Deng's finished up his stint at the Olympics leading Great Britain to a victory over China. Afterwards he discussed his plans to be ready for the Bulls training camp to open this year and postponing surgery until after the 2012-13 season or perhaps never having it at all.
It's crazy the level of hyper-criticism Deng must be eligible for, because I want to write a piece saying he's nuts. Imploring him to simply have the surgery, that both he and the Bulls will be best off if he's truly 100% healthy rather than worrying about his wrist with every fall.
"Did I look like I needed (surgery)?" Deng said Monday evening. "I'm fine right now. I feel great. There are a lot of things I want to improve in my game that I want to focus on now. I want to be a better player than I was last year.
"I have time to make decisions and be healthy by the time we start (training camp)."
Do you look like you need surgery? Well, I notice you're still wearing a wrist guard.
Obviously Deng knows more about how he feels than I do. He knows how much the wrist bothers him while I can only speculate that playing without a few ligaments in your wrist probably sucks and limits you some. I also think it's commendable that he doesn't want to let the Bulls and his teammates down by missing the start of the season.
I'd imagine he feels even more pressure because he knows Rose will be out during that stretch. I just wonder what type of advice he's getting from Chicago. Are they excited he's going to be ready right away even if it means he won't likely be at his peak during the playoffs? I hope not.
This whole thing feels so short-sighted. Deng might miss a month of the regular season, and the Bulls might struggle mightily over that month, but in the end, I'd rather hit the playoffs with a .500 record and Luol Deng at his peak than with a 47-35 record and Luol Deng playing at 85% and still worried about wrist pain.
Would it surprise anyone if instead of missing 15 games up front that he misses 5-10 games later in the season to rest his wrist again due to the pain accumulated from playing a grinding season with through the injury?
If Deng simply doesn't believe surgery is the best course of action then maybe that's something different all together. Maybe he simply doesn't want to have surgery at all, and it's not necessarily related to the timing of the regular season. He obviously has the right to decide the best course of action for his body, and if he believes the best course of action is no surgery than I'm game.
However, if he's simply doing it to support the team and his teammates, the best support he can give them is to have the surgery immediately and be 100% healthy by the end of the season rather than at the beginning of it.