Luol Deng to enter free agency next summer after talks stall with Bulls
Add Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng to the list of players set to become free agents next summer.
Herb Rudoy, Deng’s agent, told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday that his client will “certainly visit free agency” when the period begins in July 2014. The decision was made after Deng was told by the Bulls’ front office that contract talks between them would be tabled until after the upcoming season.
Rudoy said on Tuesday that the Bulls swingman found out last week from management that they will wait until next summer to resume negotiations on his six-year, $71 million deal, which is set to expire after the season:
“Luol has taken the position that he will definitely go through the free-agent process.”
Bulls General Manager Gar Forman said as recently as July at the Las Vegas Summer League that the team values Deng and that he hopes Deng remains in Chicago long-term but added that a deal this offseason is unlikely. Rudoy said he was surprised that the talks have stalled instead of the two sides entering into negotiations before the season begins.
Deng, a two-time NBA All-Star, will be 29-years-old when he enters free agency next summer. The 2014 free agent class is headlined by forwards Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and LeBron James of the Miami Heat.
The Bulls, who will get All-Star Derrick Rose back after he missed more than a year because of knee surgery, tip off their regular season on Oct. 29 with a game against the Heat in Miami.