Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Thibs' thoughts if Deng leaves
By Nick Borges
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding Luol Deng's future with the Chicago Bulls past the 2013-14 season and to no surprise, head coach Tom Thibodeau won't like it if the forward is traded or plays elsewhere beginning in 2014-15.
“Ask Tom how important he thinks Luol is,’’ a source tells the Chicago Sun-Times. “How happy do you think he would be with that decision?’’
Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman reportedly have some issues, however they are able to maintain a working relationship. While Thibodeau and the players are concentrating on 2013-14, Forman is already looking ahead to 2014-15 due to luxury tax concerns moving forward. The team can't re-sign Deng and keep Carlos Boozer on the roster, so one and maybe both won't return in 2014-15. Forman also wants to bring over Nikola Mirotic, the No. 23 selection in the 2011 NBA draft, however that can't happen if the team doesn't have the non-taxpayer midlevel exception available to sign the forward from Montenegro. The Bulls will only have the taxpayer midlevel exception should they keep Boozer and re-sign Deng.
The Bulls have tabled all extension talk with Deng and unfortunately his future will be a hot topic with the local media for the entire season.
As far as Thibodeau concerned, he is in a safe position with the club as he is owed $17.5 million through 2016-17.