The Clippers want to upgrade the three spot this summer. The Jared Dudley era did not exactly work out as either side expected last season.
Outside of that guy who led the Heat in scoring last year, Luol Deng is the best small forward on the market. And he fits what the Clippers need — he’s a strong defender who works well as a third scoring option as either the roll man or cutting off the ball (plus he will get out in transition and finish).
The challenge is the only way Deng ends up with the Clippers is a sign and trade. Deng is good with that, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
If you’re wondering who the Cavaliers would want back, Jamal Crawford’s name has come up in sign and trades. The Clippers have other guys at the three they would move (including Dudley, who could well have a bounce-back year).
The Clippers and Cavaliers are not making any moves until LeBron James makes his decision, as both harbor long-shot dreams he would come to them (for the Clippers it would be LeBron forcing Pat Riley into a sign-and-trade, good luck with that). Meaning this could be on the back burner for a little while.
Deng can take his time, in fact he just got back from Europe. He has had some interest from the Heat but that would involve a steep pay cut he’s not likely to take. Also interested are the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers. A return to the Chicago Bulls is not out of the question.
But don’t expect any action for a little bit. Deng and his suitors are going to take their time.