Report: Riley to meet with Deng


VIDEO: LeBron James is at the center of Miami’s offseason plans

We’re still awaiting information on how Derrick Rose’s willingness or reluctance to participate in this free agent’s decision process might affect things. But it looks like Miami president Pat Riley and his entourage of championship rings will be pitching South Beach in Chicago this weekend.

It’s easy enough to imagine how Deng’s skill set might reinvigorate Miami as a title contender, given his two-way game and jack-of-all-trades abilities. It’s not as easy to see why Deng would take the pay cut required for him to fit into the Heat’s salary structure, assuming they didn’t find a way to dredge more space. The plan to meet meeting was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

Yes, after the half-season Deng spent in Cleveland following his January trade from Chicago, he probably craves some winning – and a little attention – again. But the two-time East All-Star forward is in his prime earning years, and turned down the Bulls’ three-year, $30 million offer right before he was traded. He has earned more than $81 million so far but at 29, he’s young enough to double that before he’s through, given the right situation and production.

Deng has the sort of maturity that guys such as Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis have brought to Miami’s roster as valuble role players. But just because he’s been around for 10 seasons doesn’t mean he’s ready to sacrifice big bucks to fit into LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s supporting cast.

Dallas and Atlanta, both interested parties, would seem to offer Deng better in a balance of competition and compensation. Deng – who ranked second to James in many scouts’ ratings when they both came out of high school in 2003 (Deng went to Duke for one season) – has averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 35.8 minutes.

If this were to happen, Deng’s signing in Miami would have a certain Ray Allen-leaves-Boston feel for a lot of Bulls fans. He’s no longer with the organization but Chicago is the team that drafted him No. 7 overall in 2004 and signed him to his six-year, $71 million contract that just lapsed. Deng was invaluable to the Bulls – a real favorite and minutes-eater for coach Tom Thibodeau, too – as they butted heads with the Heat the past four seasons and with James in Cleveland before that.

49 Comments

  1. str8chi says:

    LOL… Dude said that Wade deserves a Max Contract!!! LOL… Too funny.

    Oh, wait…he was serious? C’mon, man!! You don’t sign a superstar to play 60% of the regular season and then disappear in the Finals!! That doesn’t say “Max Money” to me. If they want to win then they better hope they can land a decent Big Man and that Granger shows some signs of Danny Granger 2009 or something. So far this has to look like Cleveland all over again to LeBron. He has two rings, so go back to Cleveland and get them one before he’s done.

  2. Carlo says:

    To all those dreaming about the Heat making the team WITHOUT LBJ and making the Finals… pls note that that means LBJ would be in an opponent team, almost surely a GOOD opponent and most likely an Eastern Conf. one.
    So, you’ll have to deal with him. Best wishes.

  3. Derrick says:

    The HEAT just needs to be tweaked. The most disappointing part of the Finals was that he HEAT didn’t play HUNGRY! The bench was too old, and too much of the offense revolves around LEBRON. Everyone, except Lebron, seem to have started their vacation early. As a HEAT FAN, I’ve witnessed better performances in the regular season.
    If Lebron wants to leave the HEAT, then I wish him well. It was a great 4 yr. run. However, if he is truly concerned about his legacy, he will find a way to lead this team back to the top.

    • Eddie says:

      Not true, his legacy will not be written utnil he is finished playing basketball. no better way to go out than playing in your home area! The Heat let Lebron down by not re-tooling earlier ~ instead they rode Lebron’s back utnil it broke. NO ONE stepped up not evern the other two that was suppose to be part of the big 3

      Admit it!

  4. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    I don’t think Deng is the solution to the Heat’s problems.. Nice try Pat Riley.

  5. BullsFan says:

    Did it cross anyone’s mind that all three Heat big men opted out to make salary cap room for some fresh meat? or are they that damn greedy???

    • Eddie says:

      No dude if they were that greedy they would have not taken less money 4 years ago!

      Riley has not been about to get the talent they need HELLO

      LBJ should move on ~ he has given RILEY time to re-tool and it is not happening

    • Eddie says:

      Worry about your own darn team bullsfan and that broke down sweet rose

  6. Larry says:

    They should get Bynum and Jimmer

  7. jitsogaini says:

    Wade averaged 19 points shooting close to 55 percent in the regular season. These are still all-star numbers, and top pay. He could still average 27 points a game if the offense go through him instead of Lebron. So yes Wade deserves a max contract as well. The only person out of the Big 3 who don’t deserve one is Chris Bosh. The reality is all three of them needs to take a pay cut in order to get the players that they need to not only win another championship, but to dominate the next 4 years.

