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The easy part is over: Bulls resign Deng

by Ricky O'Donnell on July 30, 2008 at 12:01AM

I wonder if John Paxson shopped Luol Deng around the league at all. There is no question that Deng’s stock was higher both within the organization and league-wide following last season, but my dreams of putting together a package of Deng and Gordon for someone like Carmelo Anthony was probably never realistic in the first place. By accepting a 6-year, $71 million deal from the Bulls, Deng really only hurt himself. The offer he rejected last year from the Bulls, 5-years at $57 million, probably would have been a lot better move on his part. He’ll only receive about 400k more annually, and he lost two years on when he could have signed his next phat contract. Still, resigning Deng was absolutely necessary, and kudos to Paxson for getting it done.

No one should fret: the Bulls didn’t give Deng too much money. Matt from BaB hit the nail on the head a week ago:

The Bulls drafted these players, they own their rights. The CBA is set up so that it's easier for teams to retain their own players at the expense of their ability to get other team's players. That means it's even more important to draft smart, and sign who you drafted.

This isn't the fiscal responsibility league, and what makes me more willing to see the Bulls 'overpay' for Deng and Gordon is that there's isn't some tremendous downside to them not living up to the contracts. The team would be paying for their prime years, and at worst they're still above-average players.

Precisely. So the Bulls did what they had to do- lock up their best player for six more seasons- with hardly any downside involved.

That isn’t to say Deng is a great player, because he isn’t and he’ll never become one. But he could be a fantastic third option on a title team (he may be ready for that role now), and he’s young enough to continue fine tuning his game. I’ve always argued that just because Deng is young doesn’t necessarily mean he has a high ceiling. He isn’t particularly athletic, and can’t shoot threes to save his life. But whatever. Deng is perfect complimentary part, and now that the Bulls have their franchise player (Rose) in place, we just have to wait for him to develop. Sure, Pax still needs to find Rose a running mate (hint: it’s not Gordon), but there is no need to rush it. Rose won’t bloom (see what I did there?) for at least a season and a half. But with Rose and Deng in place, the Bulls’ future is looking fairly bright.

Now things get tricky with the spotlight turned to Gordon. While I love watching Ben play as a Bulls fan, as an internet GM I want no part of him. I don’t think he pairs well with Rose because of his defensive deficiencies, but I realize it will be hard to trade him for equal value. I think I want Gordon to sign the one-year tender, which means he’ll be a free agent after next year. There is no need to lose your second best player this season if you can’t get value in return, and maybe the Bulls will be able to sell him off at the trade deadline next year. I still wouldn’t mind dealing Gordon now for a draft pick and someone like Miami’s Udonis Haslem or Portland’s Martell Webster, deals that could probably get done if Pax wanted to make it happen.

The Bulls biggest need for the future now is a go-to scorer, and the best way to find one is at shooting guard. Gordon, who is a good player, simply will never be able to fill the role of a primary scorer on a title winning team. I won’t be totally upset if the Bulls resign Gordon to a $10 million a year contract, but I just think that’s a Band-Aid more than anything.

Check out my list on TTCS today on why Madden is greater than schoolwork. White Sox post tomorrow, after Floyd schools Livan.

17 Comments | Leave a comment

I doubt you really care, but he is actually making less over the first 5 years than his initial offer if the contract is based off full 10.5% increases.




I just found that kinda funny.

Ha, that is kind of weird. I feel like most NBA players would probably care about something like that (though of course they shouldn't because the entire contract is guaranteed) but Deng is such a good guy I'm sure he didn't even think twice about that.

Young man, I have had it up to here with your Pro Bowl bashing.

Artest to Houston? If those three dudes can stay healthy, the Rockets are gonna be real tough.

If I was a Rockets fan, I'd be jacked, but as a Bulls fan -- and more objective/skeptical fan of the NBA in general -- I just don't really see it. And by "see it," I mean "see them winning the title or coming super close."

That said, I'm really not sure what they need to do to improve. They've got inside, they've got outside, and they play pretty decent defense. So maybe Artest can help them make some sort of leap...

Hell, at least get T-Mac to the 2nd round, no?

I don't know. Besides for the Big 3, everyone else on the Spurs is regressing. The Suns totally are on the way down- I wouldn't be surprised if they missed the playoffs this year. You can probably write off Denver for the playoffs without Camby, and as much as I love Chris Paul and TC, there is no way the Hornets are winning over 55 games again. I'd expect a kick up from Portland, but that might be it.

Artest is one of those guys that has been considered really good for a long time, but has never really done anything substantial in helping a team get anywhere. He's probably a little bit more mature now, and he's still is a menace on D. I think that's an awesome trade, oh and they gave up only Bobby Jackson, Donte Green and late 1st rounder next year.

I'll give that trade my seal of approval, and say the Rockets are a top four team in the West without thinking about it very hard. I expect at least two people to be all over for that statement, but whatever, I do what i want.

There is no way the Suns are missing the playoffs. Everything else was argued pretty well, though.

Bulls only have 8 mill left this yr till lux tax and Reinsdorf (sp? to lazy to google) said he will not broach that unless its for a championship caliber team. So Gordon is a one year tender or trade (hopefully).

Anywho, Bulls are screwed. Hinrick can taste my ass...

I read that the Bulls only go over if Gordon makes more than 13 mil a year.

I read 8, fucking "non-bloggers" never get their facts right...im looking at you Chicago Tribune

I can't wait to see Larry Hughes try to take over that primary scorer role in this squad....oh boy.

Well the Bulls aren't going to make the playoffs this year, and no one should expect them to. But they are building for something now with Rose and Deng longterm so that will be exciting.

Adam Dunn will be on the white sox by the end of today

To play where?

Are you suggesting moving Swish from center to 1st? Because that would be one of the worst defensive outfields ever.

Or are you saying Dunn at first? Cuz that still gives me pause for concern since he hasn't play any significant time there since 2005 (33 games)

I love Dunn as much as everyone else but there is absolutely no place for him to play. I still don't think the Sox should make a deal unless something awesome presents itself, but if they do make a trade, it almost certainly has to be for a pitcher.

I think it's obvious that a trade for Dunn would mean he's the first baseman, but this organization would never give up on Konerko like that- at least not this season.

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