"We really feel like the trades were great for us," forward Luol
Deng said. "The schedule gets tough, but we have confidence in the team
we have. When we play our best, I feel like we can play with anybody."
Now here's a quote you can really read into.
The most obvious interpretation, and therefore the one we'll casually dismiss because it's not juicy enough, is simply that Deng has noticed the team has really kicked some butt since this trade. They lost a road game to Washington who seems to be experiencing the Patrick Ewing effect, but otherwise have played great basketball.
The timing of the comment lends one to believe more in this interpretation as well, since he said it after the trade had proven to [thusfar] have a positive impact on the basketball court.
The juicy interpretation is that he's completely throwing the outgoing players under the bus. One could read this as a confirmation that he believes there was a lack of focus, talent, team play, or something out of the outgoing players. Certainly, I think everyone agrees that Tyrus was an attitude issue.
This is the second quote from a Bulls player hinting that the guys who left wouldn't be missed. (Derrick Rose early said something to the effect "The new guys don't have an attitude problem" implying that the old guys [or at least one of them] did.
So far, things look great on the court. My gut still says the Bulls lost talent with this deal, but I may have underestimated the gain in fit/character.