Dec 5, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) is defended by Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls beat the Heat 107-87. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency 2014: Luol Deng is asking for $12 million annually

If Luol Deng is a man of his words, his chances of landing on the Los Angeles Clippers are zilch as he’s reportedly asking for a contract that would pay out $12 million annually.

As Yannis tweeted, there’s a real chance Deng get what he’s asking for. He’s the 3-and-D player a lot of teams assume they need and his past resume feeds directly in that narrative.

Is he worth $12 million? In my eyes no. He’s battered down after years of overload under Tom Thibodeau, has declined as a shooter, and seems to be one season away from a jarring decline. On a two-year deal, Deng would be a nice signing. Anything longer than that draws a weary eye.

With Spencer Hawes under contract, the chances of acquiring Deng have decreased. A sign-and-trade is still on the table, but giving up a combination of Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Reggie Bullock may be too high of an asking price.

There are plenty small forwards on the market that fit what the Clippers need.

A sign-and-trade could land Trevor Ariza, a younger, more athletic player who shoots the three ball better than Deng, in Los Angeles via sign-and-trade if he’s open to a pay cut. Paul Pierce seems to be a long shot, but that option remains on the table. They’ve reportedly been in contract with Marvin Williams and Mike Miller.

The world isn’t over if Deng prices himself outside of the Clippers market. The front office will just be forced to get creative when it comes to improving the wings, an area that struggled immensely last season.


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Tags: Lebron James Los Angeles Clippers Luol Deng NBA NBA Free Agency 2014 Pat Riley Spencer Hawes

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