Deng would understand if there’s a trade in the draft
Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng made public that he won’t be shocked if the team trades him this offseason.
While at training camp in Texas with Great Britain’s national team preparing for the London Olympic Games, Deng related he doesn’t believe the Bulls are shopping him in retaliation for his decision to delay the wrist surgery he wishes until after the Olympic Games.
But Deng, 27, did acknowledge that he isn’t dismissing latest reports advising the Bulls are ready to trade him for a top pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, with speculation mounting that Chicago could send Deng to the Golden State Soldiers in exchange for the No. 7 overall pick. Sports Betting
“I think there’s always to a point truth behind rumors,” Deng recounted. “But as an athlete, if you get caught up in them, you are truly wasting your time because it’s not something you can manage.
“If it’s not true, a General Manager could always come out and say it is not correct. But if a GM does not come out and say it, there are probably talks. And there should be. If I was a General Manager I might be shopping players around, as well. I’ve got to show that I’m doing something.
“A lot of GMs don’t just sit there, they’re trying their options. Me, I generally say there are 2 things when trades happen — if I was to be let go by a team and no-one picks me up, that’s likely the worst thing. But when you hear your name in a trade that suggests there’s someone at the other end who wants you.
Deng had been carrying a wrist ligament injury for most of the season, yet still led the league in minutes with 39.4 per game. However, Bulls management told Deng it would have preferred him to miss the Olympics — the 1st in which Britain will enter a basketball team since 1948 — to go through surgery that would ensure his health for the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.
In a tense exit interview before Deng left Chicago, he told Bulls management that he wouldn’t entertain the prospect of missing out on the Games and presented an argument that he won’t, actually, require surgery prior to the start of the season.
Deng, though, does not assume the Bulls have acted replying to his position.
“I do not think so,” he revealed. “Coach Tom Thibodeau and I have a close relationship. I talked with (General Manager) Gar (Forman), I talked to (VP of basketball operations John) Paxson, and it’s one of those things you do not want to bring up.
“I wouldn’t need me to play (in the Olympics) either. Pax is an athlete and, as an athlete who used to play, Pax understands me wanting to play. But as a General Manager that’s his job to try to get the team healthy and get the team prepared for next year. I understand both parts to it.
“But it comes down to an injury that occurred at the wrong time. I just try to let people know I’m going to be OK.”