The Miami Heat have been rumored to be the favorite landing spot for Luol Deng, but according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Heat and Deng are far apart on a deal. Be two sides have been negotiating on a contract, according to multiple reports.
@WindhorstESPN: As of last night, Heat & Luol Deng still significantly apart on salary, sources say. Deng’s been turning down $10M/year offers for months
NBA.com’s David Aldridge reports that Deng is dragging the decision out.
Luol Deng still deciding, per source, which almost always means “high bid wins.” MIA still ahead. Mavs in it but trailing b/c of Parsons sheet.
Deng, 29, could help fill the void at small forward left by LeBron James. Miami has been interested in Deng all off season, according to reports, because he is an athletic wing who can help with Miami’s dwindling perimeter defense.
Deng is also known as a good locker room presence, something Miami will need as it transitions from the Big Three era.
However, something more than $10 million per season might be pushing it. It’s important for the Heat not to overpay in a reaction to James leaving.
Instead, many Heat fans are clamoring for the team to turn to restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe.
Deng is reportedly being pursued by Atlanta and Dallas as well. He has turned down $10 million per season for months but no team is known to have offered more than that. Unless Deng bends, it will likely cost about $12-13 million a year to acquire his services.