Luol Deng, the small forward that has been rumored and reported to have been talking with the Atlanta Hawks since discussions began league-wide July 1st, has reportedly moved on from Atlanta over a disagreement over money, reports the most excellent Sam Amick of USA Today on Twitter Saturday.
Here was the tweet from Amick, in response to a Hawks fan (right on, mate!) asking about why Deng was no longer tied to Atlanta in reports:
It stands to reason that Deng was likely being offered the same reported 11 million dollar salary slot offered by the Hawks Friday night to Pau Gasol, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Atlanta making aggressive, late pitch for Pau Gasol, league sources tell Yahoo. $11M-plus a year, sources say. Gasol likely passes on offer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2014
Deng turned down three years and 30 million dollars from Chicago so speculation would be that he is wanting much more and Pau turned down two year, 23 million and three years and 29 million dollars from the Lakers, per Dave McMenamin from ESPN Los Angeles.
Prior to today, LAL offered Pau Gasol two deals: 2 years, $23 mill and 3 years, $29 mill per league source. He turned down both offers.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 12, 2014
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.
As for Gasol, there is likely a different goal in mind, the goal of both getting paid and challenging for a title, which is why Chicago and San Antonio have been most prominently mentioned in concert with Gasol's name.
According to our friend Marc Stein at ESPN, Deng has in fact moved closer to the Miami Heat to team up with newly maxed Chris Bosh and a soon-to-be re-signed Dwyane Wade.
ESPN sources also say that Miami is making progress in its pursuit of Luol Deng to team him with Chris Bosh and soon-to-reupped Dwyane Wade— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 12, 2014
Exit Question: Given the climate of Hawks fans last night, where the tone was of disappointment, how high would you want to see the Hawks go to get Deng or Gasol?
(ed. note: had originally said Cleveland offered 3/30, but the Bulls offered the extension h/t @doubledown44 on twitter - has been changed above)