of $10MM, but he either couldn’t drum up a better deal or took a little less to enjoy one of the NBA’s most beautiful cities. Regardless of how it came together, it’s a good value for the Heat when considering the contracts given to Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons this offseason.
For his career, Deng has averaged 16.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.5 APG over ten NBA seasons.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.