    If Lebron left and the starting line up was Napier, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Gasol The Heat would still be the favorites in the East.

    • Eddie says:

      Are you kidding me! Well you may find out sooner rather than later and we can ger your opinion this time next year when you are sitting at home wishing you had LBJ!

  8. Vlad says:

    This Free-Agency is so overrated. All we see are report and rumor mill. Get some writing material!

  9. Ellery G says:

    Riley has a catch-22. If he doesn’t re-sign James to a max contract he will have cap space for Gasol who at 33 has become injury prone, and possibly Deng who despite his age has a lot of mileage on his body. I can the two of them along with Wade spending a third of the season at court side in business suits as Miami lapses into irrelevance. If he does sign James he will not be able to improve the team enough to win another title.

  10. i agree with u asa

  11. Tom says:

    how about this:

    -let wade go, he is now way too injury prone and will garner a lot of money
    -resign lebron and bosh to slightly less if possible
    -sign deng up and he and lebron will make a fearsome defensive line up
    -trade chalmers and start cole, try to clear as much cap space as possible just incase deng does want to join the heat
    -sign somebody like Wesley Johnson to fill the hole at shooting guard

    starting line up

    pg Norris cole
    sg Wesley Johnson
    sf luol deng
    pf lebron james
    c chris bosh

    then look to add solid rotation players on the bench, steve blake firstly

  12. alli says:

    Pacers need you

    • Carlo says:

      Pacers need me.
      At 5’10″ @ 230lbs I’m perfectly fit for their playing style. I’d settle for 6M$/year plus regular delivery of cheesecakes.

  13. asa says:

    They should go for Wesley Johnson & Steve novak.

  14. bballjunkie1 says:

    You are 3 years too late in upgrading roster of coach and players. This is a mess that did not have to happen this way. And now u want Lebron to continue to be the work horse every nite while Dwade is being paid full salary some of which was for services before the king? Bosh has altered his game alot but young enough to still be paid a max some where. Good Luck with that Riley.

    • Eddie says:

      WELL SAID! Riley should have re-tooled as he calls it two years. They rode Lebron while resting Wade and Bosh who knows. Heck SPOZO did not hold anyone accountable on the tean when they did not preform. I guess he just said let Lebron do it. WELL WELL look at what you have now we will see just how good SPOZO is once Lebron leaves!

  15. Kirby Record says:

    The only reason we would sign with the Heat would be to win a title. Mavs also have a good shot at a title but have to get by the Spurs, OKC and a handful of other teams that are improving themselves considerably, like the Clippers and the Rockets. The Heat ddi very well all season against the West teams, and despite being beaten soundly by the Spurs, all they need is greater inside strength and point guard help. Deng provides that and the draft provided the other. May not be enough but just as good a gamble as the Mavs, probably a better chance to win it all with Heat. But the pay cut depends on whether this already wealthy guy needs more beans on the table.

  16. Ms.Sexy says:

    I am a Heat fan but if the King wants to go home to Akron or plays for the Cavs I have wont be mad. He gave us 2 rings. He will always be my favorite player.

  17. pokie says:

    Deng will not take the kind of pay cut needed to bring him to Miami to play along side Labron. This seems to me like Pat Riley pivoting into a back up plan in case Labron decides to go elsewhere. He could know something the rest of us don’t.

  18. Artis Miller says:

    Labron James is playing games with the Miami Heat. If he was serious about adding quality players, he would commit to the Heat and those players considering Miami would make a commitment to sign. Riley will not be able to sign those players that maybe considering Miami until James make his decision. The longer he put off his decision, the harder it will be to lure other quality players to Miami. James is the KEY to what Riley is able to do. He will continue to delay until all the quality players has signed with other teams.

    • Eddie says:

      Then that is the Heat’s fault not Lebron. I don’t blame Lebron for not signing PAT RILEY needs to show him what he can put together. He should have re-tooled two years ago. But no instead he rode James back and finally Lebron got tired of carrying this orry team year after year with little to no help!

      Get real Lebron is not playing with anybody if Riley wants to sign other players then do it!

  19. What if Riley is preparing to let the quitter walk? A team built around Wade, Bosh, Gasol and Deng would be pretty tough.

    • okeeffe6 says:

      the quitter. laugh. 2 rings and 4 finals in a row. he doesn’t want to play with chris andersen anymore….haha.

    • king who says:

      let the so called king go

      PG: napier
      SG: wade
      SF: deng
      PF: bosh
      C: gasol

      • Ed says:

        i don’t think this line up is impressive enough. With this line up i will give it up to first round of play off only.

