With just three days left to woo prospects before signings begin, the Atlanta Hawks have continued their pursuit of free agent forward Luol Deng according to a report by ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Amid all this focus on LeBron/Melo/Bosh ... word is Atlanta continues to press for one of Miami's presumably out-of-reach targets: Luol Deng— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2014
Atlanta has reportedly been one of the teams lining up for Deng since free agency opened. Reports suggested last week that Mike Budenholzer spoke with Deng over the phone while he was vacationing in Europe. Although Deng's camp appears to be in no hurry to get a deal finished, Stein reports that the Hawks are pressing hard.
If Atlanta wants Deng, behooves them to try to press for a deal while so much else is happening. Let's see how they fare #eventhehawks— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2014
Reports also suggest that Deng is looking for something in the neighborhood of $12 million a season. His camp would likely be wise to wait for the dust to clear after LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony make their free agency decisions. A team that cleared space for James or Anthony may opt for Deng even if they have to overpay.
Atlanta went into the offseason with the goal of upgrading its depth on the wing and primarily at the small forward position. The Hawks still have DeMarre Carroll and agreed to terms with free agent wing defender Thabo Sefoloshalast week. Adding Deng would increase the team's depth even further and give head coach Budenholzer even more options with his lineup combinations.