Even as the Chicago Bulls sink slowly down the standings in the Eastern Conference, management reportedly does not plan to deal forward Luol Deng, who will be a free agent at season’s end.
ESPNChicago.com reported earlier this week that despite the season going sideways after Derrick Rose having another season ruined by a knee injury, management has no plans to deal Deng, a two-time All-Star who is in his 10th season in Chicago.
Deng told the Chicago Sun-Times he’s preparing for the possibility he could be dealt, but the Bulls remain optimistic they can re-sign Deng this summer. The sides weren’t able to come to terms on an extension before the season.
Deng will be paid $14 million this season and Chicago is facing a luxury tax payment that could be more than $13 million.
As far as last week went, the Bulls lost three of four, losing at home to the Magic on Monday and dropping a pair on the road at Houston and Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Thursday before getting a win over the Cavaliers at home on Saturday.
Chicago is currently 10-16, tied with Cleveland for ninth in the East, one game behind the eighth-place Toronto Raptors. The Bulls trail the Central Division-leading Indiana Pacers by 11 games already.
Here is the week that was, including game reviews, some news and notes, the rookie watch and player of the week selection, as well as a look ahead to next week’s action: