According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks are upping their ante with Luol Deng, and engaging him again after the Miami Heat have been talking with the free agent forward:
Atlanta is re-engaged on Luol Deng, who has continued deal talks with Miami today, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 13, 2014
According to various reports, Deng wasn’t going to accept Atlanta’s first deal because of the money that was offered, and if Danny Ferry is re-engaging him, I would assume that he’s offering more money.
Here’s what Jason Walker, of Peach Tree Hoops said about the situation earlier today:
From this we can gather that Atlanta’s reported 11 million dollar salary slot being offered is too little for Deng, who is likely seeking to get more out of Phoenix, Miami, Dallas, et al. for their leftover cap space after they struck out on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. That Deng is bristling over that level of salary from Atlanta means he has to be looking for something in the three year, 39-45 million dollar range. It’s also possible that the Hawks have only offered two seasons and Deng wants more, meaning more dollars over time than a two year offer could provide.
Given his declining skills and use already on his frame, it seems an unwise investment to go beyond the reported level the Hawks are offering, and you could make the statistical case, as we’ve done on the site, that even at that level it’s too high.
It’s possible that this is just a ruse to drive up the market for Deng’s services, but either way, the fact that Luol Deng is arguably the best available small forward not named Carmelo Anthony, a bidding war is eminent. Many teams have that positional need on their team at the moment (the Miami Heat to the largest extreme) and I’m sure Deng is going to be perfectly happy to sit back and watch everything unfold.