The truth? Somewhere in between, allegedly. Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained what he says is a copy of the scouting report in question – I still have questions about how Vivlamore authenticated it – and a section conflates Deng being African with him being two-faced. However, Ferry clearly wasn’t reading verbatim.
But the scouting report – read the full version here – also sheds more light on an important question: Who wrote that section of the report?
The key excerpt (including sections that are redacted and noting where words run off the page on the posted copy):
2013-2014 – Front Office – N/A
June 6, 2014 by [redacted]
Herb tells people he wants to start at $12M…
From a physical when we got him, Chicago had run him into the ground. We tried to correct & manage it when we got him. People say that he is worn down but I disagree & think there is more left in his body.
He is a good guy on the cover but he’s an African. He has a little two-step in him = says what you like to hear, but behind closed doors he could be killing you. Con isn’t bad, but it’[end of page] there. African-like, store front looks great but there’s a black market section in the back. Chicago thought he was good for their culture, but an outlier. Teammates liked him, but he [end of page] less impact on the locker room than you would think. He complained about things like not enough team jerseys in the team store, or that his bobble head was last during the year [end of page] has some con and a sense of entitlement. Luol kind of treated Cleveland like a pit-stop after the trade, where he probably became more protective of his body and focused on the [end of page] contract because he didn’t know his long term plan. He some things privately to media but denied them publically and said it wasn’t him. He’s not terrible, but you’ve got to k[end of page] that stuff is there with him.
Deng, whose agent is Herb Rudoy, went to the Cavaliers in a trade from the Bulls last season. Shortly afterward, there was a report, attributed to an anonymous source, that Deng was dismayed by the Cavaliers’ dysfunction.
Now, all eyes turn to Cleveland to see how Dan Gilbert – and the NBA – will handle this info becoming public.
Presumably – especially because Ferry escaped NBA punishment and has received Adam Silver’s public support – the league already saw this scouting report. Otherwise, it’s a major leap to take Ferry at his word that he was merely reading someone else’s statement. (And let me reiterate my questions about proving the authenticity of the scouting report.) So, I’d guess the NBA has already identified the source or is attempting to do.
When that person is discovered – and depending when redactions were made, it might not be too difficult – he or she almost certainly will be fired. Unless he or she claims to have been transcribing someone else’s words, because apparently, that’s enough of an excuse now.