The Chicago Bulls offered Luol Deng a take-it-or-leave-it three-year, $30 million contract extension shortly before trading him to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think the purpose of it was for us to say no,’’ Deng's agent Herb Rudoy said. “They probably had some deal in the process already. That was the purpose — to make an offer that we absolutely would turn down without question, and then get into their trade process. Again, that’s fine.
“Lu was surprised he was traded. They had certainly made it clear to him that he would be a Bull forever, but he also understands that this is a business. And that’s what he’s doing, he’s moving on.’’
Rudoy expects to discuss an extension with the Cavaliers in the near future.
Rudoy insists that Deng never asked for $14 million to $15 million annually.
“We never asked for anything,’’ Rudoy said. “Let me make that clear. We talked with them just before the start of the season, and we were told they weren’t interested in doing an extension, which was fine with us. Then I got a call this past weekend from Gar giving me a three-year offer, and one he said was non-negotiable. It was their final offer, take it or leave it, and Lu decided to not accept it. I was never given an opportunity to propose a dollar figure. Never once. Never had that discussion."
Deng and Rudoy met with Cavaliers' ownership already in an informal way.
“Today was the first day of the rest of his life, so that wasn’t discussed,’’ Rudoy said. “We met the owners, they’re terrific guys. They’re like Jerry Reinsdorf, who was very good to [Deng] all his years in Chicago. I met with them just to say hello, and at some point there will be a discussion about [an extension]. But there have been no discussions at all.’’