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NBA -- Deng trade talks: Much ado about nothing?


PhilBoxing.com



Deng.
CHICAGO -- With this year's NBA Draft less than 48 hours away, the Chicago Bulls are reportedly looking to trade two-time All-Star Luol Deng.

According multiple sources including NBA.com, the Bulls are said to be willing to send Deng to the Washington Wizards for center Emeka Okafor and the 3rd overall pick in the upcoming draft.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Deng has been a steady force for the Bulls for eight seasons, but it is speculated that he might not be what the Bulls need for a future run at the NBA title alongside franchise cornerstone Derrick Rose, who is set to return in full force following ACL surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2012-13 season.

Although Deng is a solid defender, he lacks the offense the Bulls need from someone who can create his own shot off the dribble and drive double-teams off of Rose. Averaging 16 points per game throughout his 9-year NBA career, Deng no longer attacks the rim with the same frequency like he used to and the amiable Brit from Sudan tends to settle too much on jumpers.

Deng isn't a 3-point threat either, norming only 33.4 percent above the arc in his career. And that doesn't help the Bulls, who are 20th among 30 NBA teams in 3-point production.

And the wear and tear of Deng's 28 year old body is becoming an increasing for the Bulls after the all-purpose small forward missed seven regular season games and seven of the Bulls' 12 playoffs games this year due to a myriad of injuries which included complications from a spinal tap.

While Deng deserves credit for playing hurt, the younger Jimmy Butler, 23, might be a more reliable and consistent option since Deng has played only two full NBA seasons in nine years.

By trading Deng, the Bulls could acquire a young player, perhaps Victor Oladipo of Indiana University, Ben McLemore of the University of Kansas or Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA. It's a risky move, but one that could pay off the way it did in the case of Butler whom the Bulls picked at No. 30 in the 2001 draft.

Throug the years Deng has been a part of numerous trade talks, including one when the Bulls almost had a chance to get five-time champion Kobe Bryant and another in which Carmelo Anthony was eyed. Both supposed deals didn't get anywhere and the Bulls have reached the Eastern Conference Finals only once since the Jordan era.
And so like the others before this one, this current Deng trade talk may be much ado about nothing. (KEM)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kelly Manalo.


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