It doesn’t look like trading Luol Deng and his big expiring contract is going to happen at the moment, so the Chicago Bulls and their small forward are trying to find a way in which they can extend his contract.
The problem with Deng is the Bulls trying to stay under the luxury tax. Deng is making $14.3 million on the final year of his current deal, and the contract he’s looking for is somewhere between what Andre Iguodala got from the Warriors (four years, $48 million) and Josh Smith got from the Pistons (four years, $56 million).
At the moment, the Bulls are already going to pay $61 million in salaries in the 2014-2015 season, which includes Rose, Noah and yes, still Carlos Boozer which they aren’t amnestying anytime soon, making more than $12 million a season. The worst deal out of all they have for that season is Taj Gibson, set to make $8 million.
Despite rumors flying around of both the Wizards and the Portland Trail Blazers being approached by the Bulls in an attempt to find him a new team, nothing has transpired, and it’s hard to see anyone taking his contract at the beginning of the season. When the trade deadline appears? Probably, but the Bulls are hoping to be in contention for the top spot in the East by then, and giving up a player like Deng in the middle of a playoff race doesn’t make sense.
There is also Jimmy Butler to consider. Not just his ability, but the possibility of giving him a contract extension before his final season on his rookie deal. With Butler looking like a much more promising player for the Bulls’ future at Small Forward and the drafting of Tony Snell, is harder and harder to see the sense of giving Luol Deng the multiyear, $50 million (more or less) extension he’s looking for.