Luol Deng calls the Cavaliers a mess

Luol Deng is getting a valuable lesson before he free agency. When picking out a future destination, the culture of the team is awfully important. It also may be difficult to ascertain without actually being inside a locker room. A team can have A+ facilities and still have players that aren’t exactly on the same page.

According to the NY Daily News, he told a close friend that the Cavs were a mess.

As Deng recently told one close friend, “the stuff going on in practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front office back in Chicago. It’s a mess.”

It shows you what a winning culture the Bulls have developed, why the players/staff will never tank, and why the attitude of “we have enough to win” is always present. The Bulls hold players accountable for their actions and expect effort, hard work, and commitment.

Deng started off playing quite well for Cleveland, but his shooting has cooled off, and the impact of a lousy locker room may be getting to him.

I’d say the odds of Deng sticking in Cleveland at anything other than an outrageous salary seem pretty limited after Deng got a glimpse of their locker room. Ironically, bringing Deng in early to help “stabilize” the locker room may have ended their chances of signing him in the off-season.

A big money deal when he wouldn’t be able to see how bad it was may have looked far more attractive than it does now. Odds are that Deng will give up a few million to go to a better situation. That said, there’s still a lot to be said for being the high bidder. Locker room situations can change quickly for the better or worse.

Better late than never

Official congratulations to Joakim Noah on his second all-star selection. I meant to throw the note in Friday’s article about Jimmy Butler, but my laptop battery gave me the five minute warning on the way in to work so I had to wrap things up.

Much like Deng, Noah doesn’t scream all-star at you when you look at him. However, unlike Deng, he’s playing a position which frequently makes the game through it’s play on defense rather than offense.

A center’s primary job is to play defense a wing player’s primary job is to score. Noah’s one of the best at his primary job while Deng really wasn’t. There’s also much less competition at the center position, especially this year.

There’s no longer a requirement for a pure center which is why the East starters didn’t have one voted in, but the coaches still wanted to put a few real big men on the roster, and Noah’s easily one of the top two centers in the Eastern conference.

Joakim seems to be flirting with a triple double almost every night, recently racking up a bunch of games where he falls just a few assists shy. He’s hitting 10/10/5 in virtually every game he plays and is back to being the difference maker we expect after a somewhat slow start to the season.

He’s still amongst the best big men in the NBA on pick and roll defense and does a solid job contesting shots around the rim even though he has limited length. All in all, he deserved to make the game, and I’m proud to have him representing the Bulls on all-star weekend.

Couple minor side note

My apologies to my twitter followers, my work finally banned twitter from my phone (also banned from work internet), so I don’t really have access to twitter almost at all anymore. Will probably get a personal cell at some point in the next six months at which point I’ll be far more active again.

I just don’t have access for 90% of the day anymore. Same is true for getting to my blog, facebook, and virtually everything else. It’s a bit tougher to interact than it’s been in a long time.


Leave a comment
  • It will be interesting to see if Deng stays in Cleveland... but I'm not sure I really want him back. Maybe for $8 mil? And there is no way he's coming for that amount. We need offense!

    Deng could take a salary hit playing in Cleveland. Maybe $10 mil is what he'll get after all.

  • I know that there are a lot of false rumors out there, but there is a spanish newspaper saying the Mirotic could be signed this month. Is there any way that that can be done? How would it work from a cap perspective?

  • In reply to AlanJ:

    It's 99.9999% impossible. If he signs before July 1st, he will still be bound by the rookie salary scale. It's only slightly possible because I suppose there is a .0001% chance that his agent has lined up an endorsement deal here in the US that will pay him $25 million or so over the next 4 years, if he agrees to come over now...

  • Not a chance Deng stays in Cleveland imo. There's a reason Lebron wanted to get as far away as humanly possible. His name is Dan Gilbert.

    Also, booooooo IT nazis.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Maybe also the coach, Mike Brown?

  • I can see Deng looking at other teams like the mavericks who tend to go for solid veterans, perhaps the grizzlies go for Deng or even the Hawks who have cap space. I just don't see him sticking around the cavs.

