We already told you there were reports Luol Deng was dismayed at what he saw in Cleveland — as he should be. Of course, he came out and publicly denied this but what players say to the media when the mics are on and what they tell their friends are as different as what happened at your bachelor party and what you told your future wife had happened.
Now comes another report that Deng has surveyed the Cleveland situation seen a tire fire the size of the one in “The Simpsons” and decided will bolt this summer. This one is from the largely reliable Marc Stein of ESPN.
And the general toxicity in the air around this team — where rumblings of player discontent with Mike Brown are getting louder by the day — makes you wonder if they have any hope of re-signing newly acquired (and shell-shocked) Luol Deng in free agency.
That’s right: What was supposed to be a season exciting enough to make LeBron James think seriously about leaving Miami to come back to the Cavs has descended into such farce that sources close to the situation are already saying that there’s little-to-no chance Deng will agree to stay once he hits free agency.
This was always the risk when Cleveland made the Deng trade, but then GM Chris Grant new owner Dan Gilbert wanted to make the playoffs and with his team floundering he made a move that was both bold and desperate.
Deng will have options this summer. Whether he has options at the money he expects to make remains to be seen (remember he reportedly rejected three years, $30 million from the Bulls) but he will have options.
And guys who have options don’t have to stay in situations where they are not happy.