      • underdog says:

        If they retain Ray Allen, I think that team is 3rd at worst in the East and can still reach the ECF.. The Heat has a system and as long as Bosh and Wade is still there.. The Heat will still strive.

      • Eddie says:

        Idiot Deng and Gasol are not signing here. Bosh has said that if LBJ is not here then he is leaving also! STUPID

  20. MGENS says:

    Pat Riley is definitely trying to improve his Roster, except he’s apparently trying to recruit players, hoping they will take
    a pay cut in order to keep the Big 3′s as well. Deng and others, knows it’s not a “Slam Dunk” for Championship.
    Miami’s bench definitely did not support each other in the playoffs. That was The Spurs biggest reason for winning the Championship: Their Bench production. Unfortunately, pay cuts alone, isn’t going to do it. The Luxury Tax, is also Miami’s enemy now…

  21. Fractured Life says:

    Chicago didn’t draft Deng. Phoenix did. Aschburner, just give up.

  22. A.J. says:

    Why would anybody want Deng, his achilles tendon is made out of Swiss cheese and forced him to miss multiple games with both Chicago and Cleveland. He should be considered toxic.

  23. lee says:

    deng would not be a good fit in miami at all unless lbj is moving to the 4 deng deff dont need to be playing the 2 gaurd this team needs to start over bj needs to move on the need to sign deng and d wade to good contracts and then trade bosh to t wolves for k love that would be good for their future

  24. Fuzz says:

    Lebron wants 20 AND for Riley to upgrade the Heat roster? James needs a remedial high school math course. Nowitzki took 10 and will again play with a good supporting cast this year, perhaps for another title. Deng should have taken 10 from the Bulls because he is miscast in Cleveland. If Washington loses Ariza, and it looks like they will, they should pursue Luol. Wade is not an all-star, and he should never have opted out of his last year. With his injury history and declining defensive skills, he will end up with the short stick this year. Wade plus Miami’s band-aid role players may be behind “The Decision 2″!

    • Eddie says:

      Lebron should take nothing less than the MAX ~ which he DESERVES

      LIVE WITH IT PEOPLE

  25. Vincent Herring says:

    Deng as LeBron replacement? Poor replacement but a good player.
    LeBron considering other teams…..

    A better pick up would be Jamal Crowford! Make DWade the 6th man…… not Jamal.

    • taste it says:

      lol dwade 6th man? wake up son

      • Carlo says:

        You’re right. Wade does not have the humility to do it.

        Look at Ginobili. Nobody (including him) cares if he’s a 6th man. Everybody knows he’s a winner (in every sense).

        One can be the toughest warrior of the world but if he insists in keeping a role for which he’s not fit anymore and that costs his team the W, then he’s a loser.

  26. TheKush says:

    I like that Pat Riley isn’t afraid to get desperate and do whatever it takes to make leBron James stay in Miami a lot of other NBA presidents and owners like “Phil Jackson” could learn a lot from Pat Riley about how to keep NBA talent in a franchise. It’s called FREE AGENCY for a reason and Oscar Robinson helped pave the way so players can have OPTIONS just like other employees have options.

  27. harrythehawk says:

    Deng will play for the Hawks. They will pay him what he’s worth, he will be a starter, and the Hawks will take their rightful place in the Leastern Conference, 1st or 2nd seed.

    • Carlo says:

      I do hope this happens soon. Not so sure about that but I’d like to see Spurs vs Hawks Finals.
      I just reviewed a reg.season Hawks@Spurs game and it was so fun and refreshing, expecially compared to those games played by budget behemoths in the East (say NY, BRK, MIA, IND) whose playing style really was a pain in the a…

  28. underdog says:

    Deng’s reps talking to Heat is a marketing strategy. This would up his value and force other teams needing an upgrade in SF to consider him instead of waiting for LeBron/Carmelo decision.. Mavz/Clips/Suns, you’re on the clock..

  29. Chuck says:

    This is amazing. Another Heat sighting. Maybe they will get into the finals again; maybe they won’t but we can be certain that the groupie writers here have a few hundred more articles on the Heat up their sleeves or sleevelesses. I wonder when one of them will comment on another team?

    • No Regrets says:

      Not any time soon. The Spurs trashed the Heat, playing the best basketball we’ve seen in the finals in a few years, and it’s still all about the Heat. Like you said, groupies . .

    • A.J. says:

      You’re missing the point. Everything that happens in free agency this summer depends upon what James does or doesn’t do.