    There are quite a few teams with cap space(Orlando, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, D.C., San Antonio, etc) so I think going for a 'free agent' may not be the best thing since we saw how overpaying boozer didn't turn out so well. I think the Bulls should look to trade a pick for a quality player on a good contract instead. Garpax better hope Snell figures it out. He's got the long arms and ability to shoot but does he have the passion, determination and competive drive to make things happen? It doesn't look like it so far.

  • Lu always seemed like a great person, so I hope he doesn't wind up wishing he had taken the Bulls' 3/30 offer. I'm pretty sure he'll wind up making enough money that he won't care, I just hope he doesn't wind up like Ben Gordon, whose career has basically gone to shit after he left the Bulls over what, an extra $1 million a year?

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    It just goes to show how short-sighted it can be to take the highest bid. The Cavs could destroy Deng's market value just like Detroit did to Gordon - although it's only a half year, so teams may look past his time in Cleveland. Still, Deng is smart and will probably think long and hard about where he signs.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Yeah it's better to put yourself in a good situation than to ruin your career by just taking the highest bid. Good luck getting 15 mil a year now!

  • fb_avatar

    I Hope too see him back in a bulls uniform thats a great fit for him and we love Defense!!

  • Boozers recent comments regarding Thibs lack of playing him late in games is comical. Between facts, stats, and the eye test I'm not sure what makes him think "the bulls have lost more games than not" when he is benched by Thibs.

  • In reply to Motoman:

    Amen, brother!!!!!! His impression of HIMSELF must be Oblivious to all Reality!!!

  • In reply to Motoman:

    Thibs really only needs one response to that: "I am reducing your role. Pray I don't reduce it any further."

  • Not a particularly big deal, but I was surprised to see Cartier Martin let go the other day. Actually, I was surprised that he wasn't getting any minutes at all after getting some run his first few games with the team. Thibs seemed to talk him up in the press and even suggested that he' like to see him stick with the team for the rest of the season, then he DNPCDs him for 2 weeks. Don't get it. I nearly commented on it several times, but I thought that he should have been getting at least 10-12 minutes a game to get Butlers minutes down to the 32-36 range, and maybe even taken up most if not all of Snells minutes since he has more timid days than not. Martin seemed aggressive as well as both willing and able to take and knock down the 3 ball, he had legitimate small forward size. It seems to me that he should have been in the rotation.

    Is there a limit(2) to how many 10 day contracts a guy can sign. I'm hearing that the Bulls don't want to commit any money before the trade deadline to maintain flexibility and that they are still worried that they might cross the tax threshold due to incentives for Taj and Noah? I thought incentives only counted if likely to be earned, maybe thats a different sport.

    Anyway, no biggie, but I would have like to have seen more Cartier Martin. Hey, maybe he could have played boozer's 4rth quarter minutes, at least when boozer wasn't having one of his self proclaimed great games.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I wouldn't be surprised if Martin is signed later in the year. The only reason that cutting him makes sense to me is if they want to force the extra time on Snell. In regards to you're 10 day contract question, I think they can only offer two consecutive contracts. But I believe they are able to offer it again after some time has passed. Don't quote me on that though.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Cartier Martin is now on a 10-day contract with Atlanta Hawks. I think its likely having flexibility at the Feb 20 trading deadline took precedence when Bulls decided to not guarantee Martin for the remainder of the season which was Bulls only other option.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "Likely to be achieved" counts against the cap during the summer. Now that the Luxury Tax is actually calculated at the end of the season, whether or not the player reaches the incentive is what determines the LT figure for the season.

    And players can only sign two 10-day contracts with a team in the same season, after the second one the team has to sign the player for the rest of the season or let him go for good.

    And Cartier Martin just today signed a 10-day with the Hawks.

  • The first thing the Cavs have to do is fire Mike Brown. He is a joke as a head coach. Fire him and his entire staff today and see if you can convince some out of work coach that is known for being tough to come in and finish the season. They are going to lose anyway, but the new coach could more or less weed out the problem players. I've heard that Waiters is a major problem. They need to destroy that team and be willing to start over.
    As for Deng, I wonder if this experience makes him want to come back to the Bulls for a discount price? Not saying that the Bulls should want him back, but that he might want to. If he thinks so highly of what the Bulls had, I think that might make his destination list look something like Bulls, Spurs, Heat, Pacers. Some of those teams seem impossible, but it seems like he wants winning more than money. But lets see what he does when the money starts being offered.

Leave a comment